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Folklife Network

Puerto Rican arts and culture group Cultura Plenera hosting a community dance workshop at Sandy Spring Museum, a regional folkli
Decoys from the collection of carver Rich Smoker, board chairman of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, a regional folklife center

Folklife Network



The Folklife Network program funds organizations serving as regional folklife centers in Maryland. Regional folklife centers are defined as continuing programmatic or educational efforts made by an organization to support folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth. Organizations eligible for Folklife Network funds are Maryland-incorporated nonprofit organizations, Maryland colleges and universities, and units of government. Grants are between $10,000 and $50,000 each.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 (July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021), MSAC will accept applications to support one new regional folklife center in each of the three following regions:

  • Baltimore (Baltimore City)
  • Mid-state (Carroll, Frederick, and Howard counties)
  • Upper Shore (Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot counties)

In FY 2021, MSAC will accept applications to support continuing activities at existing regional folklife centers in the five following regions:

  • Appalachian (Garrett, Allegany, and Washington counties)
  • Greater Baltimore (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, and Harford counties)
  • Capital (Montgomery and Prince George’s counties)
  • Southern (Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s counties)
  • Lower Shore (Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset, and Worcester counties)


December 2019: Folklife Network guidelines are published

February 2020: Folklife Network applications open in midwinter 2020 via the online grant application system SmartSimple

May 2020: Folklife Network applications are due

June 2020: Review of Folklife Network applications by MSAC staff, expert panelists, and Department of Commerce

July 2020: Applicants notified of status; funds processed for successful grantees

June 2021: Grantees notified of Final Report deadlines

September 2021: Final reports due

Past grantees

The Folklife Network is a formal granting program growing from recommendations by folklife artists, folklife specialists, and other cultural workers during program revision activities facilitated by MSAC in 2019. The need for a Folklife Network granting program is based on foregoing long-term and short-term collaborations between MSAC’s Maryland Traditions folklife program and organizations supporting folklife in Maryland. The collaborations below illustrate some of the organizations at which folklife activities have been supported by Maryland Traditions since 2001. Current regional folklife centers are marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (Montgomery County)
  • Baltimore City Heritage Area (Baltimore City)
  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (Talbot County)
  • Coastal Heritage Alliance (Talbot County)
  • Creative Alliance (Baltimore City)
  • Frederick Community College (Frederick County)
  • Frostburg State University (Allegany County)*
  • Maryland Historical Trust (Anne Arundel County)
  • National Council for the Traditional Arts (Montgomery County)
  • Prince George’s African American Museum and Cultural Center (Prince George’s County)
  • Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council (Prince George’s County)
  • Sandy Spring Museum (Montgomery County)*
  • St. Mary’s College of Maryland (St. Mary’s County)*
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore County)*
  • Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University (Wicomico County)*