Portland, the strategic communications consultancy, has partnered with CPD to launch the 2017 Soft Power 30 index next month.
Nearly 12 years ago, Hamdia Ahmed boarded a plane bound for America. She had spent nearly all her young life in the Dadaab in Kenya, the world’s largest refugee camp, along with hundreds of thousands of other Somalis fleeing civil war. [...] Now the 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Southern Maine is finding her voice advocating for Portland’s Muslim and immigrant community, which is on edge since Donald Trump was elected president using anti-immigrant rhetoric and vowing “America first” policies, such as tightening the borders.
Art may not provide all the answers for cultural understanding, but it can provide a platform for dialogue. Jeff Badger, in his studio on the SMCC campus in South Portland, has put together an exchange of work by American and Spanish artists that he hopes will foster “meaningful, real-life connections toward a more peaceful world.” Badger, who lives in South Portland and teaches art at Southern Maine Community College, wanted to send art from Portland over to Spain. McCreight, who lives in Madrid, envisioned enlisting Spanish artists to make work and shipping it to Maine.