We're thrilled to be offering the Discussion Project to a cohort of over 20 organizations and individuals throughout Maine!  
  • Buck Memorial Library
  • Curtis Memorial Library
  • Erskine Academy
  • Franklin County Detention Center
  • Freedom and Captivity Coalition
  • Frenchman Bay Library
  • Anisa Khadraoui
  • Lewiston High School
  • Liberty Library
  • Literacy Volunteers of Bangor
  • Maine Correctional Center: Women's Center
  • Maine State Prison
  • Merrymeeting Adult Education
  • Morse High School Library
  • Mountain View Correctional Facility
  • Restorative Justice Institute of Maine
  • RSU 18 (Belgrade, China, Oakland, Rome and Sidney)
  • Southern Maine Agency on Aging
  • Southern Maine Women's Re-entry Center
  • Tree Street Youth
  • West Paris Public Library
  • Zadoc Long Free Library

MHC Mini Grants support a wide variety of public humanities projects, such as exhibits, lecture and film series, reading and discussion programs, symposia, and cultural celebrations.

  $1,000 for “375 Years of Cooking in Kittery” - Kittery Community Center   $1,000 for "Collectively Enhancing Adult Literacy" - Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta   $1,000 for "Cross Currents: Science, History, and the Human Experience" - Maine Jewish Film Festival   $1,000 for "Dying/Laughing Video Essay Series"- Dying/Laughing   $977 for "Learning, Healing & Growing through Literature"- AMHC Sexual Assault Services   $1,000 for "Multicultural Community Forum"- Maine Multicultural Center   $1,000 for "RVM Virtual Tour App"- Railway Village Museum   $1,000 for "Traditional Arts Virtual Showcase"- United Society of Shakers   $1,000 for "Traveling Exhibit About the Leaders of Maine's Immigrant Communities"- Portland Adult Education   $1,000 for "Unsolid Frequency"- Maine Center for Electronic Music  

MHC Major Grants support a variety of larger humanities projects such as exhibits, conferences, films, and other initiatives.

  $6,000 for “Untitled Margaret Moxa Project"- Center for Independent Documentary Funding will support writing and early stage production of the play, Moxa, written by Penobscot Nation diplomat and playwright, Maulian Dana. The play will shine a spotlight on the inspiring story of Margaret Moxa, a Penobscot peacemaker murdered by a settler. Margaret Moxa's story exposes the systematic practice of government-sanctioned bounty hunting of Wabanaki and other Eastern Woodlands Indigenous people that was critical to settlers’ seizure of the land. The play will focus on the lasting impact and relevance of her life today. The staging of the play will be the foundation for a non-fiction film to be co-produced by Ambassador Dana to be shared as learning resource.   $6,000 for “Ashley Bryan's Beautiful Blackbird Exhibit Project"- Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, Portland Following the leadership of Indigo Arts Alliance, the Children's Museum & Theater of Maine's new exhibit, "Ashley Bryan’s Beautiful Blackbird" focuses on Maine artist Ashley Bryan's book celebrating Black heritage. The grant will support two aspects of the exhibit--the development of a reflective Call and Response Art Activity to be designed by Indigo Arts Alliance and a kiosk where children and families can share their stories.   $4,100 for “Sentencing: Reading and Writing Across Barriers"-Freedom and Captivity Coalition, Portland The grant will fund an author series with residents of the Southern Maine Women’s Reentry Center and the Women’s Center, who have been living in even more isolated circumstances than normal due to COVID-related lockdowns. This grant will support six events to bring incarcerated people together with Maine and national authors for a series of discussions about reading and writing. The goal is community-building through facilitated conversations about literature.   $6,000 for “Beautiful Blackbird (Virtual) Children's Book Festival"- Indigo Arts Alliance, Portland The Beautiful Blackbird (Virtual) Children’s Book (BBCBF) Festival is a six-week, web-based book festival (with in-person opportunities) designed to showcase authors and illustrators from across the African Diaspora, entertain, engage, educate and empower children through relatable art and literature, and distribute 1500+ free books to children in underrepresented communities. The festival will engage Maine educators and librarians, cross-cultural communities of adults and children, a statewide network of organizational partners and local artist networks to develop a course of action for building a more diverse literary landscape for children throughout the state.   $6,000 for “Begin Again: Reckoning with Intolerance in Maine" - Maine Historical Society, Portland Begin Again: Reckoning with Intolerance in Maine is a new initiative designed to stimulate and support civic dialog around race and social justice issues in Maine today. The initiative will provide information, historical context, and forums for discussion that help Mainers understand, connect, and meaningfully respond to national conversations about white privilege, systemic racism, and other forms of inequality. This will include an invitation to community members to help reinterpret artifacts and documents in our collection and engage in dialogue through connected programming.   $5,900 for “Summers of Science and Wonder"- Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Mt. Desert The Mount Desert Island Historical Society is developing a new exhibit exploring the role of citizen and professional scientists on Mount Desert Island. Focused on comparing historic documents to modern observations of bird and pollinator species, water temperature, and weather records, the exhibit and associated programs will show the impacts of climate change over the past century. Project partners include the Schoodic Institute, A Climate to Thrive, the MDI Biological Laboratory, College of the Atlantic, and Acadia National Park.   $6,000 for “Public Mural Park and Historic Walking Tour"- Old Town, Maine, Downtown Revitalization Committee, Old Town A team of students and educators will work with historians from the Penobscot Nation, the Old Town Museum and with other community members to create a public mural park and accompanying historic walking tour at Peace Pole Park, in the heart of the Downtown District in Old Town. The mural and walking tour will incorporate symbols and images relevant to this community’s unique cultural, economic, and social heritage.   $6,000 for “Le Carrefour (The Intersection)" - Speaking Place, Rockland Funding will support creation of Le Carrefour, a 40-minute documentary film, and subsequent screenings and community events. Le Carrefour tells the story of the intersection of two immigrant communities, the Franco-American and Franco-African, both descendants of French and Belgian colonial expansion. On the surface they seem nothing alike, but their paths unexpectedly intersect in the former mill town of Lewiston, Maine. The documentary sheds light on repressive and discriminatory practices which led to the loss of language and culture for the majority of Franco-Americans. In confronting this past, the two communities discover a shared dream and the choices necessary to foster an environment where the French language and Francophone cultures can survive and thrive.   $6,000 for “Making the Last Girl First"-Survivor Speak USA, Portland Funding supports the program "Making the Last Girl First" centered around The Last Girl, an autobiographical two-act play written by Dee Clarke. SSUSA will produce and perform the play as a vehicle for community dialogues and actions that center The Last Girls of Maine. The script and supplemental curriculum will be utilized as training and facilitation tools by graduates of The Survivor Advocacy Leadership Training (SALT) and other survivors, as they become rooted in their own stories and skilled in public speaking, performance, and educating the public through pre- and post-performance dialogues and workshops. This vital program mentors participants to grow from victimhood into empowerment and leadership. Survivor leaders become advocates and mentors for future Survivors here in Maine.   $6,000 for “History in Stones: Mapping Cemeteries to Teach the History of Central Aroostook County"- University of Maine at Presque Isle Funding will supporting the mapping of cemeteries in Central Aroostook County using ArcGIS Online and the writing of an interactive history of Central Aroostook County to be used by 8th grade social studies teachers who teach Maine History. To make history more relevant and tangible to 8th graders, the project will focus on the lives of certain individuals in area cemeteries to tell the story of Central Aroostook County by explaining how world, national and state events affected those people. The History of Central Aroostook County and its people will be told using interactive web-based ArcGIS Online Story Map Journals.
We’re thrilled to be offering Poetry Express in 2021 to a cohort of five organizations throughout Maine! Special National Poetry Month Poetry Express Kick Off: A special National Poetry Month event featuring a collective of poets including MHC staff, partners, facilitators, speakers & friends: Samaa Abdurraqib, Jan Bindas-Tenney,  Cait Vaughan, LaLa Drew, Samara Cole Doyon, Sass Linneken, Jenn Carter, Maya Williams. The event will explored the themes of healing and combating isolation through vulnerability and collaboration.  

2021 Cohort

  • The Telling Room: featuring young poets and exploring the themes of nationality, culture, and heritage through the The Telling Room’s new poetry anthology, A New Land. The Telling Room will center participants in exploring their past, present, and future in understanding what makes their identities unique: When We Began, Where We Are Now, and Who We Are Becoming.
  • Elder Abuse Institute of Maine: exploring the human experience across the lifespan and the aging network in Maine. Elder Abuse Institute of Maine will highlight the themes of hope, transitions, aging, change, growth, resilience, transformation, opportunity, reimagining a future, reclaiming identity and power of agency, and reciprocity.
  • Resources for Organizing and Social Change: exploring self-care and creativity as a means of resistance, community building, joy, connection and resilience. Resources for Organizing and Social Change will explore the themes of grassroots social change, inner growth, connection, mutual aid, response to pandemic/climate change/social injustice and unrest, justice and love.
  • Rockland Public Library: As the “Arts Capital of Maine” Rockland Public Library will use the arts to engage with the community around themes of inclusion and equity. They will explore the questions: What makes a welcoming and inclusive community? What are the identities that make up Rockland? How do we tie together Rockland’s past, present and future?
[caption id="attachment_15763" align="alignright" width="356"] 2016 grant "Art in Exodus" at Maine College of Art. Photo by Kyle Dubay.[/caption]

Major Grants: $1,001 to $7,500

The Maine Humanities Council Major Grant program distributes funding to non-profit organizations in Maine for larger humanities programs and projects – things like exhibits, films, conferences, initiatives – that have broad public outreach. We are excited to support programs and projects with rich, well-developed humanities content, strong participation from a scholar or topic expert, and robust support from partners in the community. Final applications due: January 31, 2021  

Mini Grants: up to $1,000

For projects that use the humanities to connect people across physical distance, whether they make use of digital technologies or use ways of connecting those without access to digital tools.  Upcoming Deadlines: Spring 2021. Due date TBD
  • Download the application and Excel budget form.
  • Your finished application and budget should be emailed to grants@mainehumanities.org with "Mini Grant" and the application deadline as your subject line.
  • Project must begin no sooner than 8 weeks after the deadline.
  • Review: Applications reviewed by MHC Grants Committee.
  • Notification: Within 8 weeks of submission.

Arts & Humanities Grants: up to $1,000

Arts & Humanities grants, a partnership between the Maine Humanities Council and the Maine Arts Commission, support innovative community projects that have BOTH arts and humanities components. Upcoming Deadline: Spring 2021. Due date TBD
  • Please apply through the Maine Arts Commission.
  • Applicants must speak with Lizz Sinclair from the MHC (207-773-5051) and Kerstin Gilg from the MAC (207-287-2724)—to make sure their project fits the guidelines.
  • Review: Applications reviewed by committee from MHC and MAC.
The Maine Humanities Council is honored to support Maine non-profit humanities and cultural organizations that are facing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus.
  • Nonprofit organizations include: museums, libraries, historic sites, preservation & historical societies, and community & cultural organizations with a significant humanities focus.
  • Funding for these grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act economic stabilization plan.

Award Listing by County

  Androscoggin Museum L-A Turner Public Library Aroostook Association culturelle et historique du Mont-Carmel Cary Library Fort Fairfield Public Library Mark & Emily Turner Memorial Library Penobscot Boys & Girls Club Presque Isle Historical Society Walter T. A. Hansen Memorial Library Cumberland
All Inclusive
Arts Are Elementary
Bridgton Historical Society
Bridgton Public Library
Chebeague Island Historical Society
Gateway Community Services Maine
Greater Portland Landmarks
Indigo Arts Alliance
Ladder to the Moon Network
Maine Archives and Museums
Mechanics Hall
Maine Film Association
Maine Jewish Film Festival
Maine Preservation
Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance
Mayo Street Arts
Mugadi Foundation (Greater Portland Festival of Nations)
Portland Media Center
Portland Public Library
Raymond Village Library
Snowlion Repertory Company
Speak About It, Inc.
Standish Historical Society
The Committee to Restore the Abyssinian
United Society of Shakers
Franklin Farmington Historical Society Rangeley Lakes Historical Society Webster Library Wilton Free Public Library Hancock Abbe Museum Bar Harbor Historical Society Dorcas Library Association Franklin Historical Society Franklin Library Frenchman Bay Library Stonington Public Library Tremont Historical Society Kennebec Belgrade Historical Society Dr. Shaw Memorial Library Friends of the Belgrade Public Library Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine Kennebec Historical Society Literacy Volunteers of Greater Augusta The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting Vassalboro Public Library Knox
Friends of the Thomaston Public Library
Penobscot Language School
Solon Center for Research and Publishing
Lincoln County Historical Association
Monhegan Historical & Cultural Museum Association
The Bremen Library Association
  Oxford Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library Denmark Arts Center Fryeburg Public Library Hiram Historical Society Norway Memorial Library Paris Hill Library Association Soldiers Memorial Library West Paris Public Library Penobscot Maine-Wabanaki REACH Wabanaki Cultural Preservation Coalition - Nibezun Piscataquis Center Theatre for the Performing Arts Guilford Memorial Library Maine Adult Education Association Sebec Village Associates Sagadahoc
Maine's First Ship
Sagadahoc Preservation Inc.
  Somerset Canaan Farmers Hall Friends of L.C. Bates Museum Waldo Freedom Community Historical Society Liberty Library Washington Easport Public Library Association Henry D. Moore Parish House and Library Lubec Memorial Library Machias Bay Chamber of Commerce Milbridge Public Library Porter Memorial Library Robbinston Historical Society Whitneyville Library and Whatnot Association Inc. York
Berwick Library Association
Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center
Biddeford Mills Museum
Brick Store Museum
Cornish Library Association
Ogunquit Memorial Library
Raitt Homestead Farm Museum
Rice Public Library
Photo by James Hardman

There’s something irresistible about an anniversary. Maine’s bicentennial, the centennial of women’s suffrage, the upcoming 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence: All invite public commemoration. But what are we doing when we mark these anniversaries? Celebrating our past? Interrogating it? Something else entirely?

Presented in partnership by the Maine Humanities Council, Maine Suffrage Centennial, and Maine Historical Society.