The Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts (BOPA) is the Arts Council for the City of Baltimore. A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, it produces festivals, special events and promotions for Baltimore City, and supports the community through arts and cultural activities, advocacy and support, and develops and administers funds, grant programs and community workshops. Through Creative Baltimore, BOPA grants funds to qualified artists, and arts and cultural organizations based in Baltimore City.
Mission, Vision & Values
BOPA strives to make Baltimore a more vibrant and creative city by:
•Producing high-quality special events, festivals and arts programming that stimulate communities economically, artistically and culturally.
•Inspiring and promoting literary, performing and visual arts, and artists.
•Celebrating Baltimore's rich, diverse heritage while enhancing the quality of life and sense of community for all residents.
•Forging partnerships that make Baltimore a premiere visitor destination.
•Managing cultural and historic attractions.
•Generating positive local, national and international publicity about Baltimore.
Creative Baltimore Fund Overview
Creative Baltimore has two primary grant programs:
Mayor’s Individual Artist Award – Project Support (PS) provides support for arts or cultural programs that promote public access and encourage the breadth of arts and/or cultural programming in our community.
General Operating Support (GOS) provides core support for established arts or cultural organizations that benefit the public and are artistically or culturally vibrant.
This document consists of the application guidelines and instructions for the General Operating Support program for FY21.
All BOPA grant programs are adjudicated using independent panels of arts and culture professionals from the region who evaluate and score applications. Panelists are appointed through open nominations and serve for specific grant programs and cycles.
BOPA grant programs are administered by professional staff responsible for ensuring an objective, equitable and transparent grantmaking process that meets BOPA’s mission and core values. BOPA staff members provide pertinent and uniform information to the public regarding the grant application process and ensure that program guidelines and requirements are applied consistently.
Ownership of Intellectual Property
BOPA does not own, collect royalties on or hold copyrights to artistic products resulting from its grants, nor will it take any action on behalf of the grantee (cultural partner) to protect the grantee’s intellectual property rights. BOPA does, however, have legal authority to reproduce and use submitted documentation (electronically and in print) of such artistic products for educational, promotional, official or noncommercial purposes.
For additional information on the General Operating Support FY21 application please contact:
Jocquelyn Downs, Arts Council Director, email@example.com.
News, updates and technical assistance workshops will be posted on the BOPA website, Facebook page and Twitter feed, and distributed through BOPA’s email distribution list. Interested applicants are encouraged to sign up at www.promotionandarts.org to receive notifications.
General Operating Support Basics
General Operating Support (GOS) grants provide unrestricted, core support for Baltimore City-based nonprofit organizations that have:
•a primary mission to create, produce, present or provide arts or cultural services for the public;
•a history of vibrant artistic or cultural programming; and
•a strong organizational capacity.
General Operating Support Timeline
February 28, 2020 - Application Available
April 26th, 2020 - Application Deadline at 11:59 pm EST
May 2020 - Panel Review
June 2020 - Grant Awards Announced
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 - Grant Period; All funded activities must occur during the grant period.
Eligibility Criteria - Who May Apply
To be eligible for the GOS grant program, applicant organizations must meet each of the following criteria:
Have a primary mission to provide programs or activities in areas directly concerned with arts or cultural heritage for the general public. BOPA defines arts and culture as including, but not limited to, literature, theater, music, dance, ballet, painting, sculpture, photography, motion pictures, architecture, archaeology, history, natural history, or the natural sciences.
Have a permanent and viable base in Baltimore City for a minimum of three years prior to the submission deadline for the FY21 General Operating Support application.
Be and have been a 501(c)(3) organization for at least three years or be a successor to an arts or cultural organization that had been a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization for at least three years prior to the submission deadline. Organizations that utilize fiduciary organizations are eligible.
Employ for a minimum of two years prior to the submission deadline at least one paid, professional artistic and/or administrative staff person working a minimum of 20 hours per week (or 1,040 hours per year) at or above the state-designated minimum wage. This staff person should receive an IRS Form W-2 from the applicant organization reporting wages and withheld taxes and should have approval from the applicant organization’s Board of Directors to sign for financial transactions and grant-related documents.
Provide Independently Certified Audited Financial Statements for FY18 and FY19 if its annual budget is $500,000 or more; or provide either Independently Certified Audited or Reviewed Financial Statements for FY18 and FY19 if its annual budget is less than $500,000.
Have a Certificate of Good Standing certifying that the applicant is a registered nonprofit corporation, in good standing, in the State of Maryland.
Who May NOT Apply
The following types of organizations are not eligible to apply to the GOS Program (this list is not meant to be exhaustive): units of government, including K‐12 school districts; public colleges and universities; libraries; individuals; organizations that are the primary responsibility of a government agency; private K‐12 schools; private libraries; organizations that are not in good standing with BOPA and/or not in compliance with previous grants. Additionally, organizational partners to artists receiving Project Support are not eligible for GOS funding in the same grant cycle.
Creative Baltimore funds cannot be used for: religious ceremonies or events advancing or inhibiting a particular religious ideology; fundraising or advocacy of specific political causes or candidates; capital improvements (facilities and equipment); agent’s fees for programs contracted through commercial agencies; and travel outside of the United States.