Arts Learning Grant
Arts Learning Grant header image


Deadline: April 01, 2021
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Required Match: 1 to 2 (50% match - In kind or cash match)  (Match waived for FY22)
Award Cycle: July 1 June 30


Artists and organizations seeking relief funding for the COVID-19 emergency should visit the agency COVID-19 Resource Page. It has information about Maine Arts Commission support as well as support options from other organizations. 

The Arts Learning Grant provides funding to support schools and non-profit organizations for arts education programs directed at PK - grade 12 age groups. This can be done through school programs, community arts education programs, after school/week-end programs, curriculum planning, professional learning for arts educators, teaching artists, and teachers of all content for arts integration. Schools must apply through their school district office. If the project calls for a teaching artist, preference will be given to applicants that use teaching artists from the Maine Arts Commission’s  Teaching Artist Roster.  Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the day of the deadline.

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must have an active Maine Arts Commission account and current Vendor Code to  receive funding.  A school district or nonprofit organization is eligible to apply if they meet the following criteria at the time of application:

  • Is an organization with a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service, is a public school district, or is a unit of municipal, county or tribal government in the state of Maine. 
  • If the applicant is not a school, a valid DUNS number at time of application. (
  • Is in compliance with Final Reports required by the Maine Arts Commission for previous awards.

Award Restrictions

A school must apply through its school district. All paperwork must be conducted through the Superintendent’s offices. Communications and funds will go directly to the district to then be delivered to the applying school. The Maine Arts Commission will not contract directly with individual schools.

Ineligible Expenses: Grant awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment over $4,999 in value, operating support, or fundraising.

Application Materials 

Once an application is started, the applicant may revisit it to add materials or change answers. This can be done up until the deadline. When the application is complete, the applicant must hit the ‘Submit’ button on the final page. This locks the application and makes it ready for review. All application materials must be submitted through the Grants Management System (GMS) must contain:

Online - Fields within the Grants Portal that will need to be completed

  • Complete answers to all narrative prompts. (Required)
  • Completed project budget. (Required)

Uploads - Up to a total of 10 pieces of support materials uploaded through the Grants Portal

  • Resumes, bios, or curriculum vitae for all key personnel. (Required) This should include resumes or description of expertise for all teaching artists.
  • Copy of IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter. (Required for nonprofit organizations.)
  • Letters of support. (Required) One to three brief letters from individuals or representatives of organizations or schools explaining why they support the project.
  • Lesson plan(s). (Required) Teaching plans or units showing learning outcomes and how student progress will be assessed.
  • Artistic samples. (Required) Images (up to five), audio or video materials (no more than 15 minutes in length), prose samples (no more than 20 pages in length), poetry (no more than 5 poems), etc.
  • Collateral. (Optional) Materials such as press reviews, articles, marketing materials, etc.

Vendor Code – An applicant must have a current Vendor Code to receive award funds

  • Your Vendor Code is a state assigned number that allows award payment processing. Please check your Maine Arts Commission User/Organization account to see if there is a number in the Vendor Code field. If the field is blank you will need to complete a Vendor Form with exactly the same name and contact information as used in the application. This must be provided to the agency prior to award notification and can be submitted through email, surface mail, or FAX. Please do not upload the Vendor Form as part of the application.The form can be downloaded from the Grants Help page 
  • Vendor Forms can be emailed to vog.eniam@glig.nitsrek

The Maine Arts Commission reserves the right to use submitted materials in the non-commercial promotion of the artist and/or Maine Arts Commission programs.

Application Questions

(To be completed in the GMS) (All character counts include spaces)

  1. Describe your project idea in two to four sentences. (Max: 638 characters - about 100 words)
  2. Indicate ways your proposal aligns with the State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts (or other relevant standards).  (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  3. Describe any partnership(s) and/or collaborative planning (such as arrangements between the teacher and the teaching artist). (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  4. State what you hope to achieve and how you will evaluate project success. If this is an ongoing program, share how you will demonstrate growth or expansion (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)
  5. List the professional teachers and teaching artists participating in the project. Please summarize their professional experience(s). If applicable, describe any professional development opportunities these teachers will receive.  (Max: 1,275 characters - about 175 words)

Review Criteria

Arts Learning Grant applications are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the artistic excellence, artistic merit, and educational value of the project. (30%) 
  2. Alignment of project with State of Maine Learning Results for Visual and Performing Arts. (10%)
  3. Evidence of significant collaborative planning among teachers and other partners. (30%) 
  4. Description of evaluation methodology with clear objectives and outcomes.  (20%)
  5. Evidence that the project will include certified, trained teaching artists and will provide professional development opportunities where appropriate.  (10%) 

Review Process

Applications are reviewed by panels of public members, selected for their expertise. Reviewer
recommendations are presented to Maine Arts Commission members who approve the review process,
making an award official. Notifications to applicants of the spring deadlines are sent in mid-July. The
review process and delivery of funds may take up to six months. This means that grant funds may be used
to reimburse costs which have been incurred for the project after the grant has been approved but prior
to funds being disbursed.


All applicants are notified of their award status (approved or declined) via email after the Commission members approve the review process. Awardees are also listed on the Maine Arts Commission website. Paperwork for an applicant to accept an award is sent via email. Award funding is delivered by surface mail in the form of a paper check. A grant is taxable income, however, the Agency does not send 1099 or other tax forms to awardees. A copy of your executed award contract can be accessed on the State of Maine site at:



Agency staff are always here as a resource for you. We recommend contacting the correct staff person a minimum of two-weeks prior to submitting your application.

For specific questions about the Arts Learning program:
Please contact Martha Piscuskas, Director of Arts Education, at vog.eniam@saksucsiP.ahtraM or 207-287-2750.
For general questions about the application or review process:
Please contact Kerstin Gilg, Director of Grants and Accessibility, at or 207- 287-6719 .

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:
Director of Grants & Accessibility
Kerstin Gilg: 287-6719
Help by Discipline:

Interim Media & Performing Arts Director
Meg Fournier: 287-2713

Assistant Director, Visual Arts Director
Julie Horn: 287-2790

Arts Education Director 
Martha Piscuskas: 287-2750

Traditional Arts Specialist
Kathleen Mundell: 236-6741