Maryland Folk Festival Launches 2023 Poster Challenge


Salisbury, MD – Maryland artists are invited to enter the Maryland Folk Festival’s inaugural Poster Challenge for the chance to win a $2,000 prize.

The Maryland Folk Festival, presented by Perdue, is set for Sept. 22-24 in Downtown Salisbury. The City of Salisbury will present this legacy festival after more than five years as the host of the National Folk Festival, produced in collaboration with the National Council for the Traditional Arts.

For the festival’s poster challenge, entrants are asked to design a creative festival poster using any two-dimensional medium that answers the question “What does ‘folk’ mean to you?”

Posters must be vertical, 18 by 24 inches, and the design must include the following words and items:

  • Maryland Folk Festival
  • Salisbury, MD
  • September 22-24, 2023
  • The artist’s signature
  • An area near the bottom for a sponsor logo/name
  • Empty space in the design to include the names of all performers attending this year’s festival

In addition to the $2,000 prize, the artist will be featured in the Maryland Folk Festival Official Guide.

The application period will run from May 30-July 17. Maryland Folk Festival judges will select the top 10 designs, and on Aug. 1, the top 10 designs will be posted online. Then, the public will have an opportunity to vote, and the winning design will be announced at Downtown Salisbury’s 3rd Friday event on Aug. 18. Posters and shirts with the winning design will be sold at the festival.

“Folk and cultural traditions mean something different to everyone and the theme of the Poster Challenge intentionally allows for a wide interpretation,” said Caroline O’Hare, events and culture manager for the City of Salisbury. “We are looking forward to having members of the community involved both as artists and during the voting process, and then having a unique, impressive design for the Maryland Folk Festival’s first year.”

Complete rules, detailed specs, graphics and past posters from other festivals are available at

About the Maryland Folk Festival

After more than five years as the host of the National Folk Festival, produced in collaboration with the National Council for the Traditional Arts, the City of Salisbury’s Arts, Business, and Culture Department is proud to launch its own legacy festival. In 2023, the city of Salisbury, Maryland, will take center stage with the Maryland Folk Festival from Sept. 22- 24.

This large-scale, multi-day outdoor event, celebrates the roots, richness and variety of American culture. It features hundreds of the nation’s finest musicians, dancers, craftspeople and other keepers of culture in performances, workshops, and demonstrations, plus children’s activities, non-stop participatory dancing, storytelling, and more.

About the City of Salisbury, Maryland

Founded in 1732, Salisbury is the county seat of Wicomico County, a place where John Smith touched land in 1608 during his exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, bringing him in contact with the Wighcocomoco or Wicomico, the Nause, the Kusk’arawack, and the Nantaquack or Nanticoke tribes who had lived in the region for several millennia. Situated on Maryland’s historic Eastern Shore at the crossroads of the Delmarva Peninsula, Salisbury is now one of the region’s largest cities, and serves as the capital of the Eastern Shore, a rural area defined by its agricultural and maritime traditions, landscapes, and industries. The Chesapeake Bay is central to this distinctive identity. Though a relatively small city, Salisbury is the geographic and economic hub of one of the nation’s fastest-growing Metropolitan Statistical Areas. Led by a dynamic mayor, the City of Salisbury is working to build its reputation as an arts and culture destination and is aligning its downtown development and revitalization efforts with the arts. Salisbury believes hosting the Maryland Folk Festival is the perfect catalyst to further a cultural renaissance and urban renewal.

ABCD Events

The Arts, Business & Culture Department is responsible for fostering Salisbury’s thriving economic climate through supporting business, expanding economic opportunity, promoting artistic expression, hosting unique experiences, and maintaining regional attractions such as the Salisbury Zoo and Poplar Hill Mansion. By producing signature events, facilitating business incentives, and collaborating with stakeholders, this department strives to make Salisbury a place where arts, business, and culture intersect and flourish.