An architect’s rendering of the arts center, as it would look from the campus green. Photos courtesy of University of Southern Maine

A foundation has increased its gift to a Maine university to help create a new arts center in Portland.

The University of Southern Maine said Tuesday the Crewe Foundation has given an additional $1 million toward the construction of a new Center for the Arts on the public university’s Portland campus. That brings the foundation’s total gift toward the project to $6 million, the university said.

The foundation’s $5 million gift earlier this year was the largest in its history. The foundation has existed for more than a decade and supports arts and LGBT communities in Maine.

USM president Glenn Cummings said the gift will “support a much-needed second rehearsal hall for our music programs, allowing us to better serve our USM students and faculty, as well as local youth ensembles, from a new home based in Portland.”

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