January 16, 2018
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Arts groups in Maine to receive $800,000-plus in grants

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Maine Arts Commission will receive a $720,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant, and several Portland-area arts groups will receive a total of $107,500 in NEA grants. 
“Maine has established itself as a national leader in the creative economy and these grants will help build that reputation even further by supporting some spectacular projects,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, in a press release announcing the funding. “At the same time, these funds will generate further investment in the community and help keep Maine a vibrant place where people want to live and work. Congratulations to all these groups for putting forward successful proposals in such a competitive grant process.” 
On average, each dollar in grants from the NEA generates $9 in investments from non-federal sources, according to the press release.
Grants are: 
•  $720,000 to the Maine Arts Commission will be used to award subgrants for arts and arts education projects throughout the state.
•  $35,000 to the city of Portland for the production and tour of “Hearts, Minds, and Homes,” a performance project exploring issues of gentrification and homelessness in the city.
•  $30,000 to the Portland Museum of Art for a major collection reinstallation and publication of the museum’s first collection catalogue.
•  $30,000 to Portland Ovations to support three separate productions: bringing Chicago-based dance company Lucky Plush Production to Portland; having a New York-based music ensemble perform at Victoria Mansion; and school-day and evening performances of “The Nile Project,” a collective of artists from cultures all along the Nile River.
•  $12,500 to Portland Opera Repertory Company to support a summer performance of “Rigoletto and a fall film festival of works by young artists.
Pingree serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, which oversees funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. In a subcommittee hearing last week on funding for the NEA, she spoke about the importance of Maine’s creative economy.