To support artists during the COVID-19 crisis, a coalition of national arts grantmakers have come together to create an emergency initiative to offer financial and informational resources to artists across the United States.
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.
For Organizations: to be eligible for MSAC Emergency Grants, the organization must submit proof of ineligibility or proof that an application has been approved or declined for one of the following:
For Independent Artists: to be eligible for MSAC Emergency Grants, the artist must submit proof of ineligibility for Unemployment Insurance (UI) or proof that they have either exhausted UI benefits, (including Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) or that UI benefits do not fully cover losses sustained as a result of the Governor’s declared State of Emergency in relationship to COVID-19.
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 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.
Sometimes in our lives we all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there's always tomorrow Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on From Lean On Me by Bill Withers
If there was ever a time when we need to lean on each other, it is now. Though we are physically apart for safety, together we are part of a unique experience that if we go it alone will weaken us—physically, mentally and artistically.
As this pandemic divisively plays out, the BOPA team is leaning into our role as Baltimore’s Arts Council, Film Office and Events Producer. Though we can’t gather like we did at Brilliant Baltimore in November and we’re hoping to for Artscape in July, we will continue to do all we can to strengthen the arts and community in Baltimore and beyond.
Creative Conversations are discipline-specific virtual gatherings in response to COVID-19, presented by the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC). More information, including topics and dates, is available below and on MSAC website.
Last month, Debbie D. Dorsey, BOPA’s Director of the Baltimore Film Office, traveled to Park City, Utah to support Baltimore’s presence at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The annual film festival is highly anticipated as one of the biggest gatherings of filmmakers and audiences, with many films that launch at Sundance going on to gain critical acclaim worldwide.
This year’s festival featured screenings of narratives,
documentaries, and shorts from all over the world, including Sweden, Iran,
Mexico, Germany, and more. BOPA is proud to report that Baltimore was also
present among this international roundup of films and storytellers.
“Baltimore was well represented at the 2020 Sundance Film
Festival,” says Dorsey, fresh off of her first trip to Park City for the
festival. Dorsey was able to attend screenings, meet with cast and crew, and
see Baltimore talent shine at Sundance.
1. As the Visual Arts Specialist, what is your position within the Arts Council at BOPA?
I work as a project manager for the Sondheim Artscape Prize, the Municipal Art Society’s Artist Travel Prize and Public Art Prize, Public Art Projects, and the visual arts awards for the state’s Scholastic Art Awards.
Sure! The call for artists just closed, so I review all the applications to make sure they are complete before sending them along to our jurors to score. Our jurors (Gary Carrion-Murayari from the New Musuem, photographer Nona Faustine, and Diya Vij from the High Line) will score all 300 entries, and from those scores the top 25 to 30 artists will be semi-finalists, who submit additional materials which the jurors score again. This scoring is used to shape the discussion in the in-person meeting (usually in New York), where the jurors select the finalists for the prize. The in-person meeting is crucial to the process, in my experience this helps to come up with a very thought-through group of artists. These finalists are then notified and have meetings with The Walters Art Museum staff to help figure out the gallery layout, needs of each artist, etc. That show will open Thursday, May 28, 2020. Then, the jurors will travel to Baltimore to interview each artist in their exhibition on Saturday, July 11, 2020 with the announcement of the recipient of the award that evening.
1. Tell us a bit about your role & responsibilities as Arts Council Director:
As the Arts Council Director I am responsible for implementing strategic leadership, planning and outreach to artists and the artist community within the city of Baltimore. I also develop and oversee programs and work to develop new initiatives to enhance and support arts resources within the community including institutions, organizations, and individual artists throughout the city of Baltimore.
2. What would
you like Baltimoreans to know most about the Arts Council and BOPA’s role in
We are here to serve them and keep them working in the city! As the City’s arts council I think it is extremely important for people to know that we are invested in helping support artists at every level of professional development as well as keeping communities informed and engaged about the arts.