Relief for Organizations
Relief for Organizations  header image


Deadline: February 18, 2021
Maximum Award: $4,000
Required Match: None
Award Cycle: July 1 to June 30, 2021

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 Maine Arts Commission is offering funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This funding will be used to aid Maine arts sector organizations during the hardships created by the COVID-19 health emergency. Grants from this fund are intended to support administration costs for arts organizations facing issues relating to the health emergency. Funding can be used for things such as salary/wages and fringe benefits, artists or contractual personnel fees, and facilities costs such as rent and electric bills.

Relief Funding for Organizations is a needs-based award for small and midsized arts organizations. Maine organizations with annual operating budgets between $50,000 and $750,000 are eligible to apply if they have suffered a 20% loss (or greater) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Loss would be the difference between 2019 revenue and  2020. PPP and other foundation grants do not count against the 20% loss. However, an organization is not eligible if those amounts, plus this relief funding, are greater than the amount needed for a 100% recovery (predicated on 2019 revenue).

Please note that this grant is for this year and the funds must be used by June 30, 2021. This means applicants will be notified of award status in March, funds should arrive in April, and money needs to be used before July. Since this is relief funding, it should not be difficult to spend the award and complete a final report by July.

The Maine Arts Commission does not regularly offer relief funding, so our application system may be confusing for applicants seeking such support. The applications are built around a project funding model, with questions that are designed to collect information about project impact. We understand this discrepancy and anticipate that not all answers will align directly for relief fund use. Please do the best you can in providing the most accurate information. It may help to think of how you will use relief funding as though it were a project. 

Eligibility Requirements

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

  • The applicant is a 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 Main
  • The applicant has a valid DUNS number. (
  • Has an annual operating budget between $50,000 and $750,000.
  • Demonstrate an expected 20% loss or more in revenue minus expenses for 2020.
  • Not be in bankruptcy.
  • Not have permanently ceased all operations.
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

These funds must NOT contribute to a situation where relief funding is greater than the total incurred losses when combined with other Federal relief awards. These grant funds must not be used for expenses that were covered by funds received from other federal sources.

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

Award Restrictions

Funding from this award can only be used for salaries and administration costs.

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 through the 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)

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

  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter. (Required)
  • Income statements for 2019 and 2020 to date.
  • Most recently completed federal tax return. (990, 990EZ)

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

    Application Questions (to be completed in the GMS)

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

    1. Provide the mission and a brief history of your organization. (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words.)
    2. Provide examples and amounts of the COVID-19 related loss. (Max: 2,550 characters - about 350 words.)
    3. Explain how relief funding will be applied.
    • Salary/wages and fringe benefits (Number.)
    • Artists fees (Number.)
    • Contracted personnel fees (Number.)
    • Rent or mortgage (Number.)
    • Utilities (Number.)
    • Other administrative costs along with amounts (Text and number.)

    Review Criteria

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

    1. The mission and history of the applicant (30%)
    2. Significance of related losses. (30%)
    3. Capacity to apply funding successfully to offset losses. (30%)
    4. Application overall quality. (10%)

    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. 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.



    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 please contact the appropriate agency staff person based on the discipline of your application.

    • Craft and Visual Arts applicants: Julie Horn, Visual Arts Director at vog.eniam@nroh.eiluj or 207-287-2790.
    • Media Arts and Performing Arts applicants: Megan Fournier, Interim Media and Performing Arts Director at vog.eniam@reinruoF.B.nageM or 207-287-6719.
    • Traditional Arts applicants: Kathleen Mundell, Traditional Arts Specialist at moc.oohay@1002secruoserlarutluc or 207-236-6741.
    • Literary Arts applicants: Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 207/ 287-6719.

    For general questions about the application or review process please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 207/ 287-6719.

    All Maine Arts Commission programs are accessible to people with disabilities. All programs funded by the Maine Arts Commission must also be accessible.

    Grant information is available in large print format by request. 

    Relief Funding Staff Contact: 
    Kerstin Gilg  207-287-6719
    Director of Grants & Accessibility

    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