CCED Grant
CCED Grant header image


This program encourages cultural, economic and governmental sectors to work together to effect community cultural development. As of 2015, applicants to the CCED grant program are required to have completed a community or regional Cultural Plan. Because of this new requirement, the Maine Arts Commission has divided this program in to two phases. Phase I will award successful community applicants a $10,000 grant to develop a Cultural Plan. Phase II will award one successful applicant the $75,000 implementation grant over three years. 


PDF—How to Apply

PHASE I – Cultural Planning Grant

  • Application Deadline:  March 24, 2016
  • Maximum Grant Award:  $10,000 (with a required 1:1 match) – a maximum of three of these grants will be awarded



Letters of Interest

  • Submission Deadline: March 24, 2016


Full Application (Invitation Only)

  • Application Deadline:  October 15, 2016
  • Maximum Grant Award:  $75,000 (with a required 1:1 match) over three years. $40,000 in year 1; $25,000 in year 2; $10,000 in year 3

About the Creative Communities = Economic Development (CCED) Grant

Maine’s distinct quality of place is its primary economic asset. In addition to its spectacular lands, waters and coastlines, Maine’s picturesque towns and villages containing historic buildings, galleries and cultural venues contribute to the rich cultural heritage of Maine and its unique sense of place. The Maine Arts Commission is offering this major grant program to stimulate downtown development through the creative economy. The CCED grant is designed to support dialogue and partnerships between municipalities and the cultural sector regarding the economic development of their communities. CCED will provide the cultural sector with significant funds to contribute to mutually agreed upon plans and initiatives that stimulate the local economy, strengthen the role of arts and culture and enhance the community’s quality of place. Successful applications will come from communities that have vibrant cultural nonprofits. The communities themselves must be poised for growth and engaged in economic and community planning as well as development using other funding sources. They will include an active network of involved citizens including elected officials and business leaders in a comprehensive revitalization effort. The lead applicant organization is expected to plan and oversee project direction, management and implementation side by side with their project partners. It will be required to follow its recently developed Cultural Plan and it is anticipated that the CCED project will have a designated coordinator to communicate with the public, partners, artists and others involved in the project.

Eligibility Requirements

A professional Maine cultural organization is eligible to apply if it:

  • Is a nonprofit organization, legally established in the state of Maine, and
  • Has tax exempt status 501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service, and
  • Has filed all final reports required for previous Maine Arts Commission grants.

An applicant must demonstrate a fiscal structure that allows it to legally and responsibly utilize grant funds. The applicant must provide a minimum of a 1:1 cash and/or in-kind match. This demonstrates the applicant’s ability to take on the project. This match must be documented as part of the application package.

The applicant becomes legally accountable for complying with the above eligibility requirements upon submission of this request.

Consortiums are encouraged to have proven, significant partnerships with community development initiatives.

Review Process


Applications for this Phase are reviewed by a panel consisting of the representatives from private foundations, economic development professionals and former CCED recipients.


Letters of interest and then full applications are reviewed by a panel consisting of the representatives from private foundations, economic development professionals and former CCED recipients. Finalists will be notified and a site visit will take place during the summer and prior to the full grant deadline.

Final award recommendations for both phases will be presented to the Maine Arts Commission to approve the process, making the grant official. Notifications are sent to all applicants following that meeting.

The review process and delivery of funds may take up to four months. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs incurred for the project after the grant has been approved. Please plan accordingly.

Review Criteria


  • Evidence of a high level of commitment of a cross section of community partners. (1,750 characters)
  • Identification of a professional planning consultant to work with the community during this process. (1,750 characters)
  • Evidence of a strong planning process to include research, strong steering committee representation, timeline and workplan. (3,500 characters)

It is expected that the complete planning process could take 12 - 18 months.


  • Evidence of a high level of commitment from a wide cross-section of community leadership and community partners (cultural, governmental and business), with the willingness and flexibility to undertake this initiative. QUESTION 4 (20%) (7,000 characters)
  • Evidence of planning, implementation and evaluation of goals. This includes the development of a comprehensive project plan and a thorough evaluation strategy. QUESTIONS 1 & 2 (50%) (3,500 characters)
  • Evidence of a realistic financial match and the ability to sustain the project, including the coordinator position beyond the granting period. The applicant organization should be financially stable and have the resources to take on a project of this scope. QUESTIONS 3 & 5 (30%) (3,500 characters)


Please log into our Grants Management System. Your account is free and you can browse grant guidelines and requirements for all programs without applying. Your account also gives you the ability to add your entry to our Artists and Organizations Directory and to post press releases and events to this site's news and calendar sections. 

How to Apply


All applicants are required to have a conversation with Julie Richard, Executive Director at 207/287-2710 or  vog.eniam@drahcir.eiluj at least one-week prior to submitting the application. Applicants are required to apply through the Maine Arts Commission Grants Management System. An electronic application will be accepted until 5:00 pm on the date of the application deadline. Because of the volume of electronic submissions on the day of any grant deadline, we strongly recommend you give yourself a 24-hour buffer. 



The CCED application: a letter of interest and if invited a full application; both require a conversation with Julie Richard, Executive Director at 207/287-2710 or vog.eniam@drahcir.eiluj. The letter of interest is submitted via email whereas the full application, which may be submitted by invitation only, is submitted through the agency’s Grants Management System.


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.


Get Started in our Grants Management System (GMS)

Apply for a Grant

Need More Help?

For General Questions:
Senior Grants Director & Accessibility
Kathy Ann Shaw: 287-2750
Help by Discipline:

Performing & Media Arts Director
Kerstin Gilg: 287-6719

Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director
Argy Nestor: 287-2713

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741

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