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MHAA Project Grants

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The grant application cycle for FY2020 MHAA Project grants will open in January 2019. Final applications are typically due in late February. Visit the MHAA website for grant guidelines and application procedures.

Each year, the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority provides dollar-for-dollar matching project grants to non-profit organizations and governments for capital and non-capital projects located within a certified Maryland heritage areas (which includes the Baltimore National Heritage Area). Grants can support heritage tourism-related projects involving historical, cultural, or natural resources, events, or properties.

Non-capital projects can include planning and design as well as interpretive projects, such as exhibits, signage, and other materials. Capital projects include acquisition, development, new construction, rehabilitation, restoration, and pre-development costs (such as architectural designs).  MHAA grants can also fund programming, such as seminars, conferences, performances, reenactments, commemorations, and festivals (must be a pilot program or new programming).

Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program.

Award amounts typically range from a maximum $50,000 for non-capital and programming projects and a maximum of $100,000 for capital projects. All grants must be matched in an amount at least equal to the grant (dollar-for-dollar match). A portion of this match may be with in-kind services, such as volunteer time, donated professional services, and donated materials.

The Baltimore National Heritage Area coordinates the application process for proposed projects within its boundaries. More information about this role can be found in the application process section. For more information about MHAA Project Grants, please visit the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority website.


Frequently Asked Questions

When does the grant round open? When are applications due?
The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority typically announces the opening of the application process in January. Applications are first reviewed by the Baltimore National Heirtage Area; applications for this first level of review are typically due in late February. Grants are forwarded to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, which will make their decision in early summer (June or July).

Can I meet with heritage area staff to discuss my project?
Certainly! We’re happy to talk with you about your project. Also, all applicants are required to attend a grant application workshop. Announcements about the required workshop will be made as soon as the grant process opens.

Does a project, such as the design and installation of a permanent exhibit, qualify as a capital or non-capital project?
The general rule of thumb is that a resource must have a lifespan of more the 15 years to qualify as a capital expenditure. A permanent exhibit for a museum or historic attraction could qualify. Other projects, such as the redevelopment of a public space, could also qualify as a capital project. Both MHAA and BHAA staff can help you with this determination.

What is considered a “local government entity” for the purpose of a support letter?
Broadly speaking, the local government entity can be a department of the city government (Department of General Services, Department of Recreation and Parks, etc.), a city commission (e.g. Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation), the Office of the Mayor, or a member of the City Council.

Do I need support letters from a state delegate, state senator, and the local government entity?
For the FY2020 grant round, letters of support are not required. However, letters of support for the grant application are strongly encouraged. Letters from elected officials, partner organizations and community members help to demonstrate the importance of, need for, and urgency of your project.

How do I receive a Letter of Authorization from the heritage area management entity?
The Baltimore Heritage Area Association, Inc. will automatically issue this letter if:

  • prepared the grant application according to the instructions, and
  • provided proof of non-profit status and good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.

The letter will be transmitted directly by BHAA to the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority with the grant application.

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