A Belfast-based consortium is one of six groups, statewide, that was recently invited to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Maine Arts Commission.

The Creative Communities = Economic Development (CCED) grant is a new program intended to, in the words of the MAC application form, “provide the cultural sector with significant funds to contribute to mutually agreed upon plans and initiatives that stimulate the local economy, strengthen the role of arts and culture, and enhance their community’s quality of place.”

Waterfall Arts filed a joint letter of intent for the grant in March, along with the city and the downtown business group Our Town Belfast.

The letter described the “forward momentum” of several recently received grants, current work on a downtown and waterfront master plan and Belfast’s recent acceptance into the Main Street economic development program, continuing:

“This is the perfect time for an Arts and Cultural Coordinator who will integrate this dynamic force, weaving together creative goals and civic improvements into economic development.”

The new hire, as currently proposed, would act as a liaison between the many cultural events and groups around the city. Among those listed in the letter of intent are the downtown art galleries, Belfast Maskers, Free Range Music Festival, Celtic Festival, Poetry Festival and the public art program Eco-Motion.

Waterfall Arts is listed on the application as the “lead nonprofit cultural organization,” with the city, Our Town Belfast and the Belfast Arts Council playing supporting roles.

The Arts and Cultural Coordinator would be in charge of grant writing, organizing volunteers, working with the city’s economic development director, coordinating arts programming, events and calendars, among other things.

“Nowhere is there one calendar that lists all the events in Belfast,” said Dorothy Havey, executive director of Our Town Belfast.

Based on the letter of intent, Havey said, the Belfast group was one of six in the state invited to formally apply for the grant. The application is due in October and is scheduled to be awarded in November, she said.

As a group, Waterfall Arts, Our Town Belfast and the city would be required to contribute matching funds equal to the award amount, in either cash or in-kind donations. Havey said this money has yet to be raised and she and others are currently working on it.

The arts coordinator would not likely be a city position, she said, adding that the possibility of the city contributing office space as an in-kind donation has been discussed as one option.