Reflect the Times Art Competition

Tag a Baltimore Black artist!

The Black Arts District is holding a city-wide art competition to celebrate Baltimore’s vast Black creative community. $100 to the top 15 winners.

Want to participate? It’s simple. Think about the theme: “It’s an artist job to reflect the times.” Then create/showcase your art on your Instagram page that speaks to the quote.

You must include the hashtag #reflectbmore and tag @officialblackartsdistrict. All entries will be reviewed and 15 winners will be selected.

  • Only one submission per artist.
  • Videos must be 5 minutes or less.
  • It must be your art. (Singers are allowed to do covers)
  • If your page is private our judges will not be able to review your submission.

Email for more information.

Over the next few weeks, Arts Every Day will host a series of virtual conversations for teaching artists and arts organizations to connect, share and learn. The goal of each session is to think adaptively, collaboratively and sustainably about how the arts community is uniquely positioned to serve students and school needs in an era of distance learning. Please join as a participant, presenter, or both during one of an upcoming virtual IDEAS Exchange! Registrants will receive a link to participate via Zoom link or call-in.


Logistics Discussion for Distributing Materials to Students
Friday, April 24 @ 3-4pm

As Baltimore City Schools continue to pilot distance learning through a range of digital platforms, access to materials remains a huge concern for families and educators. Young Audiences of Maryland is currently piloting the distribution of ‘Art Snack’ project kits at Meal Sites throughout the city. During this session, YAMD will share logistics, safety precautions and lessons learned from their pilot. As an Arts and Cultural Community, we will also begin thinking about a collective effort to get materials into the hands of students across the City.

Please note: Besides the YAMD pilot, Baltimore City Schools is not currently distributing materials to students districtwide. This is a brainstorming discussion to align efforts and consider a collective approach. Use the registration link to rsvp. 

IDEAS Exchange for Arts Organizations
Thursday, April 30 @ 3-4pm 

Has your organization found success in adapting programs for virtual and distance learning? Are you interested in learning about what is working? During this round robin session, organizations are invited to share 2-3 slides highlighting an adaptation, tool, strategy or innovative approach they have developed or are piloting. We are all learning on the fly – it doesn’t need to be perfect! Presentations will be followed by a short discussion how education programs can coordinate efforts to support families and teachers in Baltimore City.  Use the registration link to rsvp and/or present. 

IDEAS Exchange for Teaching Artists
Friday, May 1 @ 3-4pm

With schools closed through the end of April, many teaching artists are figuring out how to adapt performance, workshop, and residency models to the virtual space. During this round robin session, teaching artists are invited to share 2-3 slides highlighting an adaptation, tool, strategy or innovative approach you have developed or piloting. We are all learning on the fly – it doesn’t need to be perfect! Presentations will be followed by a short discussion how education programs can coordinate efforts to support families and teachers in Baltimore City. Use the registration link to rsvp and/or present. Use the registration link to rsvp and/or present. 


The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is seeking panelists to review The FY21 Maryland Performing Artist Touring Roster applications along with the FY21 Maryland Touring Grant applications. MSAC relies on a diverse array of performing arts and grants experts from across the state of Maryland to do the important work of evaluating grant and roster applications. Presenting & Touring panelists will review the Touring Roster applications remotely from June-July, and will then review Touring Grant applications remotely quarterly during FY21. Serving as a panelist is a great opportunity to learn about the granting processes of the Maryland State Arts Council.

The design of the Presenting & Touring program is to spark collaboration, which supports a rich and artistically diverse network of Maryland professional artists and performing arts organizations. Eligible Maryland nonprofit presenting organizations have the opportunity to apply for the Maryland Touring Grant to help subsidize the presentation of any performer on the Maryland Performing Touring Roster.

The Maryland Performing Artist Touring Roster comprises Maryland-based performing artists with professional experience that have been selected through a peer review process on the basis of artistic merit and a demonstrated history of successful touring engagements.

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New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) has partnered with The Maurice Sendak Foundation (MSF), which has seeded a new emergency relief grant program for children’s picture book artists and writers who have experienced financial hardship from loss of income as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis. The Maurice Sendak Emergency Relief Fund, administered by NYFA, will distribute unrestricted grants of up to $2,500 apiece until the fund has run out. MSF has granted $100,000 to NYFA to begin the program. The initial goal for the fund is $250,000 with hopes that it will expand. Those interested in donating to the fund may do so here

The application will open in Submittable on Thursday, April 23 at 1:00 PM EDT, and will close once 600 applications are received. Funds will be awarded to eligible applicants in the order in which applications are received.

We encourage you to visit our regularly-updated Emergency Grants page for more COVID-19 specific resources that may be available to you during this time. 

Who can apply:

  • Applicants must be children’s picture book artists and/or writers who have published at least one picture book in the last five years (between 2015 and 2020) or who has a book currently under contract.
  • Applicants must be 21 years or older on or before April 23, 2020.
  • Applicants must show documented losses of income for the period of February 1 – July 30, 2020.
  • Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents in any of the 50 states, District of Columbia or U.S. territories.

The fund will cover any documented lost income opportunities including, but not limited to: cancelled freelance commercial projects, teaching, speaking, or consulting assignments; lost temp work; layoffs or furloughs as a result of business closures, etc. Your income loss does not need to be specifically related to your practice as a picture book illustrator or writer. It can be connected to your part-time / temp / additional employment.

Applications Open: Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 1:00 PM EDT
Applications Close: Once 600 applications have been received
Application Review: Thursday, April 23 to Monday, May 4, 2020
Applicants Notified: By Friday, May 15, 2020

Please visit NYFA’s website for more information including a list of application questions and requirements for completing the application form.  All questions should be directed to

MSAC will be holding special teleconferences for a variety of professional development offerings in the coming weeks. April offerings include Emergency Relief Resources and a Self-Care 4-week series. Additional offerings will be available in May. For more information, please visit the MSAC website

Emergency Relief Resources

Wednesday, April 22nd, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
Presenters will provide information regarding financial, as well as non-monetary, emergency relief resources. Guests include: Community Wealth Builders (including Kiva, Wefunder, and Honeycomb), MD Philanthropy Network; MD Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts; CERF+; Musicians Foundation; Arts Administrators of Color; New York Foundation for the Arts, and more.


Social Isolation Self-Care: A Community Gathering, hosted by Nicoletta de la Brown

Friday afternoons beginning April 17th through May 8th, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
This gathering is workshop style. The community is invited to discover new strategies for self-care during social isolation. As a group we will discuss, brainstorm, and develop modes for self-compassion and personal wellbeing. This gathering will allow us to feel connected with others during this time when we are all experiencing so much alone. We look forward to connecting with all of you, sharing new self-care rituals, and supporting you as you build your own personal self-care toolkit.


Our collaborators are also offering Professional Development! 
The Maryland State Department of Education Fine Arts Office is offering EMBRACE, a FREE professional development series for Maryland’s creative education force: Arts Educators, Arts Integration Teachers, and Teaching Artists. Expert facilitators will examine the intersections of art and wellness by exploring creative practices to keep us open, curious and reflective during COVID-19.


Photo Credit: Mark Dennis

Update, April 21: A modified version of this article has been featured in the Baltimore Sun.

In 1971, Seattle experienced the worst recession in its history; Boeing laid off over 65% of their workforce. A sign went up next to Boeing Field that read ‘Will the Last Person Out of Seattle Please Turn Off the Lights?’ It was in this context that 35-year-old Mayor Wes Uhlman established the Seattle Arts Commission (and later that year, what would become the Bumbershoot Festival). People asked Mayor Uhlman why charter a local arts agency in the shadow of Seattle’s worst recession… he said because we had to give people hope. —Randy Engstrom, Director | Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Before COVID-19, Baltimore’s moment was the 2015 Uprising. When it seemed that nothing else could bring the City back, the arts, in the form of Light City, brought people together and gave them hope that Baltimore was going to be okay. Across the country and right here in Baltimore we are facing disasters that are socially similar to the Uprising and as economically challenging as Seattle’s Boeing Layoff. What helped to save us then and will save us now is how we position ourselves for a comeback and a key component is the arts.

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