Spindleworks has been awarded a $32,000 grant from the Quimby Foundation. One of the largest grants the program has ever received, the monies will be used to establish a Scholarship Fund. In the letter of notification, board member Hannah Quimby wrote, “Spindleworks was selected to receive funding because your goals and mission most closely align with our foundation’s funding priorities and we are inspired by the work that you have been doing in the state of Maine.”
We are immensely grateful to the Quimby Foundation, and their understanding that an investment in Spindleworks through a scholarship fund is really an investment in a larger idea of how we as an organization can contribute; using art to help change individual lives both here and in the community, and strengthening our community in the process.
Ray Nagel, our Executive Director noted that “the grant is greatly appreciated, and will help with the transition of several people who are on the waiting list to transition to Adult Services. The problem of transition funding is systemic across the state. As individuals wait for funding, families are responsible for all services they receive. In some situations, family members have had to quit jobs in order to provide the oversight necessary for their adult children who have ‘aged-out’ of the educational system. The scholarship will not only help individuals but their families as well. Currently there are over 1300 individuals waiting for funding through the state through one of two funding sources.”
The Spindleworks Bridge Scholarship will target recent graduates from area high schools who wait sometimes 3-5 years to receive state funding for needed adult services, including residential and employment support, as well as programs like Spindleworks. This wait is particularly detrimental to individuals with disabilities, and the scholarship as a means to halt a backslide of growth. At this critical juncture, we want to empower individuals, help them continue to build skills, motivation and confidence so they can move forward and succeed in life.
Of course, a scholarship at Spindleworks means pursuit of a career in the arts. As a program of Independence Association, Spindleworks has been offering studio space, supplies and mentoring for aspiring artists with disabilities since the late seventies. The professional artists on staff work closely with the member artists to achieve their personal and professional goals. As well as artistic techniques, the artists have the opportunity to learn professional skills such as resume and portfolio building, how to apply for exhibits, public speaking, and leadership skills. In addition, as a member of Spindleworks, the artists are contributing members of the community through volunteerism, and cultural events hosted by the program.
Both Spindleworks and sister program SpinOff Studio in Gardiner will accept applications for scholarships, hoping to meet the needs of individuals in the Midcoast and Kennebec Valley regions. The application process will no doubt be competitive, as the grant will allow for 2 days of programming access for up to five years for five individuals. However we intend for this to be just a beginning. This grant has given us a much needed foundation to build from and Spindleworks will continue to fundraise to grow the scholarship fund that we might support more individuals in years to come.
Please find the application for the scholarship and the application for services here: