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Updated: September 12, 2019

Feds award $700K to 4 Maine cultural attractions

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens pond with lily pads Photo / Jim Neuger Four Maine cultural institutions, including Boothbay's Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, shown here, will receive a combined $700,000 in federal funding plus matching grants, it was announced Wednesday.

Four Maine cultural institutions have been awarded a combined $704,458 in federal grants, plus $769,730 in matching amounts.

The funding, announced by U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine 1st District, will come through the Institute of Museum and Library Services' Museums for America program, which supports cultural projects that strengthen service to the general public.

Awards have been granted to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, two museums on the campus of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. All are big draws for tourists. 

“In my lifetime, I’ve watched communities like Rockland transform into national arts and culture destinations," Pingree said in an emailed news release.

She also said she's proud to use her seat on the House Appropriations Committee and role as co-chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus to advocate for continued arts funding, saying: "Every dollar we dedicate to making our arts scene more vibrant results in more cultural tourism for Maine."

Pingree also serves as co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Arts Caucus and as vice chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, where she oversees arts funding.

Funding recipients, amounts and projects 

Bowdoin College 
Award amount: $239,344
Matching amount: $240,925
Project title: Collections Storage and Access for Bowdoin College Museums
Project description: Bowdoin College will improve physical and digital access to the collections of its two museums, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum. 

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Award amount: $249,975
Matching amount:  $313,658
Project title: Multimodal Learning at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Project description: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will design and install a learning hub, a nature play space and additions to the new entrance to enhance visitors' leaning experience.

William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum
Award amount: $215,139
Matching amount: $215,147
Project title: AEP Strong! Strengthening the Arts-in-Education Program at the Farnsworth Art Museum
Project description: The Farnsworth Art Museum will expand and enhance its arts-integration education programs for rural, mid-coast Maine schools. This will help enrich the Maine Studies and other curricula for pupils in grades three to 12. 

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