ArtsLAB Grab Bag

Thank you for participating in ArtsLAB 2021. As a thank you, we would like to provide all our attendees with an ArtsLAB Grab Bag. This will have information and resources related to that day’s discussion along with a video from the morning panel.

We hope you enjoy the resources we have provided.




Below you will find a list of resources shared throughout the day by attendees and presenters alike. MCA encourages wide community spread share of any and all of these resources.

Click on the logos and links to access organizations and surveys.

HERE is a link to a Google Sheet file to share your information. The purpose of this sheet is for those who attended ArtsLAB 2021 and would like to share their information and connect with others they met during the event.

  • Adding your information to this sheet is completely voluntary. If you do not feel comfortable sharing your information, please do not edit this document.
  • Individuals also do not have to share all the information requested. Share only what you feel comfortable sharing.
  • Please do not add individuals to mailing lists without their expressed consent. This spreadsheet is for person to person contact, not to bolster email/newsletter lists. This spreadsheet will be public until December 31. After that, the file will be made private.


MdVLA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Maryland artists’ legal rights. We believe it’s our responsibility to stand up for artists who need legal

BCAN activates resources and advocates for policies to support artists and creative entrepreneurs of all disciplines and backgrounds city-wide.

More Community Resources!

Community Recommendations

This section contains thoughts and recommendations shared from small group discussions. There was such a wealth of information shared that day, that not all thoughts were able to be shared.

Names and any identifiers were removed to protect the privacy of individuals.

  • More state and county coordination to disseminate Federal resources that have been dispersed
  • Clarity from MCA- broader and better organizing
  • Organizational support as well as individual artist support from MSAC
  • Review of legislative barriers that have impeded where money can be allocated in the community
  • Visual to explain what resources are available and who is eligible to apply for those resources acknowledging that not everyone is able to apply for every resource out there
  • Discussing minimum wage for artists
  • Public Google Drive to list resources

  • An organization started looking at zip code data to make sure their grant applications were serving all communities in the area.
  • When making opportunities more accessible, in addition to strategies like removing the number of questions and restrictions in an application, make sure that the reach of the opportunity extends beyond the net to whom it currently reaches. This can include asking other organizations to share on social media but also spreading via word of mouth in communities.
  • Create more info sessions for larger grants. Organizations need to hire grant support for hefty, complex applications 

  • Cohort or service to help organizations apply for grants and help assess available resources
  • Resource share
  • Use alternative spaces to link with community artists to make connections so they don’t have to rely on institutions. Essentially a “bridge program” for young people to connect with established artists and arts administrators.
  • Create a regular group of people to form a circuit who go to colleges and share exhibition and grant opportunities with students.
  • Find productive ways to hold people accountable for what they say and do in the community.
  • Advocate funding artists as small businesses

Lessons Learned from the Field

This section contains some brief anecdotes attendees shared throughout the day.

  • Did not realize there was so much support for artists – they had missed out on a lot of the support offered by organizations
  • Strangely exciting time of new opportunities, making space for new installations and grants
  • New ways to travel with covid, curious where this will take their organization
  • Being able to connect with new artists through putting out emergency funding. Want to get to know the artists and grow these new relationships.
  • Pop-ups and underground initiatives like outdoor artist led showcases were a good way to exhibit work outside of institutional guidelines and while places were closed

  • BmoreArt: because they were already an online publication, they could switch to online immediately. They featured artist-run galleries that were now posting art prices online – unofficial way of getting artists’ money.
  • BmoreArt: began a subscription service. They’ve been asking this for years, but it was a lot of work to put on. Last summer, they lost a lot of advertising funds (advertisers who promoted their events that were now canceled), they now have over 1,000 subscribers that will auto-renew. Seeing membership subscriptions in artist-run spaces and other entities as well.

  • On the political side, politicians are now looking at artists/venues and their place in the community. Sen. Schumer wearing a save our stages mask. Politicians now seeing the arts are essential. Discussions of WPA type programs the federal government can use to promote/employ artists.
    • Sometimes it requires hardships to get politicians to move.
  • I think there’s an important mix of experiences that happened during COVID. For arts entities with resources (though none of us have enough), this was a time, as was already shared, to shake out of complacency, find new avenues to provide arts access, and make new connections, but also there are many arts entities for whom the pre-pandemic situation was hard enough, and there is a baseline of energy and resources required to be innovative in the first place.
  • Conversations around art need to be more healing-centered (about what we can gain) than scarcity-oriented (about how much we’re lacking in funding)
  • We shouldn’t approach the arts as a problem we need to help solve, but rather look at it as the solution.

  • We are rethinking what our in-person programs will be. We are thinking if we are asking our audience to come out in person and travel, it needs to be worth it. We are planning a big site-specific professional development opportunity this summer, rather than our usual studio workshops that would take place in schools across the state
  • Moved a lot of events outside. Regular virtual events like book clubs has been comforting
  • Some organizations are starting to see a drop off in virtual programming, despite investing in virtual programming.Other organizations have experienced an increased number of participants by pivoting to online offerings. Some people are not interested in meeting in person again at this time. They are very cautious.
  • Being virtual increased the time you can experience the programs, on demand weeklong vs one day in person only


This section contains questions that were posed by attendees. These questions do not have final answers. MCA will continue to have discussions around these questions, and we encourage you and your organization to take a deeper dive into the questions that pertain to your organizations.

  • How do we maintain equity?
  • What is the future of the artist creator? Is it entrepreneurship?
  • Where should collective information live?
    • County Arts Councils? They know their communities best and have the closest reach to inform and spread information
    • MSAC?
  • For regions with limited online access, for artists who are not technologically fluent, what did COVID adaptation look like or how can people like that be reached to ensure they don’t flounder?
  • Rina Art League of OC – mixed results from a survey asking in online programming should continue. What are other organizations planning to do
  • What are people doing with masks?
  • When does an emergency pivot to a need for a new, lasting infrastructure?