A pianist, saxophone player, and a drummer are performing in front of a wall of lights.

Grants for Artists

The Grants for Artists (GFA) program supports the working and living expenses of Maryland artists.

A primary aim of the program is to provide holistic support rather than restrict resources to the creative work that artists produce. A primary goal of the program is to bolster a creative workforce that composes a significant portion of Maryland’s creative and economic activity.

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions below have been gathered from conversations with applicants to the Grants for Artists program being piloted in winter 2023. This compilation is intended to help Maryland artists understand the requirements and expectations of the Grants for Artists application process.

If you have a question that is not answered below, please contact Senior Program Director Chad Buterbaugh at chad.buterbaugh@maryland.gov or 443.469.8239.

What kinds of contract work can I have and still be able to apply?

Artists with temporary, limited-term contracts (e.g., performing artists being paid by an organization to perform in a single play, or muralists contracted with a city to create a single work, etc.) are eligible to apply.

What kinds of contract work disqualify me from applying?

Funds cannot support artistic activities taking place as part of a full-time (e.g., 40-hours-per-week) renewable contract.

I have a full-time day job. Can I apply?

Artists creating work independently of the organizations where they are employed full-time may apply for support, but funds may not be used to pay for work completed as a full-time employee of an organization.

How can I apply through my Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)?

MSAC does not currently support LLCs or other for-profit entities with grant funds. For a listing of State of Maryland programs supporting businesses, visit this link and click the label titled “For Businesses.”

How can I apply as a sole proprietor?

Sole proprietors are eligible to apply for funds but, like all applicants, must include a Social Security Number and completed W9 as part of application submission.

I take occasional college classes on an auditing or “one-off” basis. Am I eligible?

Applicants are eligible to receive funds as long as they are not enrolled in any degree-granting academic programs at the time of application.

Where can I upload work samples or other attachments?

This program requires only that applicants establish their eligibility as artists creating work independent of an organization. Work samples or other such attachments are not required.

The application asks me to report my monthly income as an artist, but I don’t get paid from my art that often. What should I do?

Applicants who do not receive artistic income on a monthly basis should take their earnings from a longer period (for example, a year), and provide an estimated average income per month. For example, an artist who earns a qualifying $1,200 per year would then earn an average of $100 per month.

Do I need to include specific expense amounts in my application?

Specific expense amounts are not required and will not affect application review, but they may be added at the applicant’s discretion.

Can I use this grant to pay for my travel outside of Maryland to take part in artistic work elsewhere?

The best application strategy is to consider the full list of allowable expenditures, which includes basic, recurring costs like housing and food, and list these in the application form. This would theoretically free up other funds to support travel outside the state.

It says you have to be a Maryland resident to apply. What counts as Maryland residency?

To qualify as a Maryland resident, applicants must be owning or renting real property in Maryland at the time an application is submitted.

Can I use my Employer Identification Number (EIN) to apply?

No. Applications require the entry of a Social Security Number.

I’m worried about the security risks of putting my Social Security Number online.

All communications via SmartSimple or MSAC email are transmitted via the State of Maryland secured network. Those with additional concerns should contact Grants Director Cathy Teixeira at catherine.teixeira@maryland.gov or 443.799.7256.

How can I digitally sign my W9?

Creating a digital signature requires the use of PDF editing software such as Adobe Acrobat. Alternatively, users may print and hand-fill the W9, take a photo of the completed form, and upload the resulting file to their applications. As long as everything is legible, this is an acceptable form of W9 submission. Note that uploaded W9 forms must be in PDF format.

I couldn’t make it to the info session. Is there a recording?

The recording of an info session including a program overview and application walkthrough are available at this link, and the grant guidelines are available at this link.


The purpose of the Grants for Artists program is to contribute to the sustainability of artists’ livelihoods by providing funds that support working or living expenses.

Read more.