Maryland Arts Summit


Maryland Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy and education organization. Founded over 40 years ago to provide “One Voice for all the Arts in Maryland,” MCA works to highlight the role the arts play in economic vitality of the state and the increased quality of life they provide for all Marylanders.

Our Mission

Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is an arts advocacy organization committed to expanding the nonprofit arts sector through public investment and service, thereby enhancing lifelong learning, quality of life, and economic vitality for all Maryland citizens.

Our Vision

MCA will enhance the cultural and civic benefits of the transformative power of the arts, celebrating the myriad of ways a strong arts sector supports vibrant communities, a full quality education, and a thriving economy. MCA will be a leader among its peers through innovative approaches to arts advocacy for the 21st century.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does MCA do?

To meet the opportunities of this century, the arts must be positioned politically, financially, and organizationally. To do that means enlarging the circle of people involved in the arts and building a financial base for the arts. From our advocacy campaigns and training, to our education and recognition programs, the work of MCA ensures a bright future for the arts in Maryland. Our work includes:

  1. Advocacy efforts which have secured landmark increases in state funding for the Maryland State Arts Council.
  2. Helping to create and promote arts-related legislation such as the ‘Arts Stabilization Act’ of 1994 and the ‘Smart Growth – Arts and Entertainment Districts’ bill of 2001.
  3. The MCA website, which provides direct access to elected officials and the media through its Action Center. Online advocacy tools, guides and reports, and action alerts are all available. Our statewide action email list actively engages constituent participation in the legislative process.
  4. Making advocacy a part of each gubernatorial election, informing voters where candidates stand on arts issues.
  5. Providing opportunities for constituents to meet with elected officials and educate policy makers on the value of the arts. At the annual Maryland Arts Day event, hundreds of individuals representing arts organizations, community leaders, and educators convene in Annapolis to raise their voices in support of state funding for the Maryland State Arts Council. MCA also participates in National Arts Advocacy Day and has sponsored several opportunities for the Maryland Congressional Delegation in support of federal funding of the arts, humanities and arts education.
  6. Hosting educational events such as ArtsLAB, for the arts sector to connect, discuss important issues, and exchange ideas. This annual conference brings together the resources of the arts community to explore the role of arts in communities. Topics have included community engagement, economic development, the citizen artist, funding, and more.

What is the difference between MCA and MSAC?

While MCA (Maryland Citizens for the Arts) and the MSAC (Maryland State Arts Council) both work to advance the arts in Maryland, they are very distinct organizations.

MSAC is an agency of the Maryland state government, created by legislation in 1967. The agency awards grants to nonprofit organizations for ongoing arts programs and projects. They also award grants to individual artists and provide technical assistance to individuals and groups.

MCA is an independent nonprofit advocacy organization. We do not grant funds to any individual or organization, nor are we affiliated with any state or local government. We are tasked with advocating for the arts at all levels across the state.