First Lady Hosts MSAC in State House

On March 20, 2015, First Lady Yumi Hogan hosted the Maryland State Arts Council, county arts councils and Maryland Citizens for the Arts at a reception in the Governor’s Reception Room. Governor Hogan made a surprise appearance. Pictured left to right are: Acting Assistant Secretary DTFA Bill Pencek, MSAC Chair Carol Trawick, DBED Secretary Mike Gill, the First Lady, MSAC Executive Director Theresa Colvin and DBED Deputy Secretary Ben Wu. See more photos here.
(Photo by Joe Andrucyk)

A&E District Program Receives National Planning Award

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) – Arts & Entertainment District Program – has been selected to receive a National Planning Achievement Award for Economic Planning & Development from the American Planning Association (APA). MSAC’s award will be recognized collectively along with other Achievement Award recipients at the 2015 National Planning Awards Luncheon in Seattle, Washington, on Monday, April 20, 2015. Learn more.


A&E District Technical Assistance Program Awardees Named

Maryland State Arts Council recently approved grant awards for the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) District Technical Assistance Program FY2015. Baltimore’s Bromo Tower A&E District was awarded $2,500 for a consultant to assist with strategic planning. Prince George’s County’s Gateway A&E District received $2,500 to market its programs. The Leonardtown A&E District in St. Mary’s County received $878 for signage branding the district. The Snow Hill A&E District received $1,425 for marketing and advertisements. New guidelines are now available for FY2016 grants. Click here for information.

Maryland Traditions Awards Grants

Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council celebrates and documents traditional arts and culture across Maryland. For more than 10 years, Maryland Traditions has cultivated a statewide infrastructure and grant system encouraging folk arts and folklife, with assistance in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. Since 2001, Maryland Traditions has given $412,700 in apprenticeship and project grants, safeguarding Maryland’s traditional art forms. Learn more.

Folklife Festival in June

Where can you learn about drum and boat building, Polish egg decorating, screen painting, letterpress, pigeon racing and more in just one day? At the free Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival! Be amazed by the "arts of the everyday" from many diverse communities–old and new— from across our state. Folklife practitioners keep traditions dynamic and moving forward, so as to encompass newcomers or react to new circumstances. The event will be from 11 am-7 pm on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at The Creative Alliance at the Patterson, 3134 Eastern Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21224. Learn more.

Photo: Sheridan County by 2015 IAA Photography Awardee Ben Marcin

Poetry Out Loud National Finals, April 28-29, 2015
Think poetry and competition don’t mix? Nearly three million students and 9,500 schools would disagree with you. That’s how many have participated in the 10 years of the Poetry Out Loud National Recitation Contest. Maryland’s own champion, Kyle Shreve of Frederick, will participate April 28-29 in Washington, DC. in the nation’s largest youth poetry recitation competition. All high school students who advanced from a field of more than 365,000 students nationwide will gather in Washington, DC to match skills in reciting classic and contemporary poetry from Shakespeare to Maya Angelou. Read more.

How do we Keep Arts Vital in an Age of Online Entertainment?
That’s the question asked recently by Judy Woodruff on the PBS NewsHour of Jeffrey Brown, NewsHour Bookshelf host as he talks to Michael Kaiser, author of “Curtains?: The Future of the Arts in America”: “We have faced many challenges in the arts for many years, but more recently, so much entertainment and arts are available online or in movie theaters. And they are becoming very important competitors to those who present live performances in their theaters.” Learn more.

pARTnering with businesses to enact social change
The latest pARTnership Movement tool kit, Corporate Social Responsibility and the Arts: Partnering with Business to Enact Social Change, was created in collaboration with Animating Democracy to highlight key elements of their latest report, Corporate Social Responsibility and the Arts. The report details corporate support for arts and culture–one in which more corporations are focusing strategically on issues that align with their business interests and have a positive social impact on their employees, consumers, or their communities. The tool kit is designed to assist arts groups in distilling the information in the report to build relationships with businesses in their community.

Ken Skrzesz: Coordinator of Fine Arts, Maryland State Department of Education
Ken Skrzesz, the new Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education, has served as the Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Teacher Specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Executive Director of the Clear Space Theatre Company and Kinetics Dance Theatre.

MSAC: For our readers and those who do not know you, can you please phonetically spell the pronunciation of your last name? My parents had to send me to Saturday morning Polish school in East Baltimore to get the pronunciation right! The phonetic spelling is SK-SHESH. The trick is making it into one syllable.

MSAC: You are following in the footsteps of the late Jay Tucker, a long-time Coordinator of Fine Arts for the Maryland State Department of Education. How does his legacy affect you going forward?
Read the full interview.


Recycled Art Show
The Leonardtown Arts Center will host the 3rd annual Recycled Art Show, sponsored by the St. Mary's County Arts Council. Artists of all ages are welcome to submit their entry by April 14 by registering here. There is no registration fee to participate. Any medium accepted. Works must be created with at least 50% recycled materials. Email with questions. An opening reception takes play May 1 during First Friday.

Register for Free Artist U Intensives
The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance is offering free Artists U/ Baltimore Intensives, April 24-25, 2015. The topical question to be entertained: “Why artists are poor and why they shouldn’t be.” Attendees will learn about tools artists have used to make things easier and how to build a life that is balanced, productive, and sustainable. Learn more.

Sign-up for Charles County ArtsFest
The Charles County Arts Alliance’s 23rd annual ArtsFest, is June 13, 2015, from 11 am to 5 pm, at La Plata Town Hall. ArtsFest is the largest arts festival in Charles County, and one of the largest in Southern Maryland and is seeking visual and literary artists of all media and nonprofit arts organizations to encourage participation in arts activities. An "early bird discount" registration ends April 30 with a final deadline, May 31. Click here to download the registration form for artist vendors (sales) and nonprofit organization exhibitors. Information: or call 301-392-5900.

MSAC Grants

Maryland Touring Grant ››
The FY 2016 Maryland Touring Grant application is now open with a deadline of April 30, 2015. The Maryland Touring Grant provides funding to eligible Maryland-based non-profit organizations to support the presentation of artists listed on the Maryland Performing Artist Touring Roster.

Grant for Schools: Artist in Residence››
The Artist in Residence grant for schools deadline is May 15, 2015. Schools may apply for one grant to bring in an Artist in Residence from the MSAC roster in poetry, playwriting, performing arts, or visual arts. The MSAC grant pays half of the cost of a residency; the school matches the grant with the other half. Guidelines can be found here. Please direct questions to AiE Program Director Chris Stewart:

Kate Kretz was named a MSAC 2015 Individual Artist Award grantee for her textile work, which she says is obsessive, representational embroideries. Some were sewn with human hair. Thirteen years ago, Kate did her first hair embroidery, on a bed pillowcase. Her work was expanding in several different directions, and she was looking to use the most appropriate medium to convey each project she was undertaking.

To her, hair is the most potent art-making material one can choose, as it carries a record of a body's stresses, illnesses, and other life changes, much like rings of a tree. Kate is always pushing the boundaries of her materials, and each piece has become more elaborate. Incredibly time consuming, a finished product of 2 x 3 inches takes three months of solid work, or three hairs an hour. Kate Kretz work will appear at the Spring Solo Show, April 18 - June 28, 2015, Arlington Arts Center, VA.

Featured Events

Through August 30

The Visionary Experience
American Visionary Arts Museum

April 8 - May 31

Sinbad: The Untold Tale
Imagination Stage

April 10

Sounds of the Chesapeake:
Storytelling Festival
Chesapeake College

April 23

Broadway Nights:
Broadway Today
FSU Performing Arts Center

Add your arts event to our free calendar ››