The Kindling Fund supports artist-organized projects throughout the state of Maine that engage audiences and incorporate the visual arts in meaningful ways. With a focus on experimentation, successful applications value unconventional engagement, critical dialogue, collaboration, and create new models for presenting artists’ work. The Fund distributes grants ranging from $1,500 – $5,000.
Please make sure that you read through all of the eligibility requirements before applying to the grant. Be sure to check out our FAQ page which addresses more nuanced aspects of the application process and provides specifics on granting priorities. We strongly encourage all those who are considering applying to the grant to attend an info session. To find the closes info session near you, please visit our Resources page.
Who can apply as a lead applicant?
- Artists based in Maine
- Curators based in Maine
- Collectives based in Maine
- Collaboratives or partnerships based in Maine
- Artist-run spaces based in Maine
Who cannot apply as a lead applicant?
- Artists who have received $15,000 from the Kindling Fund in the course of their lifetime
- Artists who have received a Kindling Fund grant the previous year
- Incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations
- Artists who are seeking support for projects taking place at nonprofit organizations or other traditional venues*
- Artists living outside of Maine
- Applicants currently enrolled in an academic program
- Artists who have failed to complete a project or failed to submit a final report
Sample Project Types (all must be grounded in visual arts)
The Kindling Fund seeks to define the visual arts in the most expansive ways possible. In the context of this grant, we believe the visual arts includes photography, performance, video, ceramics, earth works, drawing, bookmaking, weaving, installations, painting, mail art, printmaking, basketry, sculpture, craft, calligraphy, social-engagement, participatory or community driven projects, glass works, and design. If you are interested in proposing a project that is not listed and you think of it as a form of visual art, please give us a call. Sample project types include:
- A public art project, intervention or site-specific installation
- Performances that engage the public in meaningful ways
- Events that engage the visual arts
- The publication of writing directly related to the visual arts, including printed matter and online publications
- An online project or app
- Establishing an artist residency program
- A series of film or animation screenings
- Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice
- Exhibitions with strong public component
- A lecture or workshop series
- Multimedia, video, VR or photo projects
- Social practice or socially engaged projects that engage the visual arts
- Establishing an exhibition space, artist-run space or artist collective
- An earthwork
Completion must occur within one year of the grant award, typically by December 31st.
The Kindling Fund will not support
- Private projects with no public component
- Performances or events that do not engage the visual arts
- Requests for travel or to participate in other projects
- Requests only for equipment
- Projects that primarily take place within established institutions or as part of a gallery or museum’s regular programming
The Kindling Fund online application can be found here. At this time we are only able to accept digital submissions. Please do not mail us an application. In order to ensure that the information you are working on is saving in real time, we suggest drafting your application in Word or a similar program and then uploading the content to the online portal. Be sure to check the file requirements for each section, and remember, some browsers may not support all functions of the online grant program.
The Application consists of
- Brief project summary
- Full narrative description of the project
- Project timeline with a description of how and where the project will be realized
- Explanation of how the project will be made accessible to the public
- Explanation of strategies for community engagement and anticipated impact
- Explanation of the project’s relationship to applicants’ past work
- Budget worksheet*
- Artists’ bios / CVs
*please note that while you do not have to use the budget sheet provided, the same information listed on the form must be included in your application
The jury will be evaluating the proposals based upon
- The project concept and how bold it is
- The form of the project and how inventive it is
- The timeline and how feasible it appears
- How the project considers its audience
- The applicant’s strategy for public engagement at the concept stage and the anticipated impact the project has on its community
- The applicant’s ability to carry out the project based, in part, on past work
- The artistic quality presented in the work samples
- Clarity and feasibility of the budget
The Kindling Fund awards approximately 10 – 15 grants ranging $1,500 – $5,000 each year.
There may be circumstances in which the jury elects to award a Research and Development Grant. Those grants are intended to support the development of a project or idea so that the applicant may apply again the following cycle with a more robust proposal. Research and Development grants will be given at the sole discretion of the jury and may not be given year after year. While Research and Development Grants will amount to less than $1,500, the funds do count toward the $15,000 lifetime cap placed on all grantees. For more information, please visit our FAQ page.
If awarded funding, artists are responsible for:
- Prompt and professional communication with grant staff
- Financial accountability/spending funds as outlined in the budget
- Submission of a brief project summary at the midpoint and end of grant period
- Periodic contribution of written updates and images for The Kindling Fund website, social media, and publicity outlets
- Attending the awards parties in January of the current year and in January of the following year
Grantees are held legally responsible for all activities, materials, and outcomes associated with their projects.