Maine Photographic Workshops to Seek Nonprofit Status

Acquisition aims to revitalize fledgling workshops, with Joyce Tenneson leading a revamped board.

The Maine Media Workshops announced Saturday that it is acquiring the working assets of the Maine Photographic Workshops, the International Film and Television Workshops, and Rockport College. The deal is expected to close early this week. MMW, which was established in August by a group of concerned local business and cultural leaders specifically to help transfer the workshops to nonprofit status, purchased the workshops from founder David Lyman. The workshops, founded by Lyman in 1973 and long rumored to be near death, will maintain their original names and most of the current staff.

"This is the best possible outcome," Lyman says of the acquisition, the price of which was not released. "The legacy of the Maine Photographic Workshops will continue under the direction of the new nonprofit organization."

Charles Altschul, a photographer and graphic designer who has been involved in arts education at Yale University, Cooper Union in New York and the Kodak Center for Creative Imaging in Camden, Maine, will oversee day-to-day operations of the workshops as the new executive director. Altschul will be working with a board of directors that includes world-renowned photographer Joyce Tenneson. "We are thrilled to have been able to come to an agreement that will allow these institutions to continue," Tenneson says. "They are such an important part of the local cultural community as well as the photographic community worldwide." The workshops bring more than 3,000 students to Rockport each year, contributing more than $1 million to the local economy.

Catalogs for the photography and film programs are being distributed now and include more than 360 one- and two-week summer workshops, as well as long-term programs for photographers and filmmakers from amateurs to working professionals.