Art Market

The Baltimore Museum of Art repurposed $100,000 in funds to support local artists and galleries.

Justin Kamp
May 28, 2020 4:19PM, via Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art. Photo by Eli Pousson via Wikimedia Commons.

The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) is repurposing roughly $100,000 in cancelled spring programming funds in order to launch three new initiatives aimed at supporting local artists and galleries. The initiatives—BMA Salon, BMA Screening Room and BMA Studio—will use money that the museum had previously earmarked for its Necessity of Tomorrow(s) keynote series, which focused on issues of social justice, equity, and creative practice. The new initiatives will launch in the first two weeks of June.

BMA Salon will focus on cultivating new audiences for 20 Baltimore-area galleries. The museum will provide $2,500 to each participating gallery to help them create a digital exhibition that will run on the BMA’s Necessity of Tomorrow(s) digital platform, providing the galleries with both a bump in funding and an avenue toward a wider audience. BMA Screening Room, meanwhile, will center around the launch of a new video streaming service, hosted on the BMA’s website, featuring works from up to 50 Baltimore artists who will be paid licensing fees ranging from $500 to $750. Among confirmed participating artists are Rahne Alexander, Emily Eaglin, Chung-Wei Huang, and Monsieur Zohore.

The final initiative, BMA Studio, will focus on the creation and distribution of 1,400 readymade art-making kits, which will include materials and instructions for projects pulled from the museum’s planned Free Family Sundays program. BMA Studio aims to address digital and material access inequalities that impede some communities’ participation in online art programs. The artmaking kits will be distributed by Greenmount West Community Center staff to the Maryland Food Bank, World Central Kitchen, and families in the Greenmount West neighborhood.

Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s director, said in a statement:

Our new initiatives build on ideas core to us as an institution from connecting audiences with exciting, thought-provoking works of art to championing artistic experimentation and positioning creative production as central to social change. At the same time, these programs shift our approach from discussion and presentation to more active and directed collaboration—a change in tactic that acknowledges our new reality and one we believe will help secure the future of the visual arts in our city.

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Justin Kamp