MSAC COVID-19 State of Emergency Statement & Resources

The COVID-19 state of emergency has resulted in lost income across the creative sector. MSAC has responded immediately by convening constituents to assess the most urgent needs, passing measures to ease the burden on organizations and artists during this challenging time, and compiling lists of state and national resources below. See here for a list of actions being taken.

The Future of Maryland's Arts Sector: Strategies for Stability and Sustainability (Arts Leadership)

The Future of Maryland's Arts Sector: Best Practices for Digital Arts Engagement


Professional Development 

MSAC continues to hold space for a variety of professional development offerings, based on your feedback. See here for the full schedule and updates.

MSAC Grants

Recognizing that the extraordinary demand for State and Federal resources is resulting in application delays and increased wait times for responses, the Council and the Secretary of Commerce have approved changes to MSAC’s Emergency Grant program. The program now requires applicants to estimate anticipated funding from State and Federal sources but does not require proof of application. More information on the MSAC Emergency Grants click here.

Small Business Administration Relief Resources

On December 27, 2020, $15 billion was appropriated for a new relief program (the shuttered venue grant program) to be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Under this program live venue operators or promoters, theatrical producers, or live performing arts organization operators, museum operators, motion picture theatre operators, and talent representatives will be eligible to receive grants of up to $10 million to pay certain costs if they:

  • were in operation on February 29, 2020;
  • experienced a 25% or greater revenue decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic during any quarter of 2020 as compared to the same quarter in 2019;
  • and satisfy other eligibility requirements.

For the latest information, details, and to apply, visit the SBA website 

Need assistance? The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has partnered with the SBA and can help! As this is a federal program, SBDC can provide information on this resource, direct businesses to the website and share general eligibility, but are unable to assist with preparing the actual application. Sign up for free counseling today by visiting

Reopening Resources

As the state reopens, the arts sector is urged to adhere to best practices that ensure the safety of employees, participants, and patrons alike. Through our collective efforts, Maryland’s arts community will play a critical role in protecting our citizens and preventing another surge of COVID-19 infections. 

MSAC encourages the arts sector to follow best practices shared by the Department of Commerce. 

Safety Best Practices

Below are recommendations on which best practices documents at the link above may apply to various arts venues. 

  • All 

    • General

    • FAQs Regarding Community, Recreational, Leisure, Cultural and Sporting Gatherings and Events (under Getting Back to Business: Maryland’s Approach)

    • FAQs Regarding Face Coverings (under Safety Best Practices)

  • Galleries  

    • Retail

  • Museums

    • Entertainment and Recreational Attractions

    • Retail, Restaurants and Bars (as applicable)

    • Professional Services (for office space)

  • Performance Venues 

    • Entertainment and Recreational Attractions

    • Retail, Restaurants and Bars (as applicable)

    • Gyms, Martial Arts and Dance Studios (for rehearsal spaces)

    • Professional Services (for office space)

  • Dance/Performance Studios and Rehearsal Spaces, Community Centers

    • Gyms, Martial Arts and Dance Studios 

  • Creative Co-Working Spaces

    • Professional Services

    • Retail, Restaurants and Bars (as applicable)

  • Arts Retail Businesses

    • Retail

  • Sculpture Gardens

    • Entertainment and Recreational Attractions

  • Gallery Walks

    • Entertainment and Recreational Attractions

    • Retail

    • Retail and Restaurants (as applicable)

Artist Registry

MSAC encourages Maryland artists to update or create Artist Registry profiles on and opt into the Marketplace so MSAC can promote their work for sale. MSAC continues to update its Artist Resource Bulletin with opportunities for Maryland artists.

Virtual Content List

MSAC has compiled a list of Maryland-based virtual events & content.
Adding your work to an online gallery? Hosting a livestream? Offering an online class? Add it to the list by submitting information to

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance

On March 27, 2020, the federal government instituted a $2 trillion stimulus package with provisions for increasing access to Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits through a program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The PUA program offers benefits to many working in the creative sector. 

In Maryland, the PUA program is administered through the Maryland Department of Labor. Other UI benefits are also being administered through the Maryland Department of Labor, including increased weekly payments, additional online application resources, and the extension of the duration of UI benefits. See the Department of Labor’s April 17 press release for full details.

The following resources provide an overview and action plan for those interested in the PUA and other UI benefits programs.

As entrepreneurs and small businesses for the arts sector, please visit It is a portal that is consistently updated with all information as it is received. Additionally, please use to ask specific business-related questions.

Resource List

See below for additional resource lists, FAQ’s, and information that are being compiled by various organizations. This information is believed to be accurate but is not guaranteed. The state of Maryland disclaims liability for any errors or omissions.

Maryland Government Resources