The Maine Arts Commission will launch a statewide information and listening tour from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Portland Public Library. The event is the first of seven regional meetings the commission will host through Feb. 21 on its Arts Iditarod from York to Presque Isle.

Each gathering will include sessions for artists, arts organizations, educators, policy makers and community developers. The tour coincides with the opening of the commission’s next cycle of grant applications and guidelines.

“An important part of the commission’s mission is to provide professional development and information to the field,” Julie Richard, the commission’s executive director, said in a press release. “The Arts Iditarod gives us the opportunity to connect with our constituents in person, to hear what’s important to them and to engage them in discussions that are critical to the arts statewide and beyond.”

Other tour stops are 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the Holocaust and Human Rights Center, Augusta; 2 to 5 p.m. Monday at Schoodic Arts for All, Winter Harbor; 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 26 at Waterfall Arts, Belfast; 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 31, Bangor Public Library; 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Feb. 8, Old York Museum, York; and 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 21, Wintergreen Arts Center, Presque Isle.

Session topics include arts education, how to use data effectively, cultural equity, financial best practices and tips for getting grants, and how to connect creativity to business, research, tourism, the environment and other fields.

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