Maryland Historical Society, 2007. Photo by eopederson on Tumblr.

Capacity Building Grants for Maryland Cultural Groups Announced

04/07/2020
By Elly Colmers Cowan

The Maryland Historical Society recently announced the recipients of the state’s inaugural round of Pathways grants, a state-funded program that strategically provided funding for building capacity amongst Maryland’s many museums and cultural organizations.

HOW THE PROGRAM CAME TO BE

Unlike many states, Maryland is without a true state museum. As a result, the tradition had been to provide support to the state’s network of small, community-focused museums and historical societies, as well as larger institutions, through the Maryland Historical Trust’s Museum Assistance grant program. At its peak in 2007-2008, this program provided over $3.5 million for more than 80 projects across Maryland. Unfortunately, since 2010, the program has gone unfunded from the state.

Knowing the dire and ever-growing need for museum and preservation grant funding across the state, Preservation Maryland worked during the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly to insert budget language that would help quantify that need. The result was a report to the Joint Chairmen released in the fall of 2016 by the Maryland Historical Trust which clearly demonstrated the substantial unmet needs of the state’s history museum and historic preservation community and recommended the restoration of grant funding. That report provided the basis for sustained advocacy work by Preservation Maryland and our partners in the preservation and museum community, the outcome of which was the restoration of funding to the Maryland Historical Trust’s Capital and Non-Capital grant programs and funding for a new museum and history organization grant program administrated by the Maryland Historical Society.

Preservation Maryland's History Advocacy Day in Annapolis, 2018.

Preservation Maryland’s History Advocacy Day in Annapolis, 2018.

During the 2018 session of the General Assembly, legislation sponsored by then-President of the Senate Mike Miller successfully passed and provided the Maryland Historical Society with $250,000 annually from funds distributed to the Maryland State Arts Council. With the Pathways Grant Program, Maryland Historical Society is tasked with addressing the absence of state-funded museum grants.

In the inaugural competitive grant round, 11 organizations were awarded grants up to $20,000 for capacity building projects, totaling $200,000 in outgoing grants.

MEET THE GRANTEES

Chevy Chase Historical Society in Montgomery County received a Pathways Grant for an oral history and audience enhancement project.

Richardson Maritime Museum in Dorchester County received a Pathways Grant for a collection inventory, research, and re-installation.

Friends of Hancock’s Resolution in Anne Arundel County received a Pathways Grant for an interpretation project.

Graphic of moving image media that M.A.R.M.I.A. specializes in archiving and digitizing for access and research.

Graphic of moving image media that M.A.R.M.I.A. specializes in archiving and digitizing for access and research.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive (M.A.R.M.I.A.) in Baltimore City will use a Pathways Grant to focusing on the future of their multimedia archive. M.A.R.M.I.A. is a past Heritage Fund grant recipient, past presenter at the Old Line State Summit, and a project partner with Preservation Maryland on our Maryland LGBTQ history project.

Market Center Community Development Corporation in Baltimore City received a Pathways Grant for a public history program about Lexington Market

Historical Society of Carroll County received a Pathways Grant to reimagine their marketing and refreshing their website.

Sandy Spring Museum in Montgomery County received a Pathways Grant to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.

Volunteers from Doors Open Baltimore in 2016

Doors Open Baltimore volunteers, 2016. Photo from Doors Open Baltimore.

Baltimore Architecture Foundation in Baltimore City received a Pathways Grant for their very popular Doors Open Baltimore program and event. Preservation Maryland recognized Doors Open Baltimore with a Best of Maryland Award in 2019.

LGBTQ history walking tour by Baltimore Heritage and Preservation Maryland, 2019.

LGBTQ history walking tour by Baltimore Heritage and Preservation Maryland, 2019.

Baltimore Heritage, Inc. in Baltimore City received a Pathways Grant to expand its heritage education capacity while engaging new audiences. Preservation Maryland and Baltimore Heritage are frequent collaborators and partners, including on the Baltimore City Historic Preservation Fund, the Jones Falls Industrial Heritage Trail, and our Maryland LGBTQ History project.

Dignitaries pose after cutting the ribbon marking Swains Lockhouse on the C&O Canal open, 2019.

Dignitaries pose after cutting the ribbon marking Swains Lockhouse on the C&O Canal open, 2019.

C&O Canal Trust, Inc., the non-profit partners of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, based in Washington County received a Pathways Grant to celebrate the organization’s 50th anniversary. The C&O Canal’s Canal Quarters Program received a Best of Maryland Award in 2017 and the completion of the newly reopened Swain’s Lockhouse Project was supported with a Heritage Fund grant.

Germantown Historical Society in Montgomery County received a Pathways Grant to design a Germantown Museum of Banking History.

The second cycle of the Pathways Grant Program will be in 2021 and will open this coming fall with a series of applicant workshops throughout Maryland.

Learn more the Grant Program

Read Preservation Maryland’s Statement on Museums

Elly Colmers Cowan · Director of Advocacy

Elly Cowan is here to get you involved in historic preservation, smart growth, and community development by becoming an advocate with us.

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