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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 to Performing Arts Fellow Sara Juli

Sara Juli

Sara Juli has been awarded the 2017 Maine Arts Fellowship in the Performing Arts.

Sara’s mission is to explore her own personal struggles through the medium of performance. In sharing her work, she is hopeful that others will understand an aspect of her personal turmoil, and be able to relate it to their own.

Her introspective autobiographical solo performances fuses movement, text, song, voice, gesture and audience participation to both acknowledge the gravity of her burdens as well as to simultaneously laugh at their reality.


Sara Juli has been creating and performing innovative solo work since 2000.  In NYC, Sara’s work has been presented by Performance Space 122, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Danspace Project, 92nd St. Y, Joe’s Pub as part of the Dancenow/NYC Festival, Joyce Soho, Bushwick Starr, and Dixon Place among others.  Nationally, her work has been performed at American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, Napa Valley Opera House, SPACE Gallery, Connecticut College, UC Riverside, Bates College, Artown Reno, IN’s Center for the Performing Arts, among many others.  

Her work has toured internationally to sold-out houses in The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, London, and Russia.  Sara is a recipient of a 2015-16 New England Foundation for the Arts NEST Touring Grant, and a New England Dance Fund Grant and is a 2017-18 National Dance Project recipient for touring support of her solo show, Tense Vagina: an actual diagnosis.

More about Sara can be found at:

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 -