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Visiting Performer Program

Visiting Performer Program

The Visiting Performer Program

Through the Visiting Performer Program, schools, and other educational institutions gain assistance and financial support that encourage quality arts performances and workshops for their students. Teachers or schools may browse the Visiting Performer Roster and contact an artist to book a performance or production for students. For each booking, the artist applies MSAC funding that reduces the amount owed by the school to the artist by up to one-third, making performances more affordable for schools. A school may obtain up to three different productions per school year through the Visiting Performer Program.

AiE grants to the performers and companies listed on the Visiting Performer Program Roster of Artists make it possible for schools to obtain a limited number of performances at reduced fees. Up to one-third of the total cost of a given service may be covered by AiE funds (performer's fee + travel = total cost of the service). Up to three different productions per school year can be obtained by the school/site in this way. 

To obtain AiE funding for a performance:

  1. Select a performer from the Visiting Performer Roster
  2. Contact the performer or their booking representative of record to find out which productions are offered this year and if MSAC funds are still available to subsidize a performance. When MSAC funds are exhausted, full fees apply. 
  3. Make the necessary arrangements (dates, times, fees) and sign a contract with the performer or their booking representative.  The contract will include the MSAC subsidy amount as well as the amount owed by the school to cover the remaining cost of the performance
  4. Attend and enjoy the performance!
  5. Complete the Final Report and mail it to:

Maryland State Arts Council
AiE Program Director
175 W. Ostend Street, Suite E
Baltimore, MD 21230


As an author, songwriter, and musician, I have been performing for children and families in Maryland schools since 1975. In recent years, the AIE funding program has allowed me to visit with a great many schools that otherwise would not have been able to afford a cultural arts program such as mine.

Just this week alone, my AIE grant helped fund performances for 900 students at a school in Greenbelt, almost 1,000 children at a school in Langley Park, and over 760 kids at a school in Montgomery county—where 95% of the students participate in the free lunch and free breakfast program at each location.

Most of the students in these schools had never met an author before or seen a performance like mine. It was great to see the excitement and the smiles at each school and to realize that my visit had had an impact.

Although I’ve never turned away any school for lack of funding, many schools in under-served communities have been helped by the AIE funding program.

I am truly grateful that this resource has made it possible for me to share my work with so many students.

Barry Louis Polisar

Barry Louis Polisar has been writing, singing, and performing for over forty years and his songs have been recorded by singers and musicians all over the world.