The St. Mary’s County Arts Council (SMCAC) supports independent artists in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, who have faced a decreased income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. $15,000 will be distributed through limited, unrestricted grants, with $500 per artist.

These grants, named ARGOS (Arts Relief General Operating Support), can be used for essential expenses like rent, healthcare, groceries, utility bills, art supplies, studio rental, marketing, and equipment repairs. They are expressly prohibited for use on non-essential items like vacation travel.

The funding comes courtesy of the Maryland State Arts Council, with the SMCAC responsible for distributing 30 grants. If additional funds become available, a second round of grant distribution may be introduced. The grants will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Unlike traditional grants, there is no deadline for applications. The application window is open now and will remain active until the funding is depleted. The SMCAC grants committee is set to review the applications in early September. Approved applicants will be notified within 30 days and will receive payments within 45 days of approval.

Eligibility Requirements:

To qualify for the grants, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • They must be a full-time resident of St. Mary’s County in Maryland.
  • They must be 18 years old or older.
  • They must be actively engaging in their art form.

Application Process:

Artists interested in applying are requested to fill out the application form, which is accessible now. Susie Glauner, Executive Director of SMCAC, is available for inquiries or assistance at

The initiative demonstrates the ongoing commitment to supporting local artists, who the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted. By providing unrestricted grants that cover a range of essential expenses, SMCAC aims to foster creativity and sustain the livelihoods of local artists in a time of financial uncertainty.

These small yet significant grants may be a lifeline for artists struggling to navigate the financial challenges posed by the pandemic, reflecting broader community efforts to provide relief and encouragement to the cultural sector.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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