Portland Performing Arts Festival receives grants to expand in 2013

Posted Dec. 13, 2012, at 1:37 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 13, 2012, at 2:01 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Performing Arts Festival recently announced that it has received a $4,000 grant from the Rines/Thompson Fund of the Maine Community Foundation in support of the expansion of the festival’s activities in 2013.

“We are really excited to end our first year of activity with a small surplus in the budget, and thanks for that are due to the tremendous support we received from generous individuals, corporations, foundation and government grantors, and ticket buyers,” said the Festival’s board president Kara Larson. “Maine has embraced the Festival idea and enabled it to grow.”

Earlier this year, Americans for the Arts’ National Arts Index reported that 43 percent of nonprofit arts organizations ran an operating deficit in 2010 (the latest year analyzed). In the current challenging economic environment, it is remarkable that this new arts venture is thriving. Its leaders attribute that, at least in part, to its mission being not just to support the arts but also to contribute meaningfully to Portland’s (and Maine’s) economic development through cultural tourism.

This follows grants received in 2012 from the Davis Family Foundation, Maine Office of Tourism, Portland Economic Development Corp., the Lake Fund, the Fund for the Performing Arts in Maine and the Edward Daveis Benevolent Fund, both of the Maine Community Foundation.

The first Portland Performing Arts Festival debuted the last weekend in June and featured performances by classical guitarist Sharon Isbin (whose performance was later broadcast by MPBN as a part of the Maine Arts series), Maine choreographer Alison Chase’s new dance company, performance art duo Eepybird, the Celebration Barn Ensemble and more.

The second Portland Performing Arts Festival is scheduled for June 26-30, 2013. The increase to five days from three and a half and to 16 events from seven will allow the event to present more ticketed performances as well as new free public programs. A schedule and details on performances are currently being finalized and will be announced publicly early next year.

For information, visit portlandfestival.org.

 

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