Maryland State Arts Council Actions Regarding COVID-19
BALTIMORE, MD (March 30, 2020) - The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is announcing a number of actions it is taking to support the state’s arts community in response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
“The priority is to make sure that all of MSAC’s arts partners experience as little negative impact as possible during this state of emergency,” said Executive Director Ken Skrzesz. “Our immediate action was to hear from constituents through a series of listening sessions, which has allowed us to make prioritized plans in direct response to their needs.”
MSAC recently held four separate listening sessions online for county arts agencies and the public, which gathered feedback on the immediate needs of the arts community. The sessions were co-hosted with Maryland Citizens for the Arts, and more than 250 attendees were encouraged to engage with the Department of Commerce information for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Many recommendations from the sessions, such as promoting online sales of artists’ work, increasing communication with county arts councils to develop solutions, and combining advocacy ideas into efficient messaging, were compiled and shared with a number of arts-focused organizations for followup, including Maryland Citizens for the Arts, Maryland State Department of Education (Fine Arts Office), Arts Education in Maryland Schools, MICA (Baltimore Creatives Acceleration Network), County Arts Agencies of Maryland, Maryland Philanthropy Network, Maryland Nonprofits, and Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. For a list of actions, see here.
In addition, MSAC is taking measures addressing emergency needs in the creative sector, including establishing an emergency grant program fund for organizations, suspension of grant match requirements for several programs, the broadening of allowable expenses to address immediate needs, as well as some additional actions. A recommendation for an emergency grant program for artists is currently under review. For a full list of MSAC measures, visit MSAC’s COVID-19 resource page or contact the program director for your granting program.
MSAC has announced the schedule for Creative Conversations, webinars that are discipline and topic-specific, and a Professional Development Series to include: Season Planning Post COVID-19; Small Business Administration Loan and Grant Guidance; Increasing an Online Presence: How to Monetize Online Services/Products; Self-Care and Coordinating Funding Resources: and MSAC and Maryland Philanthropy Network.
Additionally, MSAC’s Marketing and Communications office will release increased promotion of the Maryland Artist Registry and Marketplace to bolster artists’ ability to sell work; an online portal for artists to offer services for hire; a CALL BOARD for updated cancellations and rescheduling announcements; recommended language for fundraising asks; and a vision for marketing the resurgence of arts activities after the state of emergency is over.
To find additional resources, please visit: https://www.msac.org/news/msac-covid-19-state-emergency-statement-resources
Amelia Evans, Maryland State Arts Council