The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, which opened in a new building at Thompson’s Point in Portland last summer, has received a $150,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The money is part of more than $57 million that was earmarked for the NEA under the third installment of American Rescue Plan to help the arts and cultural economy recover from the pandemic.

The museum will use its funds to partially support two full-time staff positions, the theater’s artistic director and the education and exhibits director, and to pay stipends to visiting artists. Some money also will be used to market and promote arts education programming in Maine, particularly among underserved populations.

“We are delighted and honored to receive this major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts,” museum director Julie Butcher Pezzino said in a statement. “After a 15-month closure and staff furloughs to survive pandemic restrictions, NEA funding helps us double down on our organizational strategic plan and commitment to enrich the childhood development of Maine children with the benefits of interactive and intergenerational arts education.”

The Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine moved out of its downtown Portland location last year and into a brand new, 30,000-square foot facility at Thompson’s Point. The new building includes the Lunder Arts and Culture Gallery and Maddy’s Theatre, the oldest continuously operating children’s theatre program in the country.

Other awardees in Maine include Cultural Resources, Inc. of Camden ($50,000), Dance Hall in Kittery ($50,000), ROIL Maine Inside Out in Portland ($150,000) and Points North Institute in Rockland ($150,000), which runs the Camden International Film Festival.

“In Maine, the arts are a $1.5 billion industry – that’s exactly why this relief is so critical to our state’s recovery and why I voted for it in the American Rescue Plan,” Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said in a statement Thursday.


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