Four Directions Development Corporation Supports Wabanaki Artisans

  • July 13, 2023

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Four Directions Development Corporation Supports Wabanaki Artisans

Orono, Maine Four Directions Development Corporation (FDDC) has completed the first round of the newly established Artisan Fund Grant in support of artisans looking to turn their passions into small businesses. In total, $20,000 has been awarded to eleven Tribal members across the five tribes in Maine in collaboration with the Maine Arts Commission. Along with the funding, workshops including pricing and marketing are being held in Tribal Enterprise Centers to ensure success.

“Hand crafted artwork is ‘skilled labor.’ Not everyone has the talent to do what these artisans do. There is a demand for these items, too. It’s important that we support crafters and make sure they have the skills and funds to create and market their goods,” said Preston Thomas, FDDC’s Small Business Program Manager. “We are helping create a clear path to entrepreneurship and small business development.”

Awardees can use the grant funds on supplies, equipment purchases, event registration fees and travel, marketing materials and professional services. FDDC hopes the funding and technical assistance will help artisans increase their confidence, advance their work and further develop their entrepreneurial endeavors. FDDC will engage and follow up with low-cost, high-impact ways artists can grow their brands and tell their stories.

“We are supporting Native Artisans to improve the social and economic conditions among the Wabanaki people of Maine. The Artisan Fund Grant meets the working capital needs of these artisans,” added FDDC Executive Director Charlene Virgilio. “These talented artists have already established their artistic expertise; in some cases, these skills have been passed down over many generations. The costs of supplies and tools should not be a hindrance to entrepreneurship.”

“The grant from Four Directions is helpful as I purchased items that are needed to expand my products,” said Rosemary Ivey, a member of the Houlton Band of Maliseets. “A copier-scanner, printer, ink cartridges, high quality paper and other odds and ends.”

Congratulationsto the 2023 awardees of the FDDC Artisan Fund Grant Program:

Aron Griļ¬ƒth, Lori Lola Keezer, Michelle Barrows, DavidSanipass, Sienna Dana, Magen Harnois, Sue Hinkel, Rosemary Ivey, and Beth Aucoin.

This opportunity was developed by Four Directions Development Corporation. For more information and media opportunities, please contact Preston Thomas, Small Business Program Manager, Four Directions Development Corporation at (207) 866-6545 or email ### Preston Thomas, Small Business Program Manager 20 Godfrey Drive, Orono, ME 04473 (207) 866-6545 | 


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Preston Thomas

20 Godfrey Drive
Orono  ME  04473 

(207) 866-6545