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Grants to Maryland Arts Nonprofits and Agencies for Local Arts Projects and Programs

County Arts Development (CAD) Grants

Maryland State Arts Council

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #146654

Grant Description

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Grants to Maryland nonprofit arts organizations and government agencies to support community arts initiatives. Funding is intended to provide access to a broad range of arts programming. The goal of the program is for arts organizations, artists, and audiences to establish strong connections with each other, encourage local arts activity, and provide equitable funding for the arts on the local level.

MSAC’s County Arts Agencies of Maryland (CAAM) Network supports Maryland’s 24 county arts agencies by providing funding and technical assistance to meet network goals. 

The purpose of the CAAM Network is to extend the service of MSAC, supporting county arts agencies with the goals of providing:

  • A vital connection with artists, arts organizations, and audiences throughout the State;
  • Encouragement of local arts activity of all disciplines in all of Maryland’s diverse communities; and
  • Equitable funding for the arts on the local level through transparent processes that are accessible to all county constituents.

County arts agencies fulfill the purpose of the CAAM Network by:

  • Providing equitable and accessible financial and technical support to all artists, arts organizations, and arts programs within the jurisdiction;
  • Engaging with MSAC in ways that strengthen and enhance an inclusive, collegial network of county arts agencies across Maryland that are working in current best practices of local arts agencies;
  • Encouraging and supporting arts activity while championing creative expression, diverse programming, and lifelong learning throughout their jurisdictions;
  • Advocating for the arts in their local jurisdiction; and
  • Providing leadership that elevates community artists by connecting their constituents to statewide and national trends and best practices.

For a list of MSAC responsibilities, see

For a list of arts agency responsibilities, see

Grant funds may be used for:

  • Re-granting to local organizations, artists, and schools to support arts programming or projects that benefit county residents
  • Arts programming that serves county residents
  • Services to artists and arts organizations working within the county
  • Administrative and operating expenses of the county arts council (a maximum of 60% of annual grant funds may be used for administration and operating expenses).

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

CAD grants are available to local agencies or nonprofits designated by the jurisdiction’s government as the official arts agency or council of the jurisdiction.

If the county arts agency is not a branch of the county or city government, it must be registered as a not-for-profit corporation in Maryland exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

All county arts councils must make grants to local organizations in their county to support arts activities within the support period. In order to meet the needs of the local arts community, grants to local organizations must be announced, processed, adjudicated, and disbursed prior to the end of the support period.

CAD funds may not be used for:
- Activities not open to the general public
- Operating grants to organizations outside of the county
- Programming or projects outside of the county
- Non-arts programming or projects
- Projects, performances, expenses, and activities that are part of school curricula

Pre-Application Information:

Deadline: January 31, 2022

CAD funds must be matched at least one to one in cash from any non-Maryland state source. In-kind services may be identified in the application form but may not be used as part of the match.

Application Submission and Review Process:

On Year (every 3 years):
- County arts agencies submit a three-year plan that details how the county arts agency will meet constituent needs as well as MSAC CAAM Network goals through their grant making and programs.
- A draft plan is reviewed by MSAC staff and a review panel, and feedback is given with technical assistance as needed.
- Revisions are made based on initial MSAC review, as needed, and the preliminary plan is submitted for Council approval.
- The Council (or a designated committee) reviews on-year county arts agencies’ plans and approves them or makes suggestions and requests for revision.

Off Years (intervening 2 years):
- County arts agencies submit a Request for Funding (RFF) that details any changes to its three-year plan, required financial reporting, and any requests for professional development.
- RFFs are reviewed by MSAC staff and any major changes are reported to the Council.

MSAC staff, panelists, or councilors can recommend a county arts agency be required to submit a full application in any subsequent fiscal year for reasons including but not limited to: submission of a weak three-year plan, grant noncompliance, or significant changes in budget, programming, operations, or leadership.

Term of Contract:

The support period runs from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

Program Contacts:
Abdul Ali, Program Director
(443) 621-6179

Steven Skerritt-Davis
Interim Executive Director
(443) 690-2353

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