Artwork: “Everything We Own” by Amy Boone-McCreesh, FY19 IAA Winner

The Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Awards (IAAs) recognize achievement by Maryland artists who are working independent of an institution or organization. The awards are accompanied by grants of $2,000, $10,000, and $15,000 that encourage artistic growth and sustained practice.

2021 IAAs will recognize artists in the Visual/Media Arts. Artistic categories rotate in a three-year cycle. Literary Arts applications will be accepted in 2022, and Performing Arts applications will be accepted in 2023. Eligible artists may apply to the category they feel best represents their work.

Applying for an Award

Applications for the 2021 Independent Artist Awards are now available. To apply, click here

Deadline: Friday, July 24, 2020 at 11:59pm. 

The full guidelines for the 2021 Independent Artist Awards can be found here.

Call for Panelists

MSAC relies on a diverse array of experts from across the state of Maryland to do the important work of evaluating applications. MSAC selects IAA panelists with a focus on diversity of experiences, diversity of location, and expertise in the current year’s discipline. Panelists must be Maryland residents. 

Selected IAA panelists serve on one or two panels as described below. 

Panelists receive modest compensation for their service.

What does a panelist do?

Selected panelists: 

  • Attend one in-person or virtual training session.
  • Review and evaluate applications on MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple.*
  • Attend one Regional panel meeting. Select panelists will also attend one State panel meeting. Regional meetings will take place in October 2020. The State meeting will occur in mid-November 2020. 

*The average commitment of hours varies based on the number of applicants per region. The majority of work happens on the panelists’ own time from late August 2020 through the panel meeting(s). 

Panelists must have access to a computer with internet connection to complete reviews.

How do I apply to be a panelist? 

Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple

  • Click the Apply Now button below to log in or create a free account in SmartSimple.
  • Under Funding Opportunities, select “Public Call.”
  • Select “Panelist” from the drop down options and click “Save Draft” to populate the application.
  • Select “Independent Artist Award” as the Grant Program.

Deadline:  Wednesday, July 15th at 11:59 p.m.

Successful panelists enthusiastically embrace organizational and analytical skills, preparedness, timeliness, communication, collaboration, and their role as an advocate for the arts. Please do not complete this application if this list does not align with your practice.

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