• Heritage Area At a Glance 

  • Other Grant Resources

  • While this list is not exhaustive, it is an excellent resource for alternative funding opportunities for preservation projects.


  • Rural Business Development Grants

    This program is a competitive grant designed to support targeted technical assistance, training and other activities leading to the development or expansion of small and emerging private businesses in rural areas which will employ 50 or fewer new employees and has less than $1 million in gross revenue. Programmatic activities are separated into enterprise or opportunity type grant activities. RBDG funds must be used for projects benefiting rural areas or towns outside the urbanized periphery of any city with a population of 50,000 or more. Check eligible areas.There is no maximum grant amount; however, smaller requests are given higher priority. Generally, grants range from $10,000 to $500,000. There is no cost sharing requirement. Opportunity grants are limited to up to 10 percent of the total RBDG annual funding.

    Applications are due by March 29, 2019. Review the fact sheet for program information or visit: www.rd.usda.gov

  • Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program

    The Historic Revitalization Subgrant Program (HRSP) is a new Historic Preservation Fund grant program created in fiscal year 2018 that supports the rehabilitation of historic properties and foster economic development of rural communities. This program funds physical preservation projects for historic sites, including architectural and engineering services through subgrants to communities determined rural by the US Bureau of the Census.

    Eligible properties must be listed in the National Register of Historic Places or determined eligible for listing at the National, State, or local level of significance and located within rural (non-urban) communities with populations less than 50,000. States, Tribes, Certified Local Governments, and non-profits will apply for funding that will in turn be subgranted to rural communities in their jurisdictions.

    Applications are due by March 1, 2019. Review the fact sheet for the program or more information may be found at:  go.nps.gov/revitalization.

  • Capital Historic Preservation Grant Program

    MHT will be awarding $600,000 in grants for rehabilitation, restoration, acquisition, and pre-development projects at historic properties which are listed on or eligible for the Maryland Register of Historic Properties. Grant awards will be capped at $100,000. Only work, or a discrete phase of work, which is not already underway or completed can be funded; we cannot reimburse projects for work that is already completed. A perpetual preservation easement will be required on all assisted properties.

    The grant application will be a two-step process. Step one is an Intent to Apply form available on February 1, 2019 and due February 15, 2019. Step two is a full application form available March 22, 2019. Both must be submitted through our online application system. You must submit an Intent to Apply form in order to submit a full application.

    For more information about the program, please visit our web page, where you can find eligibility information. Please contact Courtney Hotchkiss, MHT Capital Grants Administrator, with questions courtney.hotchkiss@maryland.gov or 410-697-9514.

  • African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP)

    The African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) was established by the General Assembly in 2010 to provide capital grants to assist in the preservation of buildings, sites, or communities of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland. The AAHPP is administered as a partnership between the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC).

    The following entity types are eligible for this program.  All applicants should be aware that the project must have a demonstrated public benefit in order to be competitive. 

    • Nonprofits
    • Local governments
    • Business entities
    • Individuals

    The FY2020 funding round of the African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) will be available in spring 2019. The application must be submitted through our online grant application portal. For more information, please visit the AAHPP webpage.

    For assistance in the development of project scope and purpose, contact Chanel Compton, Director at (410) 216-6190.

    Workshops for the FY2020 AAHPP grant round will be held in March or April 2019 and will be posted on this page in spring 2019. The workshops will cover eligibility, grantee requirements, tips on developing your project, and guidance on filling out the new online application.

  • MHT Historic Preservation Loans 

    The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT), a division of the Maryland Department of Planning (Planning), accepts loan applications at any time provided that the loan amount does not exceed the available uncommitted balance in the loan fund. Prior to submitting an application, you must contact Charlotte Lake (410-697-9559) to determine if loan funding is available and to discuss your project’s eligibility. Interested applicants should also review the loan application, instructions, and program guidelines.

    Eligible applicants for program funding include non-profit organizations and local jurisdictions. Business entities and individuals may also apply for program loans when seeking funds for a preservation or development project that serves a high public purpose; such applicants must demonstrate an inability to obtain private financing. Eligible projects include acquisition, refinancing, rehabilitation or restoration of historic properties, with loan terms up to twenty years. A perpetual preservation easement must be conveyed to MHT on any assisted property.

    Copies of the Loan Program Guidelines and Application are available at MHT's loan webpage.

  • Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentive Program

    The Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program encourages private sector investment in the rehabilitation and re-use of historic buildings. It creates jobs and is one of the nation's most successful and cost-effective community revitalization programs. It has leveraged over $89.97 billion in private investment to preserve 43,328 historic properties since 1976. The National Park Service and the Internal Revenue Service administer the program in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices.

    To learn more about this program, click to visit the NPS.gov Technical Preservation Services page.


  • Newly Added!!
    COVID-19 MHAA Emergency Grant Guidelines
    Eligibility – Nonprofit heritage tourism organizations located within the boundaries of a Certified Heritage Area that are experiencing disruption of operations due directly to the economic implications and ramifications of the State of Emergency declared on March 5, 2020.
    Eligible Expenditures – Operating costs associated with the COVID-19 State of Emergency, beginning March 5, 2020 and extending until 90 days after the end of the State of Emergency. Operating costs include any expenses that allow an organization to continue operations and to safeguard heritage
    resources during and after the pandemic, including, but not limited to, staff salaries, utilities, insurance, contractor services, rent and mortgage payments.
    Additional Eligibility Criteria -
    •    Grantees may receive a maximum of $20,000 in aggregate emergency operating awards per fiscal year.
    •    Grantees who chose to convert an existing grant to cover emergency operating expenditures are
    not eligible to apply for an emergency grant until the following fiscal year.
    Maximum award amount - $20,000, which must be matched 1 to 1 with any combination of cash and in-kind non-state support; there is no minimum award amount.
    How to Apply
    All applications must be submitted online here:
    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and all applications received by the first of the
    month will be reviewed as a group.  The first deadline for applications is May 1, 2020.
    Grants will be reviewed by a review committee and awarded by the Administrator of the Maryland
    Heritage Areas Program.  Award decisions will be made by the 15th  of each month until funds are
    Review Criteria
    •    Alignment with program and heritage area goals and objectives
         Do your organization’s mission and activities align with MHAA1  and local Heritage Area goals?
    •    Heritage Tourism and/or Historic Preservation Significance and Value
         How significant is the heritage tourism value and historic preservation value of your site or organization?
    •    Level of Reduced Operations and Anticipated Lost Revenue/Increased Costs.

    What is the degree of your reduced operations and anticipated lost revenue and/or increased costs due to the crisis?
    ▪    Cancelled Fundraisers
    ▪    Cancelled School Trips and Tour Groups
    ▪    Lost Rental Revenue
    ▪    Lost Visitor Income
    ▪    Decreased Donations and Memberships
    ▪    Decreased Funding from Local Municipalities
    ▪    Extra Cleaning Costs
    ▪    Extra Staffing Costs
    ▪    Costs for setting up telework and remote meetings
    ▪    Costs for virtual experiences and learning opportunities
    ▪    Marketing expenses to maintain awareness and target audiences
    •    Severity and Urgency of Need
    What actions will your organization be forced to take due to the impacts detailed above if you
    are not able to secure alternative sources of funding? How quickly will your organization hit a
    point when the organization leadership needs to take these actions?
    ▪    Examples:
    •    Reduction of staff
    •    Unable to pay rent/utilities
    •    Potential closure of organization
    •    Have spent all reserves and will need to take action in the next month
    •    Intended Use of Emergency Funds
    How will the funds be used and how will they help your organization?
    ▪    Allow organization to keep staff on payroll for an additional period of time
    ▪    Cover utility bills for X months

    •    Other Considerations – These will not be scored, but will be part of the committee discussion
    1  MHAA goals include developing heritage tourism product, building partnerships, and sustaining
    regional identity. Read more here:
     Availability of other emergency funds awarded to the organization – has your organization applied
    for other emergency operating assistance? If known, have these applications been successful or
    unsuccessful in securing funds?
    Geographic Diversity
    Organizations that represent Maryland’s cultural and human diversity
    Award of Grants
    Applications received by the first of each month will be reviewed by a grants review panel made up
    of MHAA members, and decisions will be made by the 15th  of each month until funds are exhausted.
    Grant agreement and payment processing will be expedited as possible, but probably would take at
    least 45 days after the grant agreement is signed.
    If funds available for emergency grants in a fiscal year are exhausted, any eligible, unawarded
    applications will be rolled into the next fiscal year’s round, if applicable, for consideration
    Disbursement of Funds and Reporting
    Funds, if awarded, will be disbursed in a single lump sum upon execution of a simplified grant
    agreement.  A final report will be submitted at the end of the grant period, including a
    certification of expenditures.  Grantees will be subject to random spot-checking of financial
    Contact Jennifer Ruffner (jen.ruffner@maryland.gov) or Ennis Barbery Smith
  • This project has been financed in part with State Funds from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, an instrumentality of the State of Maryland.
    However, project contents or opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

  • Photo Credits: Tim Jacobsen, Bob Carney, Marcia Warnick, Sarah Myers, Crede Calhoun, Higher Focus Studios, Garrett Historical Society, Sarah Duck, Garrett County Chamber of Commerce