Maryland Museums Association Leads Way in Advocating for Restoration of Museum Assistance Program (MAP)
In a recent meeting, the Maryland Museums Association (MMA) discussed MMA’s major priority – the return of the State’s Museum Assistance Program (MAP).
The state’s Museum Assistance Program grants existed from FY98 to FY12 with a peak of $2.2M in FY07 — but some years as low as $40,000 and $127,000. See the chart below for more detailed information; the text of the statute is here.
From the MMA website: “For many years, Maryland was a national leader in providing support for the preservation and interpretation of our irreplaceable heritage. Historic preservation and history museum assistance programs were supported by the Maryland Historical Trust Grant Fund, a continuing, non-lapsing special fund. Despite demonstrated demand for these programs, appropriations to the MHT Grant Fund were suspended beginning in fiscal year 2012. At the close of the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Chairmen of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee directed MHT to work with partners to evaluate the state of its historic preservation and museum grant programs. Their report addresses specific issues identified by legislators including need and demand for this type of State support, funding options, staff capacity to administer these programs, and the experience of other states. As the report demonstrates, the unmet needs of the state’s historic preservation and history museum community are substantial. Threats to our tangible and intangible cultural heritage continue to grow. State and federal sources of funding for cultural resource preservation have all but disappeared, leaving our local government and private sector partners with few options.”
Association members expect that advocacy for reinstating the MAP program will be a 3-5 year process that will start in the 2023 Session with the General Assembly (January – April), likely with a request for a study bill looking at museum funding, needs, COVID, changing audiences, and more. Association members have begun meeting with key legislators. Please watch for more information as it becomes available, thank you!