At Engine, our mission is to connect and inspire our community through art, design, and education.
Engine envisions a community and economy in which art, design, and education are valued, integrated, and celebrated.
Founded on the belief that artistic expression and creative vibrancy are the gateways to cultural, social, and economic revitalization, Engine is committed to designing, launching, and promoting community-based arts programming. Engine aspires to be a driver of artistic expression, creative industry, cultural vitality, community connections, and socially responsible practices. Engine was conceived of and founded by Tammy Ackerman, Joshua Bodwell, and Stephen Abbott in 2010 and received its 501(c)3 status in December of 2010.
Since its founding, the organization has sparked a new vitality in Biddeford’s downtown through its exhibitions, events, and education programs. Creating space for creativity benefits Biddeford by supporting a diverse, culturally-rich, and connected community. All fee-based programs are offered on a sliding scale, and our free community events are open to the public. Our long-standing collaboration with community-based, municipal, non-profit, and for-profit stakeholders has made Engine an arts and innovation leader in York County. The organization applies human centered design thinking to approach our shared challenges and uplift diverse voices.
A keystone creative economy organization serving York County for the last decade, our programs and activities include:
- Community events, artist talks, and performances including PechaKucha, ArtWalk, FringeFest, and York County MakerFaire.
- Gallery and retail storefront showcasing local professional, student, and community artists.
- Affordable workspace for artists and creatives.
- Shared making facilities, including a darkroom and FabLab.
- Workshops, classes, afterschool, vacation and summer camps for youth and adults.
- Compass Project, a mentoring/boat-building program serving at-risk youth in which participants build academic skills, develop self-esteem and confidence.
- Organizational leadership on Biddeford’s Cultural Coalition and Public Art Committee.
- Engine’s new IGNITE incubator slated to launch in 2021, supporting designer-artist entrepreneurs in launching creative, sustainable businesses with mentoring through the University of Maine Foster Center for Student Innovation and a team of advisors working in the entrepreneurial community.
Engine’s mission and goals revolve around helping the community see arts and culture as a viable form of economic development. Other Maine communities—such as Eastport, Rockland, and of course, Portland—have greatly benefited from attracting artists and creative individuals who help create and sustain an exciting environment, in the process raising the quality of life and attracting and retaining creative talent.
We believe that commerce follows culture.
That art should integrate, not alienate.
And that art, in its fullest expression, not only impacts individuals but transforms communities.
Engine is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization (effective December 2010) and incorporated in the State of Maine.
Engine’s Financial Statements, Policies, IRS 990 provided upon request.