Cultural Planning Grant
Cultural Planning Grant header image


Cultural Planning Grant

Deadline: April 08, 2021
Maximum Award: $10,000.
Required Match: 1 to 1 (in-kind or cash match) (Match waived for FY22)
Award Cycle: July 1 June 30

Artists and organizations seeking relief funding for the COVID-19 emergency should visit the agency COVID-19 Resource Page. It has information about Maine Arts Commission support as well as support options from other organizations. 

The Creative Communities Planning Grant (formerly Creative Communities Equal Economic Development Phase 1 planning grant of CCED1) provides communities or regions up to $10,000 to assess their cultural assets (and needs) to create a Cultural Plan. Please note that this grant is for a community Cultural Plan and is not intended for individual organizational planning. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

The complete planning process is expected to take up to 12–18 months. The Cultural Planning Process requires a significant commitment on the part of the lead applicant, as well as the entire community or region involved. Applicants should not undertake this type of project without the understanding that it will take more funding, energy, and time than what the Maine Arts Commission alone can provide.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to receive funding. Your community/region is eligible to apply only if it meets all of the following criteria at the time of application:

  • The lead applicant is a stable and well-established nonprofit organization with 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government, legally established in the state of Maine.
  • The applicant has a valid DUNS number. (
  • The lead applicant is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards received.
  • The applicant has discussed the proposal with agency staff two or more weeks prior to the deadline and has been approved to apply.

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support, or fundraising.

Application Materials

Once an application is started, the applicant may revisit it to add materials or change answers. This can be done up until the deadline. When the application is complete, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review. All application materials must be submitted throughthe Grants Management System (GMS) and must contain:

Online - Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts. (Required)
  • Complete project budget. (Required)

Uploads - Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • A proposal by the project consultant(s), including work plan and timeline. (Required)
  • A list of project committee members including their professional affiliations. (Required)
  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel. (Required)
  • Letter(s) of Support from at least one partner or stakeholder. (Required)
  • Audit or IRS 990 Form. (Required) Most recently completed financial statement.
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter. (Required for nonprofit organizations.)
  • Collateral. (Optional) Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows award payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. Please do not upload the Vendor Form as part of the application. The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page
  • Vendor Forms can be emailed to vog.eniam@glig.nitsrek 

The Maine Arts Commission reserves the right to use submitted materials in the non-commercial promotion of the artist and/or Maine Arts Commission programs.

Application Questions (To be completed in the GMS)

(All character counts include spaces. 2,550 characters/page)

  1. Provide a mission and a brief history of the organization that is the lead applicant. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words.)
  2. Describe your community or region. Outline the demographics, cultural entities, and geography that will be involved. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words.)
  3. Outline what type of research will be conducted. Please include a timeline, both qualitative and quantitative processes, populations to be surveyed, and the methodologies that will be used. (Max: 1,915 characters - about 250 words.)
  4. List the individual(s) who will serve as project lead and the community partners that will serve on this project. Describe their qualifications and define the roles they will play in the planning efforts. (Max:1,275 characters - about 175 words.)
  5. Identify the planning consultant for this project and outline the consultant’s past cultural planning efforts. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words.)

Review Criteria

Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Evidence of a community that exhibits artistic excellence and high artistic merit. (25%)
  2. A sound research process that includes strong steering committee representation, a detailed timeline, and a comprehensive work plan. (25%)
  3. Evidence of a high level of ability and commitment from a cross-section of partners; including support from community leaders and project leadership. (30%)
  4. Identification of a professional planning consultant to work with the applicant and community during this process. (20%)

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. Reviewer recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process, making an award official. Notifications to applicants of the spring deadlines are sent in mid-July. The review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior
to funds being disbursed.


All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email after the Commission members approve the review process. Awardees are also listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. Paperwork for an applicant to accept an award is sent via email. Award funding is delivered by surface mail in the form of a paper check. A grant is taxable income, however, the Agency does not send 1099 or other tax forms to awardees. A copy of your executed award contract can be accessed on the State of Maine site at:



Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about this application:
Please contact Julie Horn, Assistant Director at vog.eniam@nroh.eiluj or 207/287-2790.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 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.

Cultural Planning Staff Contact: 
Julie Horn  207 287-2790
Assistant Director, Visual Arts Director

Get Started in our Grants Management System (GMS)

Apply for a Grant

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