April 3, 2020
Volume 20-12
Welcome to Artist Alley,
Washington County Arts Council's electronic newsletter. We hope this publication will engage you with the arts in your community.
WCAC welcomes your ideas and support as it continues to take the lead in bringing together the community's art organizations to strengthen our region's arts culture.
For artist information, arts events, calls for art, and more visit WCAC's web page... www.washingtoncountyarts.com .
Arts News from Around the State
from the Maryland State Arts Council!
April 2020
Maryland State Arts Council Actions Regarding COVID-19
The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is announcing a number of actions it is taking to support the state’s arts community in response to the ongoing state of emergency. 
“The priority is to make sure that all of MSAC’s arts partners experience as little negative impact as possible during this pandemic,” said Executive Director Ken Skrzesz. “Our immediate action was to hear from constituents through a series of listening sessions, which has allowed us to make prioritized plans in direct response to their needs.”
MSAC recently held four separate listening sessions online for county arts agencies and the public, which gathered feedback on the immediate needs of the arts community. The sessions were co-hosted with Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and more than 250 attendees were encouraged to engage with the Department of Commerce information for entrepreneurs and small businesses . Many recommendations from the sessions, such as promoting online sales of artists’ work, increasing communication with county arts councils to develop solutions, and combining advocacy ideas into efficient messaging, were compiled and shared with a number of arts-focused organizations for followup, including Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland State Department of Education (Fine Arts Office), Arts Education in Maryland Schools, MICA (Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network), County Arts Agencies of Maryland, Maryland Philanthropy Network, Maryland Nonprofits, and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. For a list of actions, see here .
In addition, MSAC is taking measures addressing emergency needs in the creative sector, including establishing an emergency grant program fund for organizations, suspension of grant match requirements for several programs, the broadening of allowable expenses to address immediate needs, as well as some additional actions. A recommendation for an emergency grant program for artists is currently under review. For a full list of MSAC measures, visit MSAC’s COVID-19 resource page or contact the program director for your granting program.
MSAC has announced the schedule for Creative Conversations webinars that are discipline and topic-specific, and a Professional Development Series to include: Season Planning Post COVID-19; Small Business Administration Loan and Grant Guidance; Increasing an Online Presence: How to Monetize Online Services/Products; Self-Care and Coordinating Funding Resources; and MSAC and Maryland Philanthropy Network.
Additionally, MSAC’s Marketing and Communications office will release increased promotion of the Maryland Artist Registry and Marketplace to bolster artists’ ability to sell work; an online portal for artists to offer services for hire; a CALL BOARD for updated cancellations and rescheduling announcements; recommended language for fundraising asks; and a vision for marketing the resurgence of arts activities after the state of emergency is over.
To find additional resources, please visit this website .

The MSAC Online Resource Bulletin , maintained by Maryland Art Place, includes regional, national, and international exhibition opportunities, grants, fellowships, residencies, and information on available studio spaces in the area. The Resource Bulletin is updated on a weekly basis and maintains hundreds of listings of arts opportunities, organized by subject and deadline date. To post your call for entry, email Caitlin Gill, at caitlin@mdartplace.org .
Save the Date

MSAC has two upcoming Professional Development webinars.
Funding Public Art Now!
April 20, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
This information session is for artists and organizations interested in applying for the Public Art Across Maryland grant , offering up to $10,000 for either temporary or permanent projects. 
Recent grant recipients will discuss how they have adjusted to the challenges of implementing public projects amid the pandemic, and why they feel public art is still important. We will also look at examples of projects that can serve to inspire the public in times of uncertainty and social-distancing. Register here .
Online Arts Learning Platforms
April 13, 4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
This webinar will cover how arts educators and teaching artists can use various technologies for online classes, courses, and short form lessons. The webinar will feature a panel of experts about how to use three specific platforms for online learning (Jumprope, Kadenze, and Canvas.) After the presentations, MSAC will share a crowdsourced list of arts education online resources. Register here .
Sunday, June 14 and Monday, June 15 at UMBC

National Poetry Month was introduced by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world with schools, publishers, libraries, booksellers, and poets celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. You can read more about the celebration here .
There are many ways to participate. Here are just a few:
·      Follow the thousands of National Poetry Month celebrations taking place and follow the Academy of American Poets on Twitter  @POETSorg .
·      Invite K-12 students to participate in our  Dear Poet  project.
·      National  Poem in Your Pocket Day .
·      Sign up for  Poem-a-Day .
·      Share your photos and feedback about your National Poetry Month celebrations with the Academy of American Poets by emailing  npm@poets.org .
The Allegany Arts Council, in conjunction with the Maryland State Arts Council, has unveiled a new logo and video designed to promote Cumberland’s Arts & Entertainment District. Read more here .
Artist Highlight: Dianna Cuatto
Artistic Director Dianna Cuatto, who has led the Ballet Theatre of Maryland for the past 17 years, has announced her retirement effective in June. The Board of Trustees has selected Nicole Kelsch to succeed her. 
“We are deeply grateful for the contributions that Dianna has made during her tenure as Artistic Director,” said Board President Ted Atsinger. “She has raised the Ballet Theatre of Maryland to a higher level of professionalism and artistry. Through both the Company and the Conservatory, she has cultivated not only the dancers’ technical skills, but also their passion for the art of dance, and their understanding of how to pursue personal and professional development in the world of professional ballet. Among these excellent dancers is Nicole Kelsch, who we are pleased to announce we have selected to lead the Company upon Dianna’s retirement.” 
Cuatto joined the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in 2003. Previously, she spent four seasons as the Ballet Mistress with the Richmond Ballet. Throughout her long ballet career, she has served in many roles including Artistic Director, Choreographer, Ballet Mistress, adjunct faculty, teacher, and Principal Dancer in companies and universities throughout the country.
Photograph of Cuatto coaching Kelsch

MSAC is thrilled to announce the addition of Folklife Specialist Ryan Koons to the staff! Ryan comes to the arts council after earning a PhD in ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and returning home to Carroll County. At MSAC, he will work with the Maryland Traditions folklife program to promote the Maryland Folklife Archives housed at UMBC and manage digital storytelling work raising the profile of Maryland’s living cultural traditions. Ryan can be reached at ryan.koons@maryland.gov . Welcome aboard!
Current MSAC Funding Opportunities
Presenting and Touring Program: The Maryland Touring Grant Program assists eligible nonprofit organizations by subsidizing the presentation of any performer on the Maryland Performing Artist Touring Roster . Guidelines for the FY20 Program are available here . Applications can be accessed in Smart Simple . Touring grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed quarterly. 
Creativity Grant Program: The Creativity Grant Program aims to strengthen the vitality and sustainability of artists and small organizations, in order to maintain a strong arts infrastructure in the state. The program also provides opportunities to serve the growing needs of relevant arts projects and collaborations within Maryland communities. Guidelines for the FY20 Program are available here . Applications can be accessed in Smart Simple . Creativity Grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed monthly.
Artist in Residence Program: MSAC's Artist in Residence (AiR) Program provides grants to Maryland organizations that cover half the cost of a teaching artist residency. Guidelines for the FY20 Program are available here . Applications can be accessed in eGrant . Contact Arts in Education Program Director Precious Blake for more information.
Visiting Performer Program: MSAC's Visiting Performer (VP) Program provides financial support to Maryland organizations that cover a third of the cost of a teaching artist performance. Information about this program is available here . Contact Arts in Education Program Director Precious Blake for more information.
Professional Development Opportunity Grant: The Professional Development Opportunity Grant Program encourages and supports relevant professional development opportunities for artists and arts organizations throughout Maryland. Information about this new grant program is available here . Applications can be accessed in Smart Simple .
Special Request Grant Program: Special Request Grants support the needs of arts organizations and programs that may fall outside of the eligibility of MSAC’s established grant programs. Information about this grant program is available here . Applications can be accessed in Smart Simple .
Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM): The PAAM Program offers two types of funding: Planning Grants of $2,500 support administrative time for the planning and community visioning process, including support for artist proposal honorariums. Implementation Grants of up to $10,000 support projects that are designed and ready for fabrication. Maryland 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations or local government agencies may apply. Guidelines for the FY20 program are available here . Applications can be accessed in Smart Simple . PAAM grant applications are accepted on a rolling basis and are reviewed quarterly. The final FY20 deadline is May 12, 2020.
Folklife Network: The Folklife Network program funds organizations serving as regional folklife centers in Maryland. Regional folklife centers are defined as continuing programmatic or educational efforts made by an organization to support folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Organizations eligible for Folklife Network funds are Maryland-incorporated nonprofit organizations, Maryland colleges and universities, and units of government. Grants are between $10,000 and $50,000 each. Folklife Network grant guidelines are available here . Applications are available in Smart Simple . The deadline for FY21 applications is May 1, 2020. 
MSAC Opens Emergency Grants for Arts Organizations and Independent Artists
In response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists in Maryland as they adjust to losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or cancelled. Full guidelines and rubrics are available here .
Please note:

Due to limited funding, grant requests will be prioritized to assist artists and organizations whose needs cannot be met through funding from other relief sources. To help with this process, applicants will be asked to upload evidence that their funding requests from the State and Federal relief sources above have been accepted, denied, or deemed ineligible.

For updated information about MSAC’s response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency and resources for organizations and artists, please visit our website . For specific questions about your artistic practice or organizations, please contact the relevant MSAC program director via our staff page .

Applying for a Grant
Grant applications are available to arts organizations and independent artists through Smart Simple . Applications will be reviewed upon submission, and Emergency Grants will be awarded throughout the fiscal year until allocated funding is depleted. Note that the timeline between approval and payment may be 90-days.
The Washington County Arts Council is currently closed to the public until further notice.
Follow WCAC’s FACEBOOK page to view the current exhibit photos and other arts happenings around the state and local community .
To include your happenings in future editions of Artist Alley, please send your art information to  maryanneb@washingtoncountyarts.com

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The Washington County Arts Council, Inc. is funded by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), an agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development.
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The Washington County Arts Council is a proud member of
County Arts Agencies of Maryland,
Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and Americans for the Arts
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