2016 Leadership Luncheon and Award Recipients

2016 Leadership Luncheon and Award Recipients

The Maine Women’s Fund Announces 2016 Leadership Luncheon and Award Recipients
Wednesday, May 18, 2016 | Holiday Inn by the Bay | Portland, ME
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Networking Reception |12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Lunch and Program

PORTLAND, Maine. February 4, 2016—The Maine Women’s Fund, the only Maine foundation focused exclusively on advancing women’s and girls’ economic security, announces its sixth annual Leadership Luncheon and awards ceremony. The Leadership Luncheon brings together more than 700 prominent professional, philanthropic and community leaders to network and celebrate their investment in economic security for Maine’s women and girls.

This year’s event will celebrate Maine women in the arts, recognizing the accomplishments and legacy of women in Maine who have enriched our communities, refined our perspectives and fueled economic security for women and girls through the arts.. “The arts have proven to be a powerful driver of economic development for Maine in likely places like Portland, but also in unlikely places like Eastport, Belfast and Rockland, where a renaissance has saved communities relying on traditional industries like fishing, canning, tanneries and textile mills from otherwise certain decline,” remarked CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist.

The Fund is pleased to announce the following 2016 Award honorees who will be recognized at the event:

Originally awarded by the YWCA, the Tribute to Women in Industry Award (TWIN) recognizes a woman who is a leader in her field and has achieved significant accomplishments as a business owner, business executive or nonprofit organizational leader. The 2016 recipient is nationally renowned Melissa Sweet of Rockport. Sweet is the illustrator of nearly one hundred children’s books, recognized for excellence in her field with awards including: the 2008 Caldecott Honor Book, 2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal, National Council of Teachers of English’s Orbis Pictus Award, and New York Times Best Illustrated Award. Her female characters consistently demonstrate strength, independence and resolve, and her collages and paintings have appeared in the New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Madison Park Greetings, Smilebox and for eeBoo Toys, which have garnered the Oppenheim and Parents’ Choice Awards.

The Sarah Orne Jewett Award is given to a Maine woman who exhibits the attributes of the women in Jewett’s works of fiction: true grit, independence, courage, humor and discipline. The 2016 recipient is one of Maine’s most prolific living photographers, Rose Marasco of Portland. A versatile photographer and an inspiring, insightful teacher, Marasco uniquely incorporates framing, point of view and orientation to make images with a complex relationship to the everyday world. Marasco has had significant one-person exhibitions at: Houston Center for Photography, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, Sarah Morthland Gallery, the Davis Museum at Wellesley College, the Farnsworth Museum of Art and at the Portland Museum of Art, according to her website. Her work has also been featured in numerous group shows of distinction most notably at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Marlborough Gallery, Photokina, the International Polaroid Exhibition and the Smith College Museum of Art. Her photographs are included in public collections including: the Fogg Museum at Harvard University; Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection; the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College; Photography Collection at the New York Public Library; the Portland Museum of Art; and the Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

The Samantha Smith Award recognizes a young woman from Maine who works to promote social change in her school or community, inspires other girls to become active in supporting long lasting change in Maine, uses her voice boldly to influence others and make a difference in her community. 2016’s recipient is Julia Sleeper, Founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth Center in Lewiston. Born and raised in the Bangor area, Sleeper attended Bates College and began the present-day Tree Street Youth Center in 2011 with a mission to support the youth of Lewiston-Auburn through academics, the arts, and athletics in a safe space that encourages healthy physical, social, emotional, and academic development while building unity across lines of difference. The Center serves over 120 students weekly who speak 14 languages, has a 95% college acceptance rate and 100% high school graduation rate. All programs are offered at no cost to families.

The Visionary Partner Award is awarded to a person or entity who has helped to advance the Fund’s vision of a just and caring society in which Maine women and girls thrive so communities prosper. This year’s award will recognize the Women of the Commons of Eastport. Nine local women: Nancy Asante, Anna Baskerville, Ruth Brown, Sue Crawford, Vera Francis, Linda Godfrey, Alice Gough, Meg McGarvey and Alice Otis, have pooled their energy and resources to develop a comprehensive mixed-use plan to revitalize the historic American Can Building in downtown Eastport, including the Shop at the Commons, where the work of more than 90 fine artists and artisans is available for sale in media ranging from burl bowls to wildlife paintings. On the second floor, two fully-furnished two-bedroom vacation rentals and a classroom/studio/conference room are completed and available for rent. Future plans include a small theater, catered dining space, a boutique hotel and condominiums.

The luncheon will also feature inspiring stories from Maine Women’s Fund grantees that promote and inspire social change.

Posted 02.04.2016 under Press Releases