Susan Potters, Executive Director of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education since 2014, developed “Building Community Through the Arts” for MAAE in 1999 and has directed the program ever since. As a high school English teacher in New York City before moving to Maine in the early 1980s, Susan’s own experience in theater and dance made her comfortable with integrating the performing arts into the classroom. Integrating the arts within the high school classroom was one of the programs Susan developed as director of MAAE’s first regional office, centered in Bangor. Several of her other programs connected the arts in the schools with the arts community outside. Susan’s experience as Executive Director of the Bangor Region Arts Council and as board president of the Arcady Chamber Music Festival were influential in the community inclusion she brought to her MAAE projects then and still does today as statewide director.
Susan’s interest in the community building potential of the arts as well as in the experience of creativity itself has also been expressed in her scholarly work in literature and theology. That work includes Susan’s doctoral dissertation on Dante and Franciscan theology, begun in the Comparative Literature Department at Columbia University and completed at the Graduate Theological Foundation, from which she received her PhD in 2013.