Grants available for bicentennial projects

AUGUSTA — Governor Janet Mills and the Maine Bicentennial Commission (Maine200) on Tuesday launched the Bicentennial Community Grants program, which will provide funding for bicentennial events and projects throughout the state.

“Maine has a proud and storied history, and our bicentennial offers us the opportunity not only to honor it, but to recommit ourselves to the values that shaped us as a state and as a people,” Mills said. “These grants will allow towns, cities, schools and community groups to bring the bicentennial to their own backyards and celebrate the unique contributions they have made to Maine’s history as we gather to mark this important milestone.”

Bicentennial Community Grants will be available for bicentennial-themed projects that benefit the public, such as parades, historic preservation efforts, lectures and curriculum. The commission will consider grant applications from Maine community nonprofit organizations, such as historical societies and libraries, government entities and schools. Private individuals and for-profit corporations also will be welcome to apply in partnership with a nonprofit entity.

“The community grants are the core of our bicentennial commemoration. They provide an opportunity for all Mainers to engage at the local level and provide a strong community element in addition to the larger signature events planned to celebrate Maine’s anniversary of statehood,” said Commission Chairman Sen. Bill Diamond.

The Maine Legislature appropriated funding to the Maine Bicentennial Commission for the grants, which will be supplemented by matching funds from private corporations and individuals. The initial round of funding is for $375,000. Up to 10 percent of the funds will be set aside for small grants of $500 or less, and at least one grant of up to $10,000 will be available in each county.

The Maine Arts Commission will administer the grant program, with three application deadlines: Sept. 1, 2019, Feb. 1, 2020, and June 1, 2020.

Details of the Bicentennial Community Grants program and a link to the application form are available on the Maine Bicentennial Commission website,, under the “Get Involved” section.

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