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We are beginning our fiscal year this month with exciting news about additional funding and a newsletter filled with opportunities for you! 

The State’s 2022 supplemental budget included $40 million in Arts Relief funding allocated to MSAC to support arts grants. Over the past two weeks, the Council and Secretary of Commerce, Mike Gill, approved a plan to equitably distribute Arts Relief funding across Maryland’s arts sector with the aim of providing economic stability as we continue to navigate the effects of the COVID pandemic. The plan includes a mix of additional general operating support for organizations with expanded allowable uses, additional project funding to be distributed through MSAC’s existing grant programs, and funds to pilot a new grant program that will support working and living expenses of Maryland artists. 

See the next section for an outline of the plan, and further detail pertaining to programs throughout this newsletter. I invite you to join MSAC staff and council members for Coffee with the Council at 9 a.m. on July 19th where we'll review the different components of the plan, answer questions about accessing Arts Relief funding, and engage in discussion about what the sector is facing in the coming year. Click here to register for Coffee with the Council.

I want to take a moment to acknowledge and thank: first, the Governor and state legislators for recognizing the importance of the arts to our state’s vitality; Maryland Citizens for the Arts, artists, arts leaders, and arts advocates for your role in advocating for this crucial support for the sector; the council members, Secretary, and Department of Commerce for their support; and the incredible MSAC staff for whom this funding represents an opportunity to significantly impact the arts sector as well as a great deal of administrative work to deliver the funding across the state. 

I want to underscore that Arts Relief funding comes on top of record funding for MSAC of $28.9 million, for a total of $68.9 million in State support for the arts in FY23! We are excited to see what an investment of this magnitude can do for the arts in Maryland, and we encourage you to take advantage of every opportunity offered in the coming year. Stay tuned for more! 

Steven Skerritt-Davis, Executive Director


  • $21.5 million in additional general operating support will be distributed in the first half of FY23 to grantees already approved for grants through the Grants for Organizations, County Arts Development, Folklife Network, and Art & Entertainment Districts grant programs. Arts Relief funds may be used for general operating expenses as well as debt servicing and contributions to endowments or reserves to support economic stability of Maryland’s arts organizations and arts programs. Additional funds will be made available for FY24 in spring 2023. Grantees can look for more information in the fall, and can connect with their program directors for details about uses and accessing Arts Relief funds.
  • $1.5 million will be made available to organizations approved for FY23 Creativity Grants for General Operating Support. Organizations with operating budgets under $50,000 or not receiving an FY23 GFO grant are encouraged to apply for Creativity Grant funding to be eligible for this Arts Relief funding. 
  • $2.1 million in additional funding will be made available through existing grant programs, increasing the total available funding and raising maximum grant amounts for several opportunities. 
  • Arts in Education Grants grant maximum raised to $7,500 for FY23
  • Creativity Grants for Projects
  • Folklife Apprenticeships
  • Professional Development Opportunity Grants
  • Public Art Across Maryland Grants grant maximums raised to $10,000 for Planning and $50,000 for New Artworks for FY23
  • $1.2 million will pilot a new Grants for Artists program. Developed through the Artist Employment Initiative process that engaged constituents throughout FY22, the program aims to contribute to the sustainability of artists’ livelihoods by providing funds that support working or living expenses, bolstering a creative workforce that composes a significant portion of Maryland’s economy. More detail will come in fall 2022.
  • $300,000 in additional funding will be made available through the Emergency Grant for Independent Artists grant that has proven invaluable to artists throughout the pandemic and continues to support artists facing emergency situations.  

Keep tuned to our newsletters, eblasts, and social media for additional announcements over the next year about these and other opportunities to access Arts Relief funding. 



Join your Arts in Education Program Director, Lizzie Morales, for upcoming informational sessions to discuss arts education experiences that can be supported through MSAC's Arts in Education grants. Topics will include FY23 updates, how MSAC will continue to support "creative aging" (the practice of engaging older adults in participatory, professionally run arts programs focusing on social engagement and skills mastery), and any questions you may have about applying for an AiE grant.

Session A: Tuesday, July 19, 3-4 p.m.

Session B: Tuesday, August 16, 4-5 p.m.

Register for Session A by clicking here.

Register for Session B by clicking here.

Questions? Please contact Lizzie Morales at elizabeth.morales@maryland.gov.


The Independent Artist Awards (IAA) program will not be offered in the FY2023 fiscal year while MSAC staff work to envision the program for FY2024 and beyond. During FY2023, MSAC staff will seek a team of editors from the public to consider how the IAA program looks for the future. The timing of this pause will ensure we can serve all of our constituents to the best of our ability - considering new programs, funding allocations, goals, needs, and MSAC’s staff capacity. Click here for more information about the IAA program pause and revision process.

While IAAs will not be awarded in 2023, there are many other MSAC opportunities that support Maryland’s independent artists, including: Creativity Grants; Professional Development; Opportunity Grants; Maryland Performing Artist Touring Roster; Teaching Artist Roster; Public Art Across Maryland; Folklife Apprenticeships; Heritage Awards and; coming in early 2023 - the new Grants for Artists program!

Click here for links to MSAC programs available to independent artists.

MSAC is committed to serving independent artists throughout Maryland, and it is our goal that a comprehensive editing process will ensure we are serving as many artists as possible in the most equitable way. Be on the lookout in Fall 2022 for information on Listening Sessions and a Call for Editors.

If you have questions, please contact Program Directors Emily Sollenberger at emily.sollenberger@maryland.gov or Laura Weiss at laura.weiss@maryland.gov.


New for FY23 - Creativity Grants now available for up to $4,000!

The Creativity Grant program continues to be a very popular grant program for both independent artists and arts organizations. Over the past few years, the maximum grant amount has been $3500, but with rising costs for materials, supplies, and other factors, the maximum grant amount will be increased for the new fiscal year. The Creativity Grant will continue on with the same structure of rolling deadlines and monthly reviews with a brief (3 question!) application.

Keep an eye out for information on a "How to Apply" webinar, hosted by Program Directors Emily Sollenberger and Laura Weiss, later this summer.

Questions? Please contact Emily (emily.sollenberger@maryland.gov) or Laura (laura.weiss@maryland.gov) for assistance.

Arts Relief Funding for Creativity-funded Organizations

Organizations that receive General Operating support through the Creativity Grant program in FY23 will have the opportunity to receive additional Arts Relief funding grants as outlined above. Creativity-funded organizations will need to submit a brief application later this year for this additional funding. Be on the look out for details about this application process, important dates, and Informational Sessions, which will be hosted later this summer. (Please note: the additional funding is only available to organizations receiving general operating support. Independent Artists will have other programs to consider for additional funds.)


Attention, traditional artists: Maryland Traditions is pleased to offer additional funding for traditional arts education this year. Applications for additional Folklife Apprenticeships will be accepted twice this year: once beginning in September 2022, and a second round beginning in March 2023. These grants will fund an apprentice artist learning from a master artist. Stay tuned for more information via the MSAC newsletter and social media. Questions? Contact Folklife Specialist Ryan Koons at ryan.koons@maryland.gov.

Attention, regional folklife centers: general operating funds in addition to your regular Folklife Network grants will be available in FY 2023. Get the latest info by looking for an invitation to an upcoming, Folklife Network-specific info session and keeping in touch with Senior Program Director Chad Buterbaugh at chad.buterbaugh@maryland.gov.


Call for Grant Panelists

The Public Art Across Maryland program is seeking artists, arts administrators, and those with experience in design and planning in the built environment to serve as grant review panelists for the New Artworks and Conservation grants programs in fiscal year 2023. Selected panelists will attend training, and grant panel meetings (all virtual) held in the Fall and Spring. Applications are accepted via SmartSimple. The deadline to apply is August 15, 2022.

Save the Date: FY23 PAAM Grant Program Info Session & How to Apply Webinar

Public Art Across Maryland Grants are increasing: Planning Grants to $10,000 and New Artworks Project Grants to $50,000 in FY23! Please join us for an info session when staff will discuss guideline revisions to the grant programs. This meeting will include information about upcoming grant deadlines, eligibility, funding amounts, and tips on planning for and preparing a successful application. Register by clicking here. This meeting will be recorded and posted online following the event.

New Artwork Commission Opportunity at Towson University

Two artwork commission opportunities are offered for Towson Universities new College of Health Professions:


Arts Relief Funding for FY23 GFO-funded Organizations

FY23 GFO notifications will be sent to organizations in July 2022. All FY23 GFO-funded organizations will have the opportunity to receive additional Arts Relief funding grants as outlined above. Organizations will need to submit a brief application later this year for this additional funding. Be on the look out for details from your Program Director about this application and Informational Sessions, which MSAC will host later this summer.



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. Further details and the full program guidelines can be found by clicking here.

MSAC is hosting a lunchtime professional development series this summer focused on best practices for arts organizations. We'll welcome friends from Maryland Nonprofits, Associated Black Charities, Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Maryland Philanthropy Network, as well as Finance Friend Melanie Hopkins for sessions ranging from the basic elements of nonprofits to board, by-laws, and budgeting best practices. Click here to register for individual sessions on our Eventbrite page.


MSAC wants your help revising the policies and procedures associated with its Special Request grant program. Serve as an editor this fall and have a say in the future of this program. Click here for details on how to participate, or contact Senior Program Director Chad Buterbaugh at chad.buterbaugh@maryland.gov.

Access all MSAC applications in SmartSimple


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


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 caitlin@mdartplace.org.

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 msac.commerce@maryland.gov.
Connect with us at msac.org!