Four Rivers Heritage Area Provides Nine Mini-Grant Awards to Non-Profit Organizations in Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County

Four Rivers Heritage Area Provides Nine Mini-Grant Awards to Non-Profit Organizations in Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 28, 2012
Contact: Carol Benson, Executive Director
Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County
[email protected]

Annapolis, MD – Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County announces nine new mini-grant awards to local heritage-related nonprofit organizations totaling $19,450 for FY2013. This matching mini-grants program, made possible for the tenth year through financial support from the City of Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, leverages other funding to assist local heritage related non-profit organizations to create new programs, activities, and events that build upon heritage-based interpretive themes, foster collaborative partnerships, and enhance local cultural historic resources and heritage tourism.

This year, three of the organizations receiving mini-grants are first-time applicants. Two projects have a strong focus on on environmental sustainability. Several projects will result in updated brochures for the public, which will also be offered online. Two of the organizations will develop new exhibits, one featuring the 200-year history of an African American congregation and another highlighting the history of one of Annapolis’s historic neighborhoods. A trail that interprets the Underground Railroad is a timely addition to the area’s heritage offerings this spring, as the nation commemorates the centennial of the death of Maryland-born Harriet Tubman.

Organizations and projects approved for FY2013 mini-grant awards include:

  •  Annapolis Community Foundation (in partnership with the Annapolis Continental Congress Society), for the shipping of original historical documents and other primary sources exhibited at the three-day, Continental Congress Festival in Annapolis in November 2012, the Society’s inaugural event.
  • Annapolis Maritime Museum (in partnership with Anne Arundel County Public Schools), for support of the organization’s Environmental Literacy Initiative, raising environmental awareness of the Chesapeake Bay’s maritime culture by providing hands-on experience and classroom outreach to 6th grade students.
  • Asbury U.M. Church, also in Annapolis, for the research, development, and installation of a public exhibit interpreting the 200-year history of the Asbury U.M. Church’s African American congregation.
  • Captain Avery Museum in Shady Side, for the updating of the museum’s brochures reflecting changes made to the museum’s name, mission, vision statement, and its environmentally-friendly “Heritage Eco-Tour.”
  • Chase Home, Inc. (in partnership with Annapolis Green), in Annapolis, to conduct an energy audit to determine the energy consumption produced by the current operations of the Chase Home as it plans renovations and equipment upgrades for its historic structure.
  • Chesapeake Children’s Museum, to create, design, print, and install rail markers and an accompanying brochure for the museum’s “Underground Railroad Trail,” interpreting the experiences of runaway slaves during their flights for freedom.
  • Historic Annapolis, to develop and print an interpretation and outreach brochure that will feature information about the organization’s history, mission, programs, and preservation work at various locations around Annapolis.
  • Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, for support for the program, “Paint Annapolis 2013,” which brings juried, non-juried and student artists to the streets of Annapolis to paint historic buildings, cityscapes and landscapes en plein air (outdoors) over a 3-day period.
  • West Annapolis Business Affiliation, Inc. (WABA) and the West Annapolis Heritage Partnership (WAHP), for the research, design, and construction of a tabletop exhibit that will feature the history of Annapolis Street in West Annapolis as the focus for understanding the history and heritage of this vibrant Annapolis neighborhood.

This year, Four Rivers’ mini-grant program funds of $19,450 are fully matched by the grantee organizations, with additional leverage from other sources, for total project funds of $175,512.|

Four Rivers’ Executive Director, Carol Benson, has also announced that limited funds are available for a Spring 2013 mini-grant round in the current fiscal year. Matching mini-grant awards of up to $2,500 are available to qualified non-profit organizations and municipalities within the boundaries of the heritage area, for projects that incorporate regional historic, cultural, and natural resources, collaborative partnerships, and the heritage area’s regional interpretive themes. The deadline for spring applications is February 15. “We have the unusual opportunity to grant additional funds this year to qualified applicant organizations, so I urge our partners to look at their upcoming program and project needs and to call the heritage area office to discuss your plans,” said Benson.

Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County, one of Maryland’s 12 certified heritage areas, is a partnership among the State of Maryland, Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis, the town of Highland Beach, and local historic sites, heritage organizations, and heritage-related businesses, to encourage economic vitality through historic preservation and heritage tourism. For more information, please contact Executive Director Carol Benson at the Four Rivers office at 410-222-1805, or cell: 410-627-6018; or visit our website at