Pingree Announces $427K COVID-19 Relief Grant to Support Maine’s Arts Economy
Portland, Maine, April 16, 2020
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today announced the National Endow ment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded $426,800 to the Maine Arts Commission and deliver relief to the state’s cultural economy amid the coronavirus pandemic. The funds, appropriated through the CARES Act, will be re-granted to Maine arts organizations to preserve jobs and cover operational costs.
“For the 5.1 million Americans who work in our nation’s arts and culture sector, this pandemic has taken a devastating toll. Public health protocols have required museums to shutter and performing artists to cancel shows in order to stay home, including thousands here in Maine. That’s why I pushed House leadership to prioritize economic relief for our nation’s creative sector in the last COVID-19 package,” said Pingree. “Just 18 days after the CARES Act was signed into law, the first round of the funding I fought to include in this legislation is coming to Maine. This federal support will deliver much-needed relief to Maine’s world-class arts community as it faces this unprecedented challenge.”
Pingree is the co-chair of the bipartisan 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 NEA, arts, and cultural funding. She led advocacy in the U.S. House of Representatives to include robust funding for arts and cultural organizations in COVID-19 response efforts.
She and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici led a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader McCarthy on March 21, pushing for robust funding for the arts, targeted employee relief, and enhanced deductions for charitable institutions. The CARES Act included $75 million to the NEA, including almost $30 million to state and territorial arts agencies across the nation.