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Preservation, Survey, and Museum Funding Needs

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During the spring and summer of 2016, in response to a request from the Chairmen of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee, the Maryland Historical Trust examined the need and demand for preservation, survey, and museum grant funding and outlined future plans to address these statewide needs. Working with partner preservation, archeology, and museum organizations, as well as other state agencies, we gathered data, considered case studies, and identified best practices. Released on October 15, 2016, the report Maryland Historical Trust Preservation, Survey, and Museum Funding Needs addressed the requests outlined in the Joint Chairmen's Report on the Fiscal 2017 State Operating Budget (SB190) and the State Capital Budget (SB 191) and Related Recommendations. Our report also addresses potential innovative funding options available, the experience of nearby states, and the staff capacity necessary to administer these programs.

We are grateful for the outstanding input and collaboration of our partners throughout this process, which shaped our understanding of both the challenges and potential opportunities for the protection and enhancement of Maryland's heritage today. The report demonstrates the substantial unmet needs of the state's historic preservation and history museum community, and it is clear that our local partners cannot meet those needs alone. While threats to Maryland's 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.

We encourage everyone interested in Maryland's history and heritage to read the report and its recommendations, which include:

  • Restoring funding to the MHT Grant Fund as soon as possible;
  • Exploring diversification of funding streams for the MHT Grant Fund;
  • Prioritizing funding for threatened resources;
  • Supporting the research and survey needs of State agencies and local communities; and
  • Leveraging partnerships with affinity organizations to streamline the delivery of state funding.

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