American Folk Festival awarded $30,000

Posted Dec. 04, 2008, at 8:30 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The American Folk Festival has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, which announced Thursday its first round of funding for fiscal year 2009.

The festival was one of 11 Maine organizations that received a total of $190,500 NEA funding.

The Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor was given an $8,000 grant and the Farnsworth Museum of Art in Rockland earned a $25,000 grant.

The folk festival and the two museums each received their grants in the Access to Artistic Excellence category.

Heather McCarthy, executive director of the folk festival, said the grant is the same amount as last year. Still, the festival is concerned about fundraising for the 2009 festival, which will be held Aug. 28-30.

“We’ve really just started to turn our attention to fundraising,” McCarthy said. “Certainly we’re concerned about 2009, as every nonprofit is, but we’ll be working hard to make sure the festival stays in our community.”

The largest grant given to a Maine organization was $35,000 to the Alice James Poetry Cooperative Inc., based in Farmington.

Other Maine organizations receiving grants: Bates College in Lewiston, the Brunswick Area Arts & Cultural Alliance, Friends of Art & Film in Central Maine, Portland Concert Association, Portland Symphony Orchestra, Portland Stage Company, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

The NEA, an independent federal agency, will distribute $23,215,000 to support 1,951 projects in the first round of funding for 2009. The funds go to nonprofit national, regional, state and local organizations, as well as 42 poets.

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