FY21 Arts Budget Update

Thursday, April 15, 2021

At the start of session, we faced tremendous obstacles, including a $2.9 million reduction to the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) fiscal 2022 budget and a proposed change to the 1994 Arts Stabilization Act (a 30-year-old arts funding formula) that, if enacted, would have amounted to over $25 million in losses for the arts sector over the next five years.

However, thanks to all of you – our tremendous and engaged arts advocates – Maryland Citizens for the Arts (MCA), has great news to share as we close out the 2021 Maryland General Assembly Session.

At the close of session, the Maryland General Assembly passed a budget that included $27.3 million for MSAC. This budget represents a record funding level for the Arts in Maryland. Additionally, we fought back the proposed changes to the 1994 Arts Stabilization Act, helping to ensure that the Maryland arts sector will see incredible investment over the next few years. The voices of Maryland arts advocates were certainly heard this year in Annapolis!

Finally, MCA is thrilled that, after three years of advocacy and the hard work of lawmakers (especially the bill sponsors, Senator Sarah Elfreth and Delegate Brooke Lierman) and arts advocates, the Maryland Arts Capital Bill has passed and is awaiting a signature from Governor Hogan (Please click here to urge his support). With the Governor’s signature, this bill would provide $3 million per year in dedicated capital money and make funding available to small- and medium-sized arts and culture organizations through a grant program created by MSAC. It is an incredible feat that stands to help build up many of our essential grassroots arts groups.

The Maryland arts sector could not have achieved this incredible arts investment without the more-than-2,000 direct emails to lawmakers, over 200 letters of support, AND over 400 arts advocates who showed up for the virtual Maryland Arts Day in February of this year. This work is not singular, but instead involves a broad coalition of grassroots arts supports, administrators, and advocates. The Arts in Maryland will continue to thrive, and MCA stands with all of you as we continue our recovery, growth, and investment in and on behalf of our communities.

So, whether you are an artist, administrator, advocate, or supporter – MCA is grateful for all of your efforts on behalf of Maryland’s $1 billion arts sector.  THANK YOU!