LEWISTON — In its final year of operation, Empower Lewiston has awarded $181,580 in community grants, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Enterprise Community program.

According to a statement from the agency, proposals seeking funding addressed goals and objectives of the Lewiston Downtown Neighborhood Action Plan. Empower Lewiston considered 27 proposals ranging from $4,000 to $25,000, totaling more than $420,000. Proposals addressed community capacity building, youth development, neighborhood engagement, work force development, education, health, art and housing.

Those receiving awards are:

• L/A Arts, $5,000 toward the creation of a performance/workshop space and advanced enrichment programming;

• Lewiston-Auburn Neighborhood Network, $5,000 for community liaison for neighborhood after-school programming;

• ArtVan, $5,400 for expanded children’s art programming at the Lewiston Public Library;

• Lewiston Public Library, $7,450 for YADA’s Teen Engagement Project;

• St. Mary’s Community Nutrition Programming, $10,000 for additional offerings at the Nutrition Center, including multigenerational cooking classes, a teen catering program and snack sessions for Head Start;

• City of Lewiston, $13,000 to support development of a housing DVD for tenants and landlords;

• Maine People’s Resource Center/Visible Community, development of a Neighborhood Housing League to develop resident leadership addressing housing issues and proactive building and neighborhood stewardship;

• Trinity Jubilee Center, $17,500 toward the Meals Program and Food Pantry;

• Lewiston Adult Education, $18,100 toward upgrading community computer labs;

• New Beginnings, $21,190 to pilot expanded weekend programming at its drop-in center for youth;

• Downtown Education Collaborative, $23,940 to further educational success and bridge the digital divide through support of VISTA, work study students, an education technician and upgrades to increase functionality at their space; and

• Outsource Works, $25,000 to support employee performance and to develop a peer coaching training curriculum and program.

Awardees will bring $512,236 in additional funding and in-kind support to these projects and proposals.

As Empower Lewiston passes the baton to these entities and others, the agency’s Celebration Team is beginning its event planning for later this year and will announce the date shortly. Any person or organization that wants to be part of this celebration highlighting 10 years of new downtown Enterprise Community happenings can contact Empower Lewiston at 777-5144.

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