Annie Leahy was recently named the inaugural Executive Director of Mechanics’ Hall. The Hall, a landmark 19th-century building and in Portland, Maine’s arts district was founded by the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association. The 200-year-old organization is dedicated to enriching the community by promoting ingenuity, creativity, innovation and the diffusion of useful knowledge. Mechanics’ houses the 8th oldest membership library in the country and a grand ballroom designed by architect John Calvin Stevens. The organization hosts literary events, lectures, dance, and music programs and runs Maine Kids Code, a computer coding program for middle school students. Mechanics’ is also home to Maine Craft Portland, a retail gallery and resource center that promotes craft in Maine and Art Mart, an art supply shop.
Leahy has over 20 years of experience working at both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. She has held senior positions in New York City at ABC News and the Tribeca Film Institute. She was a part of the founding staff of the Tribeca Film Festival, bringing cultural activity back to downtown Manhattan after 9/11 and working to program global perspectives on the Middle East through cinema, combating xenophobia through cultural programming. She moved to Portland, Maine in 2009 as the Executive Producer and Director of Programming for PopTech in Camden, Maine. In addition to her board work for SPACE, Leahy also serves on the advisory board for Portland Bach Experience.