The Sensational Royal Lights, 2018 Heritage Award recipients. Photo by Edwin Remsberg.

Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) seeks panelists to review 2021 Heritage Award nominations. The Heritage Awards recognize long-term achievement in traditional arts, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Awards annually recognize one recipient in each of three categories: Person/People, Place, and Tradition.

Serving as a panelist is a great opportunity to support the traditional arts while also learning about MSAC granting processes. The deadline to apply is Thursday, October 22, at 11:59PM.

What does a panelist do? Panelists play a vital role in the MSAC grants process. Heritage Award panelists will:

  • Attend an orientation in-person or virtually to learn about the Heritage Awards program
  • Review written grant nominations online
  • Attend an in-person or virtual panel meeting to collaboratively evaluate nominations with other panelists

Who can be a panelist? MSAC relies on a wide array of arts experts and enthusiasts from across the state to serve as panelists. Heritage Award panelists are selected with a focus on diversity of experiences, diversity of location, and expertise in traditional arts. Regardless of your connection to the arts, we encourage you to apply. Panelists must be Maryland residents.

How do I apply to be a panelist? Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system SmartSimple. 

  • Apply Here and log in or create a free account in SmartSimple.
  • Under Funding Opportunities, select “Public Call.”
  • Select “Panelist” from the dropdown options and click “Save Draft” to populate the application.
  • Select “Heritage Awards” as the Grant Program.

Panelists receive modest compensation for their services and must have access to an Internet-connected computer to complete reviews.

For questions, contact State Folklorist Chad Buterbaugh at

Each Heritage Award supports the vitality of the traditional arts in Maryland. Download Heritage Award nomination guidelines and see a list of past awardees at the arts council website.

More information available here:

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