Artists & Scholars Project Grants

Artists & Scholars Project Grants (ASPG) support the work of individual artists and scholars. Grant awards also provide funding for Montgomery County artist and scholar collaborations. Grants support artists and scholars who work in a wide array of arts disciplines including performing arts, folk and traditional arts, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, as well as humanities disciplines including history, literature, and philosophy. Grants for FY21 will be awarded for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Applicants may apply for one FY21 grant in the amount ranging from $1,000 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, artistic and/or scholarly skills;
  • Nurture artists and scholars who represent the diverse, multi-cultural character of Montgomery County;
  • 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 equity, diversity, inclusion and access in the field.
Back to Grants Homepage


Friday, February 7, 2020 - 11:59 pm

AHCMC Grants Team

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

FY21 Submission Deadlines

  • Guidelines Released – Monday, December 23, 2019 – 11:59 p.m.
  • Application – Friday, February 7, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
  • The FY21 submission deadline has passed

First-time applicants are highly encouraged to contact Grants Program staff. Applications and all relevant materials must be submitted online. Late applications and relevant materials will not be accepted.

Applications will be accepted for activities occurring from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.

Additional Dates Post-Application

  • Panel Review (conference call)
    • Friday, April 10, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
  • Award Announcement – late June 2020
  • FY21 Final Report Due – July 31, 2021
Workshops + Webinars

Workshops at AHCMC

  • Wednesday, January 22, 2020 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m
  • This event has passed


  • Monday, January 13, 2020 from 3:00 -4:00 p.m.
  • This event has passed

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


Workshops and webinars allow grant-seekers to ask AHCMC grants staff specific questions about the grant guidelines, application, and FluidReview online grant portal. At each workshop and webinar, grants staff will review major eligibility requirements, present an overview of the grant category, and offer technical assistance for the application process and use of the FluidReview online grant portal.

Guidelines + Eligibility


Click here to view the full FY21 ASPG Guidelines


  • 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. 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.
  • Artists and scholars who received Artists & Scholars Project Grant awards in the previous two consecutive years immediately prior to the deadline (FY19 and FY20) are not eligible to apply in FY21, but may apply again in FY22.
  • 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 s/he does for the organization. For example, the applicant may apply to develop a new piece of work unrelated to the work of his/her employer.
  • Grant requests for the same project in more than one grant category will not be accepted.

Required Application Materials:

Read the guidelines for full details on required application materials. An eligible applicant must submit:

  1. Completed Narrative
  2. List of key staff and/or volunteers with bios (if applicable)
  3. Programming Support Materials
  4. Work Sample(s)

    Eligibility Requirements

    An individual is eligible to apply for an FY21 Artists & Scholars Project Grants if the applicant meets all the following eligibility requirements:

    • Is a resident of Montgomery County and has resided in the County for at least 12-consecutive months immediately prior to the application submission deadline;
    • Is at least 21 years old and not a full-time student;
    • Is a practicing artist or scholar with demonstrated ability in the arts or humanities discipline of the proposed project;
    • Has met any outstanding requirements from previous AHCMC grants; and
    • Is able to provide AHCMC with a Social Security number prior to undertaking the grant activities.

    Project Eligibility Requirements

    The following are examples of activities that are eligible for funding. This list is not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to think creatively about the activities proposed in their grant application.

    • Creating choreography
    • Composing a musical work
    • Exhibiting, presenting, and/or performing artistic or scholarly work
    • Creating paintings, photographs, sculpture, or prints
    • Conducting research in preparation for writing a book or scholarly article
    • Creating work products based on variations or new arrangements of traditional or historical works
    • Writing poetry, a novel, nonfiction work, or a screenplay
    • Working with a mentor, artist, or teacher in the applicant’s field
    • Creating a business plan or marketing plan
    • Travel, hotel, meals and/or registration expenses for workshops or a training program
    • Attending a residency for the purpose of learning a new artistic/scholarly skill or technique and/or creating new work

    The application deadline has passed.

    We are no longer accepting submissions for this year.

    If you are a grantee, login to the FluidReview application portal HERE to sign your grant agreement and fill out your final report.

    Guides for FluidReview:

    • Download the FY21 ASPG Application Template (Know that this is a template for your reference only. All applications, and relevant materials must be submitted online)
    Previous Grants Awarded

    FY20 Artists & Scholars Project Grants

    $135,683 awarded for July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020

    Artists & Scholars Project Grants support the work of individual artists and scholars who reside in Montgomery County. Projects focus on the creation and/or presentation of artistic or scholarly work. Grant awards can also support professional development. Thirty-four artists and scholars were awarded in FY20.

    Review Artists & Scholars Project Grants from previous fiscal years and all of our grants awarded from any grants category HERE.

    Aaron Hernandez

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment to create an environment to offer arts lessons for youth. Videography and photography classes will be open to the public to teach those who would otherwise not have access to the arts.

    Adrienne Clancy

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant Funds will be used to support the creation of a new dance choreographed by guest artist Lewis Cooke, created specifically for Dr. Adrienne Clancy, with the interest to challenge Dr. Clancy with new ideas in dance and to advance Dr. Clancy’s artistic skills. Although the focus is for this project is to be used as a professional development grant for Dr. Clancy, her interest is to eventually perform the solo in theaters and community centers in Montgomery County. In addition, Dr. Clancy will be able to use the new knowledge gained from working with Mr. Cooke in workshops that she will lead for members of the Montgomery County Community.

    Alexander Bondarev

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used to support the creation of an original score and recording of a Symphonic Suite for a string orchestra, solo violin, accordion, guitar and percussion inspired by the novel The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

    Alexandra Zapruder

    Chevy Chase, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used to support scholarly work for a new edition of the diary of Yitskhok Rudashevski, an immensely talented young writer who documented 2-years of his life in Vilna ghetto during the Holocaust, and perished at age 15. The work will include editing the original diary, preparing scholarly notes, and researching and writing an introduction to the volume.

    Candy Perque Herlihy

    Bethesda, Maryland ($2,500)

    Grant funds will be used to help defray the costs of attending the Figurative Arts Convention and Expo in Williamsburg, VA. This convention brings together museum-quality artists to provide instruction and demos for painting figures in a realistic style. The opportunity to learn from these masters will be a huge benefit for the grantee’s art career, painting figures in the style of realism. The grantee will benefit from the opportunity to meet and network with other artists who work in a similar style, share ideas, and possibly collaborate on future projects.

    Carol Petrucci

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($2,000)

    Grant funds will be used support the creation, production, and exhibition of new work that examines the histories of diverse, multi-cultural Montgomery County using new arrangements of traditional or historical works. Large ceramic pots open to reveal their hidden histories and include: 1) The registry of people enslaved by Francis Preston Blair – Acorn Park, Silver Spring, MD; 2) The 1845 insurrection of enslaved people – Route 355, Montgomery County, MD; 3) The meaning of trees to enslaved and captor – Sandy Spring, MD; 4) Maryland confederates – Maryland state flag and state song; and 5) Enoch George Howard, land owner and entrepreneur – Patuxent state park, Montgomery County, MD. The exhibition will include the creation of a participatory community art sculpture. Grant funds will also be used to consult with renowned narrative ceramicists, and construction.

    Carrie Rose

    Takoma Park, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used to produce the 10th season of the Origins Concert Series in Silver Spring, MD. Each concert will premiere a new piece composed by the grantee. This project includes two public performances.

    Clare A. Winslow

    Bethesda, Maryland ($4,249)

    Grant funds will be used for materials to launch a new body of work that explores canvases at a scale the grantee has not worked on before.

    Cory Oberndorfer

    Rockville, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for the research, development, and production of a series of prints.

    David Terrar

    Gaithersburg, Maryland ($5,000)

    The purpose of the grant is to provide funding for the preparation, handling, installation and exhibit of 10 high quality representational oil paintings on the theme of Damascus: My Hometown and the creation of an exhibit booklet.

    Dwight McNair

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,000)

    Grant funds will be used to compose a new musical work consisting of 5-8 songs with music and lyrics. These songs will address the themes of self-love, empowerment & motivation. The ultimate goal is to provide tools of self-transformation to the listener, enabling them to take charge of their lives. These compositions will be recorded and produced as a CD & MP3 download. The compositions will be presented in a series of 2-3 live performances with audience participation for homeless and low-income communities in Montgomery County. The audience will receive a free copy of the CD/download.

    Elzbieta Sikorska

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,517)

    Grant funds will be used to purchase professional photographic equipment essential to developing work based on high quality photographic images. A professional camera and lens will make it possible to gather high-resolution photographic images to be used in creating large scale mixed media work, explore new areas of artistic expression, and extend the possibilities of integrating photography, drawing, and printmaking. Collected photographic imagery, sometimes transformed and sometimes used as a quotation in larger arrangements, will form narratives about time, identity, our relation to the past and other cultures. The project will also include images of ancient writing, the ultimate symbol of communication between people.

    Erin Roberts

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for the development of new linked works of speculative fiction set within a world where memory is a commodity to be shared, bought, sold, and, too-often, exploited. Each story will feature women of color who have suffered from inherent injustices within this system and will explore real-world issues, including identity, colorism, exoticism, racial profiling, the prison industrial complex, and bias within the criminal justice system. Once completed, the individual works will be submitted to professional speculative fiction markets for publication and shared at local Montgomery County readings once published.

    Glen Kessler

    North Potomac, Maryland ($4,580)

    Grant funds will be used to facilitate the creation and exhibition of a body of plein air paintings that capture the beauty of Montgomery County agriculture. Grant funds will be used to purchase painting surfaces and framing materials for this body of works as well as to mount a month-long exhibition.

    Gretchen Schermerhorn

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,835)

    Grant funds will be used to attend a two-week artist residency, where the grantee will create a new body of large-scale paper sculptures and explore new methods of non-toxic paper casting techniques.

    Jacqui Crocetta

    Rockville, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for the development of a new body of work (paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture) in response to the grantee’s investigation of various mindsets, practices, and beliefs of First Nation Peoples and other groups who believe in the principle of connectivity, reciprocity, gratitude, and cooperation. The grantee will explore how these guiding principles for behavior differ from practices and systems in our society today that reflect an emphasis on power, greed, and dominance. Grant funds will also be used to cover workshop fees to expand the grantee’s artistic skills and services to support the development of prototypes for public art.

    James Kennedy

    Rockville, Maryland ($3,816)

    Grant funds will be used to form an ensemble of professional musicians and support persons to perform songs from the grantee’s self-produced album The Life of Mischief in concert.

    Jay Mallin

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,600)

    Grant funds will be used to help fund a short documentary on three known lynchings that occurred in Montgomery County. Using archival sources and present-day footage, the film will present details of the lynchings, identify the present-day locations involved, and include discussion about how the impact of these incidents carries forward to the present day.

    Joan Zenzen

    Rockville, Maryland ($3,992)

    Grant funds will used for conducting 20 oral history interviews with individuals important to key Action in Montgomery (AIM) social justice campaigns, writing four case studies to teach organizing principles and strategy for future volunteer leaders, and working with an AIM volunteer to publicize the case studies through social media in English and Spanish. The project will focus on campaigns AIM led, including a housing initiative, rehabilitation of community centers, afterschool programs, and helping pass the DREAM Act.

    John Sullivan

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,700)

    Grant funds will be used to complete post-production work on a documentary film about Archie Avedisian, an Executive for the Greater Washington Boys & Girls Club. Funds will be used to hire an audio engineer, colorist, musical composer, and editor, as well as to license stock photos.

    Joshua Fishbein

    Rockville, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for the creation of a new chorus and string orchestra composition. The composition will chronicles the grantee’s family during World War II. As Jews living in German occupied Greece, the grantee’s maternal grandmother and eight other family members were hidden in an isolated Greek mountain village by a non-Jewish family of Righteous Gentiles. The Righteous Gentiles risked everything to save the lives of the grantee’s family, who were among the mere 10% of Greek Jews that survived the Holocaust.

    Lisa Swenton-Eppard

    Gaithersburg, Maryland ($2,480)

    Grant funds will be used for registration, travel, accommodations, and meals in New York to study with tap dance master Heather Cornell, in her 31st annual Tap Lab focusing on tap master Eddie Brown’s choreography. Heather was his student for many years during the tap renaissance in the 1980s. She has preserved Brown’s choreography and is now sharing Brown’s work with select students to carry the choreography forward. The training also includes studying footage, participating in a jam at a local jazz club, and working with live musicians.

    Marty Ittner

    Takoma Park, Maryland ($3,000)

    Grant funds will be used to create a site-specific winter installation in Historic Takoma’s picture windows as a follow-up to the grantees FY19 installation Wintry Mix, displayed at Historic Takoma, which featured a vintage photo of four boys and their sleds. The second show will feature women and girls.

    John Bashengezi

    Germantown, Maryland ($4,500)

    Grants funds will be used for the creation of a CD and a concert series. As a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, a world musician, and producer living in Montgomery County, the grantee will blend pan-African music with music from other cultures, culminating in a CD called The Tributary Project. The grantee will record songs that are inspired by cultural stories, with influences ranging from African and Balkan, to Indian and Egyptian. The concerts will focus on teaching audiences how music can help fuse cultures.

    Melanie Figg

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,285)

    Grant funds will be used to promote the grantee’s first full-length poetry collection, TRACE. The grantee will focus on three pivotal promotional opportunities: to attend the Twin Cities Book Festival (TCBF) in Minnesota where her publisher is located, to attend the Associated Writing Programs (AWP) Conference in Texas, and to submit TRACE for book prizes. The grant will enhance the grantee’s artistic growth, develop her marketing skills, and expand readership. The grant will also supports her scholarly career as a teacher and creativity coach, who works with writers to refine, publish, and promote their own work.

    Natalie Jean

    Kensington, Maryland ($4,000)

    Grant funds will be used to create an album and concert tour. The album will cover immigration, the “MeToo” movement, the environment, racism, police brutality, and self-love.

    Nataliya Mirnaya

    Rockville, Maryland ($4,091)

    Grant funds will be used to devise, rehearse, create sets, props, design, make costumes, lighting and sound design for the performance Five Spoons.

    Nicole Saphos

    Takoma Park, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for the production of The Takoma Sessions; a popup concert series showcasing new and original works performed by the Nicole Saphos Band. All concerts will be professionally recorded, and some performances will be selected for a live compilation album.

    Rachel Weissman

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($1,000)

    Grant funds will be used to record and edit video interviews with traditional musicians from different genres and cultures who are maintaining their musical heritage. The musicians will answers questions written by the grantee’s 5th and 6th grade students, to enhance their musical studies. The grantee will also incorporate arts integration lesson plans for music, math, reading/language arts, science, and social studies educators. The videos will be available on YouTube, and the lesson plan links will be hosted on the Institute of Musical Traditions website, (

    Rob Guttenberg

    North Potomac, Maryland ($2,238)

    Grant funds will be used to produce a songwriting workshop in collaboration with Tom Prasada-Rao. Grant funds will also support a collaborative acoustic folk concert featuring Rob Guttenberg and Tom Prasada-Rao.

    Shanthi Chandrasekar

    North Potomac, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used to create a body of 24 framed pen and ink drawings on 30 x 22 inch paper, focusing on cosmology, neuroscience, and human anatomy. The series feature scientifically accurate drawings with an imaginary twist.

    Shelley Picot

    Rockville, Maryland ($3,750)

    Grant funds will be used to attend a residency at the Vermont Studio Center, including the residency fee, materials, and travel.

    Ting Wang

    Silver Spring, Maryland ($1,550)

    Grant funds will be used to support the grantee’s attendance at the American Literary Translators Association 2019 conference to be held in Rochester, NY. The grantee will attend to keep abreast of the latest trends in literary translation, to learn from accomplished literary translators, and to network with publishers and fellow translators.

    Yesenia Flores Diaz

    Germantown, Maryland ($5,000)

    Grant funds will be used for attendance at two writing conferences in New York City, the continued development of the grantee’s work-in-progress (a draft young adult novel currently titled Be Real With Me), to compensate her time writing, and supply costs.

    FY20 Information

    Click here to view the full FY20 ASPG Guidelines

    Applicable ONLY to FY20 grantees.

    All grant agreements and final reports must be completed on the FluidReview application portal. Click HERE to login.

    Remaining FY20 Dates

    • Grant Change Request Deadline – Friday, May 15, 2020
    • FY20 Final Report Due – August 31, 2020 – 11:59 p.m.
    Has your project changed? Fill out and submit the Grant Change Request Form before May 15, 2020 for approval.

    Applicants are required to complete this form to request permission for a project change. We understand the urgency of change requests however, the length of time required to review each change request will vary, and is dependent upon the complexity of the proposed change, and the detail provided by the grantee justifying why the change is necessary.

    Change requests lacking information will take longer to process. Please allow one month for AHCMC Grants staff to review your request.