Committed to empowering the arts, engaging communities and creating artistic vibrancy in Maryland!
Governor Hogan Kicks Off a Year of Frederick Douglass
Governor Larry Hogan kicked off a year of Frederick Douglass on February 13 with an event at the Maryland State House in Annapolis. In attendance were Douglass' descendants and story quilt artist Joan Gaither, a 2017 Maryland Traditions Award recipient. Gaither unveiled three quilts documenting Douglass’ time in the three Maryland locations that shaped his life and legacy —Talbot County, Anne Arundel County and Baltimore. See more photos on Facebook.
Arts Impact Economies and Lives!
The Arts make a vital contribution to our lives and are an economic driver in Maryland communities, having an impact on businesses, education, artists and job growth.  

In fiscal year 2016, the arts in Maryland generated $1.32 billion in economic activity and supported 16,624 jobs and $56 million in state and local tax revenue. Check out the details in the Maryland State Arts Council Economic Impact of the Arts in Maryland Report .
Celebration of the Arts @ Walters Art Museum
The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) will host Celebration of the Arts  to commemorate its 50th anniversary on Friday, April 20, 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. 

The event will feature innovative work from artists and performers from around the state in celebration of MSAC’s commitment to empowering the arts, engaging communities and creating artistic vibrancy in Maryland.

This event is free and open to the public however, registration is required as space is limited. Register at  
A word is dead when it is said, some say.
I say it just begins to live that day. –Emily Dickinson

  Maryland Poetry Out Loud State Finals will be held in the Joseph and Rebecca Meyerhoff Auditorium at the Baltimore Museum of Art on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 1 pm. This inspiring event is hosted by WYPR's Aaron Henkin  with musical guest Wendel Patrick . Henkin and Patrick are the visionary team that produce the award-winning “ Out of the Blocks ” on WYPR. E vent is open and free to the public.
Nine regional winners will compete for the title of Maryland State Poetry Out Loud Champion, a prize of $200, and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC for the Nationals April 23-25, 2018 at the Lisner Auditorium
The Maryland State Arts Council has partnered with the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation to conduct the 2017-2018 Poetry Out Loud Competition, which awards more than $100,000 in prizes to students and schools at the state and national levels.
Poetry Out Loud National contest teaches
literary history and builds confidence and public speaking skills.

More than 3 million students nationwide have competed in Poetry Out Loud since its inception 13 years ago!
In Maryland approximately 124,000 students have been
impacted by the program.
Maryland’s competition is open to high school students grades 9-12 in both public and private schools. Teachers interested in registering their school should contact MSAC Poetry Out Loud Director Chris Stewart: .

RSVPs are appreciated too!

Artist in Resident Grants for Schools

MSAC Artist in Resident Grant to Schools Opens March 2nd (2018-2019 School Year)

The arts foster young imaginations and encourage success in school and later in the workforce. The MSAC's Artist in Residence (AiR) program provides grants to Maryland schools that cover half the cost of a teaching artist residency in a particular school.

Maryland schools can browse the Artist in Residence Roster . Artists specialize in harnessing the arts as tools for learning and are available to lead hands-on, intensive arts workshops.
Residencies are available in:
Performing Arts
Visual Arts (supplies not included)

Application deadline: May 18, 2018, 5:00pm
Applications must completed online through eGrant with an electronic signature. 

Arts in Education Program Director Chris Stewart: or 410-767-6476.     
Arts in Education Funding for Charles County Public Schools
Steven Skerritt-Davis, Program Director for Community Arts Development, was on hand as Charles County Arts Alliance presented $4,950 in new Arts in Education (AiE) funding to the Superintendent of the Charles County Public Schools. The funding is one example of how the Alliance uses their MSAC Community Arts Development grant to support the arts in Charles County.

This AiE project will bring talented artists and clinicians into 15 schools, benefiting about 2,900 middle and high school band, orchestra, and choir students. At the presentation, Alliance President Gale Kladitis announced the Alliance’s intention to partner with the district next year to provide AiE funding to all 36 public schools in the county.
Art on the Fly Visual Art Exhibition Opens at MSAC

On February 15, MSAC held the opening of its first "Art on the Fly" visual art exhibit at its offices in Baltimore. Curated by Maryland Art Place , the exhibit features 24 works by ten Individual Artist Awardees. More photos on Facebook .

The exhibit will be on display and open to the public through June 1 at the MSAC offices, 175 W. Ostend Street in Baltimore. Please stop by!
At the opening reception of “Art on the Fly,” guests tried their hand at contributing to an ekphrastic poem based on one or more of the artworks.

Remember reading John Keats’ " Ode on a Grecian Urn" in high school? That’s an ekphrastic poem!

Here is the poem “ Art on the Fly ” that Literary Arts/Poetry Out Loud Program Director Chris Stewart created from the offerings.
USArtists International Accepting Grant Applications
USArtists International  is a grant program that supports performances by U.S. solo artists and music, dance and theater ensembles invited to perform at important cultural festivals and performing arts marketplaces anywhere in the world outside the United States and its territories.

Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supported nearly 1000 individuals through the USArtists International program last fiscal year. Applications for Round 3 are due April 5, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET for engagements between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.  
How to apply:
Read  program guidelines and instructions  carefully to ensure eligibility.
Complete the  online application .

Looking to connect with an festival? Search our  international festival database .
Imagine Art Here! Planning for Public Art in Frederick County
The New Spire Arts Center in Frederick on February 27 was packed with over 100 residents in ttendance, excited to envision the public art possibilities for Frederick County. The meeting was led by Louise Kennelly, Frederick Arts Council Executive Director, and Todd Bressi and Meredith McKinley, public art consultants, developing a public art master plan for the County.

Public art master plans are a process and a tool for communities to envision the possibilities of place and how art can be integrated in a variety of sites and contexts, temporary or permanent, free and accessible to all.

The presentation “Imagine Art Here” launched the discussion, encouraging participants to think beyond the downtown area and consider public art creating connections to other projects such as parks, trails and heritage areas. The group brainstormed ideas that will help inform the development of the county’s public art master plan.

To learn more about public art and receive notices of project opportunities email MSAC’s Public Art Program Director, and visit MSAC's web page at Public Art.
National Folk Festival Comes to Salisbury! Call for Vendors

T he National Folk Festival is coming to Salisbury, Maryland September 7-9, 2018 with over 60,000 people expected to attend!

Applications are now being accepting for the Festival Marketplace, which will feature juried , handmade creations of the finest artists and craftspeople from the State of Maryland and the Delmarva Peninsula.

Vendors will be selected based on artistry, craftsmanship, distinctiveness, connection to state/regional/local traditions, artist's relationship to their cultural/artistic community, and booth presentation. Marketplace vendors will offer both
traditional crafts and artistic expressions!

A limited amount of vendors will be selected.
Deadline is April 16, 2018.

Complete information can be found at Festival Marketplace Vendors.
Applications may be submitted thru the festival portal on SlideRoom.
Art Out & About
Executive Director, Ken Skrzesz, attended the opening night of Handbagged as part of the Women's Voices Theatre Festival at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda.

"Handbagged is a stellar example of how theatre, as an art form, connects history with contemporary topics. The outstanding cast brought British leadership to life in compelling exchanges about global events." ~ Ken
Artist Insight - A Chat with Visual Artist Tyler Farinholt
Tyler Farinholt, an Individual Artist Award winner whose painting "Jeffrey" is on display at the MSAC as part of the "Art on the Fly" exhibit, shared his creative journey with Janine Lis, MSAC, Marketing and Communications Manager.

Tyler arrived at the opening reception of "Art on the Fly" with energy and enthusiasm that filled the halls. After a brief introduction and an impromptu interview with a curious guest, we had the opportunity to delve into the person that created the piece, entitled "Jeffrey."

Tyler,tell us your background. ~ I grew up in Westminster and studied Art History at the Maryland Institute College of Art. I worked in museum education at the Walters Art Museum and around 2012 I started drawing and fell in love with portraiture. I primarily work with graphite and charcoal and use gold leaf and gold oil paint.

How has your career unfolded? ~ My career in art really began while working in museum education and teaching art to children. This experience combined my passion for teaching with my love for drawing. Its the connections I made while working in this capacity helped me to discover opportunities for grants, exhibitions and residencies that I could pursue to further my art journey and career.

What are your passions and what is your vision you want to portray in your work? ~ I have a passion for art education, curation and representing diversity in the arts. It is my hope that my work portrays individuals with qualities of strength, nobility and power. My Gold Series focuses on the representation of African- American males in portraiture. I want to see this series live on to inspire the much-needed conversations of race and representation of African-Americans in portraiture as well as addressing the institutionalized racism prevalent in our society.

Thank you Tyler for sharing "Jeffrey" with us at MSAC. Tyler’s work can be found at
Tyler Farinholt discusses his piece, "Jeffrey," at the Art on the Fly opening reception at the Maryland State Arts Council office on February 15th.
Did You Know!
Artists! Looking for a place to promote your artwork. Here it is! The Maryland Art Place Artist Registry . Sign up here to create a profile and gain the exposure you and your artwork deserve!

Want to add an event to the Tourism online calendar. Step through the process by starting here Maryland Tourism Calendar . Set up an account and you can add your event. All events are reviewed prior to being published.
Ken's Corner
Thank you to the Baltimore Business Journal for sharing my vision for Maryland State Arts Council and the impact of art on us all. " What we know for sure is that 21st century thinking comes from a place of creativity and innovation. " Read more.

And nothing like spending time with youth creating art...I had the opportunity to spend a fantastic day of master classes with a talented group of dancers at the Anne Arundel County Public Schools. Thank you.

Hope to see you on April 20 at the Celebration of the Arts!
What we know is that the creative approaches to problem solving used by artists and designers affect how everyone is thinking in the 21st century, it’s just a matter of us shining our light on it. ~ Ken Skrzesz, Baltimore Business Journal
Maryland State Arts Council | 410 767 6555 | 175 S. Ostend Street, Baltimore 21230 |