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SPACE’s American Rescue Plan Fall Project Grants & Eligibility FAQ

Sunday, September 18 2022
11:59 PM
Update: List of awarded American Rescue Plan Maine Project Grants

Click here to Apply for the Round 2 American Rescue Plan Project Grant Program by Sunday, September 18th at 11:59pm

Round 2 Information sessions will be hosted on Zoom:
Thursday, September 1st at 12:00pm – Registration
Tuesday, September 6th at 5:30pm – Registration

Please contact to organize a meeting or request resources from SPACE staff if neither of those dates work for you. 

About the American Rescue Plan Maine Project Grants & Project Eligibility 

SPACE is honored to be administering a pool of funds awarded to us by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the American Rescue Plan to offer a new project grant program for individual artists. Artists have been especially hard hit during the pandemic, as they orchestrate creative opportunities for gathering, catharsis, celebration, and social opportunity that were limited or forbidden during the early pandemic. Artists are also neighbors, caregivers, activists, volunteers, community leaders, and crucial contributors to the economic engine that drives Maine’s economy. By seed funding new projects and programs, SPACE seeks to directly impact broader community wellness and recovery in Maine, sparked by new opportunities for artists. 

SPACE will offer grants of $3,000-$5,000, the first round of applications were due on Sunday, June 26th at 11:59pm. The application is available online through our Submittable portalThe second round deadline has been extended through Sunday, September 18th at 11:59pm, with the Submittable application portal opening on noon  Monday, August 1st. Any remaining funds will be distributed in addition to the pool of funds granted for the Kindling Fund. Applicants who are denied on Round 1 are eligible to reapply for Round 2. 

Who may apply?  

Individual artists, artists-organizers, and artist-curators, this includes: visual artists, musicians, dancers/choreographers, performance artists, theater artists, creative writers, digital or media artists, filmmakers, installation or multimedia artists, and traditional fine craft artists based in Maine. 

Prior Kindling Fund, Relief Fund, and Sonic Visions Fund grantees are eligible to apply. Past funded projects will be made available to the jurors. 

What type of projects are eligible? 

Development of new work, workshops, public programs, writing and publishing, artist web projects (not commercial websites or art consulting), animation or film works, a media series or screenings, artist-organized curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice or research methods, VR or interactive works, installations, social practice or social engagement projects. If you are unsure if your project fits the eligibility or will be a competitive project, please contact

2022 Kindling Fund grantees are not eligible to apply for further funding for their awarded initiative. 

What projects and artists are ineligible?

Please note the following, some of these new restrictions come from the larger federal American Rescue Plan Terms and Conditions. They do not necessarily apply to further Kindling Fund grants.

For this project grant, public art with physical alterations of public spaces (murals, sculptures, etc.) will not be considered. We encourage applicants with those projects to wait for our Fall 2022 call for Kindling Fund grantees. 

Projects with no tangible outcome (new work or public programming) will not be considered, at this time; there are no research and development grants available. Projects that will not be complete or launched by August 31st of 2023. 

Applicants who are currently full-time enrolled students whose projects contain no public component outside of their college or university will not be considered.

These grants are specifically designated as non-emergency relief funds. Funds can not be further re-granted, or used for non-project purposes.  

Other ineligible requests: Requests for travel to participate exclusively in other projects. Requests for equipment purchases as the majority of the project. 

Individuals who have been debarred from receiving federal funds are ineligible for one of these grants. 

Projects with a public component hosted at a non-ADA accessible site are not considered eligible.

Organizations are not eligible, these are grants for individual artists only.

How do grants get chosen? 

Artists will be selected by a panel of qualified arts leaders who will assess artistic merit and excellence, community-mindedness, and potential/capacity to deliver a quality product. As selected, artists will represent the creative energies and valuable potential civic contributions of Maine’s branch of this program and their residents. SPACE is committed to highlighting a diverse range of artists across discipline, geography, and identity vectors in all of its grantmaking opportunities. 

What is the assessment criteria of the jury? 

All NEA American Rescue Plan project awards are juried on the artistic excellence of the project as a guiding principle. We seek to put visionary artists to work in this moment of economic recovery and evaluate project concepts for being bold, experimental, thoughtful, values-driven and impactful on their careers and the community. We also qualify excellence through skill, originality, and/or inventive form. 

Additional criteria include: The project timeline and how feasible it appears; How the project defines and considers a public audience for this new work; The applicant’s strategy for potential public engagement around the new project; Anticipated creative and public community impact; The applicant’s capacity to carry out the project, in part, on past work; The artistic quality of past work samples; Clarity and feasibility of the budget. 

With all of our grant programs, SPACE charges our grant jury with our internal values of thoughtful consideration towards site and public(s), risk-taking bravery, a spirit of artistic play, and prioritizing work that uplifts equity and healthy communities.

How is this different from the Kindling Fund? 

The Kindling Fund offers support to artist-organized platforms including artist-run galleries, residencies, and collectives. ARP Maine Project Grants can fund specific programs or projects that take place in one of these organizations, but will not fund the greater platform for operating support. The Kindling Fund maintains that it must include the visual arts in a significant, inventive, or meaningful way. These project grants are expanded to welcome projects from all artistic disciplines that fit within our eligibility requirements. 

ARP Project Grantees must ensure all public components of their projects are accessible to attendees and are ADA-compliant. Due to Historic Preservation and EPA compliance, we will not be awarding project grants for public art that temporarily or permanently modifies a building or place. Prospective artists with those type or projects are encouraged to wait for our next Kindling Fund application cycle.

The timeline for ARP Project Grants is also different than our Kindling Fund cycle. Most Kindling Fund grants are on a calendar year timeline for projects to be complete. Successful grantees for the ARP Project Grants will have until August of 2023 to complete or launch their projects.

Kindling Fund grantees cannot have a significant element of their project take place at SPACE; in contrast, ARP Project Grantees can have their work commissioned by this program and share their work with SPACE staff for consideration of any public program components.

This new grantmaking project is made possible through the American Rescue Plan Local Arts Agency subgranting program of the National Endowment for the Arts. Because of the funding source, subgrantees are required to comply with the NEA’s Specific Terms and Conditions for Local Arts Agencies Eligible to Subgrant, available online here:

What is expected of selected artists? 

Selected artists will sign a memorandum of understanding with SPACE, outlining project expectations.

If awarded funding, artists are responsible for: 

  • Prompt and professional communication with grant staff 
  • Compliance with an agreed upon start and end date for the project that will be reported to the NEA.
  • Financial accountability/spending as outlined in the budget Submission of a brief project update at the midpoint and end of grant period to communicate project progress, track metrics, and report out learnings.
  • Periodic contribution of written updates and images for SPACE website, social media, and publicity, as required.
  • Attending any relevant orientation or award party when the grant is given. 
  • Grantees are legally responsible for all activities, materials, and outcomes associated with their projects.

Specific relevant language from the federal Terms and Conditions: “Support to individual artists may be allowable if the subaward supports allowable programs and activities and is not a one‐time monetary recognition award. Awards to individuals should include providing presentations, workshops, research, and/or creation of artwork, with tangible outcomes required by the subaward. This is considered a stipend to the artist for the work undertaken and completed. Awards to individuals or organizations to honor or recognize achievement (P.L. 111–88, October 30, 2009, Sec. 438 (2)) are unallowable. Emergency relief funding programs for housing, food, etc., to an individual artist are also unallowable. Costs for these types of award programs must not be included in the budget or financial reports for the NEA award.”

What is the grant dispersal timeline? 

There is no established timeline for payment dispersal as SPACE must request funds to disperse from the US Treasury; however, it is the intention of SPACE to award the funds in the shortest period of time that allows for an effective and fair process that delivers the best results for the community and the artists.