Springboard Artist Grant
Springboard Artist Grant header image
Deadline: April 14, 2022 (5:00 p.m.)
Maximum Award: $1,500
Required Match: None
Award Cycle: July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023

Artist Springboard Grant

The Artist Springboard Grant supports artist projects throughout Maine.  Funds assist individual artists who have not previously received a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, with the creation of new work, the continuation of existing practices, and participation in professional development programs and activities. Projects can be in any artistic discipline and on any scale.

This grant is designed to help emerging artists and individuals who are new grant seekers or have had difficulty being funded through a grants process.  Awards may be used for things like materials, equipment, production, installations, tours, planning, production, preparation, exhibition costs, documentation of work, internships, workshops, collaborating with other artists, etc.  An artist may not apply for the Artist Project Grant and the Springboard Grant in the same grant cycle. 

Applications are encouraged from anyone who meets the eligibility requirements. Graduating students may apply who meet the eligibility requirements by the award cycle start date (July 1). 

Have general questions about the Grant/Application Process? Access the Grants FAQthe Grants Definitions Page, or Grants Help Page

 Print PDF of Guidelines

An applicant is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria:

  • Is an individual artist or part of an artist collective (collectives may only apply once per award cycle, using the name of an individual member)
  • Has a current Maine Arts Commission account 
  • Has a State of Maine Vendor Code (required to receive funding) Download Printable Vendor Code Form
  • Awarded funds will be used within the award cycle
  • If applicable, has completed Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards
  • Is a current Maine resident who has resided full-time in Maine for at least one year immediately prior to the application deadline
  • Will be a Maine resident throughout the project period
  • Is 18 years of age or older by the application deadline
  • Is not an enrolled student at the start of the award cycle (July 1) (Please contact the agency if you have questions)
  • Has not received a grant from the Maine Arts Commission. (Awardees of relief funding such as CARES, Artist Relief, and ARPA are still eligible to apply. Apprenticeship awardees may apply, unless they have received a non-apprenticeship grant from the agency)
Eligible Expenses

Awards may be used for things like materials, equipment, production, installations, tours, planning, production, preparation, exhibition costs, documentation of work, internships, workshops, residencies, hiring other artists or assistants, etc.

Ineligible Expenses
  • Debt or loan repayment
  • Donations
  • Equipment purchases over $5,000
  • Fundraising
  • Home office or home studio rent and expenses
  • Activities for which college credit is given
  • Lobbying activity

Grant Narrative to be completed in the Application Portal (All character counts include spaces. 2,550 characters/page)

  1. Provide a brief bio of yourself and your creative work.  (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  2. Explain your project, its goals, and how the funding will be used.  (Max: 1,915 characters - about 250 words)
  3. Explain how the public will interact with this project.  (Max: 1,915 characters - about 250 words)
Review Criteria

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

  1. 35% = Artistic Excellence and artistic merit of the project and its goals (as expressed through the answers to questions #1 and # 2 and supporting uploads)
  2. 40% = Evidence that the funds will be used strategically to achieve the project’s goals (as expressed through the answer to question #2 and the online budget form)
  3. 15% = Evidence of community engagement (as expressed through the answer to question #3)
  4. 10% = Application overall quality

All applications must be submitted through the online Application Portal.  Once an application is started, the applicant may make changes up until the deadline. When completed, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review. The application includes an online form and attachments to be uploaded.

Online Form Requirements:
  • Completed grant narrative
  • Completed budget form

Uploads - You will be able to upload up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials through the Application Portal.  Some are required, others are optional. The total amount should be 10 items or fewer. 

Required Attachments to be uploaded:
  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key participants
  • Artistic samples: This could include images, audio, or video materials (Max. length: five minutes each), prose samples, poetry, etc.
  • (Optional) Additional information that supports the application (images, reports, letters of support, contracts, etc.)
Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds.
  • For new applicants – Please read the Vendor Form help information, download a Vendor Form, fill it out, and return it to the Maine Arts Commission by mail, email, or fax.
  • For past applicants:If your contact information has changed in the past year, you will need to fill out a new Vendor Form with your updates. 

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. 

Submitted applications are reviewed by Agency staff for completion, eligibility, and adherence to the funding guidelines. Compliant applications are read by a diverse panel of Maine arts and culture professionals with appropriate expertise related to the grant program. Panelists submit scores based on the review criteria. Award recommendations, based on scoring and available funds, are submitted to the Maine Arts Commission members at their bimonthly meeting for final approval. All applicants are soon notified of the awards and how to access review meeting notes.  

The delivery of funds may take up to six months from the time of award notification. This means that grant awards 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, as long as it takes place within the award cycle.   

All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email. Successful applicants also receive emails with documents and instructions on award acceptance.  Awardees are listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. 

Final Reports are required no later than two weeks after the end-date of the award cycle, but it is recommended that they be submitted just after the conclusion of the project. The Final Report Form can be accessed by revisiting your application in the Application Portal.

Final Reports include a progress summary, a recap of actual expenses, how many people saw or were involved in the project, and a section to upload materials. Awardees are also invited to complete a brief survey offering feedback to the Agency about their experience. The Maine Arts Commission relies on Final Reports:

  • to inform the National Endowment of the Arts and the State how public funds are used,
  • to become more knowledgeable about Maine creative work,
  • and as a resource to promote the State arts community.

Artist Springboard Grant Information Session - March 7, 2022

View session transcript



Ask for Help

The staff at the Maine Arts Commission are ready to help as you prepare your application and navigate the Application Portal. We especially encourage first-time applicants and those new to grant writing to contact us for assistance. For more information, visit our staff directory


Grant information can be made available in large print format or other languages 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.  To learn more, the NEA offers an accessibility self-assessment checklist