About the Awards

WELCOME to the 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.


Mary Sawyers Baker Prizes 

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.




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.

The b-grants are each assigned an additional honor: The Semmes G. Walsh, Nancy Haragan and Board of Governors 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. The Board of Governors Award recognizes the amazing contribution that the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund's Board of Governors has made to Baltimore. 


Nominations Calendar

Nominations for the Baker Artist Awards opens October 1, 2014 and closes at 5:00 PM on January 15, 2015.  The Baker Artist Awards selection process will be conducted by a private jury of national and international multidisciplinary experts.




To nominate yourself for the 2015 Baker Artist Awards, you must be at least 21 years old and have been a legal resident of the Baltimore region since October 1, 2013 (one year prior to the opening of the current nomination season). 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 bakerartistawards@gmail.com.


About The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA) is an inclusive and independent organization that believes that arts and culture are essential to the vitality of theGreater-Baltimore region and that the cultural community is stronger together than apart.

Conceived in 1997 and incorporated in 2001, GBCA nurtures and promotes a vibrant, diverse, and sustainable arts and cultural community essential to the region’s quality of life. Its goals are to connect artists and organizations to one another and to vital resources through funding, technical assistance, and convening to advocate for the health, visibility, and ļ¬nancial strength of the sector with communications and other strategies that result in public and private support.

GBCA is a membership and service organization for arts, culture, history, heritage organizations, and attractions, as well as universities and colleges and individual artists. GBCA serves organizations and artists in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Harford, and Howard counties.


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.