National Endowment for the Arts awards $190k in grants to 8 Maine arts …

The National Endowment for the Arts and the offices of Senators Angus King and Susan Collins announced Tuesday that the arts organization would award $190,000 in grants to eight Maine arts and cultural organizations.

“Maine is fortunate to have many excellent organizations and individuals committed to developing and maintaining the arts,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “These NEA grants will help magnify that creative spirit and strengthen the fabric of Maine’s communities in the process.”

The American Folk Festival on the Bangor Waterfront will receive $20,000 in funds, down $10,000 from the last time the AFF was awarded NEA funds in 2013. The largest portion of the grant money was awarded to the President and the Trustees of Bates College in Lewiston, which will receive two separate awards of $30,000 to support the Thousand Words Project, in which students in Lewiston and Auburn Public Schools will build writing skills

through digital exploration of the college’s museum of art. $35,000 was also awarded to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture to support their yearly residencies for emerging artists.

The Alice James Poetry Cooperative, a Farmington-based publishing house focusing on new poetry, will again receive a $25,000 grant, as it did in 2013. A new recipient of an NEA grant for Maine is the Camden International Film Festival; $20,000 will go to support its Points North Documentary Forum for both emerging and established documentary filmmakers.

Three $10,000 grants were awarded each to Portland Stage Company, the Maine Film Center in Waterville, and Maine Fiberarts, based in Topsham. Portland Stage will use the funds to support the 2015 development and production of Maine novelist Monica Wood’s new play “Papermaker,” about striking paper mill workers in Maine; the Maine Film Center will use the funds to support the World Filmmakers Forum at the Maine International Film Festival; and Maine Fiber Arts will continue to offer its programming around fiber arts.

These grants are part of a larger $29 million announcement from the NEA that will support arts projects nationwide. A total of 1,118 grants are being awarded from a pool of 3,455 applications. The awards are divided into three categories: Art Works, Challenge America, and NEA Literature Fellowships in Creative Writing.

A full list and description of all awardees of grant money both in Maine and nationwide can be found on the NEA website.