UMBC Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education

The Charlesmead Initiative for Arts Education is a philanthropic, five-year (2018-2023) effort that manages a gift of $500,000 ($100,000/year) from the Charlesmead Foundation to UMBC. These funds are allocated toward arts engagement opportunities for K-8 students in Title I BCPSS classrooms to increase their art engagement, cultivate their confidence and interest in creative processes, and build their confidence and efficacy in entering higher education.

This initiative aims to fund projects that foster the academic, creative, and social growth of students through the provision of programs, workshops, and other activities related to the arts. These projects may take place in the time frames of during, before, or after school. Other usages of funds have included, but are not limited to: stipends/honoraria to hire educators as project collaborators; transportation and logistics; involvement of UMBC students in ongoing projects; writing school curricula that expands arts education (see “Funded Projects” tab for examples). Applicants may also collaborate with local arts organizations if they ultimately serve K-8 youth at Title I BCPSS schools. Youth may be brought to the UMBC campus for arts programming, and UMBC faculty/staff and students may travel to the served schools to facilitate the arts education programs.

Proposals should be tailored to the needs and interests of the populations being served, leverage the strengths of UMBC in the arts content areas, and reflect the notion that all children are entitled to quality arts programming in the full spectrum of artistic disciplines, including Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts.

We are seeking proposals to fund new, or expand existing, partnerships between UMBC faculty/staff/graduate students and these schools. We will continue to accept and review submissions on a rolling basis for projects up to $1,000.  Proposals for projects over $1,000 are due November 1st, 2021 (fall), and March 15th, 2022 (spring). See “Submit a Proposal” tab. 

Contact Person: David Demarest (

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out!

Teamwork during the Lakeland Elementary/Middle School project at the Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture at UMBC, 2019