Arts & Humanities Grant Application

Thank you for your interest in an Arts & Humanities grant, sponsored jointly by the Maine Humanities Council (MHC) and the Maine Arts Commission (MAC). The goal of this program is to provide matching grants, up to $1000, for public programs that contain both arts and humanities components. Before you complete this application – or submit it – you should have:

  • Reviewed all the grants program material on the MHC website.
  • Spoken to both a MHC staff member (Lizz Sinclair at 207-773-5051) AND a MAC staff member (Kathy Shaw, 207-287-2750) about your project.

Remember, your program must begin no sooner than 8 weeks after the submission deadline!

Applications consist of two parts:

  • Certification form and narrative (this document). An authorized representative of your organization must sign the certification form. The narrative is where you tell us what you are planning to do. Please provide enough detail to explain the project and its components, including your plans for publicity.
  • Budget Form (Excel document, downloaded from MHC website). Please attach a budget narrative to explain other sources of income, contingency plans, and details of salaries, etc.
  • Please also submit CVs/resumes and letters of support for all key partners on a project.

All finished application materials should be emailed to .

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us – we’re here to help!

Lizz Sinclair, Director of Programs, MHC

Kathy Shaw, Senior Grants Director, MAC

Arts & Humanities Grants


This program is a collaboration of the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council with the goal of assisting organizations in Maine as they investigate and present stories and cultural expressions of the state, its communities and its people. These grants support projects and public programs that include or combine both arts and humanities disciplines. The arts strengthen communities by spotlighting cultural assets and engaging individuals and communities in aesthetic dialogue resulting in inspiration, problem-solving, and creativity. The humanities explore the nature and value of human experience through literature, history, theology, philosophy, and the disciplines of social and political science.

  • Deadline: Applications are accepted twice a year, in the fall and winter.
  • Maximum grant award: $1,000 (Organizations must show an in-kind and/or cash match)
  • Project must take place: no sooner than 8 weeks after the date of application.

An applicant may apply once during any fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) regardless of whether an award has been made or not. Additionally, after an applicant has received a grant two years in a row, that applicant must sit out for one fiscal year.


A Maine organization is eligible to apply if itis a nonprofit organization, legally established in the state of Maine, and has tax exempt status501(c)(3) from the Internal Revenue Service, is an accredited Maine school serving grades pre-K-12, or is a unit of local, county, state or tribal government.

All applicants must not have any overdue final reports for previous Maine Arts

Commission and/or Maine Humanities Council grants.

An applicant must demonstrate a fiscal structure that allows them to legally and responsibly utilize grant funds. The applicant must provide a minimum of 1:1 cash or in-kind match. This demonstrates the applicant’s ability to take on the project. This match must be documented as part of the application package.

The applicant becomes legally accountable for complying with the above eligibility requirements upon submission of this request.

Arts & Humanities Grants


Staff members of both the Maine Arts Commission and Maine Humanities Council review applications. In most cases, decisions on applications are available a few weeks after the application is received. However, the delivery of funds may take up to four weeks. This means that grant funds may be used to reimburse costs incurred for the project after the grant has been approved. Please plan accordingly.


Grant proposals are reviewed on a competitive basis using the following criteria:

  • Quality of the humanities and artistic content of the proposed project.
  • Clarity and thoroughness of the proposal and project design.
  • Ability to reach a broad public audience including members of the disability


  • Realistic funding and implementation plans including articulation of the value of the initiative.

Five Basic Tips for a Strong A&H Grant Application

1) The MHC and MAC are especially interested in funding programs that engage the public in a participatory and creative manner. If you are applying for funds to support a larger project, we recommend highlighting the public outreach aspect of your project and designating A&H funding to support it. For example: Can your project lead to a community dialogue? Can an A&H grant help you to reach a broader and more diverse audience than you might otherwise? You should demonstrate that your project aims for public impact and that it is free, subsidized, and/or accessible at a reasonable cost.

2) Your intended use of requested A&H funds is very important to our assessment of your application. Budget information should be clear and as detailed as possible. We do understand that some budget details can change over time. Please make reasonable budget estimates and do not inflate your request to try and reach the upper limit of a grant category—modest requests backed up by solid budget figures tend to be viewed more favorably. Budget details should reinforce your project narrative’s explanation about how you will advance the public humanities.

3) We value collaboration as essential to the health of Maine’s cultural world. If you plan to work with other organizations on this project, please be sure to note this in your application.

4) The A&H grant category seeks to support public programs throughout Maine. If your organization is in an underserved area of the state and/or has not received a recent A&H grant, this can strengthen your application.

5) Clearly explain BOTH the humanities and arts content of your project and highlight personnel with humanities and arts expertise (described in an attached bio or resume) who are involved in a meaningful manner. While a short letter of support from a humanities and/or arts professional is not required, it can be an effective supporting document.


Before submitting an application, each applicant is required to speak with the following people about their project before submitting an application. Failure to do so will disqualify the application.

Kathy Ann Shaw, Senior Grants Director at the Maine Arts Commission at 207-287-2750,


Lizz Sinclair, Program Director of the Maine Humanities Council at 207-773-5051,

We will not accept late or incomplete applications under any circumstance.

Grantinformationisavailableinlargeprintformatbyrequest.AllMaineArts Commissionprogramsareaccessibletopeoplewithdisabilities.AllprogramsfundedbytheMaineArts Commissionmustalsobeaccessible.

Arts & Humanities Grants

Arts & Humanities Grants