From Ollie Ambrose, Arts Equipment Fund Project Manager:

We’ve finally reached the end of the year and have successfully closed out the 23-24 Maggie McIntosh Arts Equipment Fund! It’s been an incredible year of not only expanding fine arts programming, but also helping create new programs with many of the requests. Thanks to the generosity of the Maggie McIntosh School Arts Fund and the Maryland Department of Education, we were able to get over 20,000 pieces of equipment and school supplies out to 46 different Baltimore City Public Schools and expand the district’s instrument lending library.

Due to a delay in the initial funding, this year we managed to spend down two grants from the Maryland Department of Education, adding up to $300,000 allocated just for the Equipment Fund. Although next year we will only have one grant, we’re still excited to get the ball rolling for school year 24-25.


The highlights of my year managing the Equipment Fund have always been visiting the schools and seeing students use the new supplies and equipment to create incredible art. I want to share with you some pictures from school visits, along with quotes directly from the teachers who requested and received assistance.

Baltimore City College

Baltimore City College’s music teacher, Mr. Marcus Smith, applied for the Equipment Fund this year, requesting a set of guitars and music books for the students of his music class. In his application, he cited students’ desire not to just learn about history and theory, but to experience music first hand.

After receiving the guitars, Mr. Smith said this:

“I knew that it would create an interest, but I didn’t know that it would attract students not in the class. Students even come to the room during lunch to play their instruments. Outcome is far beyond what I anticipated.“

Moravia Park Elementary School

At Moravia Park Elementary, Ms. Samantha Feld, the art teacher, applied for new chairs for her classroom!

After receiving the chairs, Ms. Feld said,

“I can’t begin to tell you how much having new chairs has improved the classroom culture. The number of chair noise disruptions is almost zero. Nobody has injured themselves this month and it feels like a miracle!

When kids can sit in comfortable, quiet, and safe chairs they can learn so much better. There’s been a significant improvement in focus, learning, and the overall energy/culture of the classes.”

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

For music teacher Ms. Janee Johnson, the Paul Laurence Dunbar music programming resonates closely. As an alumni of the school, Ms. Johnson’s request went directly to drums and other music supplies to help refresh the marching band, and help expand her general music program.

I recall during my visit, there were a couple of students who had a free period, where they chose to come down to the music room to perform, which truly shows how much these students value Dunbar’s instrumental music programming.

After receiving the drums, Ms. Johnson said,

Once again, I want to thank the Maggie McIntosh School Arts Fund and the Maryland Department of Education for putting their faith in Arts Every Day to expand arts programs for students in Baltimore City Public Schools. Without them, we would not have been able to impact anywhere close to as many students as we’ve been able to this year!

I look forward to all of the incredible work that I know we’ll be able to do in the upcoming school year!

 If you’re a Baltimore City Public School teacher interested in applying for next year’s Equipment Fund, keep an eye out for the application, which will be released August 1st!