Kaplan Event Speakers (L-R), Moss Rudley, Amy Frietag, Nicholas Redding, Thomas Spencer, Abbi Wicklein-Bayne, Brad Davidson.

The J.M. Kaplan Fund Visits Baltimore to Present Innovation Prize to Preservation Maryland Executive Director

By Preservation Maryland

On Tuesday, December 17, representatives of The J.M. Kaplan Fund gathered with long-term supporters and key funders of Preservation Maryland at Fort McHenry National Monument to officially announce and award Preservation Maryland Executive Director Nicholas Redding with the 2019 JMK Innovation Prize.

The J.M.K. Innovation Prize is awarded biennially to ten non-profit and mission-driven for-profit organizations tackling America’s most pressing challenges through social innovation – defined as those pilot projects, new organizations or nascent initiatives that involve a certain amount of measured risk but which may ultimately lead to large-scale, transformative results.  Each awardee receives up to $175,000 over three years and participates in a learning collaborative of fellow innovators to support their journey as change agents.

Kaplan Event Speakers (L-R), Brad Davidson, Nicholas Redding, Moss Rudley, Abbi Wicklein-Bayne, Del. Brooke Lierman.

Kaplan Event Speakers (L-R), Brad Davidson, Nicholas Redding, Moss Rudley, Abbi Wicklein-Bayne, Del. Brooke Lierman.

Redding received the prize for his work in launching The Campaign for Historic Trades – a partnership with the National Park Service which aims to expand nationwide, and offers a powerful new model for the heritage conservation field.

Amy Freitag, Executive Director of The J.M. Kaplan Fund

Amy Freitag, Executive Director of The J.M. Kaplan Fund was joined in making the presentation of the award by fund board member Brad Davidson along with Moss Rudley of the National Park Service’s Historic Preservation Training Center, Tom Spencer of the Preservation Maryland Board and Maryland State Delegate Brooke Lierman who represents the district where Fort McHenry is located.

Freitag underscored the stiff competition for the prize and encouraged those in attendance, including local Baltimore-area funders to seriously consider investing in the program. In concluding her remarks, Freitag explained, “If you care about our country’s history and want it to be preserved, the Campaign for Historic Trades is an innovative and essential investment.”

Joining Freitag in remarks about the program and Redding’s leadership was Maryland State Delegate

Brooke Lierman who praised the value and power of preservation as a tool for community revitalization and workforce development in legacy communities like Baltimore.


Established in 1945 by philanthropist and businessman Jacob Merrill Kaplan, the Fund has since its inception been committed to visionary innovation. Over its 72-year history, the Fund has devoted $250 million to propel fledgling efforts concerning civil liberties, human rights, the arts, and the conservation and enhancement of the built and natural worlds. The J.M.K. Innovation Prize continues the Fund’s legacy of catalytic giving, reaching across America to provide early-stage support for entrepreneurs with twenty-first-century solutions to urgent social and environmental challenges. Learn more at jmkfund.org.

ABOUT THE campaign for historic trades

The Campaign for Historic Trades is a program of Preservation Maryland and a partnership with the Historic Preservation Training Center, a unit of the National Park Service. Through this innovative and entrepreneurial partnership, the Campaign is working to train, expand and diversify America’s historic trades’ workforce. Learn more at historictrades.org 

Support the Campaign for Historic Trades

Preservation Maryland

Preservation Maryland is Maryland’s first and largest organization dedicated to preserving the state’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites.

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