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July 11, 2017

UMF awarded Mellon Foundation grant

Courtesy / University of Maine at Farmington
Courtesy / University of Maine at Farmington
A view of University of Maine at Farmington's Merrill Hall. UMF has received a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support its New Commons Project in Public Humanities and Arts for college and the Maine community.

University of Maine at Farmington won a $500,000 grant to support its New Commons Project in Public Humanities and Arts for UMF and the Maine community.

President Kathryn A. Foster said the grant, from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will help fund the New Commons Project over five years.

"Over the course of our history from the 1860s to the present, UMF has championed humanities and arts as a cornerstone of a quality education to help individuals broaden their horizons and contribute to their community," Foster said in a press release. "We are honored by this significant Mellon Foundation award and the opportunity to spotlight a collection of wide-ranging works selected by and for our Maine community."

The New Commons Project will "help give voice to the role of UMF as a public liberal arts university and as a cultivator and steward of artistic and creative works and the communal ideas they bring to life," the university said.

Starting in fall 2017, UMF will work with the Maine Humanities Council, schools, libraries and other groups to solicit video entries about works of literature, philosophy, history, music, art, film, theatre and other arts and humanities disciplines.

"The creation of a statewide digital 'commons' of artistic, cinematic, historical, literary, and musical work has the potential to become a national model for public liberal arts colleges and state humanities councils who create, share, and disseminate knowledge in behalf of the common good," said Eugene Tobin, a senior program officer for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities at the Mellon Foundation. "We are very pleased to support this thoughtful and innovative contribution to the public humanities and the people of Maine."

The UMF campus, one of seven campuses in the University of Maine System, has 2,000 students and offers more than 30 majors.

For more about the New Commons Project, including how to submit nominations, visit the website here.

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