Baker Artist Awards

The Baker Artist Awards were created to support artists and promote Greater Baltimore as a strong creative community. Through a sophisticated online portfolio and significant monetary prizes for the winners, the Baker Artist Awards serves artists of all disciplines who live and work in Baltimore City and its five surrounding counties. The website and awards were established by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund and are a program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.

The online self-nomination process exposes area artists’ work to regional, national and international audiences.  The site has been viewed by hundreds of thousands of art lovers, critics, gallery owners, academics, and leaders in creative business in nearly every country around the globe. Each year, awards are made in two categories: the Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes and the b-grants.

Click here to view the nominations and learn more about the Awards at!



Up to three Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes are awarded annually for up to $25,000 each. These awards recognize established artists who demonstrate a dedication to their art, a mastery of craft, and a commitment to excellence. Mary Sawyers Baker, one of Baltimore’s early philanthropists, studied voice as a young girl in Paris and embraced the arts throughout her life. She established the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund in 1964 to honor her husband, a well-known Baltimore civic leader.

b-grant Prizes

The b-grants were established in 2010 to promote the quality, diversity, and depth of the region’s arts scene. These prizes recognize both emerging artists and established artists exploring new directions. In previous years, up to ten b-grants of $1,000 each have been awarded. Beginning in 2014, up to three b-grants will be awarded for up to $5,000 each.bisforbaltimorebAlone

In 2013, b-grant winners were eligible for two additional honors. The Semmes G. Walsh and Nancy Haragan Awards. Semmes G. Walsh gave more than forty years of service to Baltimore and the William G Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund who were grateful for his integrity, common sense, and a commitment to artistic excellence. Nancy Haragan, founding director of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance, gave years of creative service to Baltimore’s arts sector.

nominations calendar

Nominations for the Baker Artist Awards opens October 1, 2013 and closes at 11:59 PM on January 15, 2014.  The Baker Artist Awards selection process will be conducted by a private jury of national and international multidisciplinary experts.

Once nominations close for the 2014 awards, artists who have nominated themselves need not wait until October to update their online application; returning entrants may edit and update their work on the site as early as April 2014.

Who is Eligible

To nominate yourself for the 2013 Baker Artist Awards, you must be at least 21 years old and have been a legal resident of the Baltimore region since October 1, 2012. The Baltimore region is defined as: Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County and Howard County. The Baker Artist Awards are intended for individual artists and groups of artists working as a collective. Artists working in any discipline or multiple disciplines are eligible to win Mary Sawyers Baker and b-grant prizes and winners of the b-grant prizes remain eligible to win the Mary Sawyers Baker prizes. Organizations and venues are not eligible.

Winners of the Mary Sawyers Baker and b-grant Prizes will be required to provide additional proof of age and residency beyond information requested through the online self-nomination process.

The Baker Artist Awards is managed by The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance.  All inquiries regarding eligibility should be directed to

About The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund

The William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund commits its resources to enhance the region’s economy and quality of life by making investments in arts and culture. Its grants support artistic and cultural organizations and their partners through initiatives that enhance an individual’s sense of self and pleasure and make Baltimore a more attractive place to live and work.

Click here to view the nominations and learn more about the Awards at!