In 1979, Maryland Hall was founded by a group of artistic visionaries who believed the former Annapolis High School could best be re-used as a community arts center. The doors opened in late 1979, however, its founding began a year earlier when the Fine Arts Festival Foundation began hosting fundraising events for a local cultural arts center. In the Fall of 1978, Ellen Moyer, Joseph Sachs, Joanne Scott, Senator Roy Staten, Beth Whaley, and Martha Wright formed Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Inc. to further the process by approaching the Board of Education with a proposal for an arts and cultural center, which was passed.

In January of 1979, the old Annapolis Senior High School was vacated in preparation for its move to Riva Road. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Inc. saw the building’s potential and were granted use through a private/public partnership with Anne Arundel County Public School System that still stands today. In October of 1979, they were awarded a $25,000 grant from Anne Arundel County, and prepared to open.

Studio spaces were rented out to artists, and several resident companies joined including The Ballet Theatre of Annapolis (now Ballet Theatre of Maryland), Annapolis Opera, and Annapolis Chorale/Live Arts Maryland. Annapolis Symphony Orchestra joined later in 1987. Maryland Hall opened its doors with a celebration. The open house allowed visitors to enroll in classes in visual arts, music, theatre, writing, and dance. That year Maryland Hall celebrated with multiple performances and activities such as student and visiting performances from Washington, DC and Baltimore, and the Architecture Lecture Series.

Today, our historic landmark building is the region’s cultural core, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to strengthen community and experience the power of the arts. Discover an energy where the arts serve to connect, empower, inspire, and heal through arts education, visual arts, performing arts, and entertainment.

Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts at Maryland Hall

In January 2020, a dedication was held for the Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts at Maryland Hall. The Michael E. Busch Center for the Arts at Maryland Hall is the totality of all our programming and outreach that deliver on our goal of art for all. In honor of late Speaker Mike Busch’s dedication to the Arts and decades of support of Maryland Hall, we aspire to touch all individuals in the state of Maryland regardless of location or background.

Did You Know?

The inscription above the theatre stage reads as follows: "The measure of a man is the depth of his convictions, the breadth of his interests and the height of his ideals."