Bicentennial Birthday Bash in Rockland recently received a grant awarded by the Maine Bicentennial Commission in the first round of Bicentennial Community Grants. The Bicentennial Community Grants program provides funding for bicentennial-themed projects that benefit the public, such as festivals, historic-preservation efforts, lectures and curriculum.

The commission considers grant applications from Maine community nonprofit organizations including historical societies, libraries, government entities and schools. Private individuals and for-profit corporations are also welcome to apply in partnership with a nonprofit entity.

The Maine Legislature appropriated funding to the Maine Bicentennial Commission for the grants, which will be supplemented by matching funds from private corporations and individuals. The initial round of funding is for $375,000, of which $145,255 has been allotted in this first round. Up to 10 percent of the funds are set aside for small grants of $500 or less, and at least one grant of up to $10,000 will be available in each county.

The Maine Arts Commission is administering the grant program. Two additional phases of grant awards are scheduled during the bicentennial commemoration; application deadlines are February 1 and June 1.

For more information, visit maine200.org.