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Creativity Grants

Sarah Jacobs artwork
Candice Mowbray

Creativity Grants



The purpose of the Creativity Grant Program is to strengthen the vitality and sustainability of artists and small organizations to maintain a strong and stable arts infrastructure in the State of Maryland. The Creativity Grant also provides opportunities to serve the growing needs of relevant arts projects and collaborations within Maryland communities.

All activities described in project-based application submissions to any funding program at the Maryland State Arts Council must demonstrate alignment with the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan to be considered eligible.

Applying for a project grant: To be eligible for MSAC funding during the current Governor-declared State of Emergency, a project must be allowable in accordance with established safety standards at the time of application submission. Use the flowchart here to confirm your eligibility to submit a project-based application.

If multiple applications receive the same score but budget restrictions prevent all applications with that score from being funded, final selections will be based on which applications most closely align with the published strategic goals of the Maryland State Arts Council, in the determination of the MSAC staff: Increase Participation, Provide Intentional Support, Build Capacity, Leverage Connections, Bolster Maryland Arts

For more information regarding eligibility and funding timelines, please review the Creativity Grants Guidelines 

For more information about detailed eligibility by Program, visit here.

Complete an FY21 Creativity Grant application here. All applicants must register in Smart Simple to apply.

Download Creativity Grant Application Scoring Rubric

Receipt of a Creativity Grant requires submission of a Final Report by the end of the Fiscal Year. As a part of this brief report, MSAC collects participant information to report to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Association of State Arts Agencies. 


MSAC’s  Grant Approach

National arts organizations (National Endowment for the Arts, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Americans for the Arts) have clarified approaches to uncover cultural bias in the procedures and policies of state arts agencies. In response, MSAC has committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in grantmaking as all funding mechanisms continue to be examined and updated.

 The driving goals of this vision for the granting processes are: 

  • To acknowledge positions of privilege while questioning practices, shifting paradigms of status quo arts activities, and taking more risks. 

  • To yield a greater variety of funded projects. 

  • To eliminate biases that may be found in any part of the granting process (e.g. - applications, panelist procedures, adjudication systems). 

  • To expand the deliberations about rigor beyond current conventions or Western traditions. 

  • To aspire to make investments that contribute to social change and demonstrate aesthetic excellence in terms relevant to context and intent.


Creativity Grant Awardees


All grantees are required to submit a Final Report communicating data required by the National Endowment for the Arts. This required data can be found here. For program specific Report information, please see the corresponding Guidelines.