ONE critic calls it "the arts shakedown of the Marylan...

Salmagundi

October 02, 1992

ONE critic calls it "the arts shakedown of the Marylan taxpayer (apparently paid for by the taxpayer, too)." In reality, it is "a series of grants-writing workshops" presented by three of the state's agencies that hand out such grants.

The flier for the workshops claims that they will teach participants all there is to know about applying for grants and how to put themselves in the best position to get some of that state arts money.

Participants can even sign up for an appointment with a grant-maker from the Maryland Humanities Council, the Maryland State Arts Council or the Maryland Division of Historical and Cultural Programs.

And the taxpayer does, indeed, pick up the expenses for these six workshops in Hagerstown, Salisbury, St. Leonard, Laurel and Baltimore. As the flier puts it, "Watch as forms and procedures are demystified before your eyes. ALL AT NO CHARGE!"

How are the grant-makers going to explain to the throngs of applicants-in-training that cutbacks in state funds may make these workshops meaningless?

How will they explain to state lawmakers the rationale for encouraging more people to seek more money from a fast-shrinking state treasury?

And are these state employees going to justify their jobs at budget-cutting time based on these workshops?

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