Maine arts groups receive US bailout money

Federal money, and the promise of more, is heading to Maine as arts organizations navigate a new landscape made unpredictable and perilous by the coronavirus pandemic.

Seven arts groups in Maine have received a total of $ 80,000 from the New England Arts Resilience Fund to help recover from the ongoing pandemic and plan for the future. Grants come from the New England Arts Resilience Fund, which is part of the United States Arts Resilience Fund administered by the National Endowment for the Arts. The New England Foundation for the Arts distributed the regional money.

Suspended from the ceiling, “Iran Si Iran” (2019), by Eniola Dawodu, was at the center of Space’s “Punctures” installation in Portland before the pandemic. Space was among the arts groups in Maine to receive a recent US Rescue Plan grant. Photo by Carolyn Wachnicki

Organizations in Maine that receive the money are the Abbé Museum in Bar Harbor, $ 15,000; Art at Work, Portland, $ 5,000; Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland, $ 20,000; LA Arts, Lewiston, $ 10,000; Opera House Arts, Stonington, $ 10,000; Bates Dance Festival, Lewiston, $ 10,000; and Espace, Portland, $ 10,000.

In total, the New England Foundation for the Arts announced 73 awards totaling $ 840,000 across New England.

“These awards are made possible through the American Rescue Plan and the National Endowment for the Arts,” New England Foundation for the Arts executive director Cathy Edwards said in a press release. “Federal investment in arts and culture reaches all congressional districts; Given the research on the economic and social benefits of the arts, this support is crucial and an essential aspect of community health.

According to Americans for the Arts, job losses at nonprofit arts organizations nationwide are three times the nonprofit average, and just over 10% of those organizations are not. sure of their survival.

Since the inception of the program, the New England Arts Resilience Fund has provided nearly $ 2.8 million to the sector.

Meanwhile, the office of U.S. Senator Angus King announced last week that the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland has received $ 50,000, the maximum grant amount, from the Institute of Museum’s American Rescue Plan grant program and Library Services. The museum will hire a digital media specialist; further develop online programming and virtual services; upgrade Wi-Fi and create additional computer stations and tablets on its campus and historic buildings; and install a dedicated server for better access to the digital images in its collection.

David Greenham, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, encouraged artists and arts organizations to apply for Arts Jobs grants by November 18. Ben McCanna / Personal Photographer

Finally, the Maine Arts Commission announced two new grant programs, also supported by American Rescue Plan money, for job creation and to strengthen the creative workforce. Individual artists and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for an Arts Employment Grant, with maximum awards of up to $ 15,000. All applications must be submitted by November 18th. The goal of the program is to develop new opportunities for artists and encourage employee retention among arts organizations, according to the commission.

David Greenham, executive director of the Maine Arts Commission, called the federal funding “a start” and a positive step in efforts to help create and keep jobs in the arts. “Much remains to be done and we are working to encourage our state and federal government and private sector partners to join us in this work,” Greenham said in a press release announcing the grant programs. “Maine’s cultural life is something we all cherish, and our creative workers deserve our continued attention and support as we experience what life is like in a post-pandemic world.”

Individual artists can apply here, while arts organizations can apply here.


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