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Community Grants
The Maine Bicentennial Commission is offering a total of $375,000 in Community Grants to support the interests, needs, and creativity of citizens and communities throughout Maine as they plan local commemorations of the Bicentennial.

Grant Application Review Process


We welcome applications for Community Grants from a wide variety of organizations and individuals, from all over Maine, seeking to involve their community in projects relevant to Maine’s Bicentennial. See below for guidance on Minimal Grant Requirements, Types of Projects that May be Funded, Who is Eligible to Apply, Priority Projects and Themes. Read Governor Mills announcement of Community Grants, here.

Grant applications are to be submitted to the Maine Bicentennial Commission through the Maine Arts Commission, which will administer the program applications. To begin, you will need to create an account and fill out an application here:


Program applications will be reviewed by a panel consisting of representatives from the Maine Cultural Affairs Council (7) and from practicing educators representing the field (2).

There will be three application cycles with application deadlines of:

September 1, 2019
Media Release Community Grant Recipients
FEBRUARY 1, 2020
Media Release Community Grant Recipients
JUNE 1, 2020
Media Release Community Grant Recipients

application review

The Grant application screening committee will make awards based on the priorities listed below, and based upon ensuring a representative distribution of funds across the state. Support for communities that lack existing capacity to raise funds for these purposes will be prioritized.

Notification of awards will be made within 4 weeks of the deadline for each application cycle. Applications not approved for funding in one cycle may be resubmitted for a future cycle.   

Due to the COVID-19 response, the deadline has been extended for all grant funds to be expended, to the end of 2021.

A Note to All Grant Recipients:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

In the midst of the pandemic response, the Maine Bicentennial Commission recognizes that many bicentennial events and programs must be postponed.

We hope that the funding provided to you will be used when it becomes safe to do so, to honor the spirit and intent of your application. To be clear: We do not expect you to return your grant money.

If it is impossible for you to reschedule in 2020, please look to 2021. We are confident that despite any delay, you will help us celebrate 200 years of statehood by showcasing the best of what you do and who you are.

Thank you for being part of Maine’s Bicentennial. May you remain in good health! 


Sen. Bill Diamond,
Maine Bicentennial Commission Chairman 

Minimal Grant Requirements

  • All commemoration activities must involve a public component for participation.
  • All grant recipients must provide a photo of their activity to be shared on the Maine200 social media channels and other bicentennial promotional materials.
  • All grant recipients must complete a BRIEF report summarizing how funds were expended.

Examples of the types of projects that may be funded

  • Lectures, storytelling workshops, discussion groups and other public programs
  • Parades, fairs, festivals, exhibitions and other public events
  • History projects—digitization of collections, publications, oral history initiatives
  • Curriculum development
  • Student projects and activities
  • Projects to preserve, process and/or interpret local collections and historical sites
  • Concerts, performances, competitions, commissions, and other arts projects

Core outcomes of project funding

  • Allowing citizens—especially our youngest ones—to come together to envision a successful and prosperous future for themselves and the state as a whole;
  • Include the challenges experienced, and contributions made by, a diversity of the people—racial/tribal, geographic, gender, and socioeconomic—who make Maine what it is today;
  • Have long-term value for imparting historical information, and creating conversations that strengthen individuals, communities and their connections;
  • Spotlight artwork and products of our past, while showcasing and providing market access for the emerging next generation of artists, makers, and innovators;
  • Enhance and broaden community leadership to drive commemorations at a local level; and
  • Allow our citizens to better understand key sustainability issues for Maine’s future, including demographics, environment, energy, and more.

Examples of who is eligible to apply 

  • Maine community non-profit organizations such as local historical societies, libraries, etc.  
  • Local Maine government institutions such as federally recognized Indian tribal government or state/local/city governments
  • Local Maine Schools such as public Pre-K to Gr. 12 schools, public Charter Schools, and public institutions of higher education
  • Private individuals or for-profit organizations WITH any of the partners listed above
  • Organizations that have not yet received a Bicentennial Grant
  • Ineligible Expenses: Awards may not be re-granted nor used to cover the costs of brick-and-mortar projects, permanent or capital equipment, operating support, or fundraising.

priority will be given to projects that...

  • Are directly tied to the commemoration of Maine’s Bicentennial
  • Are supported through local matching funds or “in-kind” contributions
  • Are designed to reach and engage as many members of our diverse communities as possible
  • Create lasting resources that will benefit communities beyond the Bicentennial
  • Involve multiple community partners (including schools)
  • Have strong plans for public outreach and are free, subsidized, and/or accessible at a reasonable cost for participants

we also strongly encourage projects to reflect the following themes:

  • Living in Maine 
  • The Business of Maine 
  • Maine Leads 
  • The Maine Character

For more information about each of these themes, take a look here.

Additional information and details about the grant application process are available by logging into the grants management system and the requirements vary based on the grant amount requested. If you need assistance with the grant application process, please contact the Maine Arts Commission, which is administering the grant program on behalf of the Maine Bicentennial Commission: (207-287-6719). If you have questions about the grant program, please contact the Maine Bicentennial Commission at 207-441-2713 or