Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts announce the recipients of the Creative Baltimore Fund.  More than 40 established organizations and individual artists will receive grants from $225,000 available in funding.  The Creative Baltimore Fund is administered by the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

The Creative Baltimore Fund provides support to artists and organizations through two grants.  The Mayor’s Individual Artist Award provides project support of $5,000 for programs that promote public access and encourage the breadth of arts and/or cultural programming in the community.  Recipients of this year’s award are Bruce McKaig, Lola Pierson, Caitlin Carbone and Josh Thomas, James Carter and Julie Lin.  Descriptions of their proposed projects are listed below.

General Operating Support provides core support for established arts or cultural organizations that benefit the public and are artistically or culturally vibrant. Organizations can receive up to $10,000 for general operating support.  Recipients of this year’s award are:


901 Arts (Better Waverly)

Access Art, Inc.

American Visionary Art Museum

Art with a Heart

Arts Every Day

Bach Concert Series, Inc.

Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Inc.

Baltimore Clayworks

Baltimore Concert Opera

Baltimore Dance Collective

Baltimore Heritage, Inc.

Baltimore Jazz Alliance

Baltimore Museum of Industry

Baltimore School for the Arts Foundation, Inc. (TWIGS)

Baltimore Theatre Project, Inc.

Black Cherry Puppet Theater

Center Stage Associates, Inc.

Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

CityLit Project

Concert Artists of Baltimore

Creative Alliance

EMP Collective

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center

Everyman Theatre

FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture

Friends of Patterson Park

Handel Choir of Baltimore

Hippodrome Foundation, Inc.

Historic Ships in Baltimore, Inc.

Intersection of Change

Make Studio Art Program, Inc.

Maryland Humanities Council

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

Muse 360 Arts

North Avenue Knowledge Exchange

Shriver Hall Concert Series

Single Carrot Theatre

Spotlighters Theatre

Wide Angle Youth Media

Writers in Baltimore Schools

Young Audiences of Maryland, Inc.


Mayor’s Individual Artist Award Projects:

Bruce McKaig – Labor and Art
This one-year project will connect selected Baltimore residents with artists to explore stories of labor and life through the production of artworks. Participating residents will be selected from groups that face significant challenges to securing gainful employment, including single parents, youth or elderly, ex-offender, and refugees.  The project will unite each participating resident with a local artist who will produce a work of art based on the person’s experiences, stories, and aspirations. The cumulative series of artworks will be shared with the broader Baltimore community through a gallery exhibition, a project website, and social and traditional media.

Lola Pierson – Azimuth and Blue Apple: A BROS/Arena Players Collaborative Production

A production of two short theater pieces, “Battle of Blue Apple Crossing” and “Determination of Azimuth,” which were originally mounted in 2015 as part of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (BROS) “Rock Opera 6-Pack.” Though the 2015 run was well-received, there was a strong desire afterwards to recreate and reimagine their shows outside of the constraints of the 6-Pack format, which had necessitated abridged scripts, shorter runtimes, and smaller staging and casting. Moreover, the historical content of the shows had garnered some local attention, and the creators wanted to find a way to bring the shows to Baltimore City students. Both shows are centered on African-American historical figures: Blue Apple tells a tale about Robert Johnson, a blues musician who died under mysterious circumstances in 1938, while Azimuth explores the career of Katherine Johnson, a NASA Mathematician.

Caitlin Carbone and Josh Thomas – Music & Lear

The project is a mobile, hip-hop adaptation of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear” that will be toured to underserved communities in and around Baltimore, through community organizations including, but not limited to, shelters for the homeless, foster care programs, prisons, and Baltimore City Public Schools. Caitlin Carbone will first cut the script into a condensed version and identify scenes and moments that will be performed from the original text. Then, Josh Thomas will write music and hip-hop lyrics to the condensed version that capture the story in a dynamic and truthful way with famous speeches presented as a cappella moments.

James Carter – Arts in the Park

In an effort to bring together various communities in Northwest Baltimore, highlight the great community aspects to home buyers and showcase the talented local artists of Baltimore City, James Carter will offer a free, community arts festival to be held in Hanlon Park, Gwynns Falls Parkway and Longwood Street. The festival, Arts in the Park, will feature a music stage with local professional ensembles, community performers, arts and crafts vendors, food, prizes, and games. Performers will include neighborhood church choirs and youth ensembles.

Julie Lin – Sokol and Baltimore: A Community Art Project

Because the themes about art, cooking, food, and family are universal, this project uncovers the rich history and influences of immigrants from a century ago in Southeast Baltimore in partnership with Sokol Baltimore. The project will include six workshops/classes for local children, one public event, and one mural. The goal is to increase the engagement of the residents and schools in Southeast Baltimore to learn more about their neighbor next door and the history of the neighborhood. Students will learn about local history through tours, visiting residents, organizations, looking at art and architecture, and eating traditional foods. The youth participants, along with adults, will help paint an exterior mural on the side of Sokol Baltimore’s building. The youth will also learn about Sokol’s unique history and try out some basic gymnastics (Sokol’s claim to fame). At the end of the program, a public event will be held to celebrate the project and heritages/cultural arts represented in the project. 

The Creative Baltimore Fund is made possible through monetary support from the billboard tax and helps art programs and projects come to fruition and continue to enhance the City of Baltimore.  Recipients were selected by an independent panel.

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