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Bill to Change Way Maine Arts Commission Raises Funds

AUGUSTA, Maine_ A new bill before the Maine legislature seeks to improve the position of the Maine Arts Commission to raise needed funds.

Under current law, the Maine Arts Commission does not have the flexibility to raise money from private donors, as other agencies in state government do, including the state library and state museum. But Rep. Mike McClellan, a Republican  from Raymond, has introduced legislation to change that.  

"They need this ability to fundraise on their own or else they see their strategic plan being three to five years out, at the earliest," says McClellen. "The bill basically creates the framework for the Maine Arts Commission to professionally fundraise."

Currently, monies raised go directly to the state to be managed as a trust fund. "So you can guess this isn't an incentive for people to donate." says McClellan. "They are not comfortable donating. It is going to the state account and not straight to the Arts Commission."

 The legislature's Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will likely hold a hearing on the proposal later this month.