Traditional & Folk Arts
Traditional & Folk Arts header image

The Traditional Arts Program of the Maine Arts Commission works with communities on strengthening and presenting their cultural traditions through apprenticeships, fellowships, program development and project support. Through direct support for artists as well as community-based projects, the program also brings recognition to those traditions that are so much a part Maine’ cultural landscape, whether it be Franco fiddling, Yankee boat building, Wabanaki ash basketry, Cambodian music or Sudanese dance.

Traditional arts hold great meaning in the everyday lives of individuals and communities. For example, in Maine’s growing immigrant and multi-lingual communities, being able to maintain cultural traditions in textile arts, music, dance and foodways can help navigate the challenges of establishing a new home. Passed down from one generation to the next, traditional arts are learned in an informal way, give and take way, usually through observation and example rather than through classes, books or formal instruction. Now celebrating its 24th year, the program acts as a kind of cultural aquifer, honoring elders as well as encouraging new artists to pass on their skills to future generations.

Funding Opportunities

Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program

Based on their experience and commitment to the traditional art form they practice, masters and apprentices apply to work together in a one-on-one instructional setting. Passed down from one generation to the next, traditional arts are learned informally, usually through observation and example rather than through formal academic instruction. Preference is given to selecting apprentices who are members of the same ethnic, religious, occupational, tribal or familial group as the master artist. Visit the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program page for more information.

Maine Artist Fellowship Program

Maine Artist Fellowship are awarded annually to recognize artistic excellence and advance the careers of Maine artists. Fellowships are merit-based awards that are informed by an applicant’s work. 

Project Grant for Artists

The Project Grant for Artists supports creative projects throughout Maine, assisting artists with the creation of new work and the continuation of existing arts programs. Projects can be in any artistic discipline and on any scale.

Project Grant for Organizations

The Project Grant for Organizations is designed to support creative projects throughout Maine. Grant funds assist arts organizations with the production of high-quality creative activities, the creation of new work, and the continuation of successful arts programs. Projects can be in any artistic discipline and on any scale.

For questions about the Traditional Arts program please contact Kathleen Mundell, Traditional Arts Specialist, at moc.oohay@1002secruoserlarutluc or 207-236-6741. 

Calendar

Mon, Jun 25   Portland, ME
MECA MFA Visiting Artist Lecture: Faythe Levine View »
Thu, Jun 28 - Sat, Jun 30   Portland, ME
COLLECT Summer Art Sale View »
Fri, Jun 29   Winter Harbor, ME
Schoodic Arts for All Coffeehouse: Danny and The Bluetones View »
 

Maine Arts Commission News

NEA Announces 2018 National Heritage Fellows View »
MECA to get $40K grant for migration-themed exhibition View »
Maine included in National Center for Creative Aging EngAGE Initiative View »
 

Press Release

NEA Announces 2018 National Heritage Fellows View »
Littlefield Gallery named Readers' Choice Award by Down East Magazine View »
Opening reception for a major exhibition of Barbara Prey paintings of Maine at the Wendell Gilley Mu View »