African American Heritage Preservation Program Grants for Capital Projects
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) .
The FY2020 funding round of the African American Heritage Preservation Program (AAHPP) is now closed. Applications for the FY2021 round will be available in spring 2020.
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 Charlotte Lake, MHT's Capital Grants & Loans Administrator, to obtain a link to the online emergency grant application and application guidelines (firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-697-9559).
For assistance in the development of project scope and purpose, contact Chanel Compton, Director at (410) 216-6190.
For assistance with capital project and technical preservation issues, or for assistance with the online application process, contact Charlotte Lake, MHT Capital Grants Administrator at (410) 697-9559.
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 (state and federal government entities may apply as nonprofits)
- Local governments
- Business entities
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.
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.
- 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
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) .
- 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).
The evaluation criteria are noted in the Guidelines.
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.
Previous Grant Rounds
The Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture and the Maryland Historical Trust awarded $1 million to assist African American heritage preservation projects for FY2018. A brief summary of the projects is available here. Videos of the projects awarded grants in FY2017 are available here.