MHAA Awards Emergency Grants Totaling $50,000 to Local Heritage Organizations

May 18 2020

MHAA Awards Emergency Grants Totaling $50,000 to Local Heritage Organizations

Emergency GrantsThe Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) has awarded its first round of 59 matching grants totaling $600,440 to heritage tourism nonprofits across Maryland’s 13 Certified Heritage Areas. A total of $50,000 in Emergency Grant funds was awarded to organizations in the Four Rivers Heritage Area.

The grant funds support emergency operating costs that will help keep these nonprofit organizations afloat, as the COVID-19 public health crisis and the associated economic ramifications continue.

According to Jennifer Ruffner, MHAA Administrator, “This was one of the hardest grant review processes that we have ever participated in, with many worthy organizations in great need of support going un-funded, and the applications are still coming in.” She clarified that  unless an applicant was determined to be ineligible, they will be considered again for funding, if additional funds become available in FY 2021.

Awarded Organizations Within the Four River Heritage Area Include:

Annapolis Maritime Museum and Park – Dedicated to educating the community in order to cultivate lifelong environmental literacy.

Captain Avery Museum – Engaging the community and visitors with activities that explore evolving connections to the Chesapeake Bay through the prism of a historic home and waterfront property.

Historic Annapolis – Preserving and protecting the historic places, objects, and stories of Maryland’s capital city, and provide engaging experiences that connect people to the area’s diverse heritage.

Historic London Town House and Gardens – A twenty-three acre park featuring history, archaeology, and horticulture on the South River.

Grant Availability

MHAA’s FY 2020 emergency grant funds have now been depleted, due to the significant need demonstrated by the requests received by May 1, 2020. However, applications for COVID-19 MHAA Emergency Grants are still being accepted on a rolling basis, and those eligible applicants that did not receive funding in the first round will be considered if and when additional funding becomes available in FY 2021 (as early as July).

Thank you to all the heritage tourism nonprofits out there continuing to steward Maryland’s resources and to share them virtually! We see you, and we will do everything we can to continue helping as more funds become available. Stay tuned!


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. (See a map of the Four Rivers boundaries here: Four Rivers map produced by Medusa.)

About the Maryland Heritage Areas

Maryland’s Heritage Areas are places to experience – to see, hear and even taste – the authentic heritage of Maryland in ways that you cannot experience anywhere else. Heritage Areas exist where the stories of the people, the land, and the waters of Maryland, which have been intertwined for thousands of years, are told. In Heritage Areas individuals, businesses, non-profits and governments form partnerships to preserve the best of Maryland’s historic sites and towns, unspoiled natural landscapes and enduring traditions. These tangible links to both place and the past encourage residents to recognize they have a special piece of the American story to treasure and share with others, and that in doing so they create more livable and economically sustainable communities.