Independent Artist Network

The Independent Artist Network is a statewide network of artists who have access to resources, professional development, and additional opportunities to connect further with artists and partners for future collaboration. 

As part of the IA Network, MSAC offers the Independent Artist Awards that recognizes achievement by Maryland artists making work independent of an institution or organization.

Coming soon!

Call for IAA Panelists

By reviewing and scoring applications, IAA panelists help MSAC recognize the achievement of Maryland artists, awarding $2,000, $10,000, and $15,000 awards. This year’s Awards will be focused on the Literary Arts. This is a great opportunity to discover and learn more about the exciting artwork that is being made by artists from throughout the state! 

What to Expect:

  • Panelists will attend a required online panelist orientation that will take place at the end of August. Panelists will also have one mid-way “check in” meeting at the end of October. 
  • Panelists complete Round 1 of application reviews and scoring online on their own time during the Fall. Each panelist should expect to review approximately 50 applications during this Round 1 review period (early September - late October).
  • Following the Round 1 reviews, panelists will review applications that move on to Round 2. Panelists should expect to review approximately 25 applications on their own time for Round 2 (November).
  • Panelists will attend an assigned Regional Panel Meeting, where they will discuss each of the Round 2 applications. These Regional Panel Meetings will occur on November 30, December 2, and December 6 and last 6-8 hours. Each panelist will attend only one assigned Regional Panel Meeting. 
  • Select panelists will also have the opportunity to serve as a State Panelist, which includes reviewing all $10,000 Regional Awardees in consideration for the $15,000 State Award. 
  • Panelists receive compensation of $400. Those selected as State panelists will receive additional compensation. 

What We’re Looking For:

  • 40-50 panelists (the total number of panelists is based on the number of applications).
  • Maryland residents with a background in the Literary Arts. This may include independent literary artists, publishers and editors, teachers and educators, teaching artists, arts administrators, literary enthusiasts, and students interested in serving Maryland’s art sector while gaining experience and insight into MSAC’s panel review process. 
  • A wide geographic representation of the state of Maryland. We are especially looking for individuals from the Western, Southern, and Eastern Shore regions

How do I apply to be a panelist?

  • Submit your application via MSAC’s online grants management system, SmartSimple. 
  • Click the here to log in or create a free account in SmartSimple (you will need to be registered as an Independent Artist to apply).
  • Under Funding Opportunities, select "Public Call."
  • Select "Panelist" from the drop down options and click "Save Draft" to populate the application.
  • Select “Independent Artist Awards” OR "Public Art Across Maryland" as the Grant Program.
  • Complete the application, and click “Submit.”

Application Deadline: June 25, 2021 at 5 p.m.

Questions? Contact Program Directors Emily Sollenberger ( or Laura Weiss ( for assistance. 

I’m interested in serving as a panelist, but I also want to apply for an Award - can I do both? 
YES! It is possible to do both. If you are an applicant and also a panelist, you would be assigned to a regional panel that is not reviewing your application to avoid any conflict of interest.


Independent Artist Awards recognize achievement by Maryland artists making work independent of an institution or organization. Read more