Happy Sine Die!
Congratulations and thank you to our amazing advocates in the arts and humanities on completing the 2022 Maryland General Assembly. It is an incredibly intense 90 days and we are grateful for your brilliance and passion, especially Maryland Citizens for the Arts. This year's legislative session was critical to securing record funding for the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) and advocating lawmakers for additional COVID relief and recovery funds for arts organizations and artists in dire need of support.
Thanks to all of you—our tremendous and engaged arts advocates—we have achieved incredible results. Within the final FY2023 budget, we secured a record $28.8 million for MSAC —a near $2 million increase from FY22. Additionally, lawmakers heard our collective voices and agreed to a $50 million Arts and Tourism Relief fund. Of that amount, $40 million will be appropriated to MSAC to distribute additional grants for arts organizations and independent artists from this fund. The other $10 million will be invested in local tourism agencies providing much-needed marketing tools for the creative sector. All told, the Arts and Entertainment sector in Maryland has now received $100 million from the Maryland legislature in COVID-based support since April 2020—a testament to lawmakers' commitment to supporting all of us during these challenging times.
As we reflect on our collective success, please take a moment to thank your representatives through this link. Their unwavering support has resulted in an historic investment in the Maryland arts sector.
Another victory was the passage of SB453, which appropriated $5 million over five years to establish the Maryland Makerspace Initiative Program. The program will "award certain financial assistance, subject to certain requirements, for the establishment, expansion, and operation of makerspaces in the State." According to LegiScan, at least seven other states have appropriated capital funds for a single facility–but no one has had the vision to build a network of truly public makerspaces. A special thank you to Open Works and TEDCO as well as Sen. Cory McCray, Sen. George Edwards, Maj. Leader Eric Luedtke, and Del. Maggie McIntosh and their staff for sponsoring and championing this legislation.
Thank you again to our advocates and elected officials!