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Beautiful Blackbird: Why Representation Matters in Equitable Collections & Practices

  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Zoom Webinar
  • 308


Registration is closed

Join us on September 17th at 7pm for a discussion of why Black Books Matter in Maine’s upcoming school year and beyond. 

This free webinar sponsored by the Maine Association of School Libraries and the Maine Humanities Council features Marcia Minter, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Indigo Arts Alliance, Dr. Andrea Breau, Project Coordinator of the Diverse BookFinder, and Kirsten Cappy Executive Director of I’m Your Neighbor Books as they discuss the importance of diversifying representation in children’s literature and the robust resources each of their organizations have developed that can support us in our work.


In honor of Maine’s own Ashley Bryan, Indigo Arts Alliance launched the inaugural Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival this summer. The online resources shine a spotlight on the Black artists and writers who create children’s books featuring characters from across the African Diaspora. 

This inaugural event presented in partnership with I’m Your Neighbor Books, Diverse Book Finder, and the Maine Association of School Libraries honors the roots, identity and resiliency of Black people worldwide.  

Unable to engage with readers in person this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beautiful Blackbird Children’s Book Festival created a series of read alouds, creator interviews, book-themed crafts, and even a dance instructional all for online video consumption.

Educators can continue this exciting work by sharing the videos* and educator resources and by advocating for diverse representation of collections and curriculum in our schools. 


This free webinar will be recorded and made available to MASL members. One and half contact hours will be awarded.

AND thanks to a donation through I'm Your Neighbor Books, the first 150 registrants will receive a copy of Wherever I Go by Mary Wagley Copp and Munir Mohammed for their school or classroom libraries. PLUS, Print: A Bookstore will give 20% off BBF Festival books plus include a free tote bag for registrants that use the code "MASL" at check-out.

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*Some read aloud video content will be removed on 12/31/20 when the publishers’ permissions expire.

Featured Speakers:

Marcia Minter, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Indigo Arts Allianceis a seasoned creative professional, dedicated arts advocate and community leader deeply committed to social and cultural activism. Her work on numerous boards represents the interest of underrepresented voices, talents and citizen constituents. She has spent her professional career as an Executive Creative Director for some of the world’s most iconic brands. Most recently, completing a 16 year tenure as Vice-President Creative Director at L.L.Bean.  Her curatorial work focuses on photography, symposiums on the intersection of art and social practice, exhibition planning and implementation. Currently she serves on the Maine Arts Commission, the Board of Directors for Maine Media Workshops and College, Portland Ovations and is a Trustee of the Portland Museum of Art. In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Maine College of Art.

Dr. Andrea Breau, Project Coordinator of the Diverse BookFinder, is a feminist youth studies scholar whose work focuses on how white and Muslim immigrant youth in predominantly white spaces narrate their racial-ethnic identities through gender, sexuality and religion. As a white parent raising a mixed race child in her own hometown in Maine, Andrea’s interest in books that give young children access to the literature, art, and language they need to imagine a better world into being -- and create their own stories within it -- is as profoundly personal as it is political. Andrea earned her BA from Colby College, and her MA and PhD from The Ohio State University -- where she taught for the better half of a decade -- all in the field of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Kirsten Cappy is the Executive Director of I'm Your Neighbor Books, a nonprofit that uses children's books set in New Arrival and New American communities to open conversations about immigration, welcoming, and belonging. The project's Welcoming Libraryis a touring collection of immigration-themed picture books and education materials available to schools in Maine and other states. Kirsten is also the founder of Curious Citya company that creates and offers free programming guides, classroom activities, and book giveaways for a full spectrum of children's books. In both roles, Kirsten served as a collaborator with Indigo Arts Alliance and Diverse BookFinder on the Beautiful Blackbird Children's Book Festival.




Maine Association of School Libraries

c/o Maine State Library

64 State Street

Augusta, ME


"MASL" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 

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