Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts Meets Deutsch Foundation Challenge Grant

For the First time in its 30 Year History, the Director of the MDVLA is a Full Time Funded Position

The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation is proud to report that Adam Holofcener, Director of the Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, has successfully completed our challenge grant as of April 1, 2017.

We are thrilled that, for the first time in its thirty year existence, the MdVLA has a fulltime director. Maryland Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts is dedicated to protecting the rights of Maryland artists and arts organizations through pro bono legal services and education.  MdVLA continues to build a bridge between the artists who need legal help but cannot afford it and the attorneys who want to do pro bono work in the arts community but are unable to identify the community’s needs.

With Holofcener, a lawyer who is also an experimental musician, at the helm, the MdVLA has been a Deutsch Foundation Grantee since August 2016, and were given a matching challenge grant as well. As of April 20, 2017, our grant has been matched by the William G. Baker Foundation and various local law firms, as well as small individual gifts. We are pleased to offer Holofcener a second challenge grant to continue to expand his role and ability to serve Baltimore’s creative population.

“You need someone to take a risk on you, to give you the funding,” said Holofcener from his office at Motor House. “For my organization, getting the first grant of $20,000 helps me to reach out to other funders and be taken seriously.” Until he achieved the matching grant, Holofcener worked part time for MdVLA and doing copyright work, his specialty, for a Towson based firm.

For Holofcener, the opportunity to work with artists and within the arts community makes it all worthwhile. The MdVLA fulfills its mission through Pro Bono Legal Referrals, Art Law Clinics, and Seminars, Workshops, and Master Classes including one-on-one pro bono legal referrals, art law clinics, and legal workshops on issues important to artists, like contracts, copyright, and the business of art. MdVLA serves hundreds of artists every year by providing these workshops across the state. MdVLA volunteer attorneys help artists with a range of issues, from registering copyrights, to forming LLCs and non-profits, to collecting unpaid invoices.  Each year, the organization serves between 100 and 150 clients through referrals. At their Art Law Clinics, once a month, artists can receive a 30-minute legal consultation with a volunteer attorney to go over their short-form legal issue.  This past year, they served over 100 clients at our clinics.

“After a successful completion of the challenge grant from the Deutsch Foundation, we have a second challenge grant for 2018,” Holofcener said. “Wwe are already working to cultivate the relationships for it, in terms of increasing our capacity to provide crucial legal and professional dservices the creative community, people who would not have any acces to otherwise.”

“In a time when there’s more investment in a number of disparate creative communities in the city, building collaborative infrastructure is paramount,” he said. “Baltimore needs more organizations like us that support individuals, and it’s important that the people supporing the arts use their dollars strategically.”

The news also coincides with a personal milestone for Holofcener as well: his son, Wallace Pyne Holofcener, was born on March 26, 2017. Congratulations to Adam and his family!

Photos by Olivia Obineme



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