Organization Operations Grant Recipients FY2023



The Organization Operations Grant is intended to provide general operating support to 501(c)(3) arts organizations of Maine with annual operating budgets above $25,000.

The Awardees were approved by the Maine Arts Commission on March 14, 2023 and below you will find a geographical breakdown of the recipients by county. 



County# of Recipients
Cumberland 14 

Androscoggin County

LA Arts
Since 1973, LA Arts, Lewiston and Auburn Maine’s local arts agency, has worked with governments, businesses, schools and local arts and cultural organizations to create opportunities for community members across the generations to experience, learn, and participate in the arts. LA Arts hosts programs, supports local artists and arts organizations, and highlights the essential role the arts play in shaping an economically vital, socially integrated, and forward-looking future for its community.
Maine Inside Out
Maine Inside Out (MIO) creates and shares original theater for community change, centering the leadership of BIPOC and people with lived experience of incarceration. Since 2007, MIO has engaged over 300 youth create and share original theater inside Maine correctional facilities, in the community, and in public schools. MIO’s work focuses on building connection, belonging, and purpose, and the organization is regarded as a national model for engaging youth leadership and enacting community change.

Aroostook County

Wintergreen Arts Center

Wintergreen is an organization based on the idea that creativity, advocacy, and community can produce great things. They serve Aroostook County, one of Maine’s most rural and poorest counties. They intentionally include economically challenged families.

Wintergreen has a dedicated team of part-time teaching artists, assistants, party planner, center manager and full-time executive director. In 2022, they added a part-time events coordinator and operations assistant to help them meet their organizational goals.

Cumberland County

317 Main Community Music Center
317 Main is a music education nonprofit based in Yarmouth, founded in 2004 on the idea that music, if made truly accessible to all, can strengthen community fabric. Guided by this vision, they offer a variety of music education and community enrichment programming in which students of all ages, backgrounds, and musical abilities can feel a sense of belonging. 317 Main accomplish this with a distinct teaching philosophy, which emphasizes accessibility, encouragement, and fun.
Bowdoin International Music Festival
The Bowdoin International Music Festival is Maine’s largest annual gathering of classical musicians. Each summer, 275 students, 100 faculty, 20 seasonal staff, and 10,000 audience members travel from nearly every state for six weeks of education and performance. The organization is an independent non-profit and receives no financial support from Bowdoin College.
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
Since our founding in 1976, the Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine staff and Board have worked to create a community resource devoted to supporting children’s healthy development through experiential learning and play, utilizing educational exhibits and programming. Together with parents, caregivers, and diverse partners, they offer a strong foundation of educational support for children and families across Maine.
Illustration Institute
II’s programming deepens both community and scholarly knowledge of the field of illustration, encouraging the public to think creatively and critically about the role of the arts in our everyday lives, while creating opportunities for artists to exhibit their work and lead workshops and discussions while working on their own projects during the artists-in-residency program.
Indigo Arts Alliance
Indigo Arts Alliance is a Portland, ME-based, Black-led organization dedicated to professional development and amplification of Black and Brown thought-leadership, artistic vision and practice. They seek to strengthen our multiracial democracy by cultivating and celebrating art as a key resource for healthy communities, connecting Black and Brown artists and promoting engagement through events that bring artists' and activists' work into public conversation on social justice, culture & community.
Mad Horse Theatre Company
Mad Horse produces high-quality theatrical performances in our intimate 45 seat black box theater on Mosher Street in South Portland. In addition to their company we employ an average of 30 additional actors, designers, stage mangers, directors and support positions to create four fully produced plays each season. The majority of their organizational tasks outside of the performances are completed on volunteer time by the company, board, volunteers, supported by a few contracted professionals.
Maine Academy of Modern Music
MAMM has grown from serving 40 youths in 2007 to over 2000 students of all ages in 2023. They are a comprehensive school teaching modern musical genres through lessons, ensembles, camps, workshops, classes, rock chorus, brass band, and performances on large stages all over the State of Maine from Portland to Bangor and Downeast, Maine.
Mayo Street Arts
Mayo Street Arts (MSA) was founded in 2009 in an 1890s church with a long history of artistic and social activism since the original Danish Lutheran congregation departed in the 50s. In the 60s, the neighborhood was razed for the Kennedy Park public housing project, which is a destination for a diverse immigrant and refugee population, while other parts of the city have gentrified. Today, MSA is known as a welcoming venue for performances of music, theater, puppetry, and dance, and visual art.
Opera Maine
Opera Maine (OM) is Maine’s only professional opera company, producing fully staged, original opera productions with orchestra accompaniment. Established in 1995, OM engages audiences with live performances, fosters emerging opera artists, and provides opera-based education in Maine public schools and throughout the community as an integral part of northern New England’s vibrant arts culture. Co-founded by Maestro Bruce Hangen, OM has been led by Artistic Director Dona D. Vaughn since 2003.
Portland Media Center
Portland Media Center provides training and access to equipment and facilities for anyone in the community to create videos and podcasts. Their training programs are provided at a low cost ($20-$30) and once trained, access to our equipment and facilities are free. Training fees are waived for low-income individuals. They provide several venues for the distribution of these productions: two community cable stations, YouTube, Apple TV and Roku, as well as Spotify and Apple Podcasts for podcasts.
Portland Museum of Art
The PMA is committed to promoting Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusivity through exhibitions and programs that work toward making the museum a welcoming place for all members of our community. Founded in 1882, the PMA presents art through diverse exhibitions and renowned collections, provides free educational programs for K-12 students, and works to reflect and engage our community as it changes. The PMA also owns and maintains Winslow Homer’s studio at Prouts Neck.
TEMPOart animates Portland’s public spaces through temporary art installations, engaging residents and visitors, enriching its community and enhancing Portland’s reputation as a world-class city. The only nonprofit public art organization in the City of Portland, TEMPOart provides opportunities for artists to experiment with new mediums and actively engages a public audience. Each artwork is commissioned for a different public space in Portland and is accessible to all without cost.
The Choral Art Society
Since 1972, ChoralArt has been dedicated to advancing the art of choral singing through public performance and community engagement. Their 100 adult, auditioned singers participate in one or more of three ensembles: Masterworks (90 voices), Singers (50 voices), and Camerata (16 voices). Led since 1979 by Dr. Robert Russell, ChoralArt has become one of Maine’s leading choral organizations presenting public performances of major works, commissions of new works, and innovative, creative partnerships.
The Telling Room
The Telling Room is a literary arts education nonprofit whose mission is to empower youth through writing and share their voices with the world. Focused on youth ages 6 to 18 of various abilities and from diverse backgrounds, we seek to build confidence and provide real audiences for our students. They aim to increase their students' self-esteem and encourage them to develop critical intellectual and emotional skills they need to navigate their personal, academic, and future professional lives.

Franklin County

High Peaks Creative Council
The HPCC, a network of 13 cultural organizations meets regularly and works to bring cultural enrichment into local schools and communities with free workshops that produce public art and traditional Maine crafts. They drive cultural tourism through a community made public art trail, cultural asset mapping, and marketing. They market our assets at  5 regional kiosks, their website, social media, printed map guides, and distribution of their new book "Legacy the Barn Quilt trail in Maine's High Peaks."

Hancock County

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts is an international craft school located on the Atlantic Ocean in Deer Isle, Maine. Founded in 1950 as a research and studio program in the arts, Haystack offers one and two-week studio workshops to participants of all skill levels as well as the two-week, Open Studio Residency program, exhibitions, tours, auctions, artist presentations, and shorter workshops for Maine residents and high school students.
Heart of Ellsworth
Heart of Ellsworth is a Main Street Affiliate organization that promotes economic vitality and community well-being in downtown Ellsworth through the lens of art and culture. They facilitate public access to the arts through free concerts and art installations, offer technical assistance, funding, and promotional events for Ellsworth artists and makers, and catalyze art infrastructure projects, including a downtown makerspace feasibility study.
New Surry Repertory Theatre and Acting School
New Surry Theatre was founded in 1972 by actor/director Bill Raiten. NST began as a year- round theater school with a summer repertory season. Since that time NST has grown and developed, finding a theater home for the last 17 years, at the Blue Hill Town Hall Theater, offering 5-6 main stage theatrical productions and 1-2 readings a season. Their Performing Arts School, now held at a separate location, continues to grow in its offerings of workshops and classes for students of all ages.
Pierre Monteux Memorial Foundation
The Monteux School & Music Festival trains conductors in orchestral conducting and trains instrumentalists to meet the many demands of orchestral playing. They offer an unrivaled opportunity to learn a large and varied repertoire during the six-week program. Conductors are required to play in the orchestra and learn from both sides of the podium, while instrumentalists learn the music in exacting detail.

Kennebec County

Johnson Hall, Inc.
Currently, Johnson Hall is a variety theater featuring local and national touring artists in the genres of music, comedy, theatrical circus and family performances. These performances take place in a 125-seat black box theater located on the first floor of the historic Johnson Hall Opera House which is presently under construction. Johnson Hall also delivers quality programming to the region, bringing artists into local schools, presenting free waterfront concerts and bi-annual theater camps.

Knox County

Bay Chamber Concerts, Inc.
For more than 60 years, Bay Chamber Concerts & Music School has held a place of value, integrity and meaning in the hearts of music lovers in Midcoast, Maine. With a two-pronged approach to promoting excellence in the performing arts—through a community Music School and live music programming—Bay Chamber connects a wide range of audiences and ages to some of the most vibrant music and musicians in the world.
Halcyon Music
Halcyon is a Maine-based artist collective and string quartet that designs and presents multimedia performances that combine live music with science, film, art, and spoken word. These performances draw attention to the challenges, opportunities, and realities we face in a climate changed world – acknowledging the need for creative and diverse communication that harnesses the power of storytelling, music, and visual art to translate numbers and facts into something tangible and human.

Lincoln County

The Peace Gallery
The Peace Gallery is a mixed-use community resource space that boasts a gallery for veterans to sell their work, an open space for movement and creation, and an event space for arts lectures, classes, presentations, and community gatherings. All featured events focus on the arts, including movement, writing, music, and painting. In all they do, veterans are featured, prioritized, and encouraged to engage in creatively based healing practices.
Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts
Founded in 1986 on the site of a former brick factory, the mission of Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts is to provide artists with time and space to explore ideas with clay. Programs are carried out on our 54-acre campus complete with artist cabins, that prioritize creative community and advance the growth of diverse Maine ceramic artists at all career stages. In 2022, the Board of Trustees adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement and Action Steps now in active implementation.

Oxford County

Bethel Area Arts & Music
Bethel Area Arts & Music (BAAM) is a small arts-based non-profit that focuses on cultivating a creative community through hands-on youth art workshops, artist opportunities, and live art programming. They consist of one full-time employee, one quarter-time employee, and a group of dedicated volunteers called their Task Force. Together they brainstorm, plan, and implement BAAM’s programming and fundraising efforts.
Celebration Barn Theater
Located in Oxford Hills, Celebration Barn is a world-renowned center for physical theater training and performance. Since 1972, each summer the Barn has produced a series of in-person workshops for artists from across the country and presented a series of live theatrical productions for local audience members. They also offer workshops online to people from around the world. In addition, they serve their local community through a Theater in Schools program and other community-based initiatives.
Creative Norway
Creative Norway is supported by a community of highly engaged artists and creators, with a strong vision to foster an inclusive and encouraging creative environment, provide affordable spaces to create, support opportunities to learn a variety of performance arts, build creative relationships, and strengthen the creative culture in our area.
Denmark Arts Center
Denmark Arts Center (DAC) has offered camps, art openings, workshops, Maine authors series, family fun events, theater, and a wide range of musical performances since 1994. DAC’s music series provides western Maine with a variety of music to stretch and satisfy, from Irish to Scottish and chamber to Choro. Camps provide clown skill building and comedic performances engaging pre-K students with art & science and older children with musical theater and dance from choreography to performance.
Hewnoaks Artist Colony
From mid-June to October every year, Hewnoaks serves 55+ talented artists for whom it is meaningful to have one or two weeks dedicated to their practice while disconnecting from the pressures of their day jobs, families, and other commitments. To date, they have invited over 340 artists to Hewnoaks, many of whom characterize the experience as among the most valuable of their artistic careers.

Penobscot County

Bangor Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1896, the Bangor Symphony Orchestra today is led by Grammy Award-winning Music Director Lucas Richman, with an ensemble of 65 musicians from all corners of Maine and New England. The BSO is a leader in the community, programming diverse and inspiring works, and creating education programs that advance learning and access for students. With a dedicated and creative board, staff, and musicians, the BSO has emerged from the pandemic as a leader in audience development.

Piscataquis County

Center Theatre, Inc.
The Center Theatre was built in 1940 and closed in the early 70's. In 1998 the non-profit Center Theatre, Inc. bought the old movie theater. After 8 years of fundraising and renovation, we opened the doors to the Center Theatre for the Performing Arts in 2006. They are Piscataquis county's only professional performing arts venue. They provide year-round arts, education, and entertainment including live theater, concerts, community events, rentals, and movies for the entire Maine Highlands region.

Sagadahoc County

Art Van
ArtVan is a mobile Art Therapy nonprofit serving under-resourced Youth in the communities where they live. Established 2004, ArtVan serves Youth ages 3-17, of all genders, racial and ethnic identities, and religious backgrounds, on-site in their own neighborhoods. Year-round services offer a creative, safe, feedback-oriented environment for Youth who may be isolated from downtown arts and opportunities. ArtVan’s infrastructure is designed to support these direct, customized, weekly services.

Waldo County

Belfast Flying Shoes
BFS began as a monthly Community & Contra Dance series in 2005, but soon expanded its programming to include school residencies and other special programs. Granted 501c3 status in 2014, a volunteer board managed BFS and produced its various music & dance programs. At present, a part time executive director administers programs and manages the nonprofit. The volunteer board oversees the nonprofit organization. They believe that participatory, social dance & music enrich and enhance community life.

Washington County

Quoddy Tides Foundation
TIMA is located on long-standing traditional and continuing Passamaquoddy homelands along the Atlantic coast U.S./Canada border. This boundary location shapes its perspective on the region and the broader world: through its initiatives and programs to foster new innovative and cross-sector works; through its wide ranging collections, education and preservation efforts; and through its partnerships and endeavors to strengthen the region’s economic prosperity, vitality and wider connections.

York County

Ogunquit Playhouse
Ogunquit Playhouse opened its doors in 1933 in Ogunquit’s town square. The theater company thrived, and built a state-of-the-art facility in 1937, evolving over the decades into a critically acclaimed and industry renowned production company. Today, the Playhouse welcomes 80,000 guests annually during the 26-week production season, with two off-season co-productions in Portsmouth, NH. The Arts Academy educational program and family series provide training and performance opportunities for youth.
Saco River Grange Hall

Since opening in 1990, Saco River Theatre has been focused on uncompromising quality, education, and the future of the arts in Maine by presenting more than 85 theatrical productions, over 400 concerts, and numerous community events.

SRT welcomes the community to share and experience the arts, regardless of their ability to pay. A $15 ticket price for all events, among the lowest of any professional company in the state, keeps live arts programming within reach for many patrons.