Heritage Awards recognize long-term achievement in the traditional arts. Awards are given through Maryland Traditions and annually recognize six recipients in three categories: Person/People, Place, and Tradition.

Eligible Heritage Award nominees are people, places, and traditions located in Maryland that demonstrate long-term achievement in the traditional arts.

Category specific guidelines:

  • People, places, and traditions may receive the Heritage Award only once.
  • Heritage Awards are not given posthumously.
  • Self-nominations are accepted.
  • There is no limit to the number of nominations that may be made in connection with a single traditional art.

Awards in the Person/People category are given to individuals whose efforts demonstrate long-term achievement in such areas as performance, creative practice, research, documentation, presentation, entrepreneurship, artistry, or community leadership.

Awards in the Place category are given to locations having long-term importance as gathering points for community fellowship; sites for traditional practice; or places demonstrating continuing vitality due to the efforts of groups or individuals whose work might stretch over many generations.

Awards in the Tradition category are given in honor of long-term practices that have connected communities to traditional arts through activities including traditional practices, recurring events, occupations, local knowledge, cultural movements, or organizations.

Submit a Heritage Award nomination via MSAC's online grants management system SmartSimple. Nominators using SmartSimple for the first time will be asked to create a profile in one of several categories (e.g., Independent Artist, County Arts Council, etc.).

Nominators should select the profile category that best describes them. If no profile category is an exact match, nominators should select “Independent Artist”.

Heritage Award nominators are those making nominations on behalf of nominees. Nominators may reside anywhere and must provide contact information during the nomination process. Nominators serve as the primary point of contact for a nomination until winners are selected.

A completed nomination consists of the following components:

  • Answers to prompts soliciting a description of the nominee’s long-term achievement in the traditional arts
  • Optional supplemental materials

See the Grant Guidelines for detailed information.


Upon execution of grant agreement, payment will be processed for receipt in 6-8 weeks. Grantees are required to submit a final report at the completion of the funded project. For detailed reporting requirements, please see the Grant Guidelines.

All MSAC grants are paid on the same timeline. To learn more, click here.

Grantees are required to submit a brief report detailing the use of funds at the end of each fiscal year. 

See the Grant Guidelines for detailed information.

A complete list of previous awardees can be found in this research guide from the Maryland Traditions Archives. Previous awardees include:

FY 2024
FY 2023
FY 2022
FY 2021
FY 2020

This Youtube playlist features soundbooks and documentary short films created by contract media producers Edwin Remsberg Photographs (2007-2021) and Wide Angle Youth Media (2021-present), respectively, featuring Heritage Awardees over the years: