AUGUSTA — The Maine Arts Commission’s latest strategic plan is a comprehensive roadmap designed to fortify and champion the state’s artistic heritage over the next five years.

The journey of the plan started in 2021, anchored in the commitment to understanding the perspectives of Mainers. Through conversations with artists, organizations, community leaders and cultural entities statewide, the commission delved into the intrinsic value that culture, heritage and creative opportunities hold for residents in diverse communities, according to a news release from Ryan Leighton with the commission.

Central to this process were community discussions, involving both the governing commission and agency staff at every turn. More than 200 individuals from communities across the state participated in interviews. Notes and transcripts from these conversations were analyzed to identify recurring themes and issues. Cross-referencing findings with other states provided a broader context, shaping the final plan.

Collaboratively, the commission staff and members, and community arts leaders across the state worked to build upon the themes identified in community listening sessions. Four distinct workgroups were established, each with short- and long-term goals, aiming to construct a more vibrant future for Maine’s creative sector.

SERVICE: Working to assist and elevate the creative sector in Maine, the Service workgroup aims to fortify and uplift the foundation of Maine’s artistic community through tailored initiatives, support systems, and innovative solutions.

CONNECTING: Recognizing the power of unity, the Connecting workgroup strives to weave a robust network that unites artists, organizations, and communities across the state, fostering collaboration and critical discussions that transcend boundaries.


FUNDING: The Funding workgroup aims to collaboratively increase the amount of funding that supports the arts in Maine. Leveraging collective resources and advocating for financial support, the goal is to empower artists and arts organizations, ensuring a flourishing arts ecosystem.

ADVANCING: Embodying the spirit of anticipation and adaptability, the Advancing workgroup is dedicated to navigating the ever-changing opportunities and challenges in the arts landscape. Through strategic planning, continuous assessment, and proactive initiatives, the aim is to steer Maine’s arts community towards a resilient and thriving future.

Gov. Janet Mills endorsed the plan, stating in an introductory letter: “I thank the Maine Arts Commission for celebrating those who create works that shake the earth, that encompass gigantic ideas, that enhance our sense of community, that celebrate our sense of place and complete our sense of oneness — works that capture the unparalleled creativity and imagination of the people of Maine.”

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