January 30, 2013

Two Maine arts groups get $50,000 grant each

For 2012, the Maine Arts Commission chooses nonprofits in Presque Isle and 'High Peaks.'

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission announced Wednesday that community groups in western Maine and Presque Isle will receive grants of $50,000 to promote community revitalization in their areas.

The grants were designed to support "dialogue and partnership" between towns, business and cultural organizations on issues involving economic development, according to a news release sent out by the commission. The money is being awarded through the Maine Arts Commission's Creative Communities = Economic Development Grant.

Applications from all over the state were considered before the two were chosen. The application from the "High Peaks" area of western Maine demonstrated "a high level of regional collaboration that is aligned with educational and natural resources initiatives," the news release said. The area's plan includes the hiring of a part-time coordinator, the creation of a regional website, the development of a marketing plan, and the production of a cultural asset map.

The Presque Isle application "evidenced a clear understanding of arts and culture as an economic development tool, and proposed an exciting, visible project with a good mix of focused activities" the news release said. Wintergreen Arts Center and the University of Maine at Presque Isle proposed to use the funds to develop the second and third floors of 149 State St. into a downtown gallery, bringing together the two institutions and the entire building to create a "Cultural Campus."

Two grants are delivered annually to two or more nonprofit cultural organizations within a community or region. Applications are sought from those with a "strong commitment to cross-sector collaboration that seeks to strengthen the cultural assets of their community."

The Maine Arts Commission is seeking letters of interest for this year's grant application process. The deadline is Feb. 22. Details can be found at MaineArts.com.

Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:

rrouthier@pressherald.com

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