Howard County Arts Council 

All digital applications must be submitted by midnight, EST on the date of the deadline unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions or technical difficulties please contact us at or (410)313-2787. 

Never miss a deadline - sign up for our Artist Opportunities mailing list!

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 21,000 square feet of exhibit space. The HCAC gallery program was established to enhance the public's appreciation of the visual arts, provide a venue to exhibit the work of local, regional, and national artists in a professional space, and provide leadership in the arts by presenting a broad spectrum of arts in all media from both emerging and established artists. 

HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows. HCAC rarely exhibits solo shows.

For more information, view the General Exhibit Prospectus.

To apply, please submit the following:

1. Contact Information, including artist or curator name

2. 10-20 digital images representative of the work to be included in the exhibition. Files should be named to correspond to image list. Entries must be JPG or JPEG files, each no larger than 1 MB. If submitting time-based work, work must be submitted as .avi, .wav, .mov, or .m4a files. HCAC has limited technology for use in the gallery, so any special technology needs should be addressed in the proposal. The images should be named using the “LastName_FirstName_01.jpg” format, where the numbers (01, 02, 03, etc…) correspond directly to your image script.

3. Image List which contains artist's name, title, medium, year completed, and dimensions for each piece. The image list should correspond directly to your application images. So, if you have an image named “Doe_Jane_01.jpg” then your image script should have an entry for “01” with that image’s title, medium,
dimension, and date. The image script should be a Word document or PDF.
Do not send Powerpoint presentations, movies of any kind, or slide

4. Resume which lists education, exhibitions, awards, publications, etc.

5. Artist statement or description of your artistic goals and recent work.

Individual curators: in addition to the above, individual curators should include a brief description of the proposed exhibit and identify the artists invited to participate. Provide information describing your curatorial experience, organizational skills, and samples of written materials used to organize a previous show (letters, marketing, etc). 

Organizations: In addition to the above, provide your organization's mission statement and describe your programs and services that meet that statement. Include a brief description of the proposed exhibit and state how it furthers your mission and goals. 

Questions can be directed to Annie Braunschweig, Exhibits and Programs Assistant at

Head StART in ART: Program Description 

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) partners with the Ellicott City and Old Cedar Lane Head Start Centers on artist- in-residence programs for children ages 3-5 enrolled in Head Start.  This partnership, Head StART in ART, provides these children with an in-depth, hands-on artistic experience and ensures access to the arts that they might not otherwise have. The program will include 6-8 artists of different disciplines, offering a wide variety of new experiences for the children. The opportunity for such experiences during these formative years can have a direct impact on a child's development, as well as future appreciation of and involvement in the arts. HCAC coordinates, administers, and funds the project. HCAC begins by selecting an artist who is experienced in conducting school residency programs, particularly for young children, and then works closely with the artist and the Head Start staff to create a thematic program that is both enriching and developmentally appropriate.  The children work with the artist and create something of which they, their parents, and teachers can be proud. 


Teaching artists in a variety of arts disciplines are sought for residencies in support of Pre-K curriculum in the Ellicott City and Old Cedar Lane Head Start Centers (ages 3-5).   

Selected artist(s)/residencies: 

  • Serve between 3-6 classes, 20-25 students per class, possibly over an extended period of time
  •  May be scheduled with the Center anytime between October-May during the school year
  •  Culminate with a performance (for performing arts) or exhibit (for visual arts) that parents may attend


Selected artists must have previous experience working with children, Pre-K preferred. 

If selected artists have not been fingerprinted and have background checks on file, they should be prepared to do so. 

For the 2020/2021 school year, artists are required to provide a virtual option. Please outline how your residency can be held virtually in your proposal. 

To Apply

Please submit:

1) Your proposed residency, including timeline, unit plan, materials list, perceived outcomes and goals as related to MSDE standards for Pre-K.

2) Resume

3) Three references

4) Samples of student work

5) Fee structure


Howard County Arts Council seeks applicants for teaching artist positions for its upcoming Winter & Spring 2023 Class Sessions during the following dates.
Winter 2023 Class Dates: January 21 - March 19, 2023
Proposals due November 1, 2022

Spring 2023 Class Dates: March 25 - May 27, 2023
Proposals due February 6, 2023

Qualified individuals are invited to submit proposals for youth and/or adult courses and workshops in any performing or visual arts discipline.

Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) strives to offer students of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities quality arts experiences and a chance to discover their unique creative talents. HCAC is seeking qualified arts instructors to propose classes and workshops for the upcoming session. Priority will be given to proposals addressing the fundamentals of visual and performing arts. Classes/Workshops may be scheduled anytime during normal building hours, from one to four hours, during the designated session dates. Classes/Workshops are canceled if enrollment is fewer than five students.

Winter & Spring building hours at the Howard County Center for the Arts are: Monday – Thursday, 9am – 10pm; Friday, 9am – 8pm; Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 12 – 4pm.

Teaching artists create a safe and supportive learning environment where students can feel comfortable taking risks and engaging in creative challenges. Individual attention and small class sizes encourage participation and dialogue.


  • Develop appropriate curricula in cooperation with the Deputy Director.
  • Relate needs for supplies and equipment to the Education Assistant by the assigned deadline.
  • Attend required meetings.
  • Prepare studio/classroom and collect supplies for class use/ return studio/classroom to its previous condition when class is dismissed.
  • Keep Deputy Director informed of any incidents, concerns, or issues regarding students, equipment, or space.

HCAC employs teaching artists as independent contractors.  Contract teachers are paid according to the number of registrations per class.

Classes can be 2-3 hours each and run for up to 8 weeks. Contract rates for classes are as follows (half payable halfway into the term and the remaining half payable at the end of the term):   $25/hr for 5-11 students enrolled in the class, $30/hr for 12-16, and $35/hr for 17+.  A supply budget for up to $100 is provided for youth classes.

Workshops can be 2-4 hours each and should run only once per session cycle. Contract rates for workshops are as follows: $35/hr for 6-15 students enrolled in the workshop, $40/hr for 16+.  Supply budgets and workshop pricing are decided on a case-by-case basis by the Deputy Director.

If you have any questions, please contact

Creative Howard Grant Program Guidelines

Grant activities must take place within this grant period, ending June 30, 2023; projects are not funded retroactively, please plan ahead.

FY23 Application Calendar

September 1, 2022: Grant applications available online (Rolling deadline based on funds available; applications due 60 days prior to proposed project start date.)
November 1, 2022: Earliest project start date for projects. (Applications submitted by 11:59 PM EST on the first day of the month will be reviewed that month; applications received after that will be reviewed the following month.)
April 1, 2023: Last deadline for FYE June 30, 2023.

Final Report Due within 15 business days of project completion.

Creative Howard Overview
The purpose of the Creative Howard grant program is to strengthen the vitality of the Howard County arts community and recognize the role of small nonprofit arts organizations and arts businesses in Howard County’s creative eco-system.
The goals for Creative Howard are:
· To increase access to the process of requesting grants to arts organizations and support needs in the arts community that may fall outside of the eligibility requirements of HCAC’s Community Arts Development grant program.
· To provide small non-profit 501c3- designated arts organizations with a foundation to apply for future Community Arts Development grants.
Creative Howard supports eligible activities of small arts organizations (both 501c3 nonprofit arts organizations and for- and nonprofit arts businesses) with grants up to $2,500. There is no matching fund requirement for Creative Howard grants. Applicants may receive funding for only one application per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).
The deadline for Creative Howard is rolling. The deadline to submit the application is the first day of each month at 11:59PM.  Applications will be reviewed monthly and Creative Howard grants will be awarded throughout the fiscal year until total funding allocated for the program is awarded.
HCAC will begin accepting applications on September 1, 2022 for the FY23 application cycle. The grant period for FY23 ends June 30, 2023. Funded activities must occur within the grant period. HCAC does not fund projects in progress or completed before the grant application deadline.  Applications must be submitted at least 60 days before the proposed activities occur.
The application process will be closed once funding allocated for the program is fully awarded and will only be reopened should new funding become available.
Nonprofit arts organizations and arts businesses (see definitions below) located and operating in Howard County for at least one year prior to the application’s submission and throughout the funded project with an operating revenue of $100,000 or less (see application process below) are eligible to apply.
Not eligible to apply are current FY23 HCAC grant recipients, Howard County governmental agencies, and organizations that receive direct funding from Howard County, such as, Howard County Public Schools, Howard County Recreation and Parks, Howard Community College.
· Applicant must maintain their primary physical office and conduct at least 50% of all business operations, programs and activities in Howard County (i.e.: 50% of rehearsals, 50% of Board and committee meetings, 50% of performances, workshops, etc.). Corporate papers, such as the 990 and Personal Property Tax forms, letterhead, website, and program materials submitted must show primary office is located in the County.
· Applicant must have one fully completed and documented fiscal year of operations as of the date of the application submission.
· Applicant must produce or present arts programs, services or projects that are accessible to the public and relevant to its community (demonstrate need).

  • Applicant may receive funding for one Creative Howard grant per fiscal year; the program may consist of a one-time activity or a series of related activities.
  • A program is eligible for funding through Creative Howard if it supports an arts and/or cultural activity that is presented at a location in Howard County.
  • Program activities must be open to the public with or without an admission fee, virtual programming is eligible.
  • Program activities may include, but are not limited to, dance, design, folk and traditional arts, history exhibit  or historic reenactment, lectures or seminars, literature, media arts, music, theater, visual arts, and workshops. This list is not exhaustive and applicants are encouraged to think creatively about their programs.
  • Program budget must be based on cash income and expense only.
  • Program  expenses must be directly related to the artistic activities described in the application.

Submission of an application constitutes an understanding and agreement of the conditions set forth in these guidelines.
Please read the full guidelines, before starting the application. Only successfully submitted, complete, on-line applications will be accepted and reviewed. Incomplete or hard copy applications will be disqualified.
Arts Council staff is available to assist applicants with any questions about completing this application by mailing

The Howard County Arts Council is seeking applications from artists to fill one available resident artist studio space. The available studio is approximately 265 square feet, rents for $205.82 per month, and has shared access with another artist in an adjoining studio. The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM, Friday, March 31, 2023.

HCAC houses accessible studio space for fourteen resident artists, as well as three resident arts organizations representing a variety of disciplines. Resident artists have 24-hour access, natural light, and easy access to water. Heat & utilities are included. 


Applications must include the following:

  1. Letter of Intent: In one page or less, provide a brief description of your work or project to be completed while in residence, your career direction, and why you should be awarded a residency at HCCA.
  2. Up-to-date Resume: Three pages or less that lists education, background, exhibitions, awards, and/or publications.
  3. Artist Statement: In one page or less, concisely describe your creative work, process, technique, and conceptual development.
  4. Three Letters of Recommendation: Include references with the ability to speak to your character, responsibility, and contribution to community.
  5. Up to 20 Images Created within the Last Two Years that represent your work: Include at least one video recording if applying for performance art or video work. Videos must not exceed five minutes in duration.
  6. Image List: If available, include examples of printed materials such as articles, brochures, programs, and reviews.

If hard copies are submitted, a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of materials.


General benefits include: semi-private studio (shared entry access), 24-hour access to designated studio, physical mailing address and mailbox at HCCA, affordable monthly rental rate, and location in a vibrant community arts center. 
Residents also receive a reduced rate and priority consideration for renting other spaces in the Center including the dance studio, black box theatre, conference room, and classrooms. 


Practicing artists who demonstrate a central commitment to the production or performance of fine arts. In some studios, practicing artists may also teach in their studio space. 

HCAC Board of Directors, full-time staff, HCAC Center Committee, and their immediate family are ineligible to apply.


Artists granted studio space will be considered Resident Artists of the Howard County Center for the Arts.  

To hold a studio space at the Center, residents must, at a minimum, submit to the following:

  • Resident visual artists are required to participate in the Residents' Exhibit at the HCCA, displaying recent work (created within two years prior to the exhibit), not previously shown in the gallery, for a six-week show. 
  • Resident artists and arts organizations are required to be in attendance for up to four Council-scheduled, Open Studio special events per year when they must be present and open their studios for public viewing.
  • Residents must use their studios a minimum of eight hours per week (annual average). Those eight hours must be used for the production, presentation or teaching of their art and not for other unrelated employment or activities. 
  • Residents must pay the studio rent within five working days of the first of each month.
  • Residents must maintain a $2,000,000 general liability insurance policy for their studio as well as coverage for the contents of their studio. 
  • Residents must maintain a safe working environment in their studios and submit appropriate MSDS forms for hazardous materials in their studios. Furthermore, they are expected to practice a “good neighbor” policy, using the least harmful materials possible and keeping in mind not only their own health and safety, but also that of the Center community. Residents may be required to install proper ventilation units or other safety features for the use of some mediums.
  • Residents offering classes, exhibits, or other public programs must be fully accessible.
  • Residents must maintain annual membership with HCAC.
  • Any changes to the studio must be approved by the HCAC Center Committee and residents must return the studio to its original condition when vacating. 


Applicants will be evaluated based on their artistic discipline, artistic merit, and commitment, as well as the appropriateness of their activities for the available space. In cases where all other elements of candidates’ qualifications are deemed of equal value, Howard County artists will be given priority.

Interested artists should submit a Studio Application to HCAC. When a studio is available, the HCAC Center Committee reviews all submissions and selects an artist or organization based on the above criteria. If no studios are available, applicants will be placed on a waiting list for future consideration.


Complete applications will be forwarded to the selection panel for consideration. Please do not staple hard-copy materials or put them in binders or plastic sheets. Handwritten statements will not be accepted.

For full information, please see RFP here.

All application materials may be submitted online to Howard County Arts Council by 11:59PM, March 31, 2023. Emailed, faxed or late applications will not be accepted. 

Questions regarding Submittable can be directed to

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking up to 12 publicly accessible sites to host sculpture for a temporary outdoor exhibit from August 2023–July 2024 as part of ARTsites, HCAC’s annual juried public art competition. Selected sites can be public or privately owned, and will choose and display one sculpture each. HCAC’s goal is to make art more accessible to the entire community by placing sculpture at sites throughout Howard County. The sculpture will serve as major visual anchor points that will enhance and activate community spaces and generate interest in public art.   A selection panel made up of HCAC representatives, public art professionals, and at least one professional with expertise in planning and zoning, architecture and design, or construction, will be convened to review the applications and select artist finalists and sites. The panel will provide a pool of selected sculptures to representatives from participating sites; those representatives will choose the sculptures for their sites from the pool.  
The competition is open to all professional artists, aged 18 and older, with public art experience that is commensurate with this project’s scope. HCAC will provide a grant to each selected artist to cover the temporary loan, installation and de-installation of the sculpture.   HCAC will provide a name plaque for each work and publicity materials. HCAC staff will serve as a liaison with artists and site administrators. Sale of installed works will be encouraged; a 20% commission of work sold as a result of the exhibit will go to HCAC. Work must remain on view for the entire duration of the exhibit.

  • All community, commercial and public sites in Howard County are eligible; HCAC’s goal is to place sculpture at sites throughout the county.
  • Sites that experience high levels of pedestrian traffic are recommended.
  • Sites must be visible and accessible to the public.
  • Sites that have courtyards or other paved pedestrian spaces conducive to the display of outdoor sculpture or sites willing to install a concrete pad will be given preference; some work may be appropriate to place on lawns.
  • Sites should be publicly accessible 24 hours per day or, if they are sited in a park or similar site, be accessible during normal hours of that site’s operation.
  • Sites that contain commercial or political advertising (other than the name and location of the business), or would impede pedestrian traffic, or create a safety or traffic issue will not be considered.

Site Responsibilities:

  • Privately owned sites must carry General Liability Insurance in the amount of $2,000,000, personal property insurance covering vandalism or theft, and provide proof thereof.
  • Appoint a site administrator who will provide logistical and administrative support during installation, de-installation, and the duration of the exhibit.
  • Monitor the work and notify HCAC immediately of any damages or vandalism.
  • Install a concrete pad or other anchoring construction if the sculpture the site selects requires it.
  • Install the name plaque provided by HCAC in the area that the sculpture is sited.
  • Enter into an agreement with HCAC regarding these requirements and willingness to host the sculpture for the duration of the exhibit.
  • Have representatives available to attend meetings as necessary and be available for publicity purposes.

Guidelines for Sites to Consider:
Public art should ideally

  • Be placed at a site where it will enhance and activate the space or at least not detract from it (e.g. creating a “blind” spot).
  • Be sited where it will be highly visible, in a location that experiences high levels of  pedestrian traffic, or creates a place to congregate.
  • Be placed at a site where it is not overwhelmed by, nor competing with, the scale of the site or adjacent architecture, large retail signage, billboards, etc.
  • Not block windows or entrance ways, nor obstruct normal pedestrian circulation in and out of a building, nor be a safety hazard.
  • Not be placed at a site if the landscaping and maintenance requirements of that site cannot be met.

Artist Responsibilities:
Artists selected to exhibit their sculpture will be responsible for:

  • Signing a contract with HCAC and site.
  • Transportation and installation of the sculpture.
  • Maintaining general liability insurance during the installation process and any applicable insurance limits for themselves or any subcontractors including, but not limited to, worker’s compensation, automobile, etc. during the installation of the artwork.
  • Being available for public information, interviews, etc.
  • Removing work promptly at the end of the exhibit.

Participating artists retain sole ownership and copyright of the artwork, but must agree to grant HCAC and participating site a royalty-free, worldwide perpetual license to use any depictions of the work for educational, documentary, and non-commercial promotional purposes.
Artist and Site RFPs posted December 2022
Proposals due at HCAC February 22, 2023
Sites notified March 2023
Artwork selection meeting March 2023*
Artists notified April 2023
Contracts due May 2023
Artwork installed August 1-15, 2023
Artwork de-installed July 15-30, 2024
 *This meeting date will be set by HCAC and all sites will be notified of the date and time after the proposal deadline. Accepted sites will need to send a representative to this meeting to select the artwork for their site.
HCAC reserves the right to refuse any or all submissions, sites, and any finalists; to waive informalities in proposals or procedures; to withhold the selection award should it be determined that the site or submissions are not adequate, or for any other reason prior to a written contractual arrangement. HCAC also reserves the right to re-issue the call for entry, which may revise selection timeline, or ask sites to submit proposals for review. HCAC reserves the right to accept or reject, at any time, any or all proposals or any part thereof submitted in connection with this call for entry, to waive any defect or technicality, and to advertise for new proposals, where the acceptance, rejection, waiver or advertisement would be in the best interest of HCAC, or to terminate the selection process at any time for any project. If, regardless of the reason, the contract for the project is not executed within thirty days after submittal to the site, HCAC reserves the right to withdraw the selection of the site. HCAC reserves the right to negotiate unacceptable provisions incorporated within an otherwise acceptable proposal. A proposal which is late, incomplete, unclear, conditional or which contains irregularities of any kind, may be rejected without evaluation. Submission of an application constitutes an understanding and agreement of the conditions set forth herein.
Complete applications will be forwarded to the selection panel for consideration. Handwritten statements will not be accepted.     Sites interested in applying for the project must submit the following:

  • Attached Submission Form, filled in completely. If submitting for multiple sites, fill out a separate form for each site.
  • Photograph(s) and/or scale drawing of each proposed site.

Complete RFP for private sites can be found here:

Complete RFP for public agency sites can be found here:

All application materials must be submitted by 11:59PM February 22, 2023

The Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) is seeking up to 12 artists to participate in its Eleventh Annual Juried Public Art Competition for a temporary outdoor exhibit from August 2023-July 2024. HCAC’s goal is to make art more accessible to the entire community by placing sculpture at sites throughout Howard County. The sculpture will serve as major visual anchor points that will enhance and activate community spaces and generate interest in public art.

HCAC will administer the selection process and provide an identification plaque for each work and promotional support for the exhibit. HCAC staff will serve as the liaison with site administrators. Sale of artwork will be encouraged; a 20% commission of work sold as a result of the exhibit will go to HCAC. Work must remain on view for the duration of the entire exhibit.

Grant Awards:
HCAC will provide up to 12 artists with a $3,000 grant to cover the temporary loan, insurance, installation, de-installation, and repairs to the sculpture. If multiple pieces are selected from one artist, a separate grant will be awarded for each piece. Selected artists will receive two grant payments: one after the contract is signed and the sculpture is installed, and the other after the sculpture is de-installed and the site is returned to its original condition. Artist fee is contingent upon HCAC receiving full funding for ARTsites 2023 from Howard County.

The competition is open to all professional visual artists, aged 18 and older, with public art experience commensurate with this project's scope. HCAC board, staff, and their immediate family members, and selection panelists and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate. In addition to finished pieces, proposed work will also be considered (based on previous examples of public work).

For full details, please read the entire RFP found here:
All application materials should be submitted online or delivered to Howard County Arts Council by 11:59PM, February 22, 2023.

About the Event & Exhibit
Artists will paint in the historic district of Ellicott City, Maryland for three days in mid-June, creating original artwork that will be shown in a six-week exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts' Gallery I. Artists who are not juried into the exhibit may still participate in the Open Paint portion of the event. Participating artists will also enjoy a welcome reception, an exhibit reception, and juror's awards. For more information, please visit our website.

All artists working en plein air, in oil, acrylic, pastel, or watercolor, aged 18 years and older, are eligible to apply.

Entry Fee
A non-refundable entry of $30 is due with entry. All fees go toward awards and costs for the event. Submit fee here.

A 20% commission will be retained by HCAC on all sales of artwork included in the exhibit, as well as any sales during the plein air event. Work is not required to be for sale.

Nearly $10,000 in cash awards will be presented by the juror and sponsors. 

The decision of the juror is final. All accepted work must remain in the gallery for the duration of the exhibit. HCAC reserves the right to photograph artwork and artists for publicity and educational purposes and to use images of submitted work for the same purposes. HCAC reserves the right to reject work not suitably presented. All work must be original, no reproductions (including giclee, commercially printed, or computer-generated reproductions of paintings, drawings, etc.) Submission of an entry constitutes understanding and agreement with all conditions mentioned in the prospectus.

To enter, submit the following:
1. $30 entry fee - submit here
2. Complete online application below, including up to four (4) images. Submit digital files in .jpg format only. Label files with the last name and corresponding entry number (Smith_1.jpg). Files should be less than 1 MB. Entries must be submitted digitally by 11:59 PM on April 12th.

Questions about the event or application can be directed to

Howard County Arts Council