NEA Chair Jackson, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Shannon Haines, President and CEO of Waterville Creates.

Maine’s vibrant and thriving communities are living examples of the incredible impact the arts have on our lives.

Last week, I had the pleasure of welcoming National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, PhD, to our great state for a comprehensive tour of the arts communities in Waterville, Rockland and Portland.

Marcia Minter, left, co-founder and chief officer of strategic growth and innovation of Indigo Arts Alliance, hosts Chair Jackson, center, and Congresswoman Pingree, right, for a “fireside chat.”

During the event-filled two-day trip, Chair Jackson and I visited a variety of arts organizations, including Waterville Creates, the Colby College Museum of Art, the Farnsworth Museum of Art, Indigo Arts Alliance, Mayo Street Arts, and the Portland Museum of Art, and heard directly from members of Maine’s arts communities, including conversations with Wabanaki cultural leaders and organizations serving youth. 

As ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, which oversees funding for the National Endowments of the Arts and Humanities, I was proud to have the chance to show Chair Jackson how the federal dollars we fight to secure each year in Congress are having a direct, positive impact on communities in Maine.

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