Additional Heritage Area mini-grants brings award total to $22,825

Applications and awards to continue on rolling basis

The Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area (HCCHA) Board of Directors has awarded mini-grants totaling $6,500 to two organizations to assist with projects that enrich heritage resources and events in Dorchester County. This latest round of mini-grants, approved on Feb. 25, brings the total to $22,825 awarded to non-profit organizations and municipalities this fiscal year.

The Heritage Board is continuing to accept mini-grant applications – both for projects and for COVID-19 related operating expenses – and will be making awards on a rolling basis. The Board will consider the applications at their monthly meetings until they have expended the funds in their MHAA block grant. To be considered at their next meeting, applications should be submitted by March 16.

The Heritage Area project mini-grants support the efforts of local museums, organizations and municipalities that advance the mission and goals of the Heritage Area. These projects are heritage-tourism related and support the HCCHA goals to preserve Dorchester County’s heritage, to market local heritage to visitors and residents and to improve the economic health of the area.

Operating expenses mini-grants are available to nonprofit heritage tourism organizations for expenses and operating costs associated with the COVID-19 State of Emergency, beginning July 9, 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, masks, hand sanitizer, staff salaries, utilities, insurance, contractor services, rent and mortgage payments.

The grants approved at the Feb. 25 HCCHA meeting are:

  • Cambridge Lighthouse Foundation – Light Night 2021. Funding will support a civic celebration of the Choptank River Lighthouse and its role in celebrating and promoting the maritime heritage of the community.
  • Dorchester Historical Society – For expenses and operating costs associated with the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

The grant recipients who were approved earlier this fiscal year are:

  • Dorchester Center for the Arts – Dorchester County Maryland Public Art Planning Guide/Community Engagement. Funding will support a public engagement process that will yield information needed to create a planning guide for the county. The engagement process will include discussion of the heritage themes and their impact on potential public art projects and locations.
  • Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation – Harriet’s Journey Home. Funding will go toward a down payment to begin the design concept with the artist for a new sculpture of Harriet Tubman created specifically for Dorchester County and to be placed at the Dorchester County Courthouse.
  • Nanticoke Historic Preservation Alliance – Archaeological survey for Handsell front porch. Funding is paying for an archaeological investigation required by the Maryland Historic Trust Easement Committee.
  • Alpha Genesis Community Development Corporation – A Day of Resilience, Universal African Dance & Drum Performance. Funding helped cover the cost of a performance by the Universal African Dance and Drumming Ensemble at the Day of Resilience on Sept. 12.
  • Eastern Shore Hospital Center Auxiliary– Turning Numbers into Names: Unremembered Patients Cemetery Recognition Signage. Building on an earlier mini-grant, this is the next step in their project. Funding provided for a wayside educational signage piece.
  • Dorchester Skipjack Committee – For expenses and operating costs associated with the COVID-19 State of Emergency.

Mini-grants are available for up to $5,000 and require a one-to-one match that can be either cash or in-kind. The mini-grants are made possible through a Maryland Heritage Areas Association Block Grant of $25,000 to the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area. Application forms for both project grants and Covid-19 emergency expenses are available online.

Project Mini-Grant Guidelines

Covid-19 Emergency Mini-Grant Guidelines

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