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Engine to Receive $10,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts Acting Chairman Mary Anne Carter has approved more than $27 million in grants as part of the Arts Endowment’s first major funding announcement for fiscal year 2019. Included in this announcement is a Challenge America grant of $10,000 to Engine, a nonprofit arts organization in downtown Biddeford, to support its Fringe Fest Performing Arts Festival. Challenge America grants support projects that extend the reach of the arts to underserved populations—those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited by geography, ethnicity, economics, or disability.

“The arts enhance our communities and our lives, and we look forward to seeing these projects take place throughout the country, giving Americans opportunities to learn, to create, to heal, and to celebrate,” said Mary Anne Carter, acting chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts.

The 3rd Annual Fringe Fest Performing Arts Festival will be held on Friday, September 20 from 4pm-9pm. The event is spearheaded by Engine, a nonprofit arts organization in downtown Biddeford. The NEA Challenge America grant will be used to support a Festival Artist-in-Residence who will work with the community for three weeks leading up to and unveiled at the Fringe Fest. One goal of the project will be to stimulate a community conversation around the role of the arts in Biddeford’s redevelopment.

Fringe Fest is the Friday night kickoff for the annual River Jam Festival, a full day of family activities and music, organized by Heart of Biddeford Main Street Program, which takes place on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

“I’m so impressed with the creative ways Maine communities are using the arts to strengthen local economies. What’s happening in Biddeford is a great example of how the arts can attract people back into our downtowns to visit, live, and work,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Co-Chair of the Congressional Arts Caucus. “I’m thrilled that Engine has received this National Endowment for the Arts grant to help continue this momentum by supporting its exciting Fringe Fest Performing Arts Festival.”

“Engine is thrilled to receive its first National Endowment for the Arts grant and even more thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to engage people in Biddeford’s renaissance that might not feel like they’ve been included,” says Engine Executive Director Tammy Ackerman.

For more information on this National Endowment for the Arts grant announcement, visit arts.gov/news.

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