Info Sessions

Workshop your application on Tuesday, October 17 from 6 – 7pm at SPACE Gallery. More details about our first annual peer review session are available here.

Info sessions will include a brief overview of the program by SPACE’s Visual Arts Programmer Elizabeth Spavento and will allow time for questions about the Kindling Fund. Artists who wish to apply to the Kindling Fund are encouraged to attend.

To download the slides shown at previous info sessions, click here.

Grant applications close on October 22, 2017

July 27, 2017 - 2 Government Street Kittery 03904 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

August 29, 2017 - 538 Congress Street Portland 04101 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Bangor Arts Exchange / Launchpad:
September 06, 2017 - 193 Exchange Street Bangor 04401 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Beehive Desing Collective:
September 07, 2017 - 2 Kilton Lane Machias 04654 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Frontier Cafe:
September 19, 2017 - 14 Maine Street Brunswick 04011 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Center for Maine Contemporary Art:
September 20, 2017 - 21 Winter Street Rockland 04841 - 6:00 - 7:00 PM

Emery Art Center:
October 04, 2017 - UMF Campus / Academy Street Farmington 04938 - 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM

Eligibility & Requirements

The Kindling Fund supports artist-organized projects that engage the public and visual arts in inventive and meaningful ways. With a focus on risk and experimentation, The Kindling Fund distributes grants ranging from $1,500 – $5,000 to Maine artists. Successful projects value unconventional engagement, critical dialogue,  collaboration, and create new models for presenting artists’ work. They have a strong public component and occur in alternative spaces, use alternative practices, or otherwise do not occur in established institutions or venues. Preference will be given to projects that present work by multiple artists.


Who can apply?

  • Artists in Maine
  • Curators in Maine
  • Collectives, partnerships, and collaboratives  in Maine
  • Arts writers in Maine
  • Artist-run spaces located in Maine


Who cannot apply?

  • Artists who were funded in the previous year or who have received $15,000 in support from the Kindling Fund in their lifetime
  • Students
  • Incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations
  • Artists living outside of Maine


How many grants are available?

There are approximately 10 – 15 grants ranging from $1,500 – $5,000 available


What is the time frame for these projects?

All funded projects must occur by the end of 2018 within the state of Maine


The Kindling Fund will not support

  • Private projects without a public component
  • Projects which are part of an established 501c3 non-profit organization’s programming
  • Travel funds
  • Requests only for equipment

Sample Project Types (all must be grounded in contemporary visual arts practices)

  • Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice or research methods
  • Public art projects, interventions or site-specific installations
  • The publication of writing directly related to the visual arts, in print and online
  • Programs or venues that support other artists (a residency program, exhibition space etc.)

Time frame
Completion must occur by December 31, 2018


Submission Guidelines

The online application can be found here:

  1. Brief project summary (100 words)
  2. Full narrative description of the project
  3. Project timeline with description of how and where the project will be realized
  4. Explanation of how the project will be shared with the public
  5. Explanation of the project’s relationship to applicants’ past work
  6. Budget (form can be downloaded here:
  7. Artists’ bios / CVs

The jury will be evaluating the proposals based upon:

  • The artistic quality presented in the work samples
  • The form of the project and how inventive it is
  • The project concept and how bold it is
  • If/how the project involves multiple artists
  • How the project considers its audience
  • The timeline and how feasible it appears
  • The applicant’s ability to carry out the project based in part by past work
  • Clarity and feasibility of the budget

Up to 15 grants ranging $1,500 – $5,000

If awarded funding, artists are responsible for:

  • Prompt and professional communication with grant staff
  • Spending funds as outlined in project budget
  • Submission of a brief project summary at the midpoint and by end of grant period
  • Periodic contribution of written updates and images for The Kindling Fund website, social media, and publicity outlets
  • Attending the contract orientation, feedback forum and awards parties in January 2018 and 2019

Grantees are held legally responsible for all activities, materials, and outcomes associated with their projects.


Can I apply for the Kindling Fund?

Artists, curators, collectives, partnerships, arts writers, and artist-run spaces located in Maine are eligible to apply.

Artists who were funded in the previous year or who have received $15,000 in support from the Kindling Fund over their lifetime, students, incorporated 501(c)3 not-for-profit organizations, or artists living outside of Maine are not eligible to apply.

What kinds of projects will the Kindling Fund support?

Projects supported by The Kindling Fund may include (but are not limited to):

  • Curatorial projects that focus on unconventional artistic practice or research methods
  • An online project
  • Public art projects, interventions or site-specific installations
  • The publication of writing directly related to the visual arts, in print or online
  • The creation of a program that supports other artists (a residency, an exhibition space etc.)
  • Any artist-focused, visual-arts based initiative that fits outside of traditional institutions

How much funding can I request for my project?

You may request $1,500 to $5,000.

How many grants will you give out?

We are able to give up to 15 grants ranging from $1,500 up to $5,000.

Do you have to live in Maine to apply?

Yes, the lead applicant must live in Maine.

Can I submit applications for multiple projects during the same round of The Kindling Fund?

Applicants may be a lead organizer on only one application each year, but they may be involved as a collaborating artist in another project.

Does the fund only support new projects?

Ongoing projects may submit applications, but the budgets and funding should support new or distinct chapters, iterations, or components of the project. The funds can not be used to pay for past expenses or completed activities. Previously funded projects may not reapply for additional funding if they have received $15,000 of funding over the course of its lifetime.

Can web-based or publishing projects reach beyond Maine?

Web and publishing projects should have Maine as a focus but may have an audience beyond Maine.

What is the timeframe for executing the project?

The proposed project and activities should take place within one year of funding. In the instance of a publication, website, or other projects that will continue on indefinitely, they should be published or initially launched within one year of funding and will still be required to submit a report on the funded stage of the project.

Can I include artist fees, stipends, or honoraria in my budget to compensate participants and/or myself?

Yes – we encourage you to pay the artists and lead applicants involved.

I don’t represent a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, but I want to work with an organization that is as part of my project. The organization does not have enough funds to pay artist fees or provide other financial support. Can a Kindling Fund grant cover the costs? Does working with a 501(c)3 at all preclude grant approval? Or what about presenting at a university or museum?

The Kindling Fund supports projects that are artist-initiated, independently managed, and not part of an organization’s scheduled program. Some funded projects may have components that overlap with venues or organizations which provide some additional support, such as the use of their facilities for a performance or event. However, the fund is not intended to cover production costs that should be covered by established organizations who made an explicit invitation to the applicant(s) to present work at their venue or as part of the host organization’s regular program.

The most compelling and competitive projects will be ones which don’t fit in established institutions or venues, occur in alternative spaces or use alternative practices. Preference will be given to projects that present work by multiple artists.

How many people need to see/ experience the project for it to meet the public engagement requirement?

There isn’t a specific target number – but the quality of the engagement is important. A project that involves a smaller number of audience members/ participants / viewers but fully involves them may be more compelling than one that is exposed to lots of people but only superficially.

When listing proposed venues in the application, do they have to be confirmed?

Although committed or confirmed venues illustrate a more feasible project, The Kindling Fund understands that circumstances change. List proposed venues that you have had some communication with–we understand that presentation at these locations may be subject to change.

If your project includes use of public land or facilities, it will help to show what efforts you’ve made to secure permission or at least initiate that discussion. A letter of support or partnership could be helpful in some circumstances.

I don’t have any images or work samples for my proposed project. What should I submit?

Please submit images that relate to your proposed project, such as relevant past work samples by the artists involved, or sketches of the proposed project, or documentation of similar projects you’ve completed in the past. Whatever you can submit to help tell the story of what you want to do will be helpful to the jury.

Shouldn’t everyone apply for the maximum fund award of $5,000?

Project proposals and budgets should be scaled according to the artists’ past work, their capability to complete the project, and their aspirations. Not all projects will warrant the highest level of funding, and applicants should budget appropriately.

How is the money disbursed?

Checks will be written to the lead applicant, in his/her name, and that person will be responsible for any related taxes on the grant. The lead applicant will need to have a valid social security number and will fill out a W9 form.

What does in-kind mean on the budget form?

In-kind expenses are goods or services that are volunteered or given to you for your project. If someone gives you $200 worth of lumber you list lumber as an in-kind expense at $200. If a photographer normally charges for shooting but volunteers to shoot for you, name the rate they’re forgiving as an in-kind donation.

You should limit your own in-kind service for your time or equipment/materials you already own.

If a project has a budget larger than the maximum award, can it still be funded?

Applicants can apply for full or partial funding, but should explain where additional funding will be sought, or if it has already been secured, and what will happen if the project is only partially successful in fundraising.

Can our project earn money through ticket sales, or sales of merchandise?

The Kindling Fund can be used as seed funding for a variety of arts endeavors, some of which may make money and continue on as self-sustaining projects. These projects must exist as art projects and not as commercial ventures.

Can I apply for a grant to purchase equipment?

The purchase or rental of equipment may be included in your grant proposal budget as an expense related to a larger project. However, you may not apply for grant with the sole purpose of purchasing equipment.

Our collective incorporated in order to get a bank account, are we no longer eligible?

The Kindling Fund does not support commercial businesses or 501(c)3 tax exempt nonprofit organizations. If as a group or collective you have made steps towards incorporation for banking or administrative purposes but are NOT a commercial or 501(c)3 entity, you are still eligible.

What are the reporting requirements?

We ask for documentation and a simple evaluation of the project at the midpoint and end of the cycle. If the project will continue beyond the grant period, we’d like to be kept updated (and we’ll post updates on our site). We’ll ask for periodic updates to share on our website and social media.

Why is SPACE offering this grant program?

We are proud of the independent nature of Maine’s arts community and want to support and empower artist-organized projects around the state. Our central mission is to present compelling and inventive contemporary art, and this grant is an opportunity to extend our visual arts mission around Maine, beyond the reach and capacities of our organization.