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Independent Artist Award

A neutral colored, cut paper artwork with textures reminiscent of coral. Subtle oranges and light green shades make up this laye
A portrait of the bust of a woman in profile, wearing a light pink Victorian-style dress with small pearl earrings, a white head

Independent Artist Award


Independent Artist Award - Honoring Artistic Achievement by Maryland Artists

Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artist Awards recognizes achievement by Maryland artists making work independent of an institution or organization. The awards are accompanied by unrestricted grants that encourage artistic growth and sustained practice. 

Applying for an Award

The Independent Artist Award program is currently in the final stage of revisions. For information about changes to the program’s structure, please see the list of changes that were approved by the Council at a meeting on April 9, 2019.

Full applications and guidelines for the 2020 Independent Artist Award will be available starting October 9, 2019. The deadline to apply for the 2020 Independent Artist Award will be November 15, 2019 at 5:00pm.


Artistic Categories - New in 2020
Artistic categories will rotate in a three-year cycle:
FY2020: Performance
FY2021: Visual/Media
FY2022: Literary


What does a panelist do?
Panelists play a vital role in the Maryland State Arts Council’s Independent Artists Awards. Panelists will: 
  • Review and score each applicant’s submission based on a rubric
  • Panelists attend one regional review meeting, and select panelists may also attend one state award review meeting during the winter of 2020
The average commitment of hours varies based on the number of applicants per region. The majority of work happens on the panelists’ own time over the course of 2-3 months.
Who can be a panelist? 
This year’s Independent Artist Awards will be focused on Performance. We will rely on the wide array of experts and enthusiasts in the Performing Arts from across the state of Maryland to serve as panelists. Panelists are selected with a focus on diversity of experiences and diversity of location. Regardless of your connection to the arts, we encourage you to apply.