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The Hogan administration announced that 107 matching grants totaling $5.1 million were awarded to Maryland nonprofits, local jurisdictions, and other heritage tourism organizations by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA). Grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that attract visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland.
“Heritage tourism is an economic development tool that creates jobs and brings visitors to the state while making our communities better places to live and work,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is proud that this funding will allow for 107 projects to move forward and congratulate Maryland’s Heritage Areas and their tourism partners for their support in changing Maryland for the better.” Organizations receiving grant awards include museums, parks, educational organizations, and other entities that steward and celebrate the unique cultural and natural resources located within one of Maryland’s Heritage Areas.
MHAA oversees Maryland’s system of 13 locally administered, certified Heritage Areas. Today, all Maryland counties and Baltimore City have at least part of a state-certified Heritage Area within their boundaries. Heritage Areas foster broad public-private partnerships to preserve and enhance the best of Maryland’s historic sites and towns, unspoiled natural landscapes, and enduring traditions. These tangible links to both place and past remind residents that they have a special piece of the American story to treasure and share with others and that, in doing so, are contributing to the economic well-being of Maryland’s communities.
Maryland’s Heritage Areas contribute to Maryland’s economy by preserving and enhancing the places that attract cultural and heritage tourists – people who focus their travels on historic sites, museums, cultural activities, or the natural beauty of Maryland’s Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastal areas and unspoiled scenery of Maryland’s mountains. The Maryland Heritage Areas Program provides $2.4 billion in annual economic impact and MHAA grants generate $319.8 million in state and local taxes and supports 33,815 full- and part-time jobs annually. A full economic impact study is available with more details.
MHAA is an independent unit of government chaired by the Secretary of Planning and administered by the Maryland Historical Trust, a division of the Maryland Department of Planning. Since its creation in 1996, MHAA has awarded more than $57 million dollars in grants and helped leverage more than $1.63 billion in non-state funding for heritage tourism projects and activities in Maryland’s 13 Certified Heritage Areas.
Summary of Maryland Heritage Areas Authority Grant Awards for FY23:
Total Requested Funds – $6,411,491.83
Funds Awarded – $5,100,000
Total Match Leveraged – $13,323,804.87
To see the full listing of the FY23 Heritage Area grants, or to learn more about the Maryland Heritage Areas Program and the state’s certified Heritage Areas, please visit mht.maryland.gov/heritageareas.shtml.