Museum Assistance Program

Julia A Purnell Museum, Snow Hill, Worcester CountyThe Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program promotes excellence in all aspects of the management, programming, and maintenance of Maryland's historical and cultural museums. It assists the museums in making their collections and public programs available to all citizens and visitors to the state through technical assistance and grants.

The Program enlists the help of museum professionals from across the state to serve as a peer review panel to advise MHT on policies and funding recommendations.  Panelmembers are experienced museum professionals appointed by the Secretary of Planning to serve for terms of three years; if you are interested in serving on the panel contact Mary Alexander, Director of the Museum Advancement Program at (410) 514-7622.

Program Goals and History

The State of Maryland is home to over 220 heritage museums in every county throughout the state. To encourage the important contributions these institutions make to the state's education, cultural research and conservation, tourism, and enrichment of our communities, the General Assembly established the “Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program” in July 1990.

  • Supports the care, research, documentation, display and interpretation of Maryland's cultural museum collections;
  • Sustains museum programming to ensure broad public access to Maryland's cultural heritage museums;
  • Promotes Maryland's cultural heritage museums to encourage public awareness of these unique resources;
  •  Assists in maintaining and preserving these significant assets to ensure their survival for the benefit of future generations;
  • Fosters professionalism and excellence within these museums, historical societies and historic sites.

Technical Assistance

Program staff are available to provide historical and cultural museums assistance including linking to other museums, networking with museum professionals, and connecting to state, regional and national service organizations.


Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, St. Michael's Talbot CountyMuseum Assistance Program grants support museums as they professionalize museum practices and identify and reward excellence.  These state funds leverage non-state support for historical and cultural museums that are operated by nonprofit organizations or local jurisdictions and that have been open to the public on a regular basis for three years.

  • Museum Planning and Assessment Grants assist museums, historical societies, and historic sites in creating organizational plans and participating in outside professional assessments to guide their programming and institutional development.
  • Project Challenge Grants designed to encourage excellence in museum practices support a wide range of projects from public interpretation to collections management.
  • Museum Enhancement Grants support operations and programming of the state’s flagship museums that represent significant historical collections and offer quality public programs to large audiences.


This page updated: May 26, 2009