Maryland Arts Day

What is Maryland Arts Day?

Maryland Arts Day is the largest annual gathering of arts professionals in Maryland. With more than 500 participants, representing every county in the state and Baltimore City, this statewide arts advocacy event connects artists, educators, administrators, volunteers and trustees with lawmakers from every legislative district in Maryland. Maryland Arts Day needs your participation to show strong support for the arts in Maryland and its impact on the economic and cultural vitality of the state.

What do I do at Maryland Arts Day?

At Maryland Arts Day, you spend the day networking with colleagues from around the state, all while learning about the arts advocacy process. After a networking breakfast, participants will gather for the morning session which includes greetings from lawmakers, presentation of the Sue Hess Legacy Arts Advocate of the Year Award, a keynote speech, and a state budget overview. After all of this great information, we will prep you with talking points and best practices for meetings with your legislators.

The next portion of the day will be meetings in your virtual county delegation rooms with your legislators. Guided by county arts council directors representing your district, you will have an opportunity to tell legislators about the importance of the arts in Maryland and specific arts impacts in your community. 

What are three things that I can expect to get from Maryland Arts Day if I attend?

  1. Networking, networking, networking! Network with your fellow arts advocates and legislators from across the state.
  2. Learn lots of facts about the impact of the arts in our state and about this year’s state budget for the arts.
  3. Strategize and plan with experienced arts advocates about making a strong case in support of funding for the arts in Maryland.


9:00AM Opening & Welcome

9:10AM Elected Official Addresses 

9:30AM Sue Hess Arts Advocate of the Year Award Acceptance Address

10:00AM Keynote Address by Maggie Villegas, BCAN

10:35PM Brief Budget Overview by Nicholas Cohen, MCA

10:45AM County Delegation Rooms

Talking Points

  • Please SUPPORT the mandated and fully funded Maryland State Arts Council Appropriation level of $30.5 million.
  • Please SUPPORT and appropriation of $20 million for COVID arts sector relief and recovery fund. 
  • Please SUPPORT SB167 which codifies the MSAC funding formula
  • Please SUPPORT fully funding the Arts and Culture Capital grant program at $3 million.

Why is it virtual?

Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of construction happening in Annapolis right now, both at St. John’s College, where we would serve breakfast and gather in the morning, and at the Capital Mall. The Department of Legislative Services building has been completely demolished and the staff that used that building are temporarily being hosted in the Senate building, where we primarily gather for much of the day.


Arts Education in Maryland Schools (AEMS)

  • As Maryland’s statewide arts education advocacy organization, AEMS is committed to ensuring that all Maryland public school students have access to high quality arts education by mobilizing power to communities through professional development, leadership development, advocacy programs, and resource building and sharing.

County Arts Agencies of Maryland(CAAM)

  • CAAM is a non-profit statewide assembly of Arts Councils established to: foster, promote, and develop skills and articulate the needs of the arts communities in Maryland. CAAM works in cooperation with the MSAC and MCA for increased artistic opportunities for all Maryland artists, arts organizations, and citizens.

Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA)

  • GBCA exists as a catalyst to create a cohesive cultural community that strengthens the livability and economic vitality of the Greater Baltimore region. Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance serves arts organizations, coalitions and individual artists by: being a unifying voice and bridge builder; acting as a convener; providing information and services.

Maryland Nonprofits (MANO)

  • MANO works to promote a thriving and effective nonprofit sector. Through their nationally acclaimed Standards for Excellence program, education, resources, and consulting, they help build strong organizations at every stage of the lifecycle, from start-up to growth to peak performance and renewal. MANO leads public policy advocacy, raising the collective voice for needed investments, governmental transparency, and community empowerment.

Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC)

  • MSAC is an agency of the State of Maryland, under the authority of the Department of Commerce, Division of Tourism, Film and the Arts. Since it was established in 1967, the purpose of the Council has been “to create a nurturing climate for the arts in the State” as stated in its founding legislation. To carry out its mission, MSAC awards grants to not-for-profit, tax-exempt organizations for ongoing arts programming and arts projects. MSAC awards grants to individual artists, and provides technical and advisory assistance to individuals and groups. The Council also carries out programs of its own to enhance the cultural life of the residents of Maryland.

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (MDVLA)

  • MDVLA is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to protecting Maryland artists’ legal rights through low cost and pro bono legal referrals and education to artists and nonprofit arts organizations. Their lawyers take on cases for artists as they would for any client. They strive to help artists and organizations overcome legal barriers that limit their ability to create, distribute, or profit from their creativity. MDVLA, along with PNC Bank, team up with MCA to bring free workshops on legal and financial literacy for artists throughout the state, such as the Mind Your Business workshop.