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Maine Visual Artist Emergency Grants

4/27 Update

The Application portal is closed. Thank you to all who applied. We will be in touch soon.

SPACE is honored to announce that The Andy Warhol Foundation has authorized the Kindling Fund and its re-granting partners to re-allocate their $100,000 grants to create and administer COVID-19 emergency relief funds in their communities.⁠ Building from the past six years of our Kindling Fund regranting initiative, we are diverting funds for 2020 to support the direct needs of those in our creative community most impacted by COVID-19. 

Are you a visual or multi-disciplinary artist, art writer, or art collective working in Maine? Has your practice or financial opportunities been impacted by COVID-19? Check back on Friday, April 10th for the live application for a Kindling Fund $1,000 Maine Visual Artist Emergency Grant. Note: unlike cycles of the Kindling Fund, this is not a project-based grant; funds can be used for any financial need grantees may have. ⁠(This is not an opportunity for the growth of your CV, please understand this grantmaking is for those impacted by this unprecedented moment in our economy and artistic opportunity). These emergency relief grants are for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses as a result of the pandemic disaster.

Read more about the Warhol Foundations Regranting Network’s pivot to emergency grantmaking in the Art Newspaper with a quote from SPACE’s Executive Director Kelsey Halliday Johnson,  “As an organization and alongside the leadership of the Warhol Foundation, we look forward to rethinking the infrastructure of this country’s cultural sector.”

Individuals, foundations, or organizations will be able to contribute to these ongoing relief efforts and should contact We hope those with means will consider how to extend the impact of relief funds such as these; tax-deductible donations may be made online or by cash or check to SPACE Gallery 538 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101. All contributions received in the name of the Kindling Fund during this time will be given directly to artists in the state of Maine impacted by COVID-19 and its related economic fallout.

Who is eligible to apply? 

Artists, collectives, partnerships, arts writers, and artist-run spaces located in the state of Maine are eligible to apply. Previous grantees who were funded in the 2020 year or who have received $15,000 in support from the Kindling Fund over their lifetime, full-time students, incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations, or artists living outside of Maine are not eligible to apply. Grantees who have failed to complete prior Kindling Fund projects are not eligible to apply. The Kindling Fund seeks to define the visual arts in the most expansive ways possible. In the context of this grant, we believe the visual arts includes photography, multi-disciplinary performance and experimental performance, media, ceramics, earthworks, drawing, bookmaking, web art, weaving, crafts, installations, painting, mail art, printmaking, basketry, sculpture, calligraphy, social-engagement, participatory or community-driven projects, glass, and conceptual design. If your creative practice is not listed and you think of it as a form of visual art, please give us a call at 207-828-5600. 

How will the grants be selected?

Applications will be reviewed by SPACE’s staff primarily for eligibility.  Selections will be made in multiple rounds to ensure a focus on artists in need, geographic diversity throughout our state, culminating in an equity-oriented lottery process. After initial selections are made to ensure resources are distributed throughout our statewide creative community, applications will be assigned a distinct number to be selected at random lottery for the final awarding of grants.  Each grant will be for $1000, in one lump-sum payment to the grantee with no restrictions on its use. We anticipate there to be more applications than what we can distribute, so should SPACE raise further funds for this initiative, applicants may be eligible for future drawings and another phase of grantmaking. We are open to further grantmaking as we assume this crisis will take place in waves, and artists not currently impacted by COVID-19 may need the opportunity to apply in the future.

When can I apply?

Applications will be open on Friday, April 10th at noon. The final deadline is Sunday, April 26th, 2020 at 11:59pm. Due to the anticipated large number of applications, we recommend getting applications in early for review for eligibility so we can expedite this process due to the financial urgency. If your application is chosen, we anticipate trying to distribute funds as early as we can in the month of May.

Am I able to get a COVID-19 Maine Visual Artist Emergency Grant more than once?

No. Due to the magnitude of this crisis, we anticipate many more requests for funding than there are funds to distribute. Our intention is to provide one-time relief to as many artists as possible given these limitations.

If I don’t receive a COVID-19 Maine Visual Artist Emergency Grant, but the application process re-opens at a later date, do I have to submit another application?

No. Your submitted application will automatically be re-entered into any subsequent round(s.)

What can I anticipate providing for the application?

We are trying to keep the application as streamlined and straightforward as possible. We will require your website or a link to a project or exemplary work of your practice, a statement of need and/or financial/health circumstances, an estimate of your gross earnings in a regular financial year (2018 or 2019), demographic information, and a statement about your practice right now for our archives.  We have four optional yes/no survey questions that we hope will educate our staff about the state of Maine’s visual arts landscape, none of the questions will impact candidacy for our grantmaking in any way but applicants are strongly encouraged to share their experience. 

What is required of me if I am selected as a grantee? 

Absolutely nothing. In other words: stay safe, healthy, and we want these funds to help where they are needed most. We sincerely hope that anyone reading this will consider submitting work and a testimonial to our open call digital exhibition Broadcasts: Art in the Age of Social Distancing when you find the creative time. It is our organization’s hope that we may be able to archive work made by grantees (if they are capable) during this time period next year.

The Kindling Fund is created and administered by SPACE Gallery as a partner in the Regional Regranting Program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The Kindling Fund is one of 16 Regranting programs, which have funded 1,000 projects around the nation with our total grantmaking totaling close to $10,000,000. The full list of 16 Regranting cities includes: Albuquerque, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland (ME), Portland (OR), Saint Louis, San Francisco and Washington DC.

These emergency relief grants are for reasonable and necessary personal, family, or living expenses as a result of the pandemic disaster.

SPACE Reader

Are you a Maine artist looking to fund a project? Apply to our American Rescue Plan Project grant program today. Deadline: June 26th at 11:59 PM.