Gov. O’Malley and General Assembly Pass Historic Arts Funding
As of Monday, Governor Martin O’Malley’s proposed 5% ($800,000) increase in the General Fund appropriation for the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) was passed by the Maryland General Assembly, which has adjourned its 2014 session. The 5 percent increase brings the MSAC’s total appropriation to $16.2 million.
Through MSAC programs, the funds will in turn be awarded to hundreds of Maryland organizations and arts programs that reach millions locally and target key statewide priorities that include economic development, education, community building and quality of life. Among these are Arts-in-Education, which in the previous fiscal year supported nearly 6,000 performances and workshops for 200,000 Maryland students; Community Arts Development, which ensures local arts accessibility statewide; and Grants for Organizations, which supports the organizations and arts programs that expand Marylanders’ opportunities for cultural engagement and share a powerful $1 billion annual economic impact across the state.
Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and the General Assembly, the MSAC’s pioneering A&E District program continues to add jobs, attract businesses and support artists. Another positive outcome of the 2014 session—the passage of SB 1054/HB 1516 —further benefits the program. A change to definition of “qualifying residing artist” means that artists who create work in any Maryland A&E Districts are eligible for an income tax subtraction-modification benefit on art sales that occur in any of the state’s 22 A&E Districts, and not only the district in which the art was created.
It is expected that the change will help further revitalize the districts, increase collaboration among the districts and broaden the statewide market for artists and their work. The passage of the bill comes on heels of a recent economic impact study that shows Maryland A&E Districts collectively supported an estimated 5,144 new jobs that paid $149 million in wages in fiscal year 2013.
Members of the Maryland State Arts Council wish to thank Maryland Citizens for the Arts and the many committed arts supporters statewide for all of their hard work and dedication to achieving outcomes that will enable the arts to better serve the people of Maryland.