IN RESPONSE TO LOCAL and national events of the past six months, a small group of faculty and staff began brainstorming ways to publicly express their support for students at MMA. After many conversations, they settled on creating a large mural, in the form of a letter, to articulate a commitment to building inclusivity on campus.
“The mural idea emerged after several late-night discussions about how we could make our position known,” explains Associate Professor Carey Friedman, one of the faculty members involved in the project. “We wanted to urgently communicate to students that there are faculty and staff at MMA who find acts of intolerance reprehensible.”
By mid-semester, the group had drafted a powerful statement of solidarity and circulated it to colleagues across campus. Ultimately, over 150 MMA employees signed on to stand with students against discrimination and bigotry.
At the beginning of November, MMA’s talented facilities team installed the letter as a wheat-paste mural on the side of Nutting Memorial Library.
“The temporary mural was not an official statement by the college,” says Friedman. “But we are very encouraged that so many of our coworkers signed on.”
The mural was expected to last into the spring semester, but Castine’s fall weather proved too wet and windy for it to withstand conditions that long. The mural was removed after several days. Still, the group remains undeterred and see the short-lived installation as a continuation of social equity conversations that have been happening between students, faculty, and staff throughout the semester.
The group hopes that recent momentum continues once students return to campus after winter break and are working on ideas for additional projects.█
Photo: courtesy of Emily Baer