Heritage Area Grant Opportunities

Deadlines approaching for local mini-grants, MHAA funding, grant workshop registration

Deadlines are approaching for two grant opportunities – for local heritage mini-grants and for Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) grants – for nonprofit organizations and municipalities in the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA). Additionally, for those interested in more information about applying for MHAA funding, a grants workshop is scheduled for Jan. 15 at the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge.

HCCHA is accepting applications for its second round of mini-grants for FY2020 to help fund projects that enrich heritage resources or events in the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. These small, matching grants are available to local municipalities and nonprofit organizations with​in the HCCHA. The application deadline is Jan. 10, 2020.

MHAA’s Intent to Apply deadline is Jan. 31, 2020, for FY2021 grants. Following the Intent-to-Apply deadline, final grant applications from nonprofits and governmental organizations in the HCCHA are due March 25, 2020. Several webinars and workshops with information about the application process have been scheduled, including one in Cambridge.


The Heritage Area mini-grants support the efforts of local museums, non-profit organizations and municipalities that advance the mission and goals of the Heritage Area, said Julie Gilberto-Brady, HCCHA manager. Projects must be heritage-tourism related, and only non-capital projects are eligible for funding. Mini-grants are available for up to $5,000 and require a one-to-one match.

“Past grants have helped fund and support historical research and documentation, brochures and marketing efforts, interpretation and education, preservation planning, events, feasibility studies, exhibits and way finding, and natural resource projects,” Gilberto-Brady said. “This year, we have expanded eligible projects to include professional development and conferences. All of the mini-grant projects we fund support the HCCHA goals to preserve Dorchester County’s heritage, to market our heritage to visitors and residents and to improve the economic health of the area.”

Mini-grant guidelines and a link to the online application form can be found on the Visit Dorchester website.

MHAA Grants

The MHAA grant materials for FY2021 are accessible through the MHAA website. The Intent-to-Apply deadline is Jan. 31, 2020, and final grant applications from non-profits and governmental organizations in HCCHA are due March 25, 2020.

MHAA provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants to nonprofit organizations and government entities up to $50,000 for non-capital projects and up to $100,000 for capital projects located within a Certified Heritage Area. Grants can support projects involving historical, cultural or natural resources, sites, events or facilities. Eligible projects must have a heritage tourism component or contribute to research that will directly inform a heritage tourism product. Nine HCCHA projects and programs received more than $325,000 in matching grants from the MHAA for FY2020.​

Grant Workshops

For more information about applying for MHAA grants, plan to attend the grant workshop at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 at the Dorchester Center for the Arts, 321 High Street, Cambridge. MHAA staff will be present to explain the application process and answer questions.

MHAA also is scheduling additional application webinars and workshops throughout the state. A flyer with information on the webinars and workshops can be downloaded here. To register for the Cambridge workshop, click here.

For more information, please contact Julie Gilberto-Brady, julie@visitdorchester.org or 410-228-1000.

Important Dates

  • Jan. 10 – Mini-Grant application deadline
  • Jan. 15 – MHAA grants workshop
  • Jan. 31 – MHAA Intent-to-apply deadline
  • March 25 – MHAA full applications due
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