Snow Pond Press Release (NBRC Grant)



September 20, 2016
For Immediate Release

Snow Pond Center for the Arts is extremely proud to announce that it has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Northern Regional Borders Commission. This competitive grant was awarded to Snow Pond Center for the Arts through Maine’s Department of Economic Development to support job creation, stimulate population growth and increase tourism here in Central Maine. Snow Pond is one of the few non-profits to have ever received this award.

The NBRC is a federal-state partnership that was created by Congress in 2008 to help alleviate economic distress and encourage investment and job creation throughout central and northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and northern New York. This matching grant is ideal for rallying community and, in this case, philanthropic support for particular projects. All of the funds raised as part of the match, will be designated for infrastructure improvements to the historic Bowl in the Pines, and for the construction of a new 5,400 sq. ft. Expanded Learning Center on the Snow Pond campus.
The Bowl in the Pines was built in 1930 and is still one of the Nation’s largest outdoor stages. The additional infrastructure (power and structure for needed lights and sound equipment), will allow Snow Pond to accommodate larger scale events similar to the Bangor waterfront concerts. The upgrade of this historic venue will increase tourism and area visibility, drawing audiences from across Maine, the Northeast and beyond. This influx of visitors will benefit area restaurants, hotels, businesses and more.
Construction of the new 5,400 square foot Expanded Learning Center, will provide the critical additional classroom and rehearsal spaces needed to support the growth of many of the Snow Pond programs. These programs include: the Community Music School, the After School Program, and the Snow Pond Arts Academy, Maine’s first performing arts public high school, that opened this September.
The Northern Border Regional Commission is an important source of investment for Maine communities. John Wiggin, Executive Director of Snow Pond Center for the Arts noted, “The new Expanded Learning Center will allow us to double the number of Maine youth we serve, (from 250 to 500), allowing Snow Pond to make quality performing arts education more accessible to students of all ages, regardless of their financial means. By upgrading the infrastructure at the Bowl in the Pines, Snow Pond will be able to offer world-class entertainment right here in Central Maine. These expansions will bring about notable economic growth through direct and indirect job creation and population growth by attracting artists, performers, entrepreneurs, professionals, and specifically young families to work and live in Central Maine.”
About Snow Pond Center for the Arts
Snow Pond Center for the Arts and New England Music Camp have been operating an internationally renowned summer music camp for 350 students, aged 11-18, for 80 years on their 40-acre campus on Messalonskee Lake (Snow Pond) in Sidney.
Being witness to the significant impact music has on kids in just three weeks, Snow Pond made the commitment to provide year-round innovative educational leadership on a scale that would make a notable difference for Maine. In 2014, the Snow Pond Community Music School was opened to offer affordable private lessons, group classes, ensembles and performance opportunities to students of all ages and abilities, year round. This school is growing quickly and is currently serving 145 students. Additionally, Outreach Programs have been developed at 
Snow Pond’s partner locations, which provide another 160 children access to music education at little or no cost to their families.

Snow Pond is in the process of developing a new innovative After School program for 135 students, grades 2-8. This structured program will offer music education, academic support, recreation and a nutritional snack to every student, everyday.
In September of 2016, Snow Pond Arts Academy, Maine’s only performing arts based public high school, opened with 110 students on the Snow Pond campus. The Arts Academy offers a rigorous academic curriculum integrated with arts education and civic projects. The Arts Academy is expected to grow to over 320 students over the next four years.
For additional information on Snow Pond Center for the Arts please visit the Snow Pond website at, or you may contact Christa Johnson, Director of Development at 844-476-6976, or by email at