2018 Artists & Makers Conference Photo Gallery

The 2018 Archipelago Artists & Makers Conference took place on Friday, April 6, 2018, at Point Lookout in Northport, Maine. We welcomed close to 200 artists and makers from across the state for a full day of information, networking, and presentations tailored to the needs of Maine's arts-based businesses. Check out some of the photos here!

Commercial Currents: Building Digital Literacy Skills

Digital literacy means having knowledge and competence with digital tools. By improving internet proficiency, businesses benefit from growth, workforce development, health access, community and civic engagement, student education, and all-around quality of life. Improved digital literacy also drives support for better-connected communities. It’s our plan to expand offerings in the coming year, and we would love to hear from you about what would be helpful to keep your business going in this increasingly competitive world.

Commercial Currents: Investing in Professional Development

Winter is often a slower time for business along Maine's coast, allowing all of us a bit of space to think about upcoming opportunities and challenges facing our businesses. Maybe there is a certification that you have been meaning to pursue for years that would allow you to expand your business. Or maybe you are interested in working with a consultant to be more effective in advertising your products. The Island Institute is offering our Microgrants for Entrepreneurship and Community Impact (MECI) to island and coastal businesses who want to improve the way their business is run. Learn more about applying for a MECI grant, and reach out to us to discuss your idea!

Middle Schoolers Come Together to Prepare for High School Off-Island

Transitioning into the first year of high school can be intimidating and stressful. At the annual Middle School Retreat, hosted by the Maine Seacoast Mission’s Island Outreach program with support from the Island Institute, the goal of the event is to prepare outer island middle schoolers for the transition to mainland high schools and create an open, safe place to discuss and ask questions.

Application Window Opens for 2018 Aquaculture Business Development Program

Have you ever thought about gaining a new source of income through growing mussels, oysters or seaweed? Now is a great time to launch your small-scale aquaculture business. Through our Aquaculture Business Development (ABD) program, the Island Institute is working to help fishermen and people from fishing communities diversify into shellfish or seaweed aquaculture. Learn how you can join our third ABD cohort and apply today!

Commercial Currents: Preparing Taxes

Tax season is here, and your to-do list is likely getting long. Tax experts from Maine find that early planning pays off in the long run. Here are the top ten tasks that can help small business owners or the self-employed save substantial time.

2018 Waypoints Forum Photo Gallery

The Island Institute's 2018 Waypoints Forum featured an afternoon of panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economies, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. The theme for this year's event was Futures of the Maine Waterfront, with topics ranging from aquaculture to the future of our state's working waterfronts.

The forum was followed by a reception and special dinner highlighting the bounties of the Maine coast and featured a multi-course meal with locally sourced food, including Bangs Island Mussels and Casco Bay Cod.

Mapping Ocean Stories – Past, Present and Future

Can real-life stories be just as exciting and is there any power in sharing these everyday stories to a larger audience? To tackle this question, a team of four people from the College of the Atlantic, Island Institute, and Maine Sea Grant collaborated to develop a 10-week course focused on how Maine’s remote coastal and island communities live in relationship to the ocean. By collecting oral histories, the team hoped that this information would help give island and coastal communities a stronger voice in ocean policy and decision-making processes affecting nearby ocean waters.

A conversation with Meghan Cooper, Millinocket's new Island Fellow

The Island Fellows Program places college and master’s degree graduates in Maine’s coastal and year-round island communities for 1-2 years, giving them the opportunity to gain experience and use their skills to help these communities address some of the significant challenges they face. Here, Meghan Cooper, Millinocket's new Fellow, talks about her new community and the work she's doing there.