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SPACE is Awarded $250k to Regrant to Artists and Announces Three Board Additions

(PORTLAND, ME) “Since the beginning of the pandemic, SPACE has been a crucial support to the arts community in Maine; they stepped up to raise and distribute hundreds of thousands of dollars in emergency relief grants to artists throughout the state. I’m so glad their effective work is recognized and supplemented by this much-needed funding,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree in today’s announcement that SPACE will receive $250,000 in pandemic relief from the American Rescue Plan.

SPACE, the multidisciplinary arts nonprofit, will receive the funding through the National Endowment for the Arts award. In turn the monies will be regranted to artist projects throughout the state of Maine. This sub-grantmaking program was announced as part of the $20 million distributed by the NEA through the American Rescue Plan to assist cultural communities nationwide through the pandemic. SPACE is among 66 local arts agencies recognized as playing a central role in increasing public access to the arts, supporting artists and enhancing the quality of life in their communities. 

“The NEA’s significant investment in local arts agencies, including SPACE is a key element in helping the arts and culture sector recover and reopen, while ensuring that the American Rescue Plan funding is distributed equitably,” said Ann Eilers, NEA’s acting chair. “These grants recognize the vital role of local arts organizations and will allow them to help rebuild local economies and contribute to the well-being of our communities.”

Additionally, SPACE is proud to announce three new board members: artist Rachel Gloria Adams, and Creative Time Executive Director, Justine Ludwig and Pablo Anaya of the ACLU of Maine.

Left to right: Rachel Gloria Adams, Pablo Anaya, and Justine Ludwig

Kelsey Halliday Johnson, the Executive Director of SPACE remarked, “This is truly a dynamic moment for our organization as SPACE looks with optimism and curiosity toward the myriad opportunities this grant makes possible. 2022 is SPACE’s 20th anniversary, and we are excited to begin this milestone year with the privilege of committing more funds than ever to support artist projects throughout the state of Maine. And we are thrilled to have new and brilliant local and national leaders helping us chart the course for what’s ahead.”

Board President Emily Bruce noted, “While the past year and half has been tremendously difficult for our communities, SPACE leaned into the moment and found ways to support artists as the public world went into retreat. From innovative online programming to art shows in our storefront windows, to extending our artist-in-residency room to a range of folks who needed a safe place to work, SPACE was there for our members and our makers. Our artist studio spaces stayed open and we ran several regranting programs to get relief funds into the hands of artists when they needed it most. 

This energy has created a momentum that has carried into our programming now that we are opening back up, and to our board as well. We have a legacy of highly committed board members who have been dedicated to our mission for nearly 20 years now. It’s been a small but mighty board and we recognized it wasn’t as diverse as our programming has become or as it intends to be. As part of our DEIJ commitment we felt we needed to add seats to the board in order to legitimately add a balance of perspectives and skills to our passionate group.”

New Board Member Pablo Anaya shared, “I am honored to join the SPACE board at a time when we are seeing an incredible push for racial and social justice in nonprofits and the arts. I’m excited to contribute to SPACE’s legacy of honoring the social commitment and responsibility of arts to our community.”

To date, SPACE has made $284,500 available to Maine artists through project and relief grantmaking during the pandemic. SPACE has distributed over $435,000 in project grants throughout the state of Maine with its seven years of grantmaking with the Kindling Fund, a regional regranting partner of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Read more about the Kindling Fund grantmaking program in our 5 year capstone publication from 2019

For more information on the NEA’s American Rescue Plan grants, including the full list of local arts agencies funded in this announcement, visit 

Grant guidelines and deadlines for interested artists will be made available in January and February by SPACE.

Read more about all the people who currently make SPACE happen.

Rachel Gloria Adams is a textile designer and painter living in Portland, ME. Inspired greatly by her beloved state of Maine and the beautiful chaos her two daughters bring, Adams has developed a vibrant, graphic pattern-based visual language filled with references to the natural world. An ongoing project and business venture TACHEE utilizes this imagery she developed through painting as textile prints. Rachel is currently developing a body of work that depicts her experience as a black mother and artist through a series of paintings and quilts.

Pablo Anaya is the Director of Operations & Associate Director of Development for the ACLU of Maine. In this role, he works to build capacity for and engage supporters with the ACLU’s work. His work in nonprofits and philanthropy is fueled by visions for community change that sit at intersections of art, education, and social justice. Before moving to Maine, he held a range of museum development positions in his hometown of Chicago including the Art Institute of Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and Museum of Contemporary Art. He has a BS in art history and psychology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

Justine Ludwig is the Executive Director of Creative Time. She has previously held positions at Dallas Contemporary and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati. Ludwig has curated projects with many artists including Shilpa Gupta, Jill Magid, Pedro Reyes, Laercio Redondo, Paola Pivi, and Pia Camil. Her research interests include the intersections of aesthetics and architecture, violence, and globalization. Ludwig has an MA in Global Arts from Goldsmiths University of London and a BA in Art with a concentration in Art History from Colby College.

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The visual arts gallery is currently closed for installation of Evening Botanist, opening First Friday, April 7th from 5-8pm.