Maine Arts Commission Awards $127,000 in COVID Relief

  • March 22, 2021

Maine Arts Commission Awards $127,000 in COVID Relief 

AUGUSTA, ME—The Maine Arts Commission is pleased to announce more than $127,000 in economic aid is to be distributed directly to artists and cultural organizations. By creating two new grants: the Resilience Artist grant, and the Organization Relief Grant, the Arts Commission is able to award $36,000 to individual artists, and $91,436 to support arts organizations who are experiencing economic hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to provide fully funded awards to organizations and individuals in need,” said Commission Executive Director David Greenham.   

Since January, the Maine Arts Commission has restructured part of its grant program and undergone personnel changes that resulted in some cost saving procedures. Agency staff, under the leadership of Greenham, made it a priority to direct additional funds back into the arts sector. 

“We used the remainder of the CARES money for organization grants, and we matched that with money freed up through efficiencies to create a relief program for artists,” said Kerstin Gilg, the Commission’s Grants Director. "We accelerated the grant review process so awardees could be notified by early March. It is important the money gets to those who need it quickly.” 

“However,” Greenham added, “this funding is not enough to meet the need among organizations and individual artists in Maine. Cultural venues were among the very first to close when the pandemic hit and will likely be among the last to open. It is incumbent upon us to continue to work to provide what funds we can, and to work with state agencies to ensure guidelines for the safety of artists and audiences are clear as venues look to reopen.”   

With the recent passage of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, state arts agencies are also anticipating important provisions for the arts. These include $135 million for the National Endowment for the Arts (and explicit support for the federal-state partnership) and $1.35 billion more for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. As the details are released, the Arts Commission will monitor the situation closely and work with federal and regional partnerships to ensure our Maine’s arts sector has the support it needs during this difficult time.  

Greenham shared his optimism that we have started to look towards a brighter future: “The arts are critical to Maine’s success, and the artistic community is anxiously optimistic that we may soon safely welcome the public to our performing arts venues, museums, galleries, artist studios, workshops, fairs and festivals.”




Maine Arts Commission News Maine Arts Blog Highlights

Filter Press Releases

Name or Keyword


Date Range

Contact Information

Ryan Leighton

193 State Street
SHS 25
Augusta  ME  04333