Midcoast Symphony Orchestra’s Judith Elser Concerto Competition finalists with competition judges in background at the Gendron Franco Center in Lewiston.

ELLSWORTH — The Maine Community Foundation’s Community Building Grant Program is open and accepting applications from nonprofit and public organizations seeking funding for projects that strengthen communities.

The 2021 Community Building Grant Program will focus on funding to build community resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, with changes to program criteria, priorities and types of funding. Priority will be given to projects or organizations that support people at higher risk to be negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Two informational Zoom sessions for grant seekers will review program changes for community-building grants: Noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8, and noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14. Email events@mainecf.org to sign up.

The deadline for applying is Feb. 15, 2021. A volunteer committee of Androscoggin County residents and community leaders reviews grant applications and makes recommendations for funding. Application, guidelines and a list of 2020 grants are available at mainecf.org.

In 2020, the Androscoggin County Committee awarded $44,000 in grants to eight nonprofits, including:

Greater Androscoggin Humane Society, to support the Second Chance Medical Fund, which helps vulnerable pets at risk of being surrendered because their families are unable to afford necessary, often lifesaving, veterinary care.

Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, for the biennial Judy Elser Concerto Competition, which offers Maine-based college students the opportunity publicly to play a concerto with the orchestra.

United Youth Empowerment Services, to build a team of 12 students in grades seven to 12 dedicated to learning the fundamentals and trade skills associated with video-production and movie-making.

The Androscoggin County Fund is built through donations from the community. For more information, contact Program Officer John Ochira at 1-877-700-6800 or jochira@mainecf.org. To learn more about the foundation, visit mainecf.org.

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