By Nicholas A. Redding
“History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” – Maya Angelou
The Challenge: In 2018, the Historic Preservation Capital Grant Program was funded at $600,000 and the Historic Preservation Non-Capital Research & Survey Grant Program was funded at $300,000. This was some of the first funding these programs have received since 2010. The African-American Heritage Preservation Grant program received level funding at $1 million. Beginning in FY20, the Maryland Historical Society will receive $250,000 to establish a grant fund for small museums all over Maryland.
These programs have been pivotal in preserving and interpreting some of the state’s finest resources. From the Antietam Battlefield to Historic St. Mary’s City to Smith Island – these programs have touched every corner of the state and provided the necessary funding to allow Marylander’s to preserve the places that matter to them. Unfortunately every year, the amount of grant requests for important preservation and history work across the state far outstrips the amount of funding available.
Our Position: Preservation Maryland emphatically supports increasing the state’s investment in these chronically underfunded programs. A state appropriation of $1 million (split between the Capital and Survey & Research,) would continue to spur a renewed interest in the history of this state and create a catalyst for heritage tourism. An increased appropriation of $3 million for the African American Heritage Grant program would help address the discrepancy between grant requests and funding available. We will also be supporting the Maryland Historical Society as they work to establish their statewide museum grant program.