The Island Arts Association was formed in 1975 by a group of Mount Desert Island artisans, with the idea of promoting individual local craftspeople by hosting group shows. Many artists work alone in their studios, and these shows provide camaraderie, marketing ideas and exposure to new customers. Fair fees are kept low to encourage those just starting out. The IAA is hosted by the YWCA of MDI, whose mission includes empowering women through business opportunities. While shows are the focus, the IAA also sponsors group workshops and will soon feature local artists and activities on its website.