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African American Heritage Preservation Program Grants for Capital Projects

The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust have awarded $1 million to assist African American heritage preservation projects. Read the press release here.

Videos of the projects are available here.

The African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) was established by the General Assembly in 2010 to provide capital grants to assist in the preservation of buildings, sites, or communities of historical and cultural importance to the African American experience in Maryland.  The AAHPP is administered as a partnership between the Maryland Historical Trust and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture (MCAAHC)

Application Process

The FY2018 funding round of the African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) will open in February 2017. The application deadline will be 11:59 pm on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The application must be submitted through our online grant application portal.

To begin a new application, click here.

To continue a FY2018 application you have already started, please click the "My Grant Applications" button at the top of the left-hand sidebar to log in.

For program Guidelines and a Quick Start Guide, which includes instructions for the online grant application, please check the left-hand sidebar on this page.

We strongly suggest that you attend a workshop, review the guidelines, and contact MHT and MCAAHC for guidance prior to submitting an application.

Emergency grant applications will be considered for eligible projects submitted by eligible applicants for grant funds outside of the annual grant application process to help meet unanticipated or emergency needs. The AAHPP Emergency Grants Policy is available in the left-hand sidebar on this page. Prospective applicants must contact Anne Raines, MHT's Capital Grants & Loans Administrator, to obtain a link to the online emergency grant application and application guidelines ( or 410-697-9584).

For assistance in the development of project scope and purpose, contact Maya Davis, Interim Director at (410) 216-6190.

For assistance with capital project and technical preservation issues, or for assistance with the online application process, contact Anne Raines, MHT Capital Grants Administrator at (410) 697-9584.


Workshops for the FY2018 AAHPP grant round will be held in March or April of 2017 and will be posted on this page in February 2017. The workshops will cover eligibility, grantee requirements, tips on developing your project, and guidance on filling out the new online application. Links to register for the workshops are in the left-hand sidebar on this page.

Eligible Applicants

The following entity types are eligible for this program.  All applicants should be aware that the project must have a demonstrated public benefit in order to be competitive. 

  • Nonprofits
  • Local governments
  • Business entities
  • Individuals

Grant Amounts & Matching Requirements

The program typically receives an annual appropriation of $1,000,000 for grants of up to $100,000 per project per year.  All applicants except for nonprofit organizations are required to provide a dollar-for-dollar match.

Eligible Projects

The following capital project types are eligible for assistance.  All projects must be related to African American history, culture, or heritage in Maryland.  Projects must also have a strong public benefit in order to be competitive.

  • Acquisition
  • Rehabilitation / capital improvements
  • New construction
  • Predevelopment costs such as studies, surveys, plans and specifications, and architectural, engineering, or other special services directly related to pre-construction work for a capital project (eligible for short-term financing only)

Work, or a discrete phase of work, that is already underway or completed is not eligible for grant funding.

A complete list of eligible and ineligible costs is available in the Guidelines.

Projects involving historic properties are subject to MHT review and must comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Treatment of Historic Properties (36 CFR 68).

Eligible Properties

  • Structures used for religious purposes are generally eligible for assistance for exterior work only and are reviewed for eligibility on a case by case basis.  Spaces used primarily for religious purposes or elements bearing religious imagery are not eligible for funding.
  • Cemeteries may be eligible for assistance; the applicant must make a compelling case for the significance of the cemetery.
  • The permission of the property owner to undertake the project must be secured in writing and provided as part of the grant application.
  • If the assisted property is listed in or individually eligible for listing on the National Register, a perpetual preservation easement on the assisted property must be conveyed to MHT (for more information, visit the Easements page).

Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation criteria are noted in the Guidelines.

Other Requirements

Additional information regarding grantees’ responsibilities, including competitive procurement of services, MHT approval of proposed work, reporting, etc. is provided in the program Guidelines and Manual of Program Requirements