Acadian group seeks grant applications

MADAWASKA, Maine — The Maine Acadian Heritage Council is beginning its annual grant process. This year the Council will distribute over $55,000 of its funds received from the National Park Service in the form of grants to its participating members.

The four grant opportunities our members can apply for this year are: the Heritage Trail Guide Grant, the Preservation Grant, the Acadian Heritage Speakers and Performers Grant, and the Education Resource Development Grant.

The Heritage Trail Guide Grants’ budget of $20,000 is earmarked for St. John Valley member museums and historical sites.  This grant supports hiring, training and retaining personnel at local museums and historical sites. At these sites, personnel will be available to welcome visitors, bus tours, and school groups. The maximum award to any single historic site is $5,000; the minimum award is $500.

The Preservation Grant was developed to help historic sites and member societies in the St. John Valley. This year, MAHC grants will award $28,000 to help historical societies preserve the material culture of the Acadians while fostering stewardship for visitors, thus helping to preserve this unique heritage. This grant is intended for the preservation of and repairs to historic buildings, and to help preserve artifacts and documents. Historic sites and societies awards will be a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $5,000.

The council will distribute $2,500 for the Acadian Heritage Speakers and Performers Grant to support local festivals. In seeking to “advance and maintain the cause of Acadian life, culture, history, and art in the state of Maine,” MAHC has developed a program to support local speakers and performances at festivals and other venues in the St. John Valley. This grant is specifically for experts in Acadian/St. John Valley history, culture, music, and traditional arts, to be performed at public events in the St. John Valley. The maximum award to any applicant is $1,000 and the minimum is $200.

The Education Resource Development Grant:  The council has earmarked $5,000 to support projects that teach Acadian heritage and culture to residents of the St. John Valley. These grants will help bring Acadian culture, history, language, and art to the classroom or other public areas, while fostering stewardship which will, in turn, preserve this unique heritage. Proposals will explore Maine Acadian themes such as traditional Acadian folklore, cuisine, language, music, dance, ethnography, history, material culture, architecture, and historic and cultural landscapes. Maximum amount awarded will be $1,000; minimum is $200.

Once the applications have been deemed complete, appointed committees will evaluate them for eligibility and rank them for funding in accordance with the following criteria: application completeness, administrative capability, community support, and project narrative, in addition to information specific to each type of grant requested.  A general accounting of spending is requested once the grant funds have been used.  The Council also requires that any publicity for the tourist activities at the site of the grant recipients will name the Maine Acadian Heritage Council as a financial supporter of the activities.

The Council reserves the right to adjust the amount of each respective award depending on the availability of funds and feasibility of funding certain projects at less than the amount requested.

A public announcement of the awarded grants will be made at the council’s annual dinner and meeting.  This year’s annual dinner will be held on Sunday, May 21, at the Lakeview Restaurant.

Applications can be found on the MAHC website or by calling 728-6826.

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