Maryland State Arts Council Launches Independent Artist Network


Amelia Evans, Maryland State Arts Council
(o) 410-767-6542

BALTIMORE, MD (June 3, 2021) - The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) is pleased to announce the creation of the Independent Artist Network (IAN), a new program that supports multi-faceted, long-range employment opportunities for artists. The network will launch in July, as the sector continues to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I appreciate the Maryland State Arts Council’s leadership in ensuring that the creative sector is included in the economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “The arts are strong in Maryland, and supporting artists to be financially secure benefits the state’s economy and the quality of life for all Marylanders.”  

Features of the IAN will include:

  • A redesigned IAN landing page on to clearly explain the program and direct artists and employers
  • Updated profile and search capabilities on the Maryland Arts Directory that will better support artists to promote their hirable skills, training, and accreditations and allow potential employers to search skills and easily connect with artists looking for employment
  • A change to MSAC Touring and Arts in Education grant programs allowing funding to be used for any artists by removing the requirement that artists be approved and included on a roster prior to application
  • Marketing that includes outreach to artists and employers of all types

Ken Skrzesz, executive director of the Maryland State Arts Council, said, “Historically, MSAC’s programmatic design has siloed independent artists as public artists, teaching artists, touring artists, etc. with discreet funding streams for each opportunity. This challenging time has provided an unprecedented opportunity to rethink the way MSAC invests in Maryland’s independent artists.”

All current MSAC programs that support employment for independent artists will now be housed under the umbrella of the IAN. The IAN will also include a virtual marketplace of the various services provided by independent artists. These services will be listed on unique, digital pages easily searchable and accessible on the website. This defined and marketed commitment to the IAN program is a bold step forward and expands MSAC’s role as a facilitator to connect artists with employment opportunities and communities. 

Listening sessions to hear recommendations from the public are scheduled on June 8 at 5:00 p.m. for teaching artists and touring artists, and on June 9 at 5:00 p.m. for the general public. You may register for either session at


About Maryland State Arts Council

Founded in 1967, MSAC is an agency of the State of Maryland Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts, that plays an essential role, ensuring every person has access to the transformative power of the arts. MSAC advances the arts in our state by providing leadership that champions creative expression, diverse programming, equitable access, lifelong learning, and the arts as a celebrated contributor to the quality of life for all the people of Maryland. To do this, the agency awards grants to not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations for ongoing arts programming and projects, awards grants to individual artists, and provides technical and advisory assistance to individuals and groups. MSAC receives its funds in an annual appropriation from the State of Maryland and from grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. The Council may also receive contributions from private, non-governmental sources. For more information, go to