The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts is excited to announce the 12th annual Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize.  Applications are now being accepted for the prestigious competition which awards a $25,000 fellowship to a visual artist or visual artist collaborators living and working in the Baltimore region.  The deadline for submission isTuesday, January 17, 2017.  The application is available on  An exhibition of the finalists’ work will be featured in the Special Exhibition Galleries at the Walters Art Museum.  An award ceremony and reception takes place Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7pm at the Walters Art Museum, located at 600 North Charles Street.  The prize is held in conjunction with the 36th annual Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival taking place Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23, 2017 along Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street.

Approximately six finalists are selected for the final review for the prize.  Their work is showcased in the Special Exhibition Galleries at the Walters Art Museum from Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, August 13, 2017.  Additionally, an exhibition of the semifinalists’ work is shown in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries of MICA on Friday, July 21 through Sunday, August 6, 2017.  An opening reception for the semifinalist exhibition takes place Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm at MICA, located at 1301 W. Mount Royal Avenue.

The fellowship winner is selected from the Walters Art Museum exhibition after review of the installed art and an interview with each finalist by the jurors.  Jurors will be announced prior to the application deadline.  Artist collaborators, if chosen as the winner or finalist, receive a single $25,000 prize that is equally divided among the members of the group.

Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize Timeline

Application deadline: Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Announcement of semifinalists: Late February 2017

Announcement of finalists: Mid-April 2017

Finalists Exhibition at the Walters Art Museum: Saturday, June 17 through Sunday, August 13, 2017

Award announcement: Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 7pm; Galleries open at 6pm

Semifinalist Exhibition at MICA: Friday, July 21, 2017 through Sunday, August 6, 2017

Semifinalist Exhibition opening reception: Thursday, July 20, 2017 from 6pm to 9pm

Artscape: Friday, July 21-Sunday, July 23, 2017


Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize

The Artscape prize is named in honor of Janet and Walter Sondheim who have been instrumental in creating the Baltimore City that exists today.  Walter Sondheim, Jr. had been one of Baltimore’s most important civic leaders for over 50 years.  His accomplishments included oversight of the desegregation of the Baltimore City Public Schools in 1954 when he was president of the Board of School Commissioners of Baltimore City.  Later, he was deeply involved in the development of Charles Center and the Inner Harbor.  He continued to be active in civic and educational activities in the city and state and served as the senior advisor to the Greater Baltimore Committee until his death in February 2007.

Janet Sondheim danced with the pioneering Denishawn Dancers, a legendary dance troupe founded by Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn.  Later, she turned to teaching where she spent 15 years at the Children’s Guild working with severely emotionally disturbed children.  After retirement, she was a volunteer tutor at Highlandtown Elementary School.  She married Walter in 1934, and they were together until her death in 1992.


America’s largest free arts festival, attracting more than 350,000 attendees, offers concerts on multiple outdoor stages, art exhibitions, an artists’ market, a full schedule of dance, theater and opera, jazz, classical, folk and experimental music, children’s activities, exhibitors, and an extensive variety of local food and beverage vendors on Mount Royal Avenue and North Charles Street.

The 2017 Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize is made possible through the generous support of the the Abell Foundation, Alex. Brown & Sons Charitable Foundation, Charlesmead Foundation, Ellen Sondheim Dankert, France-Merrick Foundation, Hecht-Levi Foundation, Legg Mason, M&T Charitable Foundation, Amy & Chuck Newhall, Henry & Ruth Blaustein Rosenberg Foundation, M. Sigmund & Barbara Shapiro Philanthropic Fund, John Sondheim and The Whiting-Turner Contracting Company.

For more information on the Janet & Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, call 410-752-8632 or visit