Bicentennial Composition Award
Bicentennial Composition Award  header image


The purpose of this award is to support the interests, needs, and local creativity of communities as they plan local commemorations of the Bicentennial and to ensure that citizens throughout Maine have the opportunity to participate in Maine’s Bicentennial commemoration. Deadline: September 10, 2019, 5 p.m. (EST). 

Maximum Award: $12,000
Required Match: None
Funding Cycle: September 1, 2019 - March 30, 2021

Maine’s 200th anniversary of statehood is an important milestone that allows us to reflect on who we are as a state. Maine’s bicentennial is a perfect time for us all to commemorate our past, celebrate our present, and take a view toward the future with a choral/orchestral composition.

Composition Guidelines
  • The proposed work should be approximately 5 minutes in length.
  • The proposed work should be composed for chorus and chamber ensemble, up to 24 pieces, with optional piano accompaniment or a Capella setting for choral performance.
  • Works should be fully original compositions. It will be the composer’s responsibility to clear permissions and rights for any reference to existing texts or pieces of music.
  • The selected composer is expected to deliver the work, in its completed form, on or before January 8, 2020.
  • The selected composer will be expected to be available to participate in workshops and talks about the piece and to attend rehearsals as well as the debut performance.

Eligibility Requirements

The project is open to all composers age 18 and over, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, military status, sexual orientation, marital status, or physical disabilities. Composing teams are eligible to apply, including teams of composers from multiple disciplines. Those ineligible include: students of any level, staff of the Maine State Legislature, Maine State Legislators, selection committee members, and any family members of these groups.


Your proposal must include:

  • A current resume for applicant.
  • A brief written proposal that addresses (1) any past commissions or works of a similar scale that applicant has completed, and (2) applicant’s plan for creating an original work that will relate to the people, the land, the history, or the future of the State of Maine and reflect the celebration of the Maine Bicentennial. Please do not submit detailed scores, recording, or final proposals for this round of the selection process.
  • Up to 5 pieces of support materials of which at least three must be written scores. 


Applications are reviewed based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic strength as demonstrated through attached resume and materials
  • Demonstrated capacity to complete a work of this scale in the given timeline.
  • Ability to translate artistic concepts into work that will reflect the theme of the Maine Bicentennial

Review Process

A selection committee will jury submissions for the project. The committee will review the materials to determine whom to invite for an in-person interview.

All submitted materials will not be returned.


All other questions should be directed to Brita Wanger Morier, Performing Arts and Media Director at the Maine Arts Commission through e-mail at Brita.Wanger-vog.eniam@reiroM, or by phone at 207/287-2750.

More Information

More information about this grant can be found on the official Bicentennial website or by contacting Kerstin at the Maine Arts Commission at vog.eniam@glig.nitsreK (207-287-6719).

Grant information is available in large print format by request. All Maine Arts Commission programs are accessible to people with disabilities. All programs funded by the Maine Arts Commission must also be accessible.        

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Need More Help?
For General Questions:
Director of Grants & Accessibility
Kerstin Gilg: 287-6719
Help by Discipline:

Interim Media & Performing Arts Director
Meg Fournier: 287-2713

Assistant Director, Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741