Request for Proposal: Artist Exhibition Program 2023-2024


Port Discovery Children’s Museum is excited to provide a unique opportunity for local artists to present their work to a whole new audience and stretch their art-making practice beyond the traditional gallery spaces. The Artist Exhibition Program (AEP) is a year-long exhibition opportunity for local artists to present artwork on the children’s museum’s walls. Selected pieces will be incorporated into Port Discovery’s interactive exhibit spaces and common areas with direct impact on the visitor experience. This program is being supported in part by the William G. Baker, Jr. Memorial Fund, creator of the Baker Artist Portfolios, 

About the Artist Exhibition Program

The AEP seeks to connect the rich artistic community of Baltimore with the young audience of Port Discovery Children’s Museum by displaying their artwork on the children’s museum’s wall. We understand that this opportunity is not for all artists. It is geared for those who work at or are interested in expanding their practice at the intersection of public art, interactivity, and young audiences (and their families). Artists are welcome to submit proposals of new work or pre-existing work that may be touched, which shares ideas that conceptually children can connect with, and, ideally, could connect to themes already part of Port Discovery (Baltimore history, maritime heritage, Maryland’s landscape). It is important to remember that Port Discovery is a very public place so the artwork will be touched. Our visitors are extremely motivated to engage with all aspects of the museum in direct, physical ways. 

Program Goals

  • To integrate more artworks in the Museum space. 
  • Deepen Port Discovery’s engagement with Baltimore’s artist community. 
  • Offer a unique, nontraditional exhibit opportunity for local artists. 
  • Invite Port Discovery’s audience to contemplate and examine works of creative expression. 
  • Nurture the next generation of museum going audiences. 


  • August 1, 2023: Application period is open
  • August 9, 2023 @ 5pm: Information session at Port Discovery
  • August 18, 2023 @9am: Information session at Port Discovery
  • September 30, 2023: Application deadline
  • October 2023: Application review
  • Early November 2023: Notification
  • December 6 – 8, 2023: Artwork delivered to Port Discovery
  • December 11-15, 2023: Installation
  • January 2024: Artist Reception
  • November 2024: Artwork deinstallation

Program Eligibility and Benefits 

The program is intended for any artist, 18 years or older, with work ready to display (or ability to successfully create a new work within the prescribed timeline). Artists with demonstrated capabilities for creating interactive works that may be 2D or low relief, wall-mounted, or media-based projects are encouraged to apply. Port Discovery values diversity in age, gender, ethnicity and gender expression as well as diversity in medium. 

If selected to participate, artists will receive: 

  • $2,000 honorarium 
  • Up to $2,000 in materials reimbursement (new creations only) 
  • Installation support from Port Discovery’s Exhibits staff 
  • Recognition in all publicity, outreach, and communications related to the program 

Information Sessions 

To apply for the AEP, all artists are required to attend one of the two information sessions that will take place at the Museum. The information includes a walk-through of Port Discovery to review the available display sites and to become acquainted with how the museum visitors use and experience the Museum. 

  • Tuesday, August 9, 2023 @ 5pm 
  • Friday, August 18, 2023 @ 9am 

Both sessions will take place at Port Discovery Children’s Museum, 35 Market Place, Baltimore 21202. Meet in the box office entrance of the Museum. RSVPs are encouraged: 

Application Process 

Applications will be reviewed by the museum’s Leadership Team and Director of Exhibits and Facilities. Selection is based on the following factors: 

  • The professional capabilities of the applicants as revealed through documentation of prior work and experience. 
  • Opportunities to best match the artist to the rigors of the museum environment. 
  • The theme and content of the work. 

Successful artwork proposals are those that complement the museum’s mission and values. Selected artists will participate in a collaborative process for choosing the display space that works best for their piece. Selected artists must also take a flexible attitude to heart and continually monitor their work against the demands of the public. 

AEP Application consists of the following:
Proposal (2 page limit) 
  • Introduce yourself as an artist, short biography
  • Description of artwork, dimensions, installation requirements
  • Why are you interested in this opportunity?
  • How are you/your work a good fit for Port Discovery Children’s Museum
  • What impact do you hope to achieve with Port Discovery’s audience.
  • Contact information, website, social media handles
  • OPTIONAL: For interested applicants, there is an opportunity to present a youth/familly-based art workshop in Port Discovery’s Art Studio Workshop as part of the AEP. If interested in this opportunity, please share your workshop idea(s).
Résumé (2 page limit) 
Artwork Portfolio
  • A maximum of 10 jpg files, or a slide show with a maximum of 10 images. -or
  • Video, sound and animation may be submitted. A maximum of 3 minutes will be reviewed in total. -or
  • Combination of up to 5 jpg files and up to 2 minutes of video, sound and animation. 

Deadline: Applications must be received by 11:59 pm on September 30th, 2023. 

Submit your application by email to: 

About Port Discovery 

The mission of Port Discovery Children’s Museum is to provide unique opportunities and high-quality experiences that make play accessible, educational, and fun for all. Our work is driven by the vision to foster joy, connections, laughter, and learning through purposeful play. We believe in a world where the value of learning through play is recognized and respected, backed by the science that demonstrates the power of play to transform the lives of children (and their families). 

Located in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor since 1998, Port Discovery has served over 5 million visitors as one of the mid-Atlantic’s leading children’s museums. Our core programming includes exhibits and creative activities in our 80,000 square foot museum, access programs for students and low-income families, educational programs and workshops for local school districts, and two generational programming for parents and early childhood educators. On average, the Museum sees 225,000 annual visitors, which includes families, teachers, and students; and its reach includes 22,000+ email subscribers, over 2,200 museum members, and social media audience of approximately 25,000. Over 60% of students who come to Port Discovery on a field trip represent Title I schools. Our geographic reach extends across the region and state, with nearly 60% of our visitors coming from Baltimore City and the surrounding counties, 35% from across Maryland, and the remainder from out of state. 

Download a PDF version of the RFP.