ArtsEngageME was initially created to support the Maine Arts Commission and its mission. The Maine Arts Commission receives its funding from the State of Maine and from the National Endowment for the Arts…all public funding.

In FY18, the Maine Arts Commission received $923,437 from the State general fund – or $.71 per capita ranking us 28th in State funding overall.  The Commission received $741,300 from the National Endowment for the Arts – ranking Maine 2nd among the six New England states for federal funding! While funds at the state and federal levels have increased in recent years for the Commission – it is not enough. 

Each year, the Commission provides grants to artists, arts organizations, municipalities, arts educators and schools to create art and arts experiences that contribute significantly to the vitality and livability of our great state.  Most of those funds must be matched, providing leverage so that donors on a local level will support those institutions keeping them sustainable.  And each year, requests to the Commission increase – this year by more than 30%!

Last year, to fully fund the grants the Commission distributed would have cost an additional $208,000.  So far this year (with a few more rounds of grants to go), the Commission is short $348,569!  This means that (for example) while the full amount of the grant might be $2,500 – the Commission is only able to give $1,200 or $1,300 because of budget limitations. 

The impact of this funding is great, fueling the creative economy across the state and creating and sustaining thousands of jobs. 

See below for more information on why government support for the arts is so important!

Why government support for the arts is important!