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Pingree Announces $700K Federal Investment in Three Maine Museums

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the Institute of Museum and Library Services’ (IMLS) Museums for America (MFA) program will award three projects in Maine’s First Congressional District with a combined $704,458 in grants and combined matching amounts of $769,730.

“In my lifetime, I’ve watched communities like Rockland transform into national arts and culture destinations. Federal investment is a big part of that. I’m proud to use my seat on the House Appropriations Committee and my role as co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus to advocate for continued arts funding. Every dollar we dedicate to making our arts scene more vibrant results in more cultural tourism for Maine,” Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

Museums for America is the IMLS’ largest discretionary grant program for museums. It supports projects that strengthen the ability of museums to serve the general public. Museums receiving awards in Maine’s First Congressional District include Bowdoin College Museum of Art for $239,344, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for $249,975, and the William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum for $215,139.

Pingree is the co-chair of the bi-partisan Congressional Arts Caucus. She also serves as the Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, where she oversees arts funding.

Details of the three Museums for America grants are below:

  • Institution: Bowdoin College Museum of Art
    • Award Amount: $239,344
    • Matching Amount: $240,925
    • Project Title: Collections Storage and Access for Bowdoin College Museums
    • Project Description: Bowdoin College will improve both physical and digital access to the collections of its two museums, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. The project team will consolidate the museums' collections into a newly-renovated, climate-controlled storage facility. Led by collections staff from both museums, the project team will include an art handler, a registrar's assistant, and a collections management intern. Project activities will include packing and unpacking objects, relocating/rehousing them, and photographing and updating records in each museum's collections management database. The team will also catalog newly-acquired collections and upload images and information to the museums' online collections portals. The project will provide greater public access to the history, cultures, and ideas represented in the collections of the two museums.
  • Institution: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
    • Award Amount: $249,975
    • Matching Amount:  $313,658
    • Project Title: Multimodal Learning at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
    • Project Description: The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will design, fabricate, evaluate and install three new components to enhance learning opportunities for its visitors. A learning hub will provide seating and shelter, information on gardens and facilities, and in-depth information about a particular garden or topic. The learning hub will be tested and evaluated as a prototype for future hubs to be located throughout the garden. A new nature play space with hands-on activities and interactive structures will encourage young children to learn about plants and nature through music, hands-on creations, and imaginary play. Improved and critically-needed orientation and wayfinding elements will also be installed at the garden's new entrance. The project will introduce multimodal learning experiences to the site as part of a 20-year Master Interpretive Plan.
  • Institution: William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum
    • Award Amount: $215,139
    • Matching Amount: $215,147
    • Project Title: AEP Strong! Strengthening the Arts-in-Education Program at the Farnsworth Art Museum
    • Project Description: The Farnsworth Art Museum will expand, enhance, and evaluate its arts-integration education programs for rural, mid-coast Maine schools. This will help enrich the Maine Studies curriculum and other curricula studied by grades three through twelve. To support this project, the museum will increase dedicated staff time and compensation to support the program. The team will work with pedagogy consultants to add program content. They will also recruit more teaching artists, provide them with training, and conduct program-specific training for museum docents. The project will also support opportunities for staff to attend regional and national conferences. The museum will expand access to its dedicated arts-integrated education website, which provides curricular resources, access to the museum collection, and downloadable materials for teachers. The project will conclude with an exhibition of student creative work related to their studies.


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