Program Introduction

The Rubys were established in 2013 to provide project-based support for individual artists. The goal of the program is to provide meaningful support to individual artists to allow for the creation of new work. The Rubys supports the notion of risk-taking (in practice, content, process, and/or outcome) and equally values artistic integrity, strong ideas, feasibility, and communal meaning. The program is open to artists at any stage of their career and favors projects that have significant creative work left to accomplish.

Grants will enable individual artists to create or complete a project that will include a public component occurring at some point during the grant period. The public component may be a performance, presentation/lecture, screening, exhibition, reading, or any other type of event that fits with the nature of the project.

Grant at a Glance

Artists may apply for grants of up to $10,000 to be applied to a project over a 12-month period. Artists may submit only one application during each funding round. Grants may be used to support projects that are already in process, a project not yet begun, or a distinct phase of a longer-term project.

Artistic Categories


Includes but is not limited to: nonfiction; fiction; poetry; graphic novels; cross-disciplinary; experimental/emerging fields.

Media Arts

Includes but is not limited to: film; audio and video projects; animation; computer graphics; sound art; digital arts; screenplay; teleplay; cross-disciplinary; experimental/emerging fields.

Performing Arts

Includes but is not limited to: dance; music; theater; musical theater; opera; puppetry; performance art; playwriting; spoken word; storytelling; traditional/folk art; cross-disciplinary; experimental/emerging fields.


Includes but is not limited to: painting; photography; sculpture; works on paper; craft; installation; traditional/folk art; cross-disciplinary; experimental/emerging fields.


At the time of application, an artist must:

  • Be a resident of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, or Howard County.   

  • Have a valid U.S. tax identification number

  • Be at least 21 years old

  • Be a practicing artist: Those who have actively and continually pursued their profession in this discipline for more than three years (as evidenced on your resume with application)

The following are not eligible for grants from this program:

  • Organizations

  • Full-time or part-time students in a degree-earning program

  • A current board member, committee member, staff, or consultant for the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, or their immediate family members


For questions, please email us at



The next grant cycle will open on June 1, 2019.

In 2019, we reorganized the Rubys program schedule and this year ALL ARTISTIC CATEGORIES are represented in the grant cycle – Literary Arts, Media Arts, Performing Arts, and Visual Arts. Moving forward, there will be only one grant cycle per year. Artists may submit just one application across all categories.

More information, including dates for grant information sessions (which will take place late spring 2019), will post in January 2019. The application link will open on June 1, 2019 with a deadline to apply of July 31, 2019.

Grant guidelines and FAQ

The below documents provide the most detail on preparing a Rubys application.

Sample forms

While there is not an official Rubys grant application form, provided below are sample templates of how an applicant may organize their materials.


For questions, please email us at



Attend a workshop to learn about applying for a Rubys Grant as well as tips and strategies for preparing a strong application. This opportunity to ask questions in-person with the Program Director and strengthen your grant-seeking skills.

Workshops are free and open to all.

2019 Workshops

Information on upcoming workshops will post in January 2019.


For questions, please email us at



What is the deadline and where do I apply for a 2019 Rubys grant?

The deadline to apply for a 2019 Rubys Artist Grant will be Wednesday, July 31 28, 2019 at 11:59pm. The application link is here and will open for submissions on June 1, 2019.

What is the grant timeline?

Approximately October 2019 through September 2020.

Where can I find examples of a budget, timeline, and work sample inventory list?

Examples may be downloaded here.

For the public component requirement, do I have to have a venue/event space booked at the time of application?

Absolutely not. We ask that you simply provide some ideas of what your public component would be should you get the grant (i.e. What venues would you contact to host your event? What would your ideal type of space be?).

Will I have a stronger application if my project (a) includes an art education component (b) is related to social justice or (c) is directly connected to Baltimore?

No. If any of these items are inherent and authentic to your art practice – great! However, the Rubys supports artistic projects of any content, background, or theme. Being authentic to your art practice makes for the strongest application.

That said, it can be a benefit to include a sentence or two to define your place as an artist in the region. We have found that strong applications are those that talk about what role will their project have in the greater community (or in your artistic field).

Will the program director read my application draft prior to submitting?

No. However, you are welcome to phone or email the program director to discuss your ideas and questions during the application period. Then, after all applicants are notified, you may set up a feedback appointment with the grants manager to discuss your application.

Where can I find who has received a grant in past?

Go to PAST GRANTEES to research who has received a grant in past years. Also listed are the names of previous jury panels.

How does the review process work?

Review of all applications happens in two phases. Phase one: The jury panel reviews and individually scores all applications. Phase two: The top 20% scoring applications from phase one move on to phase two, when the jury panel meets in person to discuss those applications as a group and make final selections.

Note that the jury is required only to review what is presented in your application. Don’t assume that they will click through to external websites or links. Focus on presenting your best self within the parameters of the application materials.

On what criteria is the jury panel basing their scores

Projects are to be assessed on:

  • Creative vision and artistic integrity

  • Artistic capacity and feasibility of the project, including likelihood that the project can be realized, based on the project budget and the proposed timeline.

  • Artistic merit of the work represented in the work samples.

To a lesser degree, other factors that influence a jury’s score include:

  • A project that is stretching the applicant in artistic process, subject matter, or approach

  • A project that is early in its lifespan and/or has significant creative work left to be done.

  • A project that does not appear to be an unchanged continuation of the artist’s current practice

  • The artist’s understanding of their place in the local art community, and/or understanding of how their project will relevant to the local art community.

When will I know if I got a grant?

All applicants will be notified of their status in September 2019

What if I have a question not answered here?

Please attend a grant workshop, which goes over all application details and where you can talk to the program director in person. Workshops are free and open to all.

You may also email your question to the program director at



Why Fund Individual Artists?

About the Rubys

Meet the Newest Rubys.

See Current Grantees