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December is one of my favorite months. One of my strongest childhood associations is the annual local production of The Nutcracker. I vividly remember the awe that I felt watching the tree magically rise out of the stage, with the snow falling, and the adult dancers performing feats, of which I could only aspire. Later, when I was an adult dancer, the Nutcracker sometimes felt more of a slog that we suffered through (as many as 45 times in a year!) than a wondrous experience. But no matter how sloggy it felt, I was somehow always able to tap into those childhood memories and feel the magic again, even if only for a moment. Recalling my own childhood wonder motivated me to continue creating that magic for others.  

Reflections like these help take us out of our daily grind and remind us why we’re doing what we’re doing. I’ve been reflecting on the past few months recently, and I’m in awe of the work of team MSAC. Since July, we’ve awarded close to $25 million in grants, and we expect to send notifications for $26 million in Arts Relief General Operating Support (ARGOS) grants this month. In addition, the first round of Public Art grants will be awarded in December, and the ARGOS application for FY23 Creativity grantees opens this month, giving the opportunity for mostly small-budget, community-based organizations to access additional MSAC general operating support this year. Making these investments in our arts sector will mean more arts activities in our communities in the coming months and more stable arts organizations in Maryland going forward, and that's a great thing! 

Wishing you a very happy holiday season and hoping you take the time this month for your own reflections.

Steven Skerritt-Davis, Executive Director



3rd Annual Arts Education Symposium on Anti-Racism presented by AEMS!

Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS) 3rd Annual Arts Education Symposium on Anti-Racism returns with keynote speaker Ivory Toldson Ph.D., national director of Education Innovation and Research for the NAACP, professor of counseling psychology at Howard University and editor-in-chief of The Journal of Negro Education. Participate in healing and learning sessions in affinity spaces with expert facilitators, collaborate in anti-racism arts education breakouts for each arts discipline, and more. This is a virtual conference for arts educators and teaching artists. This event will take place virtually on Saturday, February 4 from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Early registration starting at $10 is open through December 31. Reserve your spot today by clicking here.


Creativity Grants are open to Independent Artists and Organizations on a rolling basis for up to $4,000!

Thanks to the Arts Relief funding, MSAC is able to award more funding to the Creativity Grant program. Independent Artists are encouraged to apply for project-based support, and small arts organizations and programs are encouraged to apply for general operating support this year.

Important! Organizations awarded FY23 general operating support have the opportunity to apply for more Arts Relief funding this year. Reach out to Program Directors, Laura Weiss at and Emily Sollenberger at for more information. Apply now!

MSAC's support through the Creativity Grant was instrumental in the research and development of this pre-Columbian flute-making workshop for the Baltimore Museum of Art hosted by awardee Melissa Foss.This activity engaged the BMA's Ancient Americas collection in a new way and allowed participants to engage with important cultural patrimony in a hands-on way by creating their own working clay flutes inspired by ancient musical instruments of Central and South America.


Emergency Grant applications for Independent Artists are currently being accepted for $2,000 grants! If you have experienced a loss of income due to an emergency scenario occurring after January 1, 2022 that impacts your work as an independent artist, we encourage you to apply. Applications accepted on a rolling basis and awarded monthly. Apply now!

Please note: the application will be closed on Dec 6 and 7 for updates. New and draft applications will be accessible again on Dec 8.


Master artist Cathy Lamont (Montgomery County, left) is working with apprentice artist Leó Demeter Qualls (Baltimore County) in an Arts Relief-funded Folklife Apprenticeship on Hungarian folk dance.

Photo by Lisa Helfert.

Folklife Apprenticeship applications continue to be accepted until February 28, 2023.

Folklife Apprenticeships are $5,000 each and support traditional arts education through the teaching of skills from a master artist to an apprentice artist. During this special Arts Relief-funded cycle, applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and applications will be reviewed and applicants will be notified on a monthly basis. Maryland residents are eligible to apply. For more information, view this Information Session recording or contact Folklife Specialist Ryan Koons at or 410.767.8586.


Is your venue planning its bookings for the new year? Consider applying for a Touring Grant!

The Touring Grant is available to nonprofit organizations across the state of Maryland to support the presentation of performing artists from the Maryland Touring Roster. The Touring Grant is available for up to $5000 and can support multiple artists selected from the Touring Roster. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with a monthly review process. Full details can be found on our website here. Questions? Contact Program Directors Laura Weiss at and Emily Sollenberger at for more information.


Left to right: Artists Diana Manchak, Jeanne Hammett, Sarah Houde, Toni Wolf, Parran Collery, Denise Breitburg, and Town Administrator Laschelle McKay with Mayor Burris. Redwood Arch by Linda DePalma, Artwork Conservator: Lori Trusheim, Photo: John Dean.

With support from the Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM) program, the Leonardtown Arts & Entertainment dedicated the new LTown Alley Mural collaboratively created by five local artists. At 80' long, the painting also included ceramic mosaic and glass illustrating the beauty of nature both on land and water in St. Mary's County.

The Bromo Arts & Entertainment District in Baltimore also celebrated the Redwood Arch public artwork originally created by artist Linda DePalma and newly conserved by Lori Trusheim with support from a PAAM Conservation Grant. Also in the Bromo at the renovated Lexington Market is a new sculpture by artist Oletha DeVane funded by a PAAM New Artworks Grant.


Available to both independent artists and arts organizations, this grant helps support learning opportunities that help the artist or organization learn or develop an identified area of growth. Grants are available for up to $2,000. Applications accepted on a rolling basis, and reviewed and awarded monthly. Apply now!


Regional Office Hours

10 a.m. - 12 p.m. Individual Office Hours

12:30 - 1:15 p.m. Brown Bag Q&A

1:30 - 2:30 p.m. Individual Office Hours

Professional Development

Coffee with the Council

Information Sessions

Access all MSAC applications in SmartSimple. Questions?

Contact the MSAC staff person for the program you’re interested in learning more about. 


Maryland State Regional Virtual Exhibition Series: Western Maryland

We are thrilled to share the final exhibition of the Maryland State Regional Virtual Exhibition Series! The final destination of the virtual exhibition is Western Maryland. A diverse array of artists from Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties were nominated by their county arts agencies, and MSAC is presenting their work in an online virtual gallery. The work spans a wide variety of mediums, with many artists highlighting the beautiful scenery in the western part of our state.

Click here to view the Maryland Regional Virtual Exhibition Series #5: Western Maryland on view October 21 through December 16, and follow along as we highlight artists through our social media (@mdartscouncil on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Business Telework Assistance Grant Application Now Available!

The Business Telework Assistance Grant Program assists businesses with retaining and creating jobs across the state. Funded with $1 million in Governor Larry Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget, the program will provide grants of up to $25,000 to help businesses expand telework capabilities for their employees. These grants will help applicants purchase the equipment necessary to develop and implement telework policies, including hardware, software, and technical services.

Round one applications are due January 6, 2023. Further details and application information can be found by clicking here.

Please note: this grant is not administered through MSAC. Please connect with the listed Commerce staff with any questions.


The MSAC Online Resource Bulletin, maintained by Maryland Art Place, includes regional, national, and international exhibition opportunities, public art opportunities, grants, fellowships, residencies, artist registries, and information on available studio spaces in the area. The Resource Bulletin is updated throughout the month, so click here to see what new opportunities have been posted!

Do you have something to add? Email Caitlin Gill at

The Maryland State Arts Council is committed to making sure all Marylanders can access its programs and services. Guests with further accessibility questions or who require accommodations may fill out the Accommodations Request Form or contact the MSAC Office Secretary at

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