EASTPORT, Maine – The Eastport Arts Center has been awarded a $50,000 grant by the Quimby Family Foundation, the maximum award offered in a highly competitive application process. The support allows a small expansion of hours for the center’s two part-time staff over the next year, and also the addition of a new part-time development director, Debbie Smith.
In their announcement, the Quimby family stated, “The Eastport Arts Center was selected to received funding because your goals and mission most closely align with our foundation’s funding priorities and we are inspired by the work that you have been doing in the state of Maine.” Support from QFF in previous years has been a vital component in the sustainability and expansion of the EAC’s mission to stimulate and nurture an appreciation of the visual and performing arts and the creative process, and to provide a home and an environment within the community where they can prosper.
Through this award, the Eastport Arts Center will be able to devote more staff time to focus on new outreach and education projects to involve youth and integrate arts education and experiences with Eastport area schools. Currently, approximately 265 artists and performers are a part of EAC’s year-round programming, which is attended by more than 3,100 people annually.
This will mark the third and final year of funding from the Quimby Family Foundation for the EAC for now, as the foundation requires all organizations to take a two-year hiatus after three rounds of successful funding.
“The difference their generosity has made to the fortunes, and growth, of EAC has been astounding!” stated Jean Wilhelm, an EAC board member and the primary author of this year’s grant proposal. “We are now challenged, but excited, to achieve our long-term goal of gaining greater stability by broadening our base of support. Reaching out to the rising generation through our educational efforts is key.”
Board President Gregory Biss added, “The EAC has been able to build on our 20-plus years of success because of a wide array of support, beginning with local donations of all sizes, and including tickets sales to our various events and grants from a number of foundations. We are indeed grateful to the Quimby family for their continuing interest in the Arts Center.”