Community Arts Grant

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts, with generous support from Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development, Maryland State Arts Council, and Mayor Bernard C. "Jack" Young, City of Baltimore, administers the 2020 Community Arts Grant. The Community Arts Grant awards funding of up to $15,000 to Baltimore City artists and neighborhoods who work together to creatively re-imagine and enliven public spaces through new, exterior wall mural art projects. The artist-neighborhood collaborative projects must be free and open to the public and exist in outdoor, publicly accessible space. 

Applicant Eligibility

This grant program is open to Baltimore City neighborhood and community-based organizations that partner with artists, artist teams, designers, design teams, or arts organizations. 

·         The lead applicant must be designated by the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)3 organization. If this is not the case, applicants can apply through a 501(c)3 organization that agrees to act as the fiscal agent.

·         Employees of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts are not eligible to apply.

Please note: If you intend to use BOPA – Community Art Grants funds to create a mural, keep in mind funds will be distributed to qualified neighborhood associations and community based non-profit groups (not individuals), for the purpose of strengthening neighborhoods through community art projects. Projects must employ community engagement in the creative process (include input from residents and stakeholders in the mural design process). 

For more information on this program or for technical assistance, contact: Chris Brooks | 410-752-8632 |


Grant Award Process & Overview

Below is an overview of the 2020 Community Art Grants and award process:


  • Artists and communities are encouraged to submit exciting art design concepts that represent the distinct character and quality of a local community, with consideration to local cultural heritage and diversity. 
  • Projects must employ community engagement in the creative process. 
  • Working together, artists and community groups design and propose a new mural art concept for their community. Communities should carefully review design concepts to address questionable or offensive mural artwork designs. 
  • An independent panel of arts, culture, and community and development leaders and BOPA staff review qualified proposal submissions and vote for the winning proposals* (Community Art Grant awards help fund projects; additional funding sources may be needed to complete artworks).
  • Once selected, prize-winning communities work with support from the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts to realize their project concept. Exhibition of Art projects must be openly accessible, free of charge.

Projects may require:

  • Right-of-Entry agreement with property owner
  • Equipment Rental Agreement
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Artist and Property Owner (site access schedule/timeline)
  • Permit review
  • Environmental Review
  • Certificate of Insurance
  • Budget for design process expenses
  • Artist Design time schedule
  • Onsite Operations Manager and Personnel Manager
  • Community Buy-in and engagement in the mural project 
  • Assessment of mural surface condition and determine if historic restrictions surrounding site exist 
  • Local community outreach (Communities must have an opportunity to provide input/feedback on the project)


  • Funds will be distributed to qualified neighborhood associations and community based non-profit groups for the purpose of strengthening neighborhoods through major art projects.  
  • Funds are not distributed to individuals.
  • The temporary public art projects funded by this grant supports the creation of new mural artworks (mural restorations do not qualify). 


  • For privately-funded murals, contact your insurance company to add insurance for the mural project: 
  • General Liability insurance coverage for bodily injury and property damage
  • Workers compensation insurance coverage for the contractors’ employees

Maintenance and Restoration

  • The Community Art Grant does not cover mural maintenance or restorations.

Protections for Historic Districts and Landmarks

  • Keep in mind exterior changes to all properties within Baltimore City's historic districts and local Landmarks must be presented to the Commission for Historical and Architectural Review (CHAP) for review, approval and permit for the install.

Permits Application
Rules & Regulations and Design Guidelines
Historical and Architectural Authorization Application

Mural Approval Process

The process for getting approval for a mural is not difficult, but it has a few steps and can take some time.  The following are the steps for mural design and site approval.  Mural costs vary depending on the size and condition of the wall, the artist’s fee, supplies and scaffolding (or lift).  If the project does not require scaffolding or a lift, the cost of mural production is much less expensive. 

  1. A muralist designs and produces the work, usually in conjunction with a community or neighborhood association.   A mural artist usually works under a contract with the community association or the building owner.
  2. The building owner must provide written acceptance of the mural (called a Right of Entry).  If the property is owned by the city, you must have a Right of Entry from Baltimore Housing, Office of Legal Affairs at 410-396-3349.
  3. If the building is in a historic district, the building and design must undergo a review by the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation (CHAP).  The CHAP review ensures that the wall and the design are both appropriate for a historic district.
    CHAP, 417 East Fayette St., 8th floor, 410-396-4866
  4. If the building is not in a historic district or once the CHAP review is completed and the mural has been approved, the design must be presented to the Zoning Office for their review.  They will ensure that the mural does not contain an advertising message.
    Zoning Office, 417 East Fayette St., Room 147, 410-396-4126
  5. A mural requires an exterior painting permit. The fee for the permit is $25 per site. The application is filed with the One – Stop Shop.  You will need 2 copies of the mural image pictured on the intended wall (either 8½” X 11” or 11” X 17”).  The application process takes 48 hours. Once the application process is completed, the fee for the permit will be determined. One-Stop Shop, 417 E. Fayette St., Room 100, 410-396-3360
  6. With the artist, you must determine if the project requires scaffolding or a boom lift.  If either of these devices obstructs a public way (sidewalk, alley or street), you must obtain a Temporary Use of Right of Way permit from the Department of Transportation.
    Department of Transportation, City Hall – Room 250, 100 N. Holliday Street, 410-396-3835


For more information on the Community Art Grants, call 410-752-8632.