Artists & Scholars Project Grants

Artists & Scholars Project Grants (ASPG) are available to individual artists and scholars who reside in Montgomery County, MD. Grant awards support projects for artists and scholars who work in a wide array of arts and humanities disciplines including performing arts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, history, and philosophy. Grants for FY22 will be awarded for activities occurring between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.

Award amounts range from at least $1,000 up to $5,000.

By awarding Artists & Scholars Project Grants, the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) seeks to:

  • Support the creation and production of new work;
  • Provide artists and scholars with opportunities that strengthen their business, managerial, and artistic and/or scholarly skills;
  • Nurture artists and scholars who represent the diverse, multicultural character of Montgomery County, MD;
  • Support innovative and distinctive artistic and scholarly work by the County’s resident artists and scholars; and
  • Encourage the use of intentional strategies for achieving Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access (DEIA) in the field.

We are no longer accepting applications for FY22 ASPG. Sign up for the Grants Newsletter below to receive updates about the FY23 grants cycle, other grant opportunities, deadlines, and webinars!

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      Important Dates

      Application Deadline
      Friday, February 5, 2021 - 11:59 pm

      Questions?

      Ana-Alicia Feng
      Grants Program Assistant Manager
      (301) 565-3805 ext. 21
      Karen Judson
      Grants Program Manager
      (301) 565-3804
      Takenya LaViscount
      Grants Director
      (240) 839-4519
      Dates + Deadlines

      FY22 Important Dates

      • Guidelines Published – Wednesday, December 23, 2020
      • Application Deadline – Friday, February 5, 2021 at 11:59 p.m.
      • This deadline has passed.

      First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact AHCMC grants staff. All applications and relevant materials must be submitted online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

      Late applications and relevant materials will not be accepted.

      Additional Dates Post-Application

      • Panel Review (virtual) – 2 dates in April 2021
      • Award Announcement – late June 2021
      • FY22 Final Report Due – July 31, 2022
      Workshops + Webinars

      Webinars

      • Friday, January 15, 2021 from 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
      • Tuesday, January 19, 2021 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
      • These events have passed.

        All AHCMC webinars will be hosted through the Zoom platform. Go to our Workshops & Webinars page to see upcoming workshops and webinars for all open grant categories.

        Webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and online grants portal.

        At every webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for both the application process and the online grants portal.

        Guidelines + Eligibility

        Guidelines


        IMPORTANT

        • This funding opportunity is designed to benefit individual artists and scholars, not groups; projects that involve collaborations with groups of artists may be eligible for a Programming & Capacity Building Project Grant (PCBPG). Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact AHCMC grants staff to receive additional eligibility guidance when choosing the most appropriate grant category for an applicant’s project.
        • Recipients of consecutive FY20 and FY21 Artists & Scholars Project Grants are not eligible to apply in FY22 but may apply in FY23.
        • An artist/scholar who is an employee of an organization that is an AHCMC grantee/applicant will be considered an eligible applicant for this grant category, provided that the project is not directly related to the work they do for the organization. (Example: the applicant may apply to develop a new piece of work unrelated to the work of their employer.)
        • Grant requests for the same project in more than one grant category will not be accepted.

        Required Application Materials:

        1. A Completed Narrative
        2. Resume or CV
        3. Bios of key collaborators and/or volunteers, if applicable
        4. Programming Support Materials
        5. Work Sample(s)

          Eligibility Requirements

          Individuals eligible to apply must meet all the following eligibility requirements by the published deadline:

          • Has resided in Montgomery County, MD for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the application deadline (P.O. Boxes not accepted as proof of residency);
          • Is at least 21 years old;
          • Is not a full-time student;
          • Is a practicing artist or scholar with demonstrated ability in the arts or humanities discipline of the proposed project;
          • Is able to provide AHCMC with a Social Security Number (SSN) prior to undertaking the grant activities; and
          • Has met all outstanding requirements for any grant(s) received from the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County in prior years.

          Project Eligibility Requirements

          Eligible project-types include any of the following:

          • The creation of new work
          • A phase of a larger project
          • A public event or program
          • Professional Development

          Eligible activities must:

          • Take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
          • Take place in Montgomery County, MD.
            • Professional development activities may take place outside of Montgomery County, MD.
            • Activities that include events or programs must be open to the public with or without an admission fee, in-person or virtually. If in-person, activities should follow current COVID-19 guidelines for in-person events as required by the Montgomery County Health Department.
          • Effectively advance the applicant’s artistic or scholarly work and/or advance the applicant’s business and management skills.
          • Be focused on one project; however, multiple stages of the same project are permitted.
            • Example: An eligible project may include participation in a professional development opportunity that leads to the creation of new work, or the creation of new work followed a public event or program presenting that new work.
            • If the proposed project is a phase of a larger project, it must be clear in both the narrative and the budget which phase the applicant is requesting funds for.
          Application + Templates

          This application deadline has passed.

          Need to review or download your application? Access SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply) here: https://artsandhumanities.smapply.io/

          For current grantees, all grant agreements and final reports must be completed online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply).

          FY22 ASPG Templates:

          *Know that these are templates for your reference only – all applications and relevant materials must be submitted online through SM Apply.*

          Previous Grants Awarded

          FY22 Artists & Scholars Project Grants (ASPG)

          $164,750 awarded for July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

          Artists & Scholars Project Grants support the work of individual artists and scholars who reside in Montgomery County, MD. Projects focus on the creation and/or presentation of artistic/scholarly work and can also support professional development. 44 artists and scholars received FY22 awards within this category.

          *Considering the financial detriment caused by COVID-19/Coronavirus, and like many institutions granting through an equity lens, AHCMC determined that all FY22 ASPG grantees should receive a grant no lower than $3,750 in a one-time exception applied only to FY22. AHCMC could not provide grant increases for applicants with project budgets under $3,750.

          Click here to review grants awarded for Artists & Scholars Project Grants from previous fiscal years, and all grants awarded from our other grants categories.

          Adele Schmidt

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used to support the development of Krautrock 3, the 3rd feature documentary in the Krautrock Trilogy. The Trilogy is a historical mini-music documentary series that highlights the Krautrock music scene that emerged in the early 70s throughout Germany. Inspired by Stockhausen, psychedelic, electronic, jazz, and folk, this movement spearheaded the evolution of electronic, techno, and minimalist music styles around the world.

          Alexander Bondarev

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the creation of an audio- story musical for children featuring two performers and a narrator. The story and the lyrics will be performed in Russian. The audio-story musical will be available on YouTube with English subtitles.

          Alyscia Cunningham

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          SEEING WITHOUT SIGHT is an educational documentary film and photography book that includes stories of girls and women who have experienced vision loss (blind, deaf blind, low vision). The girls and women share their insight on what they feel is the essence of beauty without the sense of sight, and how they maneuver in their daily lives.

          Amy Finkelstein

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used for the completion and exhibition of a project that evolved in response to COVID-19. The grantee will create a mixed media collage based on a photograph, taken on March 18, 2020, as the gravity of the pandemic was settling in. When the project is completed, an exhibit will feature additional photographs and the collage. Viewers will be invited to make their own photograph with a provided Polaroid camera and film.

          Bonnie Rich

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support a documentary film with the working title, THE RENAISSANCE AND RENEWAL OF JEWISH LIFE THROUGH THE ARTS. In 1971 a group of Jewish activists in their 20s, disillusioned with establishment Jewish organizations, found new passion in Judaism through music, storytelling, and visual arts. Together, they established the Fabrangen Jewish Free Culture Center in Washington, D.C., whose powerful arts programs have impacted Jewish life in the Washington D.C. area and beyond for four decades.

          Brian Frankel

          Wheaton, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used to support a documentary film about independent small businesses in Montgomery County and the diverse cultures these businesses represent through food and drink. The goal is to raise awareness that the community may lose many of these local restaurants that are part of the collective culture due to the pandemic. Upon completion there will be an online screening, and health conditions allowing, an in-person screening in Wheaton.

          Bryan Reichhardt

          Gaithersburg, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the initial development and pre-production costs for an animated short film based on an original script titled Finding Grace. Set in a suburban nursing home, this short silent film tells the story of a brief but meaningful connection between a middle school “tween” boy – grudgingly there to complete his school’s community service requirements – and a peculiar but fascinating resident of the home.

          Camille Navarro Silberman

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          The grantee will illustrate the sequel to an original graphic novel called Wondrous Machines. Book One follows a group of neighbors in the town of Lost Sea as they build an airship to get to heaven. Book Two continues the story in unexpected ways, introducing the characters’ ancestors. The project involves drafting, inking, and hand-coloring an approximately 80-page book.

          Carla Perlo

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,500)

          The grantee will create the illustrations for an original children’s story, The Rainbow Bird. After printing, the book, will be distributed to every Montgomery County library and virtual presentations will be offered to the libraries for their Young Readers’ programs.

          Clare Winslow

          Bethesda, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the grantee’s online art classes and classes at an art studio in Kensington. The project consists of creating and offering a series of live and online art classes, offered through the Zoom platform and in person.

          Dangelo Perrier

          Montgomery Village, Maryland ($3,750)

          The project is focused on hand sculpting one-of-a-kind toys typically known as “Designer Toys.” TESSI is an interstellar being on an endless quest for knowledge. The project will introduce TESSI to the digital world as a virtual 3D canvas for digital sculptors and traditional hand sculptors utilizing 3D toy design, printing, and production.

          Danielle Mysliwiec

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          The project will integrate abstract painting and weaving to form a new body of work for public exhibition. The project will begin with a three-month period of intensive experimentation with both material and conceptual possibilities. The goal is to combine knowledge of both fields to create innovative works that break ground in new directions for the artist.

          Dawn Hall

          North Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          This project highlights our connection to the healing process in the Black and LGTBQ communities. The grantee will tell personal healing stories of others through photos and video for an exhibition focused on healing in all forms.

          Lisa Swenton-Eppard

          North Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the grantee’s study of concert choreography. The grantee will study with tap matriarch Brenda Bufalino, now 84, a tap pioneer largely responsible for tap’s revival in the 1980s. Studying her 30-years of acclaimed work will inform the grantee on a journey to create new work steeped in history in the concert style.

          Elizabeth Hill

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          Meraki: Essence is a debut studio recording project of newly commissioned works for clarinet and piano duo. Each composition is a unique contribution to the chamber music genre at large, specifically to the repertoire of American works for clarinet and piano duo. The compositions represent diverse musical traditions, created by composers working to influence the progression of American sound in classical music.

          Ellen Hill

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the creation of a series of highly patterned contemporary mixed media works in wood and paint that draw inspiration from American folk art and textiles. These new high-relief two-dimensional wall-hung works will incorporate carved and painted wood bits and panels, mixing representation and abstraction to produce imagery that connects to the past and resonates with contemporary meaning. The series will consist of four labor-intensive works that take inspiration from folk art sources such as quilts, hook rugs, weaving, metalwork, painting, and ceramics.

          Elyse Harrison

          Bethesda, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the completion of a children’s picture book including file preparation for on demand printing, social media marketing, website design, and a live, local, community presentation.

          Gwydion Suilebhan

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          PUNCHING UP is a history of Jewish American comedians from the early 1900s to the present, focusing on the ways in which their humor reflects the fight for social justice and the transformation of American culture.

          Iaroslava Zonova

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used to support the creation of traditional jewelry from different regions of Russia based on Slavic folk art and the formation of an educational course about Russian arts and culture, supported by the grantee’s online training with specialists in traditional Slavic dress.

          Jack Boul

          Bethesda, Maryland ($3,750)

          As a 94-year-old oil painter and printmaker with a long career in Montgomery County, this project will allow the grantee to continue painting and creating new work that can be shown to a cross section of county residents.

          Jacklyn Rogers

          North Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support a research project providing historical context for the gentrification of Montgomery County, presented in written and oral formats, making scientific paradigms accessible to the general public. The project will convey the interconnectedness of science and culture, using the suburbanization of the county post-World War II as an example of how the eugenics movement impacted American lives in overt and covert ways. This movement aimed to limit reproductive capabilities of certain demographics such as people of color, the poor, and the mentally ill in the hopes of limiting their contribution to the gene pool for the so-called betterment of society.

          Jacqui Crocetta

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Illuminate Project includes the development of a new series of works in response to many issues being confronted today, such as systemic racism and climate change. The grantee will curate and design a collection of practices and project ideas, in book format, designed to inspire centering and connection. The dual pandemics of Coronavirus and systemic racism have heightened awareness of the isolation, trauma and loss suffered by countless human beings. The focus of the project is bearing witness to this time, while evoking hope.

          Jackie Hoysted

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the creation of a repeatable, immersive, multi-sensory, interactive public participatory art project that speaks to the role fungi play in our ecosystem. The project explores the advantages of mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships.

          Jamila Silvera

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the creation of Brownling Belle, a children’s story that marries the grantee’s greatest loves: the grantee’s nieces, storytelling, music, and beautification. Upon becoming an aunt, Jamila Silvera noticed the lack of children’s books for free- spirited black girls. The book will also be accompanied by an original soundtrack.

          Jeremy Eig

          Chevy Chase, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the creation of high-quality multicamera video recordings of Zarabandeo, by Arturo Marquez and the Four Souvenirs, by Paul Schoenfeld, for clarinet and piano. These recordings will be available to the public for free on the grantee’s YouTube channel and will also be embedded in digital promotional materials for future concerts.

          Joanne Miller

          Chevy Chase, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used to support Hold Up A Mirror, a photography and environmental impact project. Focused on the beauty of nature and the impact of human behavior on the environment in Montgomery County, the project includes the creation of new work, the engagement of a virtual audience online, and when socially safe, guiding community residents outside to photograph nature

          Joshua Fishbein

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support a vocal composition mentorship involving the grantee and Montgomery County-based composer Lori Laitman. Under her guidance, the grantee will assemble a collection of poems by contemporary Black and Jewish writers in a 15-minute composition aimed at promoting solidarity between Black and Jewish communities. When complete, the Baltimore Musicales will present the premiere performance by the end of 2022.

          Leslie Lewis

          Gaithersburg, Maryland ($3,750)

          The grantee will incorporate experience as both a science teacher and musician to create a series of videos to teach music to young children following the STEAM curriculum. Videos will be filmed with Freenotes Harmony Park musical playground equipment at Wheaton Local Park, include participatory elements that follow the national and state music and STEAM standards, and will be offered in both Spanish and English.

          Liliane Blom

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          Grant funds will be used for a video component of a Four Seasons series. Four Seasons aims to empower the public to see beauty found at all ages, ethnic groups, and is meant to combat stereotypes and ageism. Through digital animations, Four Seasons honors mother the earth and celebrates women as the protectors of the earth. The videos will include 12 digital paintings at the heart of the series.

          Marcie Wolf-Hubbard

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support the exploration of drawn forms including manipulating, cutting, and reassembling to create alternate forms. The grantee’s representational drawings retain a quality of line that will be included in three-dimensional form, taking them off the page and integrated into mixed media, sculptural forms representing structures and beings in mobiles and wall pieces. The forms will be representative of our relation to nature and will include encaustic painting.

          Marty Ittner

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          The grantee will create a site-specific installation in Historic Takoma’s picture windows that will highlight Takoma Park’s aging tree canopy and the importance of replanting native species.

          Muneer Nasser

          Montgomery Village, Maryland ($3,750)

          The late, great bassist Jamil Nasser not only exhibited passion for performance, he also worked as the Vice President of the Jazz Foundation to establish an emergency fund and healthcare for musicians. The grantee inherited a collection of rare interviews, performances, pictures, and documents that bridge significant gaps in jazz history and will present a comprehensive documentary which encompasses the aforesaid, as well as interviews with associates like Monty Alexander, George Coleman, Lou Donaldson, and Sonny Rollins.

          Nishi Chawla

          Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          Techno is a film about the power of tech money to change the circumstances of two brothers. Amid the convergence of new technologies and concepts, the sibling rivalry between two brothers from India is played out, as a struggling liberal Arts Professor sees his brother make it big in the Silicon Valley, and consequently, undergoes a moral transformation. The freedom to be innovative, to find one’s own insights, and accomplish one’s goals, underscores the quiet tension of their newly discovered selfhood.

          Oksana Litvak

          Gaithersburg, Maryland ($3,750)

          An art teacher and Jewish refugee, whose mother is a Holocaust survivor, Janush Korchak, his life and work, has inspired the grantee since she was a little girl. The grantee will create paintings, drawings, and animation about Janush Korchak and his life, culminating in an animation movie. Janush Korchak taught children in the Warsaw Ghetto and went with them to the gas chamber.

          Robert Guttenberg

          North Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          A CD recording, containing ten original songs (words and music), will be produced to provide. The music is inspired by Viennese Psychiatrist Alfred Adler’s psychological theories for understanding Human Nature. The listening audience will learn about social equality, social interest, and social belonging. The CDs will be sold and/or distributed to Montgomery County therapists, school counselors and church youth counselors.

          Robyn Shrater Seemann

          Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          Many barriers exist in the performing arts for observant Jewish women. There are misconceptions about self-expression and internalized gender role stereotypes and in the media at large, observant Jewish women are often portrayed with negative stereotypes and tropes. Many religions and cultures share similar cultural barriers. As a writer, performer, and storyteller, the grantee will launch a podcast presenting a series of original stories – to show the beauty, light, love, laughter, frolics, and foibles of life as an observant Jewish woman.

          Sharon Lee Minor

          Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used for online lecture and demonstration workshops, promoting healthy mental and physical coping practices among residents, particularly senior citizens. The project involves the construction of Heritage Boxes based on storytelling, collecting, and preserving.

          Sitara Maruf

          Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

          The grantee will write the book Flying into the Unknown, an anthology of 30 stories about 18th and 20th-century pioneers. The stories of recreational and scientific ballooning pioneers are filled with adventures and uncanny resilience, testing the human body and spirit to its limit.

          Sophia Belkin

          Gaithersburg, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will be used for the grantee to attend online workshops covering silk painting techniques such as batik, resist dyeing, and painting with sugar and salt. Afterwards, the grantee will create a series of large-scale silk paintings, embroidered, and stretched over professional museum-grade stretchers. The artwork will be shared online.

          Steve Quintilian

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          The transgender community is currently underserved in the field of voice training. The grantee’s pedagogical training has prepared the grantee to work with this community including students of all gender identities and phases of transition. The grant will fund rigorous market research, a study about inclusion and gender identity, the development of a business plan, and the launch of new promotional materials.

          Sukanya Mukherji

          Potomac, Maryland ($3,750)

          The Trinity series will be a three-part dance production choreographed by the grantee. The choreography will be inspired by the triple gods from South Asian spiritual texts, covering “Vishnu,” the first god’s characteristics. The dances will incorporate storytelling traditions and theatrical dance. Themes will include intelligence at a microcosmic level, motivating power at an action level, reason and purpose within the mind, and balance in the flow of life.

          Suneeta Misra

          Gaitherburg, Maryland ($3,750)

          The grantee is developing a play titled Three Sisters, an adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is a satirical look at the snobbery and misguided values of the Sen family, a mother and her three daughters who were unwillingly transplanted from Calcutta to a small north Indian town in the late 1970s, by their husband and father, Brigadier Sen. The subtext of the story reflects the evolution of colonial India to a postcolonial world and the conflicts created therein.

          Tia Shearer

          Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,750)

          Funds will support Edward & Christine, an interactive made-for-Zoom reimagining of a play by poet Kenneth Koch. The original play was written without specifying the number of actors for this 120-character play with 40 different locations. This production will feature the grantee, who is an actor, and a collection of objects as the full cast. The play will be performed in the grantee’s living room, connecting people to live theatre and each other, for an intimate evening of silliness and joy.

          Trisha Gupta

          Burtonsville, Maryland ($3,750)

          A Table for Everyone offers therapeutic art activities to recent refugees, helping them process the trauma of immigration. Being subjected to hate, abuse, and separation can have a profound impact on a person’s sense of self. How do people process this type of loss and also share their experiences with others? How can communities make refugees feel valued? A Table for Everyone seeks to answer these questions while simultaneously creating a safe space for immigrants and refugees to create art that reflects their journey.