National Endowment Includes $758,600 for the Maine Arts Commission

  • May 10, 2021


First Phase of American Rescue Plan Funding from the 

National Endowment Includes $758,600 for the Maine Arts Commission


AUGUSTA, MAINE —The National Endowment for the Arts is recommending an award of $758,600 to the Maine Arts Commission in the NEA’s first distribution of funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARP). This emergency funding is designed to support the arts sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of the COVID-19. It is part of the $135 million allocated for the Arts Endowment in the ARP which represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery.

“The release of these American Rescue Plan funds marks an important step in the economic recovery of the creative sector,” said NEA Acting Chair Ann Eilers. "The knowledge of the Maine Arts Commission about the arts and culture landscape in Maine makes it an ideal steward of federal dollars. The Arts Endowment is grateful for the continued leadership of Maine Arts Commission as the arts sector rebuilds in a way that works better for all arts organizations."

Maine’s first district congresswoman Chellie Pingree cheered the announcement: “It’s wonderful news that the Maine Arts Commission is receiving more than $750,000 in funding to assist Maine artists and cultural organizations who’ve been particularly hard-hit by pandemic closures,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “I fought to ensure the American Rescue Plan included targeted relief for arts and humanities organizations because it will provide a much-needed shot-in-the-art to Maine’s world-class arts community.”

Senator Angus King also shared his enthusiasm about the announcement: “Maine artists serve as creative gateways to our state’s culture and vibrant history, and that’s why I’m pleased that they will receive vital support to weather the coronavirus pandemic,” said Senator King. “In the talks that led to the American Rescue Plan – which provides this funding – I’m proud to have advocated for Maine’s arts and cultural institutions and organizations that mean so much to our state. Whether it’s painters, musicians, or actors, Maine’s artists are one-of-a-kind storytellers, and it’s my hope that these resources will provide them with a much-needed boost into brighter days.”

Governor Janet Mills welcomed the support for Maine’s culture: “We can measure the arts industry’s contributions to Maine’s economy in the millions, but more important than dollars and cents are its contributions to the culture of our people,” said Governor Mills. “The arts engage our senses, expand our horizons, and elevate our soul. I am pleased that the Maine Arts Commission will now have the flexibility to help art organizations in Maine who have struggled during the coronavirus pandemic.”

“We look forward to the opportunity to ensure that this funding will support job creation in the field,” said Arts Commission Executive Director David Greenham. “Maine’s cultural organizations, their staffs, and individual artists are excited to get back to work and I’m confident that Maine will benefit from the creativity that’s been percolating for more than a year,” he said, adding, “The arts will lead the charge to a renewed appreciation and excitement about our magnificent state.”  

The funding provided to Maine and other agencies across the country represents 40 percent of the total ARP funding received by the National Endowment for the Arts. The remaining 60 percent of the ARP money will be awarded by the Arts Endowment directly to non-profit organizations to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Guidelines and application materials for a second phase of American Rescue Plan funding from the Arts Endowment are expected to be available in June, pending review.






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Ryan Leighton

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333