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.
Maryland Heritage Area Authority Announces Over $5 Million in New Tourism Grants
07/14/2020 By Preservation Maryland
The Hogan administration recently announced that 114 matching grants totaling $5.1 million were awarded to Maryland non-profits, local jurisdictions, and other heritage tourism organizations by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority in support of heritage tourism efforts.
Preservation Maryland Director of Communications Meagan Baco served on the inaugural Maryland Heritage Areas Program Grants Review Panel along with over 20 diverse Marylanders offering their insights and expertise. “Now is an incredibly important time for the state to invest in our shared cultural attractions – museums and historic sites across the state are rising to the challenge of transitioning their efforts to digital outreach,” said Baco, continuing, “Many of the selected MHAA grantees showed great creativity and dedication to pursuing inclusive history and interpretation that will have a positive change on the way we all see and understand Maryland history.” Preservation Maryland is actively involved in public history projects related to LGBTQ experiences, Maryland’s suffragists, labor history in Baltimore’s mills, and preserving the authentic history of the Underground Railroad through Maryland.
Additionally, Preservation Maryland is a leading voice in advocacy efforts to increase and improve funding for heritage tourism and public history in Maryland. Maryland’s historic, natural, and cultural resources are an authentic source of Maryland heritage and are valuable community and economic assets. As reported in the press release, every dollar of MHAA funding has a return on investment of $4.45. MHAA grants generate $19.8 million in state and local taxes and create 3,146 jobs annually. Additionally, in this most recent grant round, the $5 million in MHAA awards leveraged nearly five times that, balancing at $24.7 million dollars.
Anthony J. “Tony” Spencer served as Chair of the new Grants Review Panel in its inaugural year after being nominated to serve by the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture, on which he also serves as a Commissioner. Spencer shared these thoughts on his new role as Chair, “I have come to understand the value of giving back and serving the greater community. Serving with the Maryland Heritage Areas Program as a grant evaluator provides me the opportunity to ensure that the communities and organizations within Maryland have access to resources to research, preserve, present, and celebrate our collective histories.”
African American heritage and humanities truck funded by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.
Location of the planned new Pirate’s Wharf Heritage Trail funded by the Maryland Heritage Area Authority.
Organizations receiving awards include museums, parks, educational organizations, and other entities that steward and celebrate the unique cultural and natural resources located within Maryland’s Heritage Areas. Maryland’s Heritage Areas contribute to the state’s economy by saving and enhancing the places that attract tourists who focus their travels on historic sites, museums, cultural activities, or the natural beauty of Maryland’s Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastal areas and unspoiled scenery of mountain Maryland.
With Chairman Tony Spencer at the helm with MHAA staff support from Jennifer Ruffner, Ennis Smith, and Andrew Arvizu, the panelists read dozens of applications before meeting for discussion and decisions over two extended video conference sessions.