mini grants

Four Rivers Heritage Area Awards $16,765 to Non-Profit Organizations in Annapolis and Southern Anne Arundel County

Annapolis, MD – Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County announces seven new mini-grant awards to local heritage-related nonprofit organizations totaling $16,765.00 for FY2014. The grants will support a new exhibit focusing on the life and legacy of West River watermen, a new website for a small rural heritage museum, new interpretive materials and signage that will enhance the visitor experience at a historic site, and more.

This matching mini-grants program, made possible for the eleventh 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.

Organizations and projects receiving FY2014 mini-grants include:

Annapolis Maritime Museum for the continuation of the two week, hands-on, Waterman Program, “Chesapeake Champions,” where 2nd and 3rd grade students from local Title I schools can learn maritime heritage and ecology of the Chesapeake Bay.

ACT, Inc. (in partnership with the Lost Towns Project) for the creation and implementation of an archaeology-focused community and outreach program entitled, “Archaeology in the Backyard: Discovering the county’s Archaeological Heritage at the Wilson Farmstead” to take place in Galesville, Maryland during Maryland Day Weekend 2014.

Captain Avery Museum for the creation and installation of a new exhibit entitled, “Seasons of a West River Waterman.” The exhibit will consist of 6 moveable panels that will include built-in video monitors.

Galesville Heritage Society for the development of a new website that will strengthen GHS’s virtual organization, management, and partnership development.

Historic Annapolis for the development and implementation of a long-range strategic plan to serve as a guide for board and staff over the next five years.

Historic London Town and Gardens for a series of interpretive and educational signs for the William Brown House and haversacks with educational materials available on a sign-out basis. These signs and haversacks will serve to guide and enhance the visitor experience at the site.

West Annapolis Business Affiliation, Inc. (WABA) and the West Annapolis Heritage Partnership (WAHP), for the research, design, and construction of a three-part project to be debuted on Maryland Day 2014. A lecture will be developed that will focus on the Baltimore-Annapolis Short Line RR, a monograph will be created on the history of the names of West Annapolis Streets, and a brochure will be developed and distributed that will highlight the walkability of the neighborhood of West Annapolis for visitors.

This year, Four Rivers’ mini-grant program funds of $16,765 are fully matched by the grantee organizations, with additional leverage from other sources, for total project funds of $57,439.

Four Rivers’ Executive Director, Carol Benson, has also announced that funds are available for a Spring 2014 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 this Spring grant program will be Friday, February 28, 2014. Please visit the Four Rivers website for more details.

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 visit our website at

Four Rivers Announces FY2014 Mini-Grants Program

Annapolis, MD – Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County announces guidelines and criteria for the FY2014 Mini-Grants Program. Made possible for the eleventh year through financial support from Anne Arundel County, the City of Annapolis and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Four Rivers’ mini-grants assist local heritage-related non-profit organizations in developing new heritage and preservation-related programs, activities, products, and events.

FY14 Mini-Grants Program Guidelines: 

Stated Purpose: Four Rivers’ matching mini-grants program is designed to assist heritage-related sites and organizations, as well as municipalities, within our borders to develop new and innovative programs, partnerships, exhibits, tours, events, and other initiatives that are consistent with the regional themes and activities suggested in our state, county and city approved Management Plan (available at, and the priorities included in our Five-Year Action Plan for FY2013-2018. We encourage mini-grant proposals that include collaborative partnerships and enhance preservation, the stewardship of natural resources, and heritage tourism.

Examples of eligible projects include new heritage tours, maps, interpretive brochures, podcasts, and other heritage-related publications; educational public programs, exhibits, and/or events; and heritage tourism-related website development. Heritage tourism-related programs for K-12 students, home-schooled students, and/or after-school educational programs, and educational seminars, workshops, and conferences that encourage or enhance preservation, revitalization, and interpretation of the area’s natural, cultural and historic resources are also eligible. Some marketing expenses are eligible to be funded through mini-grants. Mini-grants shall not be used for administrative expenses or capital projects. Salaries or staff time are eligible as match only, for that portion of a staff person’s time dedicated solely to a funded project (not to exceed 35% of total required project match). All interpretive signage projects should adhere to National Park Service standards for design (some allowances are made for small projects); garden projects must make use of sustainable practices and native plants.

Four Rivers encourages proposals that are consistent with upcoming regional thematic heritage-tourism related initiatives and/or commemorations (including the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad in Maryland, and the sesquicentennial of emancipation in Maryland), and those that include new technology, foster environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices at heritage sites, and/or create new heritage-related programming in the arts. Other types of projects not specifically stated here may be eligible and should be discussed with heritage area staff.

Non-profits and municipalities within the borders of Four Rivers are eligible to apply. Individuals and for-profit organizations with proposals consistent with these guidelines may apply in partnership with non-profit heritage organizations.

Maximum grant award is $2,500.
Requested grant amount must be fully matched; at least 75% of the match must be in cash and not from state funds; up to 25% may be in-kind.

Application Procedure: Download the Instructions here (This is a PDF: Contact our office for a copy of the application in Word.) Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the heritage area Executive Director, Carol Benson, to discuss potential grant projectsat least two weeks prior to application deadline and before they complete the application. Applications are due no later than Friday, October 4th and late applications will not be accepted. A Four Rivers Grants Committee will review completed applications. Evaluation and award selection are based on how well the completed application meets stated criteria. Mini-grant awards will be announced approximately one month after mini-grant deadline.

Note: Mini-grants are reimbursable: this means that grantee pays for all expenses and is reimbursed by remittal of mini-grant award check after completion of project. Questions? please call the office at 410-222-1805.