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Maine Franco Arts

Maine has largest per-capita Franco-American population in America. Cities like Lewiston-Auburn have a population that is 60 percent Franco-American and many regions have retained a distinct cultural identity rooted in Franco, Quebec, and Acadian tradition.

The Maine Arts Commission recognizes the importance of the Franco cultures as essential ingredients of the character and authenticity of Maine. The agency is undertaking an initiative to promote and develop Maine Franco arts and culture, focusing on identifying the arts and cultural assets within Maine, creating a strategy of empowerment for the sector, and exploring ways of maintaining beneficial networks on the local, regional, national, and international level.

Franco artists interested in support should consider the Project Grant for Artists or the Project Grant for Organizations. There is also the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant for artists interested in heritage based creation. Touring support from NEFA comes through their State Touring grant and they also have Travel Funds for presenters interested in seeing new artists. 

 

 
The data collection initiative is in a pilot stage of building a comprehensive directory of Franco-American artists currently living and working in the state of Maine. The directory will serve as means to strengthen connections between Franco resources in Maine and similar resources in New England and Canada.
 
The ultimate success of this would be that artist-employers from both regions will be able to easily form partnerships and develop cultural opportunities centered around Franco communities. 
 
More information about this can be found on the Maine Franco Artist site
 
 

 

 
In 2014 The Maine Arts Commission worked with Music•Musique NB, a provincial not-for-profit Music Industry Association,to present Songs Beyond Borders and Songs Beyond Borders 2, a Franco songwriter showcase that toured through Maine and New Brunswick.
 
Collaborating partners for the project included SPAASI (Stratégie de la promotion des artistes acadiens sur la scène internationale), key members of the organizing committee of the 2014 World Acadian Congress, representatives from the province of New Brunswick and the State of Maine and New England Celtic Arts
 
in 2013 the Maine Arts Commission worked with the Musée culturel du Mont-Carmel to secure an NEA Our Town grant in support of arts programming during the  2014 World Acadian Congress,
 
The award went to support the St. John Valley Arts Heritage Initiative with a year-long arts campaign in rural communities to build local cultural capacity and awareness surrounding the World Acadian Congress festival. 
 
The World Acadian Congress is an international festival held every five years. The 2014 gathering took place in a region spanning across Northern Maine, Northwestern New Brunswick, and Eastern Québec.
 
 
For more information please contact the Director of Media Arts and Performing Arts at the Maine Arts Commission. Kerstin Gilg, 207/ 287-6719 - kerstin.gilg@maine.gov