When people of think of Maine industries, they often think about forestry, farming, and fishing. Most people, however, don’t immediately think about the Arts – but they should, because the arts have also been a central part of both Maine’s culture and economy since we entered statehood back in 1820. Just think about Edna St. Vincent Millay, Dahlov Ipcar, Winslow Homer, Marsden Hartley, Andrew Wyeth, and Stephen King (and more) – all of whom are world-renowned artists with deep ties to Maine. Not to mention that the arts are thriving, generating over $150 million in economic activity and supporting more than 4,000 jobs. The Creative Economy is a sector that’s still growing and attracting young people to Maine because it’s where nature and culture meet. That’s why my Administration will support the Arts by:
- Investing in promoting Maine culture to the world. Our artistic products should be as well-known as our lobsters or our lumber. Maine’s upcoming 200th anniversary will be a golden opportunity to show-off Maine’s art heritage to the world.
- Increasing the coordination between Maine’s tourism industry and the creative economy. If you build it – or paint it, or sculpt, or carve it – people will come!
- Boosting investment in direct support for art projects, through grants or special art requirements in general economic development aid.
- Reducing the cost of health care so more Maine artists can afford to concentrate on their art and their business, rather than be forced to take second jobs.