MAIA is an artist-led cultural organisation; a platform for creative practice, critical thinking and social change.
We are invested in change and equitable futures, acknowledging artists and culture can be conduits for imagining and realising new systems. Connecting artists, communities, design and policy, we work to build infrastructure, relationships and opportunities that support artists and creative capacities.
Originating as an acronym for Midlands Association of Independent Artists, Maia also refers to the goddess of nurturing and growth in ancient Greek mythology. MAIA has been supporting and caring for artists and creatives in a range of ways since our inception in 2013, exploring how practitioners live, work, develop and contribute to society. Set up after two arts graduates were questioning how they have careers outside of cultural centres like London, we have been on a journey to address and create against the initial conditions that affect creative capacity and practice.
Over the last six years we evolved a fair bit, delving deeper into the ways we support the capacities for creative artists and citizens to thrive. We started with business clubs and curating platforms for artists, before developing modules for universities, producing projects, commissioning creatives and designing engagement strategies for creative industry organisations. But we knew this wasn’t enough. And while our mission has always been to support a sustainable creative ecosystem, our work required us to step back and explore the deeper infrastructure requirements for healthy, creative towns, cities and people.
As the lines blur between social, citizen and artistic realms, it’s impossible to talk about the sustainability of artists or the creative capacity of communities without acknowledging matters of race, gender, class, geography, privilege and power. MAIA is unapologetically creating the conditions for artists, creatives and communities who have long been marginalised to thrive, thinking beyond the present paradigms within the arts and creative industries, which fundamentally still operate on old structures of power, elitism and privilege. MAIA invests in a citizen-centric approach, advocating for the arts as a catalyst for social change.
Creative direction, project management production and curation
Research, organising and advocacy
Business development and support
Community building, engagement, development and communications
Artist development & professional support
Amahra Spence, founding director and producer
Amber Caldwell, founding director
Mark Riviere, director
Josephine Reichert, director
Selina Losa Gonzalez, creative producer
Michaela Riviere, executive assistant
Lou Robbin, projects co-ordinator
Yinka Danmole, associate
Interns: Hannah Adereti, Eva Coley and Anastasia Woodruff