Plein air painter at Baltimore Harbor near Baltimore Museum of Industry. Photo from BMI Facebook, 2020.

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Lifts Cash Match Requirement for Preservation Grants

01/06/2021
By Preservation Maryland

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority has removed the substantial cash match requirement from grant requirements in an effort to make the program more accessible and flexible to applicants.

Upcoming Deadline: The FY 2022 Maryland Heritage Areas Grant round is now open. Intent to Apply forms are due by 11:59 pm on January 29, 2021.

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With a grant round currently open, this is the first cycle of applicants that will not be required to provide a 75% cash match to the grant request. Instead, applicants can meet the one-to-one matching requirement with volunteer hours, pro-bono services, or in-kind donations. The goal of this major change is to remove barriers to access to the program with the hope of encouraging and funding projects from a more diverse pool of applicants.

Lucille Walker, Co-Chair of the Maryland Coalition of Heritage Areas and Executive Director of the Southern Maryland Heritage Area, put it this way, “The Maryland Heritage Area Program has been striving to broaden access to its granting program.  To lower the barrier of a large cash match will literally ‘open the gates’ to under-served communities and organizations…

The Chesapeake Heartland: An African American Humanities Project Truck was funded through an MHAA awarded to Washington College. Photo from Maryland Historical Trust.

As a leading advocacy group, Preservation Maryland regularly calls for funding increases and improvements to Maryland’s heritage tourism and historic revitalization programs. Studies have repeatedly found that heritage tourists stay longer and spend more than any other travelers, so an investment in the Maryland Heritage Areas is an investment in a great economic development tool and a more prosperous Maryland. Additionally, the organization was invited to have a staff member serve on the 2020 inaugural Maryland Heritage Areas Program Grants Review Panel.

Preservation Maryland commends the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority for putting the PreserveMaryland II statewide preservation plan into action and working to make access to state grant funds easier and more equitable.

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