AUGUSTA - The Maine Bicentennial Commission (Maine200) recently awarded its second round of Bicentennial Community Grants, disbursing a total of $432,290 amongst 133 successful applicants.

The grants support bicentennial festivals and projects throughout Maine, from recording oral history in Harpswell and Grand Lake Stream, to installing a fish ladder in North Haven.

"The interest for our second round of grants was incredible and far exceeded our expectations," said Sen. Bill Diamond, chairman of the Maine Bicentennial Commission. We are so pleased to see the excitement around Maine's 200th anniversary of statehood.

The Bicentennial Community Grants program https://www.maine200.org/community-grants provides funding for bicentennial-themed projects that benefit the public, such as festivals, historic preservation efforts, lectures and curriculum. The commission encourages grant applications from Maine community non-profit organizations, such as historical societies and libraries, government entities, and schools. Private individuals and for-profit corporations are also welcomed to apply in partnership with a non-profit entity.

The first round of grants, awarded in October 2019, included 30 projects, at a total of $142,255. To date, the Bicentennial Commission has awarded $574,545 to assist more than 160 applicants, providing full or partial funding for both large and small projects in every county.

While the current emergency situation requires postponing some bicentennial events, we are confident that these grant awards will enable continued planning and will soon serve to bring us all together in celebration when it is safer to do so, said Senator Diamond.

The Maine Arts Commission is administering the grant program on behalf of the Bicentennial Commission. The deadline to apply for the final phase of grant awards is June 1, 2020.

Details of the Bicentennial Community Grants program and a link to the application form are available on the Maine Bicentennial Commission website, https://www.maine200.org/ under the Get Involved section.