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 cash award, access to Mayo Street Arts rehearsal or studio space, and performance or community engagement opportunities.

Resources provided by Mayo Street Arts to Mission Fund Awardees:

  • Cash award
  • Studio or rehearsal space to develop a project.
  • Enhanced visibility through Mayo Street Arts’ website, publicity, newsletter, and web presence.
  • Access to technical and administrative support to promote artists’ visibility.
  • Performance and community engagement opportunities at Mayo Street Arts.

Expectations of the Artist(s):

  • To create or develop an Artistic Project to be shared with MSA members and public.
  • To engage the local community as determined between artists and MSA staff. This may be a workshop, class, presentation, artist talk, or other.
  • To provide Mayo Street Arts visibility in perpetuity on artist’s resume and website, or other means agreed upon before the project begins.

The 2019 Inaugural MSA Mission Awardees announced in February 2019:

  • Lindsey Bourassa, flamenco dancer and scholar
  • Maurice Habimafura, on behalf of Rwandan cultural group Ikirenga cy’Intore

The 2020 Inaugural MSA Mission Awardees announced in August 2020:

  • Ideal Maine Social Aid and Sanctuary Band, activist street band open to performers of all-levels.

In keeping with our history, we welcome innovative and non-conventional enterprises. Mayo Street Arts retains the option of providing a theme, particular artistic genre or specific area of focus for a particular year, based on consultation with our Board of Directors.

Application Process for the MSA Mission Fund Award:

Applications for the MSA Mission Fund Awards are accepted on a rolling basis and can be emailed to Mayo Street Arts at

Please include a 1,000 word or less proposal describing the Artistic Project. Include the number of artists involved, bios of key artist/s, links to video and website if available, any specific technical or rehearsal needs for the project, and contact information.

An awardee will be selected by a review committee comprised of representatives from Mayo Street Arts staff, Board, and the local artistic community.

Additional information may be requested from finalists.