Joe's Movement Emporium


Getting to know Maryland Citizens for the Arts.

Maryland Citizens for the Arts strives to advocate for artists across our state. There are often questions about our work and impact that we hope these FAQs can answer. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us directly so that we can help.

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 it also means 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 Legislative Action Center. Online advocacy tools, guides and reports, and action alerts are all available. Our statewide Action E-mail 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 citizens 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 forums for the arts industry to connect, discuss important issues and exchange ideas. Held in conjunction with Maryland Arts Day, our annual conference brings together the resources of the arts community to explore the role of arts in society; model programs integrating the arts with community revitalization, economic development, arts education, and at-risk youth have all been featured.

How can I help support arts funding?

Join MCA’s Action E-List to keep up-to-date on state arts funding and stay informed about when and how to take action for the arts in Maryland. Also, read our Advocacy 101 guide and 10 Grassroots Actions to learn more about actions you can take to support the arts. You may also wish to make a tax-deductible Donation.

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 non-profit advocacy organization. We do not grant funds to any individual or organization, nor are we affiliated with any state or local government.

How can I get information about MSAC grants?

Visit their website at: These grants are not awarded or distributed by MCA.