Falmouth panel offers mini-grants for 300th celebration

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FALMOUTH — The Tercentennial Planning Committee is offering mini-grants of up to $1,000 to help civic organizations plan and put on their own 300th anniversary events next year.

“We envision the 300th commemoration as a town-wide event and would like to see participation from the entire community,” Erin Cadigan, the tercentennial coordinator said this week.

“The committee saw the grants as a way to encourage organizations to think on a grander scale when contemplating ideas and activities to mark (Falmouth’s 300th),” Cadigan said.

“These nonprofit and service organizations often face tight budgets and limited resources in terms of staffing, so we felt it was important to help them help us in filling out the calendar with a variety of engaging events,” she added.

The grants are available to individuals, nonprofits, booster groups, governmental organizations such as schools, and service organizations, but not to political parties.

Religious organizations can apply, but they must show the money would go toward “a project of clear benefit to the wider Falmouth community, irrespective of religious beliefs,” the tercentennial committee’s website states.

Applications for the mini-grants are due by June 16 and must include an explanation of how the organization plans to use the funding. In addition, all applicants must prove their nonprofit status.

Only “events, activities, projects and programs that meet at least one of the goals established” by the tercentennial committee will be considered, as well as the mission of the 300th anniversary, which is “Honor the Past, Celebrate the Present, Invest in the Future.”

Overall, the committee is looking for proposals that would involve the applicant’s participation in “Falmouth’s 300th anniversary commemoration in a meaningful and impactful way,” the website says.

The goal of the mini-grants is to help offset the costs of hosting events and activities and to allow “these groups (to) showcase their organizations and assist in filling out the anniversary year with a (wide) variety of events,” the website adds.

Applications can be emailed to Cadigan at ecadigan@falmouthme.org or sent to Ad-Hoc Tercentennial Committee, Town of Falmouth, 271 Falmouth Road, Falmouth, ME  04105. Application instructions can be found at Falmouth300.org.

Cadigan said the tercentennial committee has not reviewed any applications yet, but, she said, “We have heard from various groups who are brainstorming ideas for lectures, concerts, tours, plays, interpretive exhibits, and curriculum development.”

“What is exciting about this competitive grant process is that it opens up a world of ideas our committee could not have imagined,” Cadigan said. “It allows for a greater number of individuals to pool their creativity into some really meaningful and unique activities, many of which will have impact well beyond 2018.”

She said funding for the grants will come out of the overall tercentennial budget approved by the Town Council, which included a total of $10,000 for grant funding.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KirishCollins.