Hannaford Store Manager Nick LaChapelle, left, Jennie Driscoll, Brunswick High School art instructor, Susan Weems from Brunswick Public Art, and Michael Branca, artist of Abundance I, behind the group at the Hannaford café. Contributed

Longtime Midcoast Maine Community Action leader retires

Jessica Tysen, who has been with Midcoast Maine Community Action for more than 25 years, is retiring, effective Oct. 20.

Tysen has led the organization for 25 of the 27 years she’s been with the nonprofit as president/CEO, coming to MMCA (then known as Coastal Economic Development) in 1992 as director of Job Training Programs.

Claire Berkowitz is the incoming president and CEO; she most recently served as executive director of the Maine Children’s Alliance.

According to a Sept. 5 news release by board Chairman Ian Duggan, during her tenure Tysen played a critical role in helping the agency adapt to significant changes in regulations and funding related to services for children and families. She also championed policies that improved access to early education and other resources that helped families become self-sufficient.

“MMCA and the communities we serve will forever be indebted to Jessica Tysen for her 27 years of tireless service and the steady leadership she provided,” said Duggan in the release. “It is truly impossible to quantify the number of lives she has touched during her time leading the organization.”

In announcing her retirement to MMCA staff, Tysen said, “I am very proud of our staff and the work you do to serve and improve the lives of families and individuals in the Midcoast region.”

“While I’ve had other jobs throughout my career, my work with all of you at this agency has been my life’s work.”

Local art showcased at Brunswick Hannaford

Hannaford Supermarket in Brunswick held a public art unveiling Sept. 6 for three art installations that feature the work of local artist Michael Branca, Brunswick High School students and Artist’s Rapid Response Team.

The exhibit was created in partnership with Brunswick Public Art, Artists Rapid Response Team and Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program.  The theme of the artwork focuses on fresh food, highlighting fruits and vegetables, local agriculture  and community activities relating to food, including the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, a close community partner of Hannaford.

The installation features four areas of artwork within the store. Murals by Branca are displayed on the wall of the cafe and in the foyer. Eleven smaller murals created by Brunswick High School students are displayed above each of the store’s two interior entryways. A banner created by ARRT hangs outside the store’s entrance.

“Unfortunately, despite all this abundance, many of our neighbors are food-insecure,” Branca said. “The paintings make symbolic references to the efforts of Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, which works to fill everyone’s plate, including providing backpacks full of food to children in need. Like caterpillars on their way to becoming butterflies, all kids blossom when they have the support of their community –and plenty of healthy, locally grown food!”

The exhibit marks the store’s second partnership with Brunswick Public Art and was installed following a month-long customer appreciation and reopening celebration at the store.

“Hannaford has been an outstanding model of a corporate/public partnership.  They are now our 14th public art project in collaboration with professional artists and Brunswick High School art students,” Susan Weems of Brunswick Public Art said.

filed under: