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Public Art Programs

Stochastic Interactions by artist Eric Peltzer, 2018, UMB, Health Sciences III Building

Public Art Programs


The Maryland State Arts Council offers two types of public art programs:

Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) is the state’s percent-for-art program that commissions artists to design new, original and site-specific public art integrated in state capital construction projects, such as new or renovated buildings. Calls-to-Artists for MPAI projects are posted on this page.

Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM) are community grants awarded to Maryland organizations or local government to support the planning and/or implementation of a public art project.

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.


Public Art Webinars

Public Art 101 PDF Presentation 

Link to YouTube Webinar Recording 

Public Art Across Maryland New Artworks Grant Information & How-to-Apply 7-14-20 PDF Presentation

Public Art Across Maryland Conservation Grant Information & How-to-Apply 7-16-20 PDF Presentation

Link to YouTube Recording


Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM)

There are two types of PAAM Grants available: New Artworks and Conservation Grants 

Due to the Governor’s Declared State of Emergency, all activities described in project-based application submissions to any funding program at the Maryland State Arts Council must demonstrate alignment with the current reopening phase of the Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery plan and local jurisdiction’s public health requirements to be considered eligible. If funding is approved, all project activities must adhere to federal, state, and local health and safety requirements.

Links to best practices across the state and by county are below.

New Works:

  • The New Artworks Planning Grant awards of up to $5,000 to support the community visioning process including the identification of a site location for the artwork, articulation of artwork goals and themes, administration of a Call-to-Artist solicitation, artist selection process, and artist honorariums for the development of concept proposal(s) for new public art.

  • The New Artworks Implementation Grant awards of up to $20,000 to support the fabrication and installation of new public artwork. The artwork concept must be fully developed including identification of the artist(s) creating the work. The public artwork may be in any media, temporary or permanent, and inside or outside. The artwork must be free and publicly accessible to all. The proposed public art location must be in Maryland, and the selected artist(s) must be a resident of Maryland.

PAAM FY21 New Works Guidelines

Click here to apply

Conservation Grant

  • The Conservation Planning Grant awards $5,000 to support artwork conservation planning efforts including: project administration, consultancy fees, community engagement, and collection management services and technology.

  • The Conservation Implementation Grant awards up to $50,000 to support the conservation of permanent public artwork. The conservation project must be fully developed including identification of the project team and support and approval of the owners of the artwork and the site where it is located.

PAAM FY21 Conservation Grant Guidelines

Click here to apply


Application deadlines for all Public Art Across Maryland Grants:

August 17, 2020

November 12, 2020

February 12, 2021

May 12, 2021


Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI)

Forum by Thomas Sayre, 2014, UMBC Performing Arts and Humanities Building

Stochastic Interactions, at UMB by Eric Peltzer

Upcoming MPAI Public Art Projects:

  • Catonsville District Courthouse

  • Salisbury Animal Health Lab 

The Maryland Public Art Initiative (MPAI) sets aside a percentage of capital construction costs for the integration of public art in new or renovated state buildings or sites. State capital projects are identified by the Department of Budget and Management for public art integration, and MSAC works with the state agency implementing the building project to select an artist through an open call public solicitation Request for Qualifications (RFQ) process. An artist selection panel is appointed, including staff of the new building, architect and/or landscape architect, MPAC Commissioner, and art professional/community member.

The artist selection panel reviews all eligible applicants and narrows the pool to three semi-finalists who travel to the site for in-person interviews. The finalist selected contracts with the state agency implementing the building project and commences artwork concept development working collaboratively with a multi-disciplinary team including architects, landscape architects, engineers, project managers, and contractors. The artwork is designed, developed, and fabricated and installed in conjunction with the building project construction schedule, typically a two-year process or more.


Maryland Commission on Public Art

The Maryland Public Art Commission (MPAC) oversees the Maryland Public Art Initiative.  The Commission meets quarterly and meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is September 10, 2020.