GAP Grant Impact Stories

Taking the Pressure Off | Lee Anderson and Patti White

Lee Anderson and Patti White have decades of experience as independent freelance filmmakers and producers, and their credits have appeared on ABC, CBS, PBS, Lifetime, Discovery, Discovery Health, and other networks. Together, as Filmsters, Inc., they are able to follow their passion for filmmaking, creating content and branded entertainment for corporations and non-profit organizations. In their spare time, they give back to the Anne Arundel community, running a film camp and a film festival.

However, when COVID-19 hit, the work dried up. Filmsters had a huge project scheduled to go into production in late April 2020, which was postponed indefinitely. They kept hoping for a green light, but it never came. All other “live” filmmaking opportunities dried up and were canceled due to public health restrictions. They were able to do some re-edits of existing pieces or used stock footage, but those were generally very low-priced projects with limited margin and earnings.

The GAP Grant for Independent Artists came at a critical time for Lee and Patti. It enabled them to stay connected via the internet and phone, paid their utilities, and kept them current with bills. Lee tells us that, “Taking the pressure off of a creative person is a huge gift because it is tough to create and pivot when under so much pressure for basic needs. I am so grateful for this reprise. It has brought back my sense as an artist and has allowed me to imagine and plant many new seeds which I hope to nurture into the time that things open up again and it is safe to be out in the world making films. This has enabled me to focus on future possibilities for film projects, reinvent some old projects that are worthy, but needed a little freshen up, and repackage them to try to sell again. We have been able to reshoot (safely) with only two to three people (outside) a few key pickup interviews for various projects to move them ahead. You took off the pressure, and allowed artists, who are usually some of the most sensitive people I know, to feel a sense of control again, and to be able to continue to contribute to our community by doing what they do best…create, inspire and heal everyone through their art. What a gift!”

Always a team, Patti let us know that “We forget sometimes when life is speeding by and things are going well, that in a moment, it can all change and we have to re-evaluate and re-navigate our lives. When an organization such as ACAAC is there to recognize and actually bring assistance to so many artists in our community, that’s when you know they are the real deal.’ Thank you for having our backs and making our lives so much better during this challenging time.”

To connect and learn more about Lee and Patti, visit

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A Saving Grace! | ArtFarm Studios

ArtFarm Studios is a 3,200 square foot creative space located in the Design District of Annapolis, Maryland.  Equipped with open space, a large gallery wall, a classroom, and a stage, ArtFarm is a unique venue that caters to a broad spectrum of the arts. In designing ArtFarm, co-owners Alison Harbaugh and Darin Gilliam had one main goal: to develop a space that inspires others to create, encourage artistic innovation, and build community in Annapolis.

After the pandemic hit in March, ArtFarm was forced to close for much of 2020.  Since most of the organization’s revenue came through in-person classes and workshops, the business took a huge hit. The owners had to figure out how to pay the rent, keep their 15 teachers employed, and find innovative ways to continue to deliver their programming. Fortunately, they were able to get some financial relief through the Anne Arundel County GAP Arts Organization Grant.

ArtFarm’s owners told us, “The GAP grant was a saving grace! By being able to use some of the funding to market our classes to people outside of our local area, we were able to continue teaching virtually. We were able to purchase ads that targeted people in other states that made more people aware that we are here and providing great arts education, even if our doors are not open.”  Since they were able to make payroll, their marketing and administrative staff member was able to do all the back-end work of updating the website, posting upcoming new classes, and contacting teachers. This freed up the owners to focus on moving the educational programming forward, enabling the organization to stay on track and grow from this experience. “Being able to pay it forward and keep everyone working through this has been wonderful!”

To connect and learn more about ArtFarm, visit

Follow ArtFarm on social media!


The COVID-19 Relief Grants for the Arts Program (GAP) funding made possible by County Executive Steuart Pittman and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County. 


Click here for information regarding the Anne Arundel County GAP Grant for Independent Artists 

Click here for information regarding the Anne Arundel County GAP Grant for Arts Organizations

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