Since 2009, Mayo Street Arts has established itself as a center of creative and artistic production in the culturally diverse East Bayside neighborhood of Portland, Maine. From puppetry, painting, and dance, to music, and theater, Mayo Street Arts has been an incubator of artists and performers in many genres. The organization has a continued commitment to fostering and sustaining the local, diverse, and ever-changing artistic communities of the Greater Portland area and New England.

Initiated with generous support from the Brooks Family Foundation in 2018, the MSA Mission Fund awards artists of exceptional talent who fulfill the Mayo Street Arts mission, which states:

Mayo Street Arts strives to strengthen its neighborhood and community by providing a haven for the arts that is vibrant, safe, and inspiring; and to engage area youths of diverse cultural communities in robust participation in the visual, performing, and literary arts.

Awardees are granted a $1,000 cash award and an additional $1,000 worth of in-kind support based on their individual needs. Some examples of in-kind support include access to rehearsal or studio space, public performances, community engagement opportunities, grant writing support, business plan coaching, and more.

The Nomination Process

Nominations for the MSA Mission Fund Award are accepted on a rolling basis via this online form:

You will be asked to provide the artist/ensemble’s name, number of artists involved, and your reasoning in a short (1,000 words or less) proposal. While optional, links to a website or social media profile are highly suggested. Additional follow-up information may be requested.

Awardees will be selected by a review committee composed of representatives from Mayo Street Arts staff, board, and community members.

2023 Mission Fund Awardees

Bridget McAlonan on behalf of Inventing Trees

Janoah Bailin & Michael Trautman on behalf of Maine Youth Circus

Past MSA Mission Fund Awardees


JENNY VAN WEST — musician, teacher, and community organizer

BONDEKO — band fusing the musical influences of its members from Albania, France, and Guinea


IDEAL MAINE SOCIAL AID & SANCTUARY BAND — activist street band open to performers of all-levels


MAURICE HABIMFURA — director of the Rwandan cultural group Ikirenga cy’Intore

LINDSEY BOURASSA — flamenco dancer, teacher, and scholar