Finding funds for your preservation rehabilitation project can be complex and confusing. Fortunately, in Maryland, there are many programs designed to help private property owners maintain and rehabilitate their historic structure. Historic tax credits are a critical tool and may be just the funding boost you need to get your project completed!
One of the most popular community engagement activities in Smart Growth is the Main Street Program. In 1998, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development created a comprehensive downtown revitalization program called Main Street Maryland. For more than 20 years, this program has improved the economy, appearance, and image of Maryland’s downtown districts.
Electric welders working on the Liberty ship Frederick Douglass at the Bethlehem-Fairfield shipyards in Baltimore, MD, 1943. Photo by Roger Smith for the Office of War Information courtesy of Shorpy.
Preservation Maryland Urges Support for Maryland’s Museums and Historic Sites
03/24/2020 By Preservation Maryland
No aspect or corner of Maryland’s economy will be unscathed by the economic downturn caused by the current pandemic – and it is critically important that Maryland’s museums and historic sites are supported as the nation plans for recovery.
In Maryland, museums, historic sites and heritage areas are a major component of tourism – and they generate millions of dollars in economic activity. Plans and programs aimed at stimulating the economy must include Maryland’s cultural sector.
economic impact of maryland’s museums and heritage
Numerous recent studies in Maryland have documented the profound impact of museums and heritage tourism:
In Maryland, museums generate$1.3 billion in economic activity annually, support 18,000 jobs and generate nearly $320 million in local and state tax dollars.
150,000 Marylanders are employed because of tourism — making it the 10th largest private-sector employer in the state.
In 2018, tourism-related employers in Maryland supported a payroll of $6.5 billion.
Heritage Tourism is a major component of Maryland’s tourism economy – with Maryland’s heritage areas recently documenting that:
Every dollar invested by the state in heritage area grants leverages $7.78 in total support,
For every dollar invested in Heritage Area grants, $4.45 is returned in state and local taxes,
Cumulatively, heritage area grants have generated a quarter of a billion dollars in expenditures and almost $20 million in ongoing, annual state and local taxes.
a looming crisis
Across the nation, large museums with significant endowments are already seeing impacts and projecting deep revenue losses. New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) – a bellwether for the broader museum community – is projecting a $100 million loss for the current fiscal year.
Unfortunately, very few museums have the vast financial reserves of the MET. According to an analysis conducted by the American Alliance of Museums, nearly one-third of museums in the United States operate in the red or close to it; three-quarters or more have now closed and it is likely one-third will not reopen if the crisis continues.
Simply put: Maryland’s museums, heritage tourism anchors and cultural sites cannot be left on their own to survive this crisis.
Katherine Boyle (left) and Ben Israel come up with a hashtag while exploring the Civil War Medicine Museum.
New exhibit in Highland Beach, Anne Arundel County, 2018.
Visitors explore the Brome Slave Cabin exhibit. Photo from Historic St. Mary’s City.
together, we can save maryland’s museums and historic sites
Therefore, Preservation Maryland joins with the broader non-profit community in immediately calling on leaders to make certain non-profits – and especially museums and historic sites – are included in economic stimulus and recovery packages.
Not since perhaps World War II has the nation been confronted with an economic challenge as profound as the 2020 pandemic recession – and we must respond with a spirit and determination as strong as our resolve nearly 75 years ago.
Over the coming weeks and months, Preservation Maryland will be working with state and federal officials to develop incentives, grants, and lifelines of support for this critical component of our economy. As those plans come together, we will need the help of our many supporters to push for their implementation.