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Grants for Organizations

Joe's Movement Emporium Taratibu Youth Association by Will Webb
Port Tobacoo Players present the drama, Next to Normal. Photograph by Ann Marie Watson.

Grants for Organizations


Strengthening Maryland's Arts Infrastructure: Grants for Organizations

From large, internationally renowned institutions to local gems of the community, Maryland invests in organizations and programs that uplift, inspire and enrich our citizens through the boundless power of the arts. 



The Grants for Organizations (GFO) granting program provides unrestricted general operating support to nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, as well as units of government, that produce or present ongoing arts programming that is open to the public.  GFO awardees educate children, uplift communities, stimulate business activity and support jobs. 

See past and current awardees lists here.


GFO Grant Guidelines

The FY21 Grant Deadline has passed. Notification of the FY21 grant awards will be announced in July 2020.
For information on the GFO Grant Program as well as a detailed look at the application, please refer to the FY21 GFO Grant Guidelines
Other important GFO documents can be found here:
New for FY2021!
All GFO Applications (Full and RFF) will be completed through Smart Simple. Be sure to register your organization in Smart Simple to access all applications and forms (eGrant credentials will not be automatically transferred). Both the Full Application (On-Year) and RFF (Off-Year) are now open and available through Smart Simple.
For more information or technical assistance
Regional Arts Institutes - Join us this fall for an evening in your region to learn more about the GFO application and other partnerships. More information and registration can be found here
Contact your Program Director:
Emily Sollenberger ( Services, Folk and Traditional Arts,, Multi-Discipline A and B, Visual Arts/Media A and B,)
Laura Weiss (Theater A and B, Music A1, A2 and C, Dance, Literary Arts)

GFO Important Dates

Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - Intent to Apply Applications are due (for organizations interested in applying for the first time)
Sunday, November 15, 2020 at 5pm - All FULL Applications are due
Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5pm - All RFF Applications are due
Technical support is available from during regular business hours (Mondays - Fridays, 8am - 4pm)
Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered for funding. 
Panel Review Dates will be announced shortly.


GFO Panelists

The FY21 Panel Process is complete. A listing of the FY21 panelists will be posted in July 2020.
What does a panelist do?
Panelists play a vital role in the grants process of the Maryland State Arts Council.
  • Review written grant applications online
  • Conduct on-site interviews and phone evaluations to act as a more comprehensive advocate for assigned organizations in the panel discussion process
  • Submit reports about your assigned applications prior to a mandatory spring Grants Review Panel Meeting
The Maryland State Arts Council is accessible to all patrons. Guests with accessibility questions or who require additional assistance may call 410-767-6476 or email


New Applicants  

If your organization is a NEW Applicant or if your organization DID NOT receive a Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 MSAC GFO Grant, your organization was required to complete the Intent to Apply form in order to be eligible to apply for an MSAC FY2022 GFO Grant.

If your organization was deemed eligible, you will complete a Full Application for FY22.

To confirm eligibility and complete the "Intent to Apply" form, you must be able to answer "YES!" to all five sections in the chart below.


If you were not able to confirm all five, but are still interested in learning more about the growth of your arts organization, please let us know how we can help by connecting with GFO Program Staff.

The Intent to Apply form is available to complete in Smart Simple beginning August 15, 2020. Applications are due September 15, 2020.

Forms submitted after the deadline will not be considered.


Returning Applicants

If your organization has consistently been applying for and receiving GFO grant awards, with no recent lapses in application submissions, you are asked to submit one of the following two applications: 

  1. FY22 Full Application 
  2. FY22 Request for Funding (RFF) 

 Guidelines for these applications can be found here


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.