Maryland State Arts Council Awards Over $700,000 in Public Art Grants

By East City Art Editorial Team on June 26, 2024
Mural by Rowan Bathurst for grantee Soccer Without Borders in Baltimore City. Photo credit: Human Being Productions for MSAC
Mural by Rowan Bathurst for grantee Soccer Without Borders in Baltimore City. Photo credit: Human Being Productions for MSAC

The Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) announced today that $734,282 in grants have been awarded through the Public Art Across Maryland (PAAM) program, highlighting the agency’s continued investment in public art projects across the state by funding 36 projects in 16 counties.

The PAAM program is recognized for promoting and supporting the inclusion of public art in the everyday experiences of Marylanders—not only through the state’s Percent-for-Art program but also through its unique grant offerings supporting the planning and creation of new work, as well as the conservation of existing work. PAAM grants support a wide array of projects, including murals, sculptures, mosaics, and functional art like bike racks and benches, as well as the restoration of historic works fostering a vibrant cultural landscape that will last for generations. “These grants ensure that the inspiration and stories that public art represents are accessible to all,” said MSAC Public Art Program Director Liesel Fenner.

Among the grant recipients are:

Building African American Minds, Inc. ($10,000 – Talbot County): supporting the creation of a much-needed bike rack at an athletic center and community hub in Easton. The project will be guided by the center’s patrons, aligning closely with the community’s identity and aspirations.

Soccer Without Borders ($30,000, Baltimore City): supporting the painting of a mural by artist Rowan Bathurst that honors the resilience and potential of young refugees, using soccer as a symbol of unity and hope.

City of Frederick ($30,000 – Frederick County): supporting the restoration of the Community Bridge, originally built in 1993, which has served as a transformative catalyst for the city by fostering inclusivity, social cohesion, and local identity through its innovative community engagement process. Led by the original artist William Cochran and commissioned by the City of Frederick, this project will be a multi-year effort to honor the bridge’s contribution to the city’s economic growth.

Commenting on the City of Frederick’s grant, Cochran remarked, “This grant not only underscores the commitment to safeguarding our heritage but also complements the dynamic revitalization of the area through the arts.”

“We are proud to support Maryland artists that enrich public spaces,” said MSAC Executive Director Steven Skerritt-Davis. “These grants empower artists and catalyze economic growth, community pride, and cultural vitality. By investing in public art, we are investing in the future of our communities.”

To view the full list of grant recipients, please visit the award list for New Artworks grants and Conservation grants on msac.org.

[Source: MSAC press release]