With the introduction of the American Rescue Plan, the National Endowment for the Arts is claiming $52 million dollars through the relief plan to direct to art agencies and organizations nationwide. The beneficiaries include Maine through the Maine Arts Commission. The funds are great news for the Maine arts community, as the $750,000 will go directly to riving art projects and employing artists.
The National Endowment for the Arts made initial distributions of the funds based on their guidelines, but each recipient has their own regulations and application process for further distributing the funds to their communities. For example, the Maine Arts Commission is casting a wide net to allow arts organizations and cultural and community organizations to apply with grant submissions. Eligible applications involve a project that includes hiring artists, but more specific guidelines will accompany the application when it opens within the next couple of months.
Getting artists employed and the economy active again are the main goals of the government funding. Artists all across the country have not had it easy during the pandemic, so these funds will go to good use. Now that more businesses are opening and art fairs are returning to communities, Maine artists will hopefully start to see more work in the coming months.
The arts in any form will be important for bringing the community back together after over a year of isolation. With the help of the forthcoming government funds to bring life back to the arts, people can find a renewed appreciation for art and show their support of local artists. If you’re a Maine artist, keep your eye on the grant application to jumpstart a project. Or, if you live in Maine and are looking to help your town, your local artists might be a good place to start.