BELFAST – Local participatory arts nonprofit Belfast Flying Shoes recently received three generous grant awards. The gifts will support Belfast Flying Shoes and its community-building dance and music programs, as the board prepares to launch the organization’s annual appeal.

In April, Belfast Flying Shoes received $7,500 from a two-year grant from the Onion Foundation ($15,000 total granted in 2022 and 2023) and a $2,500 grant from the Holt Family Fund of the Maine Community Foundation. In May, the Waldo County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation awarded Belfast Flying Shoes a 2022 Community Building Grant in the amount of $7,500. Together, these generous gifts will help sustain the organization as it fulfills its nonprofit purpose of providing participatory music and dance programs in Midcoast Maine.

At the recent First Friday Dance at Steamboat Landing, dancers and musicians celebrated the news by letting their shoes fly into the air, with laughter and whoops of delight. Board member Kay Zegel commented on the impact of the funding: “The awarding of these community- and family-supportive grants to Belfast Flying Shoes demonstrates that this is a community organization worth supporting.”

Flying Shoes Director Chrissy Fowler said, “This validation from highly-regarded grantors like the Maine Community Foundation and Onion Foundation is especially amazing as we kick off our 2022 Annual Appeal with its goals of raising $17,000 from 170 contributors in our 17th year.”

The beloved First Friday Community Dance and Contra Dance series is expected to fully resume in the fall, and a second outdoor community dance is planned for Aug. 5 on the Armistice Footbridge. Other Flying Shoes programs include a weekly radio hour on WBFY-Belfast Community Radio, preK-12 school residencies, instrument lessons and dancing at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, and music programs for older adults in congregate care. For information, visit belfastflyingshoes.org.