The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state's cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.
To carry out this mission, which is drawn from the Maine Art Commission's enabling legislation, the agency will support programs and partnerships that:
- engender a cooperative environment within the arts field that results in more efficient delivery of programs and services;
- further the goals of the state as articulated by its elected leadership, advancing the arts through activities in such areas as technology, education, and the economy;
- have the potential to change lives by giving people of all ages the opportunity to come into meaningful contact with artists and art-making; and
- build a broad support base for the arts by increasing local capacity for arts-making and arts presenting, and by increasing local advocacy.
The actions of the Maine Arts Commission are guided by the following basic principles. In all of its programs, the agency will:
- value artistic quality and cultural diversity, which may be represented in many forms and achieved in many ways;
- engage widely and deeply the public it seeks to reach, recognizing that access and impact of the kind that changes lives are both immediate and long-term goals;
- act locally, because it is at the local level that access and impact are most readily achieved and sustained;
- work collaboratively and promote collaboration in order to increase the impact of the Maine Arts Commission's resources, and foster relationships and commitments that build infrastructure beyond the Maine Arts Commission's involvement;
- be flexible and adaptive in the way the agency functions in order to take advantage of opportunities, respond to needs more effectively and incorporate what it learns from its experience; and
- demonstrate leadership in its conduct as a state agency.
In acting on these principles, the Maine Arts Commission will look for evidence that the public is a clear beneficiary; that available resources (including but not limited to money) are being used efficiently; that additional resources are being leveraged to ensure success, sustainability and commitment; and that the local capacity to carry on the work begun becomes greater as a result of these efforts.
The Maine Arts Commission is a state agency that receives tax money appropriated by the Maine State Legislature. In addition, the Agency receives funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal sources.