Organization Operations Grant Recipients FY2024



The Organization Operations Grant provides 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 January 16, 2024 and below you will find a geographical breakdown of the recipients by county. 



Androscoggin County

LA Arts
The Public Theatre’s mission is to create high quality professional theatre that is integral to the lifeblood of our community. We believe theatre is for everyone and strive to create inspiring, entertaining, and inclusive experiences that celebrate our shared humanity. We tell stories that speak from the heart; that are life-affirming and uplifting even when the subject matter is challenging; that invite our audience to see their world in a new way. We are committed to engaging and enriching the communities we serve and inspiring children with our educational programs. Artistic excellence is central to the mission of The Public Theatre..

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.
Acorn Productions
Acorn Productions’ mission is to invigorate the community of performing artists in Southern Maine. Acorn seeks to nurture new performance pieces, develop artist collaboratives, train new talent, and make the arts accessible to a wide spectrum of the general public. Acorn also offers educational programs, including acting classes and workshops, and offers fiscal sponsorships to grassroots organizations or individual artists seeking to become more active members of the performing arts community.
Bakery Photographic Collective
The BPC is an artist-run, 501c-3 non-profit, self-service, photographic center located in Portland, Maine. We support, teach and inspire artists in all stages of their careers with our state of the art analog and digital facilities, educational programs and lecture series. The collective consists of photographers working in fine art, documentary, alternative processes and commercial photography who share a passion for making photographs come to life in the physical form of prints. 
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.
Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine
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.
Daponte String Quartet
The mission of the DSQF is to cultivate the appreciation of the art of the string quartet through distinctive performance and educational outreach. Now in season 31, the Quartet’s repertoire spans the entire history of music, from seventeenth-century works on original instruments to cutting-edge contemporary quartets.
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
In 1815, the Maine Charitable Mechanic Association formed to support Maine’s creative community: they were blacksmiths, coopers, artists, innovators and creators. Between 1857 and 1859, they built Mechanics’ Hall in Portland – a communal gathering space with a lending library at its center. Today, Mechanics’ Hall celebrates that rich history through literary arts programs, music, performance and more while working to restore their landmark building as a vibrant cultural resource.
Maine State Music Theatre
The mission of MSMT is to offer engaging, live, professional performances and outreach opportunities that entertain, educate, and enrich lives with power and passion. Founded in 1959, MSMT is a nationally acclaimed CORST theatre, one of few Equity houses in country exclusively producing musical theatre. MSMT produces a 12-week summer season producing 4 main stage shows, 3 concerts, 3 TYA offerings, a large free open-air Concert on the Mall, co-productions with Portland Stage and/or Public Theater, as well as countless fee outreach educational series and opportunities for those underserved or disadvantaged.
The MWPA works to enrich the literary life and culture of Maine. We bring together writers and literary professionals at all stages of their careers to sharpen craft, create community, and celebrate great writing. We host free, public book events and annually facilitate the Maine Literary Awards, an awards competition showcasing the best writing coming out of Maine. We offer statewide writing workshops, bring workshops to under-resourced communities, and connect writers with opportunities.
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.
Portland Museum of Art
Meetinghouse Arts is a Town of Freeport designated Local Arts Agency, occupying the historic meetinghouse in the heart of Main St. downtown and offering community arts outreach. Our gallery hosts local artist shows and national exhibitions. We host performances of both seasoned regional and emerging local talent on our stage and in the surrounding community. Working with local partners, we offer free summer outdoor park concerts, workshops, lectures, rehearsal and community conversation space.
One Longfellow Square is a non-profit performing arts and concert venue, offering an intimate atmosphere for live music, performing arts, and community events. OLS presents upwards of 150 performances, supports over 500 artists, and reaches 12,000 audience members each year. Key strategic goals include increasing access to our programming and expanding our reach beyond our walls through Community Access Initiatives (CAI) such as free outdoor concerts and free tickets for Portland Public Library cardholders.
Palaver Strings
Palaver Strings is a Maine-based musician-led string ensemble and nonprofit organization. Palaver ensemble members share artistic and administrative leadership, guided by a passion for engaging new audiences, addressing social justice issues, and amplifying underrepresented voices. Palaver presents a full season of live concerts and serves hundreds of of students each year at Palaver Music Center.
pihcintu choir
The girls in Pihcintu have fled from countries besieged by political turmoil and poverty. Pihcintu not only provides music, performing arts and English education to immigrant and refugee youth, but travels to perform in Washington DC, NYC, MA, VT, NH and ME – approx. 30 concerts per year, spreading a message of social justice and hope. Since the chorus was founded in 2003, performances have been seen by about 400,000 people live and viewed by millions via broadcast, print, and the internet. Pihcintu's mission is to stimulate dialogue through story and song around refugee/immigrant issues, while welcoming immigrant children from around the globe, helping them to restart their lives.
Portland Chamber Music Festival
Portland Chamber Music Festival connects, inspires, and celebrates community through the uniquely intimate
power of chamber music. The intimacy of chamber music allows walls to be broken down, connections to be made, and experiences to be shared between artist and audience, and among listeners. All of PCMF's programs are thoughtfully designed to support and enhance these unique attributes. Founded in 1994, PCMF's core summer Festival consists of four main stage concerts, special events, artist showcases, stage talks, composer interviews and more.
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.
Portland School of Ballet
Portland School of Ballet is home to the leading classical training in Maine. Our goal at PSB is to create a healthy environment for all students to learn the art of ballet. We are determined to help our dancers set and reach goals, while at the same time assisting with the development of their artistry. Portland School of Ballet follows a Vaganova-based curriculum; Vaganova is the Russian training system which creates a connected sense of movement and an expressive range. As they progress through PSB’s divisions, students develop an understanding of correct posture and placement, musicality, coordination, and artistry.
Portland Stage Company
Portland Stage is one of Maine’s largest fully professional, non-profit theaters. They are committed to providing the finest productions for audiences in a broad region of Northern New England. Portland stage offers a variety of programming that is designed to meet the needs of a broad cross-section of the population. Each production is created specifically for their audiences. Portland Stage takes pride in the theater and actively engages in its wide range of first-rate productions and transformative programs.
Side x Side
Side x Side believes that arts integration provides a framework for students to rigorously investigate ideas by asking questions and grappling with complicated concepts. It involves learning disciplines within the arts that provoke inquisitive engagement, experimentation, interaction with peers, evaluation, and dissemination of knowledge. We believe that arts integration creates opportunity and equity in the classroom. 
SPEEDWELL promotes the creative work of women who have demonstrated a lifelong commitment to their artistic practice; we support women of all races, ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities, classes, and abilities through exhibitions, residencies, publications, and documentaries. We seek to redress gender inequities of the art world by providing time, space, and financial support to incubate ideas, experiment, collaborate, problem solve, and bring to the global community the fruits of these endeavors.
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.

Hancock County

Americans Who Tell The Truth
In January 2022, AWTT turned twenty years old. The artist Robert Shetterly turned seventy-five years old and still as hungry for experience, knowledge, understanding, and courageous role models as he was at fifty-five. Americans Who Tell the Truth has tried to be a lantern that throws its light forward and back–knowing the truth of the past’s struggles for justice is essential to seeing clearly the obstacles and possibilities in the future.
Blue Hill Bach
Blue Hill Bach has grown from a single concert in the summer of 2011 to year-round activities, including a week-long summer festival, a performance of Handel’s Messiah each December, a spring celebration of Bach’s birthday, and outreach programs that deepen understanding of Baroque music. We strive to involve the community in our activities in as many ways as possible and are very grateful for the hard work of our many volunteers. Above all, we work to offer musical experiences that are, in the words of an Advisory Board member, “relaxed, accessible, and friendly—with formidable musicians.”
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.
Opera House Arts
Opera House Arts’ historic theater on the waterfront entertains year-round audiences in Downeast Maine, presenting live theater, music, variety, and film. Now beginning its 23rd season, Opera House Arts was established to restore the Stonington Opera House (listed on the National Register of Historic Places), rejuvenate its role as a center for entertainment and community gatherings, and utilize the performing arts as a platform for education.
Schoodic Arts For All
The Schoodic Peninsula is a vibrant hub for creativity and art, a home for learning and inspiration that powers a thriving year-round creative economy centered on the arts. The organization's goals are: Encourage participants of all ages to express themselves creatively and gain a lifelong appreciation for the arts and creative spirit. Celebrate creativity through a wide range of workshops, events, and performances. Serve as a community anchor by maintaining and operating facilities for public benefit. Gain broad support, recognition, and response and support for SAFA’s inclusive year-round programming. Sustain a strong Schoodic Arts for All.

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.
Strand Theater
The Strand Theatre’s mission is to entertain, engage, and empower our community, in our theater and beyond our walls.As a leader in our community’s cultural growth, the Strand’s vision is to expand perspectives and entertain with thought provoking, innovative arts programming and educational experiences. Through film, music, dance, theatre, lectures and community conversations, the Strand uses the power of the performing arts to connect us more deeply to one another by presenting stories that honor our differences and illuminate our commonalities.
Camden International Film Festival
The Points North Institute is a launching pad for the next generation of nonfiction storytellers. We build a unique, interdisciplinary community of filmmakers, artists, journalists, industry leaders and local audiences, forming a creative hub where stories and talent are discovered, collaborations are born, and the future of nonfiction media is shaped. Our programs include the annual Camden International Film Festival and Points North Forum, as well as a growing suite of artist development initiatives: retreats, residencies, workshops and fellowships that nurture the careers of diverse nonfiction storytellers and help them develop a stronger artistic voice..

Lincoln County

The Waldo Theatre
The Waldo uses the power of the arts to entertain, engage, enrich, and educate our community through providing accessible and dynamic arts programming. Serving as a community hub, we support the downtown Waldoboro, Maine, economy and the rural Midcoast region—bringing high-caliber performers and teaching artists to which our community would not otherwise have access. Our Education, Theatre, Live Music, Film, and Spoken Word programs enhance the quality of life for the residents of Lincoln County and beyond. 

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.
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.
Lights Out Gallery
At Lights Out Gallery, our mission is more than just words; it's a dynamic force we bring to life through our unique programming. By placing priority on reaching underserved populations, including those living in rural areas, we are able to support a diverse arts community in Maine inclusive to a broad range of people, regardless of their background, abilities, or geographic location. Our mission revolves around fostering connections, bypassing traditional hierarchies, and embracing the transformative power of art. We are committed to bringing the arts to the heart of Western Maine and serving the often underserved, particularly those residing in rural areas.

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.
Waterfall Arts
Waterfall Arts is a community hub for creative expression. We seek to nurture, educate, and inspire through shared art experiences that are accessible to an ever-expanding audience. We believe that all people are inherently creative. We believe that art is transformational. We believe that art is fundamental to a vibrant community. We believe that we have a responsibility to our fragile environment. Our vision comes alive through our leadership, programming, public studios, and exhibitions.

Washington County

Quoddy Tides Foundation
At EAC, our mission is to serve as a hub for community-based programming, offering a space for the arts that is affordable, accessible, and sustainable. We hold ourselves to the highest professional standards, and our primary requirement is operational support to ensure our vital staff members can continue to play a key role in enriching the cultural lives of residents in Washington County. In our region, there is a lack of opportunities for individuals to learn, perform, and create. We believe that the arts are crucial in helping people discover and express their personal and cultural identity, which is why it is so important for EAC to reverse this opportunity deficit.

York County

Brickstore Museum
The Brick Store Museum ignites personal connections to local history, art and cultures through exhibitions, education and programs illustrating the human experience in Kennebunk and the surrounding communities. Founded by American artist Edith Barry in 1936, the institution began in a former brick dry goods store to showcase art and history in southern Maine. It is now a campus of five buildings. Over 87 years in existence, the Museum garnered a collection of over 55,000 cultural objects related to southern Maine. The Museum is a place for visitors of all ages to discover and interact with multi-sensory programs and exhibitions that draw parallels to current issues.
The Dance Hall
The Dance Hall, Kittery is the Seacoast's premier venue for an intimate, diverse music and dance experience. Weekends are booked with live, on-stage performances and patrons are encouraged to hit the maplewood dance floor. A variety of dance classes for all levels are available midweek. The Dance Hall is located in the heart of Kittery Foreside in an historic 1928 Grange Hall, creating an authentic, vintage vibe with wonderful acoustics. Affordable ticket prices, a curated lineup of eclectic performances, and welcoming community make The Dance Hall, Kittery one of the most charming experiences north of Boston.