The Maine Arts Commission awarded a project grant to Wiscasset Creative Alliance to support new sidewalk activities like a performance of Downeast Brass during July’s Wiscasset Art Walk. Courtesy of Wiscasset Creative Alliance

WISCASSET – The Maine Arts Commission has awarded two grants to Wiscasset Creative Alliance to support community-building activities in and around Wiscasset Village. The Alliance is an “umbrella” non-profit which serves as the home base for Wiscasset Art Walk, Wiscasset’s Museum in the Streets, Wiscasset Marketfest and Friends of Wiscasset Village, providing the benefits of non-profit status to this collection of local community initiatives. 

The Alliance’s grant award for “SIDEWALK REDUX: Wiscasset Village,” funds a collaborative community celebration, canceled in 2020 and deferred to 2021, marking renewed community spirit after a disruptive multi-year MDOT construction project and a year of COVID-19 sequestering. The grant of $4,800 supports Wiscasset Art Walk’s music, performance, and hands-on art making during the 2021 season, Friends of Wiscasset Village’s music during Schoonerfest in August, and Maine Art Gallery’s plein air event held in July.

According to Will Truesdell, president of the Alliance Board of Directors, “not only does this Maine Arts Commission grant provide needed funds for our community programming, but it really validates the goals and values of Wiscasset Creative Alliance. We intentionally seek opportunities to collaborate with other organizations to strengthen our community and make it even more welcoming to all.”

During the Maine Arts Commission review of grant requests, the review panel remarked on the “great community building” aspects of the Alliance’s proposal and felt “SIDEWALK REDUX: Wiscasset Village” unified a community vision. The panel found the skillful weaving together of community needs “inspiring,” and complemented the project for using art as a tool for healing the community.

The Maine Arts Commission, in partnership with the Maine Humanities Council, also awarded $1,000 to Wiscasset’s Museum in the Streets to support the printing of the self-guided touring brochure which helps visitors enjoy the panels of historical information and photos located throughout the Village area.

According to Ed Kavanagh, WMITS planning team member, “We are thrilled to have received a recent grant from the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Humanities Council. We have immediately ordered new brochures which the grant has enabled us to do.” He added, “Museum in the Streets has an eye to adding three new panels to our tour about town. This recent grant award brings the goal closer to fruition!”

In the fall, the grant will also fund an architectural historian who will guide the public on a walking tour of Wiscasset’s High Street – known for its fine collection of Federal period homes – illuminating the architectural details that are classic features of the period along with the unique details that give each structure its own character. The free tour date will be publicized in the Alliance online calendar and through local media.

The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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