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.

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.

  • Must be an artist providing evidence of regular creative practice.
  • Must produce or present projects or programs that are relevant to the community and accessible to the public.
  • Must be Maryland residents (owning or renting residential real property in Maryland at the time of application submission and throughout the funded project or program) and must be 18 years of age or older.
  • May not be enrolled in any matriculated high school, undergraduate or graduate degree program.

The Grants for Artists program is open to the public, in alignment with the eligibility requirements listed above.

Any applicant with questions about preparing an application is encouraged to reach out to relevant MSAC staff, as listed below. All applications are submitted via the secure online grants management system SmartSimple. Log in or create a free account at

Grants for Artists funds are intended to encourage artistic growth and sustained practice. Common expenses include but are not limited to: administrative costs, consultant fees, contractual services, daycare services, entry fees, equipment rental, exhibition costs, financial tools or planning, food, housing, insurance, studio or workspace costs, materials and supplies, marketing costs, medical costs, payment to technical crews, fabricators, or collaborators, professional memberships, performance costs, production costs, student loans, submission fees for grant or residency applications, travel and transportation, utilities, and website development. Any applicant with questions about eligible uses of funds is encouraged to reach out to relevant MSAC staff, as listed below.

Grants for Artists funds may not be used to compensate activities performed as part of regular, continuing employment; make contributions to any persons who hold, or are candidates for, elected office; to any political party, organization, or action committee; in connection with any political campaign or referendum; or for any lobbying activities.

Upon execution of a grant agreement, payment will be processed for receipt in 6-8 weeks. Grantees are required to submit a final report at the completion of the funded project. For detailed reporting requirements, please see below.

All MSAC grants are paid on the same timeline. To learn more, click here.

An annual final report describes how funds were spent over the most recently completed granting period. The final report collects narrative, fiscal, and demographic information in keeping with MSAC and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) requirements. Successful completion of a final report is required for eligible grantees to be able to renew Grants for Artists funds in subsequent years. Final reports are completed in SmartSimple, the same online grants management system used for applications. Final Reports are available at the end of each granting period. MSAC notifies grantees in writing when Final Reports are available.

Failure to submit reports may jeopardize current and/or future MSAC grants and may result in the required return of grant funds to the State of Maryland.