Arielle Ebacher performs tight-wire as theater meets circus in Celebration Barn’s drive-thru production “Just Outside the Window.” Michael Menes


STATE — An anonymous Maine Community Foundation donor has provided $200,000 in general support grants to 20 community theaters across Maine to help sustain them during the pandemic shutdown.

“In addition to its emergency response to COVID-19, the Maine Community Foundation and its donors are working to build resiliency in Maine communities,” said MaineCF President and CEO Steve Rowe. “In this case, an anonymous donor has chosen to shine a spotlight on smaller community theaters and how they are a critical part of a community’s identity and creative spirit. We are grateful for the donor’s generosity and vision.”

Among the grant recipients was Celebration Barn in South Paris. The theater canceled its existing summer programming due to COVID-19 and was able to maintain two part-time staff members and design new summer programming, including outdoor on-site performances, online performance training, and circus arts theater classes for children. The theater will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022.

Deertrees Theatre in Harrison and the Denmark Arts Center, two other area community theaters, were also awarded grants.

Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, and Mars Hill, the Maine Community Foundation works with donors and other partners to provide strong investments, personalized service, local expertise, and strategic giving to improve the quality of life for all Maine people. To learn more about the foundation, visit

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