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

Thu, Oct 18   Lewiston, ME
Museum L-A's Chills at the Mill View »
Thu, Oct 18   Portland, ME
READING: Refuge Malja ملجأ | hosted by Maine College of Art View »
Fri, Oct 19   Gorham, ME
FACULTY CONCERT SERIES: Laura Kargul in Concert, Wild at Heart View »
 

Maine Arts Commission News

Maine Arts Commission hosts Folk Summit View »
Art In The Capitol: Showcasing Maine Veteran Artists View »
Art in the Capitol: Stunning Photographic Still Lifes by Lynn Karlin View »
 

Press Release

Ambergris- An Environmental Installation & Performance View »
Mechanic's Hall Holiday Sale in Downtown Portland - 12/7 & 12/8 View »
Kim Yesis Author Debut with Side by Side Tales from Behind the Canvas View »