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, media arts, visual arts, literary arts, folk and traditional arts, history, and philosophy. Grants for FY24 will be awarded for activities occurring between January 1, 2024 and December 31, 2024.

Award amounts range from $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.
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    Important Dates

    Application Deadline
    Friday, September 29, 2023 - 11:59 pm


    Krystle Seit
    Grants Coordinator
    (301) 565-3805 ext. 20
    Jesus Guzman
    Grants Assistant Manager
    (301) 565-3805 ext. 21
    Takenya LaViscount
    Grants Director
    (240) 839-4519
    Dates + Deadlines

    FY24 Important Dates

    • Guidelines Published – Friday, August 18, 2023
    • Application Deadline – Friday, September 29, 2023 at 11:59 p.m.

    New 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) – November 2023
    • Award Announcement – December 2023
    • FY24 Final Report Due – January 31, 2025


    • Friday, September 8, 2023 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.
    • Friday, September 15, 2023 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
    • Register on Eventbrite!

      All AHCMC webinars will be hosted through the Zoom platform. Visit to our 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 each webinar, grants staff review eligibility requirements and offer technical assistance for both the application process and the online grants portal.

      FY24 ASPG Application Webinar

      AHCMC Project Budget Tutorial

      SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply) Tutorial

      Guidelines + Eligibility



      • 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 FY22 and FY23 Artists & Scholars Project Grants are not eligible to apply in FY24 but may apply in FY25.
      • 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. Professional Development Materials, if applicable
      4. Programming Support Materials
      5. Work Sample(s)
      6. A Completed AHCMC Reporting Data Form

        Eligibility Requirements

        Individuals eligible to apply must have met all the following eligibility requirements by the published application deadline:

        • Has resided in Montgomery County, MD with a verifiable mailing address 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 project;
        • Is able to provide AHCMC with a Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) 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 January 1, 2024, and December 31, 2024.
        • Take place in Montgomery County, MD.
          • Professional development activities may take place outside of Montgomery County, MD.
          • Events or programs must be open to the public with or without an admission fee, in person or virtually. In-person activities must follow current COVID-19 guidelines as required by the Montgomery County Health Department. (Additional COVID-19 resources)
        • Effectively advance the applicant’s artistic or scholarly work and/or advance the applicant’s business and management skills.
        • Professional development activities include attending residencies/workshops or working with a recognized expert in the field.
        • Be focused on one project; however, multiple stages of the same project are permitted.
          • Example: An eligible project may include the creation of new work followed by a public event or program presenting that new work.
          • If the 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.
          • Professional development projects may not be combined with other project-types.
        Application + Templates

        Access SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply):

        Applicants are highly encouraged to use the application templates to prepare the narrative and supplementary materials.





        FY24 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

        FY23 Artists & Scholars Project Grants (ASPG)

        $285,422 awarded for July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023

        Artists & Scholars Project Grants provide support to individual artists and scholars who reside in Montgomery County, MD. Projects can focus on the creation and/or presentation of artistic/scholarly work or professional development. Sixty-one artists and scholars received FY23 awards within this category.

        View previous grants awarded for ASPG and other grant categories.

        Adrienne Clancy

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funding will support the creation of a contemporary dance inspired by Hawaiian oral histories about the volcano goddess Pele, with the mentoring support of Hula experts Kekoa and Pele Harman. This work celebrates a cultural exchange of artistic processes, offering a model for researching Indigenous dance cultures in a culturally sensitive manner.

        Adrienne Moumin

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,891)

        Funds will be used to photograph and frame several handmade silver gelatin photo collages, in a variety of sizes and depths.

        Allen Tsaur

        Germantown, Maryland ($4,500)

        This project seeks to translate the Wēnbìng Tiáobiàn 溫病條辨 (Systematized Identification of Warm Diseases, 1798 CE), one of the four foundational works of Chinese medicine, into English. The completion of this project will give English readers access herbal literature about the history of Chinese medicine.

        Amita Sarin

        Potomac, Maryland ($5,000)

        Funds will support the post-production phase of the documentary film THE NATIONAL CAPITAL AREA: HOME TO THE WORLD, the first in the series A SACRED PIECE OF HOME, about places of worship in America constructed by distinct ethno-religious communities.

        Andrew Hladky

        Kensington, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds will be used to develop a new body of artwork consisting of sculptural paintings and paint sculptures made with oil paint and bamboo sticks. Each work will feature interplay between the three-dimensional body of the piece, its surface image, and will echo the way our experience of the world can change with emotional and physical distance.

        Audra Meckstroth

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,579)

        This project will use augmented reality along with photography, painting, and digital art techniques to form a new body of art for a public exhibition titled Space and Place.

        Barbara Siegel

        Kensington, Maryland ($4,750)

        The project is a set of 20 oil paintings that start with the text of a poem that gets painted over or becomes illegible as the artist works. While the paintings are on display, the artist will give a talk/workshop about listening and the fallibility of words.

        Beverly Ress

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,623)

        The grantee will develop drawings based on ideas begun during the pandemic, exploring dreams and memories. The grantee will work with colored pencil, on both Arches paper and vellum, intersecting the two surfaces through gluing, cutting, and scraping the papers together. The imagery will include shadows, color, and objects under vellum that are hazy.

        Bonnie Kennedy

        Gaithersburg, Maryland ($4,500)

        The grantee will create a series of four natural history illustrations in watercolor, of five to twelve specimens of local flora and fauna per illustration. Each illustration will depict a season and the local wildlife as it appears during that time. The illustrations will then be made into prints.

        Brian Frankel

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        Transformation will use film to tell stories of change based on local residents who represent the diversity of Montgomery County. One change can unlock a person’s potential and Transformation shows we are all human.

        Carien Quiroga

        Damascus, Maryland ($4,900)

        Visualizing Data: Mass Incarceration is an art installation that investigates and visually captures the carceral landscape in the United States of America and is intended to disrupt conventional assumptions about mass incarceration and capital punishment. While aesthetically appealing, the installation also aims to combine scholarly research, engage the audience to contribute to the work, and participate in dialogue about this crucial social justice issue.

        Carla Perlo

        Takoma Park, Maryland ($5,000)

        The grantee will create an interactive dance performance to accompany the reading of the children’s story The Rainbow Bird, a familyfriendly storybook about bravery, diversity, friendship, and finding home written by Judy Lieberman and illustrated by the applicant.

        Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez

        Gaithersburg, Maryland ($4,500)

        People | Things is a series of profiles about creatives as they are creating in their creative spaces. The series aims to explore connecting threads of creativity throughout a myriad of different endeavors and to highlight aspects of the creative process that are usually only seen by those who create the works.

        Caroline Anna Bock

        Potomac, Maryland ($3,040)

        WINGED will be a new short story collection with 10-12 works all linked with themes of flight. The physical and emotional metaphors of flight will be explored in these short stories.

        Cathy Fink

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        The grantee will record a new album of original songs. The songs are written in several styles from folk to bluegrass and from jazz to swing.

        Cecily Bumbray

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        Awakening Pt. 2 is a seven-track jazz-influenced soul album that offers a radical reimagining of how love can transform each of us, our relationships, and society. It is inspired by the book All About Love: New Visions by the late Black, feminist author bell hooks.

        Charles Barnett

        Bethesda, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funds will support a staged reading of True North, a full-length musical theater project. The reading will culminate in a public performance.

        Chetna Gola

        Boyds, Maryland ($4,750)

        I am Homeless – Not Less is a series of four short films based on true stories that explores the tragic and often misunderstood reality of homelessness. The goal of presenting these true stories is to help others see homelessness through the eyes of the homeless and to be more compassionate, extending a helping hand to those who crave dignity, happiness, and a chance to be “no less.”

        Cintia Cabib

        Potomac, Maryland ($5,000)

        Funds will be used to edit the applicant’s documentary Bird Walk. The documentary focuses on the birds and birdwatchers who flock to RedGate Park in Rockville, Maryland, where 166 species of birds have been identified. Birders will recount their efforts to save the land from development, discuss the joys and challenges of spotting and photographing birds, and describe the conditions that make the park an ideal habitat for a variety of birds.

        Cory Oberndorfer

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,703)

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

        Courtney Warren

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        The grantee will write, create, and produce a late-night talk show to increase representation of people of color in television.

        Dan Gutstein

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($3,920)

        The grantee will write a collection of short stories, entitled Half of Me that focus on the representation of disability. The two main characters, Sweets and Violetta, contend with conditions that limit their life activities. Nevertheless, the two attempt a relationship, and in doing so, experience fragments of joy and humor despite the despair of their situation.

        D’Angelo Perrier

        Montgomery Village, Maryland ($4,900)

        In 2021, TESSI, a physical and digital toy, landed in Montgomery County from space. TESSI quickly discovered the existence of alternate universes where unique variants of itself inhabit. This year the grantee will build alternate variants of TESSI. Each variant will represent a new adventure with an associated 3D print sculpture and art. This collection of work will be The TESSI Multiverse.

        Dana Cann

        Bethesda, Maryland ($4,900)

        Set in the near future, the applicant’s new novel, THE HOLE IN THE SKY, examines the current fascination with technology, conspiracy theories, and misinformation through one couple’s search for their missing adult son.

        Deirdre Saunder

        Potomac, Maryland ($4,750)

        Unitus is the working title for a series of new works combining paint on canvas with neon light. Unitus is the Latin word meaning “to unite” and is the underlying inspiration for this new series.

        Dinah Myers Schroeder

        Wheaton, Maryland ($4,900)

        The grantee will develop a professional website for their brand, Another DinahMyte Creation.

        Elzbieta Sikorska

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funds will support the creation of a series of large-scale multi-media drawings using formal and technical experiments, combining media and different papers. The works will seek to engage the audience in understanding layers of meaning in nature in connection to human history and today’s environment.

        Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds will be used to develop a series of paintings investigating how the language of abstraction, through chance and control, can evoke the sublime. In these paintings, fluid layers of poured paint will interlace with intricately painted patterns and imagery derived from Persian paintings and illuminated manuscripts. These paintings will merge conflicting elements into sublime landscapes that tread the fine line between equilibrium and chaos.

        Heidi Martin

        Takoma Park, Maryland ($4,500)

        Based on the Journals (1986-1999) of Abbey Lincoln, the project includes a discussion about Abbey’s musical philosophy and weekend concerts of collaborative songs from this experience.

        Jacqui Crocetta

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,750)

        Patterns of Connection includes the development of a new series of works inspired by the mindset of interconnectedness, and a free printmaking workshop for residents and staff at Interfaith Works Center for Women. A loss of connection exacerbates many issues being confronted today, such as systemic racism, poverty, and climate change. Conversely, deepening our sense of connection to one another and the natural world, enhances our relationships and can lead to healing.

        Jane Puryear Woodard

        Bethesda, Maryland ($4,745)

        The grantee will explore the techniques of Silk Aquatint and learn to apply these new non-toxic methods and materials to their printmaking skills and body of work.

        Javier Farias

        Potomac, Maryland ($4,200)

        The grantee will compose six pieces written for classical guitar and voice to raise awareness about the immigration experience among younger generations.

        Jay Mallin

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($1,706)

        The grantee will engage in professional development, attending a workshop in cinematography specifically for documentarians.

        Jonathan Ezra Rubin

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,900)

        The grantee will attend a Society of American Fight Directors’ (SAFD) Teacher Certification Workshop. SAFD certifies teachers of stage combat. Candidates undergo thorough training in the SAFD’s weapons disciplines and experience in choreography and teaching.

        Joshua Bayer

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,500)

        The project includes the composition, recording, production, and video of new original Jazz compositions.

        Kaly McKibben

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,500)

        Project Villa Yfel began as an exploration of the psychological nature of fear, evil and the human tendency to cope with fear-inducing phenomena by transforming said phenomena into controlled fun/thrill scenarios. Funds will be used for the physical build of Villa Yfel, a complex haunted dollhouse with a fictional storyline behind its origin, which will be told in audio-recorded storytelling format.

        Ken Janjigian

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,750)

        The grantee is writing a screenplay titled Kerouac. A biopic of the legendary Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac, the screenplay explores his childhood trauma, on-the-road adventures with fellow Beat writers, romantic difficulties, radical writing style, dramatic fame, and seismic cultural impact, culminating in his alcoholic, reclusive demise.

        L. Paige Whitley

        Chevy Chase, Maryland ($5,000)

        Funds will support the scriptwriting of a short documentary film detailing how the African American benevolent society Morningstar Tabernacle No. 88 of the Order of Moses provided mutual support for its members and established a community meeting place and a burial ground in Cabin John, Maryland, during a century of legal and social segregation. Viewers will learn about this littleknown County history and reflect on the preservation of endangered African American historical sites.

        Laura Baron

        Bethesda, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funds will be used to record an EP album of original songs by the applicant. Live and virtual concerts will accompany the release of the album.

        Leila Cabib

        Potomac, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funds will be used to create a series of pen-and-ink and watercolor sketches of 19th century residential architecture, mat and frame the sketches, and exhibit them at the Connie Morella Library in Bethesda, Maryland.

        Lisa Swenton-Eppard

        Gaithersburg, Maryland ($4,900)

        Recognizing that uncovering Montgomery County’s connection to the Underground Railroad for generations to come is vital, the grantee will explore the associated sounds in a newly created choreographic work.

        Lynn Alleva Lilley

        Silvers Spring, Maryland ($4,815)

        Sligo Creek, An Intimate Landscape is an ongoing photographic project. The grantee was struck by how the bright winter light falling on the brambles in Sligo Creek woods created masses of shimmering silver and red lines. These lines in nature felt like a possibility, a way to weave a life from fragility, upheaval, and chaos into a kind of beauty. This body of work will be presented in an artist photobook and exhibitions.

        Maria Karametou

        Bethesda, Maryland ($4,500)

        Funds will support an exhibition of the applicant’s Identity-related mixed media works. The project will include a public presentation that will address identity as experienced in today’s diversified, multicultural environment.

        Michelle Penn

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        The grantee provides professional arts and movement instruction and performance opportunities to women in the orthodox Jewish community. With a mentor, she has developed a professional development program to hone her craft in three focus areas: technique building, choreographic creativity, and teaching development.

        Nishi Chawla

        Potomac, Maryland ($4,750)

        The grantee will write a new screenplay, MKG / MLK: Violent and Non-Violent Encounters, placing Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) within the crucible of a dramatic plot. Both Gandhi and MLK used a principled and strategic approach to nonviolent resistance and liberation. This project will emphasize the similar and divergent ways in which they carved their individual paths.

        Nizette Brennan

        Kensington, Maryland ($4,500)

        Funds will be used for a new stone carving, a playful and whimsical work reflecting the history and presentday activities at Glen Echo. The new work will be installed at Glen Echo Art Park.

        Oliver Mertz

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        The grantee will create and print I Know Almost Everything By Now, a graphic novel about loss and broke-open family dynamics due to a father’s terminal cancer, a teenage son’s feelings of longing and alienation, and the slow onslaught of dread and endings. Written with hindsight, but braving the then-times, the story is an ode to growing up in Rockville, MD in the 90s.

        Paige Friedeman

        Gaithersburg, Maryland ($4,750)

        The grantee will paint temporary murals in acrylic on storefront windows in the Wheaton Urban District, creating an art walk that encourages pedestrian traffic and beautifies vacant spaces.

        Richard Alan Stack

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        GOOD MOURNING will be a comforting companion to anyone who is suffering acute grief from the loss of loved one. The completed book will provide guidance to process bereavement and reassurance that life, though different, can be fulfilling again.

        Robin Stevens Payes

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,900)

        The grantee will research and write a young adult fiction book, the fifth in their published series, Edge of Yesterday. The story is about a science-smart girl who builds Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a time machine for a school science fair. She bends time to meet another superhero of history, anthropologist and writer Zora Neal Hurston, an icon of the Harlem Renaissance, confidant of Langston Hughes, and storyteller of the Black experience in the American South of the Jim Crow era.

        Sarah Avery

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,500)

        The grantee will use funds to write a new novel inspired by the idea that stories need heroes who clean up messes, who can hold onto the idea that no human is garbage, even when humans make garbage choices. The premise revolves around a crew of trash collectors that keep three cursed swords they find on the curb, propelling them into a cosmic struggle for the soul of New Jersey. They’ll face poisoned land spirits, traffickers, and raccoons so big you can ride them into battle.

        Sarah Beth Oppenheim

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        Holster Buffalo is part annotated workbook for navigating America, part physical exercise in metaphor, and part dance experiment. Inspired by the changing landscape of terrain and politics, and based on the Jewish concept of Tikkun Olam, the project includes original choreography, family tree lineage, cultural exchange, social justice activism, and archival documentation.

        Serli Hacikoglu

        Rockville, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds will support the purchase of equipment necessary for expanding the applicant’s visual arts practice. Funds will also support the creation of a body of work exploring themes of personal identity, ancestry, womanhood, and mental health. The work will be exhibited in tandem with an artist talk and community round table discussion.

        Shahryar Rizvi

        Burtonsville, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds will be used to further the applicant’s scriptwriting abilities. The grantee is a comedic performer and scriptwriter who is focused on creating media content that offers positive representation of marginalized communities through light-hearted but thought-provoking scripts.

        Shanye Huang

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        Funds will be used to purchase supplies for a series of installations and paintings which will be featured in an art exhibition at Sandy Spring Museum in Montgomery County. The artworks integrate folk-art elements and contemporary concepts, using vibrant colors, symbols, metaphors to explore the interconnectedness in human life that is transformed and regenerated through the historic COVID-19 pandemic, to celebrate love and our resilient human spirit.

        Sharon Lee Minor King

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds will be used to edit videos from a virtual project, Under the Baobab Tree, and to increase marketing/promotion for associated online classes/workshops. A professional transfer of older materials from VHS will minimize the risk of losing ethnographic data collected by the applicant.

        Sue Fierston

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($4,750)

        Funds will support the creation and framing of watercolor paintings on Yupo based on antique scientific instruments as exhibited at the San Francisco International Airport and in the collection of Mark McElyea. The grantee plans to exhibit the art in galleries at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

        Sukanya Mukherji

        Potomac, Maryland ($5,000)

        This project is an original, fifteen-minute abstract dance piece choreographed in a canonical structure (“Pallavi”) within the Indian classical dance style Odissi. It involves iteratively and collaboratively composing an original piece of music according to the style’s conventions and creating a performance-quality recording. The dance piece incorporates the raga mood Chandrakauns and the choreographer’s chosen visual motifs.

        Susan Donnelly

        Kensington, Maryland ($5,000)

        ALLIANCE, a documentary film, tells the story of the Alliance Colony, settled in 1882 by Jewish immigrants fleeing persecution in Russia. As one of over 40 now forgotten Jewish agricultural communities, including communities in Maryland, Alliance was the first and most successful colony. This is a personal story, as the applicant’s great-great-grandparents were among the original 43 founding families. The film interprets a vital part of Jewish history and immigration for local audiences.

        Tulani Janae

        Derwood, Maryland ($4,900)

        Funds support the development of a dance film. The film will incorporate modern and urban dance styles to dissect the many ups and downs of being human, and our connections to others through physical alignment.

        V. Kuroji Patrick

        Silver Spring, Maryland ($5,000)

        The project is a series of educational puppet shows with a focus on acceptance of differences, including but not limited to age, race, gender, language, and cultural experiences.

        FY23 Grantees

        The FY23 ASPG cycle runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.

        Important Dates Post-Application

        For current FY23 grantees, all final reports must be completed online through AHCMC’s grants portal, SurveyMonkey Apply (SM Apply). Access SM Apply:

        Need to make changes to your project? Fill out a grant change request form, available on our resources page: