The Maine Arts Commission has announced the names of the two communities who will receive grants of $50,000 in order to effect community revitalization in their region.
The grants, designed to support dialogue and partnership between municipalities, business and the cultural sector regarding economic development, are the first to be awarded through the Maine Arts Commission’s new Creative Communities = Economic Development Grant (CCED). The grants have been delivered to consortia of arts organizations in Biddeford and Eastport.
The City Theater, Engine, Heart of Biddeford, and University of New England will use the CCED funding for the promotion of economic development centered on the arts in downtown Biddeford. Specific goals include property development for artist live/work areas, establishment of an arts district, promotion of artists as creative economy workers, historic preservation with the projected outcomes of arts related programming and web presence, an increase in overall livability, growth in arts and tourism, an increased tax base, local economic development and a significant amount of collaboration with city government.
The collaborating parties charged with implementing economic revitalization in the Eastport region include Tides Institute and Museum of Art, the City of Eastport, Eastport Historic Review Board, Eastport Downtown Committee, Sunrise County Economic Council, Shead High School, Peavey Library, Waponahki Museum committee, Eastport Arts Center, Border Historical Society, and Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce.
As these municipal and cultural partners strengthen their inter-connectedness they will use the grant funding to focus on many issues that include cross border work with Canada, the establishment of a cultural council, the creation of a brand for Eastport, the expansion of public art in the town, and the promotion of an art boat and creative workspaces.
The CCED grant provides the cultural sector with significant funds to contribute to mutually agreed upon plans and initiatives that stimulate the local economy, provide jobs, strengthen the role of arts and culture, and enhance a community’s quality of place.
Two grants are awarded annually and delivered to two or more nonprofit cultural organizations within a geographic community or region. Applications are sought from communities/regions with a strong commitment to cross-sector collaboration that seeks to strengthen the cultural assets of their community. Full details of the CCED grant and other grant programs and services that serve Maine’s communities can be found on the web pages of MaineArts.com.