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Performing Arts

The Commission encourages and supports the development, production and presentation of performing and media arts in Maine communities throughout the state. The performing and media arts are essential ingredients of the rich authenticity of Maine, as well as economic drivers and education and place-making assets.  From music and film festivals to historic opera houses and ensemble companies, dance, music, theater and film are fundamental aspects of Maine’s character. 

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Summer music events, film festivals, historic opera houses, ensemble theaters and dance companies are essential ingredients of Maine’s rich authenticity and character. The Media and Performing Arts programs provide statewide opportunities and support for these fundamental economic drivers that are also valuable education and place-making assets.

An overview of the of the Maine Arts Commission media and performing arts program can be downloaded in this brochure. 



Congratulations Kirsten Monke and the DaPonte String Quartet


Kirsten Monke has been awarded the 2016 Maine Arts Fellowship in the Performing Arts.

Kirsten is a viola player who has performed internationally and is is currently part of the award-winning Maine chamber music ensemble, the DaPonte String Quartet. 


The Quartet originally came to Maine years ago as part of an NEA rural residency grant that supported embedding artists in rural communities.” We liked our community so much we decided to stay after the term of the grant was completed—and we now feel thoroughly woven into the fabric of Maine”, says Kirsten. 

Kirsten is a native of Brunswick Maine who began lessons on the viola at age eight. She received both her Masters and Bachelors degrees at Indiana University, where she worked with Kim Kashkashian and Georges Janzer (of the Vegh Quartet and Grumiaux Trio). As a graduate fellow at UC Santa Barbara, where she studied with Heiichiro Ohyama, she was a founding member of the Anacapa String Quartet, winners of the Fischoff competition as well as recipients of various honors from Chamber Music America. 

Kirsten joined the DaPonte String Quartet in 2008. She has recently joined the faculty of Rockport's Bay Chamber Community Music School, where she teaches violin and viola and coaches chamber music. She also maintains a small private studio in the Brunswick area. She is currently studying Middle Eastern music. Though she enjoys a wide variety of music-making experiences, Kirsten is happiest when involved in the intimacies of chamber music.

For more about Kirsten, her music, and the 2016 DSQ performance schedule, please go to:

More about the Maine Artist Fellowship can be found at: 



Performing Arts

The Portland Symphony Orchestra at Merrill Auditorium

Funding and Additional Resources

The Commission supports the efforts of artists and organizations to engage in top quality projects through Project Grants, which offer eligible artists up to $2,500 per application and organizations up to $5,000. Performing arts organizations are also eligible to apply for Arts and Humanities Funding, Arts Learning Grants, Organizational Development Grants, and Partnership Grants.

Grant awards are designed to encourage the development, production, and presentation of work which strengthens artists, arts organizations, arts educators, and their communities. Additionally, Commission staff offer technical support and expertise for strategic planning and organizational development, as well as a wealth of information about Maine arts activities past and present. Through these differently-focused awards and resources, the Commission is able to offer a variety of tools to grow and strengthen this sector.

All agency grants can be accessed from the grants page

Other local and regional organizations offer programs that support the performing arts. These include the Maine Community Foundation and The New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA)



For more information please contact Kerstin Gilg
Director of  Media Arts and Performing Arts at the Maine Arts Commission
207/ 287-6719 -