The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) is a congressionally designated area encompassing 22 square miles within the city of Baltimore. The mission of BNHA is to promote, preserve, and enhance the heritage area’s cultural, historic, and natural resources for current and future generations. BNHA encourages activities that spur economic development through heritage tourism and make the heritage area more visitor-ready, visitor-friendly, and more livable for Baltimore residents.

Please choose the application or report form from the menu below which best serves your purpose today. Report forms are for current grantees only. 

Go ahead and take your best shot! IT'S A SNAP! 2022 Photo Contest

ARE YOU AN ASPIRING PHOTOJOURNALIST OR JUST AN AVID SHUTTERBUG?

No matter your level of expertise, here’s your chance to share your special photographs that reveal the best of Baltimore - the people and places of Charm City!

Winning photographers receive prizes, and the best images will be showcased on BNHA’s social media channels and a special Baltimore National Heritage Area promotional product in 2023.

Photographs must be taken within the Baltimore National Heritage Area. All hi-res entries must be submitted electronically by October 31, 2022.

Why is the contest period so long? We want to give you a chance to capture all the seasons here in Baltimore from Spring to Fall. Your photos can be in color or black and white.  

*** Minors (16 and up) are encouraged to participate with parental consent. ***

Please read the complete Rules and Requirements before submitting your photo. All entries must be submitted electronically by October 31, 2022.



For a photo in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release form the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian and provide it to BNHA upon request. A model release is available on the heritage area’s website. (Click here for the form.)



What are we looking for?

Baltimore is known as a city of monuments and a city of neighborhoods. Each of our neighborhoods have special icons (such as buildings, statues, and parks) that are celebrated. Show us what makes your neighborhood monumental!





PHOTO CONTEST PRIZES



The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $300 gift card. First place - $200 gift card. Second Place - $100 gift card. Honorable Mention - $50 gift card. Photographers can only win one prize per contest. 

The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) invites Baltimore City youth to participate in our 3rd Annual History Through Arts Competition. The purpose of this contest is to engage City youth in an art exhibit showcasing their unique talents while also expressing their view of life in Baltimore City. The expectation is that the artwork will reflect Baltimore’s historic people, places, significant architecture or represent a historical event.

BNHA will host a summer exhibit showcasing this artwork in partnership with the Downtown Partnership in 2022. The contest is open to Baltimore youth ages 9-18. Submissions can take the form of photography and works on paper. The deadline for submissions is June 30, 2022. 


The Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) works to promote, preserve and enhance Baltimore's legacy through history, arts and culture. Find out more at explorebaltimore.org.


*** Must have parental consent to participate. ***

*** Artists retain all rights to their work. BNHA will only use the work for promotional purposes.***

For a work in which a person is recognizable, you must secure a model release form the subject or, in the case of a minor, the subject’s parent or guardian and provide it to BNHA upon request. A model release is available on the heritage area’s website. (Click here for the form.)

 

AWARDS

Grand Prize      $300

Second Place      $200

Third Place   $100

Honorable Mention (2)   $50.00 Gift Card

Congratulations on the completion of your project, funded in part by Baltimore National Heritage Area's grant award! Thank you for submitting your final report below. Forms to complete this report (for upload) can be found on our website's grants page at https://www.explorebaltimore.org/grants. Upon review and approval of this final report, the Baltimore National Heritage Area will issue your final payment. It is important to sign, scan, and then upload your final disbursement request form with this report as this form activates your final payment. Once approved by BNHA, it takes approximately 30 days to receive a payment from the City of Baltimore directly (by mailed check, or a shorter timeframe if your organization is already enrolled in the Electronic Funds Transfer program with the City) OR approximately 10 business days if this is a Heritage Investment Grant award or Neighborhood Placemaking Grant award. Please ensure your mailing address and EIN are correct on this form.

If you have any questions or need additional help, please email the BNHA Grants Portfolio Manager at dwalterdavis@baltimoreheritagearea.org

BNHA will contact you if there is any missing documentation, or if any additional information is needed.

We are looking forward to reading your final report and project outcomes. Thank you for your partnership! 

BALTIMORE HERITAGE AREA ASSOCIATION, INC. (dba Baltimore National Heritage Area)

HERITAGE INVESTMENT GRANT GUIDELINES 

(These guidelines also available on our website as a separate document that is printable)

Application & Guidelines (2022)

Application Opens: April 1, 2022

Application Deadline: June 1, 2022 (by 11:59pm)

Award amount: Up to $15,000 with a required dollar for dollar match by the applicant

Project period: September 1, 2022 - September 2024 (or completion of the project)

The Baltimore National Heritage Area’s Heritage Investment Grant Program is a source of federal funding designed to provide strategic investments in cultural heritage tourism within the national heritage area boundary. The Heritage Investment Grant may be used to fund non-capital projects, general operating support and capacity-building support. Eligible activities must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions outlined in the 2013 Baltimore National Heritage Area’s Comprehensive Management Plan (available online at https://www.explorebaltimore.org/page/planning-documents)

BNHA accepts the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s definition of heritage tourism: “Traveling to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past. Heritage tourism can include cultural, historic and natural resources.” Proposed projects must advance cultural heritage tourism and align with BNHA’s mission: To promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore’s historic and cultural legacy and natural resources for current and future generations.

Generally, grants will be made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities that require a multi-year grant commitment. Mandated by the U.S. Congress, the proposed project must be within the national heritage area’s geographic boundary and this map can be found online at https://www.explorebaltimore.org/explore. Please be sure you are viewing the national state boundary and not the state heritage area boundary, as they are different.

For the exception of capacity-building, operating support requests, and marketing grant applications, ALL proposed projects must have a public-facing, outreach component during the project period or a plan to execute once the project is completed (in-person or virtual). The outreach plan/visitor engagement plan must have the goal of attracting visitors to the project, site, collection, or demonstrate value in advancing heritage tourism within Baltimore’s national heritage area’s boundary.

Eligible Project Categories:

· Capacity-building support (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is for a one-time investment that will build the capacity of an organization and its staff members. For example, hiring consultants to train staff on certain subject areas for a limited period of time (marketing and communications, grant writing, curatorial guidance, visitor engagement planning, historic preservation, interpretation etc.) with the goal of in-house staff learning new capabilities to support the organization.

Please note: Capacity-building assistance does not include oversight related to administrative costs and subgrants are not eligible.

· Critical operating support (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is for a one-time investment to address immediate and urgent operating needs to keep an organization open to the public. If your organization received an operating grant in the last two years, you are ineligible to apply this year. The organization must demonstrate in its application a plan for financial sustainability after this award is closed.

· Historic preservation (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match).

The primary purpose of this category is to support non-capital projects that advance historic preservation. For example, this could include:  Research, field investigation, data recovery, feasibility and planning studies, architectural design documents, and other planning activities that support a project within the national heritage area’s boundary.

· Collections care and conservation (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to document cultural traditions or conserve artifacts and documents that will advance heritage tourism. For example, this could include: Collections care, collections documentation, artifacts and objects, archival records, oral histories, video histories and/or conservation of artworks with significant historical value to Baltimore and that are located within Baltimore’s national heritage area’s boundary.

Please note: Conservation projects for pieces of a collection would be considered non-capital and eligible under this grant program. Storage equipment, re-housing costs or supplies (such as humidifiers, shelves, storage items, acid free paper etc.) is eligible under non-capital expenditures, however all these particular costs must total less than $5,000 according to federal guidance. Projects requesting funds for proper storage facilities for said collections (physical space) are not eligible as physical space is considered a capital expense.

Types of collections that are eligible include:

a. Archival Collections (Personal and/or corporate papers, manuscripts and resource management records);

b. Cultural Collections (Archeology, Ethnology, History to include artworks with historical significance to Baltimore and that are located within Baltimore’s national heritage area’s boundary);

c. Natural History Collections (also called natural resource collections to include the following categories: Biology, Geology, and Paleontology).

· Heritage tourism events (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to support public events (in-person or virtual) that attract visitors to neighborhoods and/or virtual spaces that advance heritage tourism. For example, this could include: Seminars, conferences, performances, reenactments, commemorations, or festivals within the national heritage area boundary.

· Land, water & environmental conservation projects (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to support natural resource and archeological projects that advance heritage tourism within the national heritage area boundary. For example, this could include: Documentation of culturally significant components of the way of life in the area (could include pre-colonialization), including projects that identify, record, research, preserve and interpret archaeological resources, litter reduction projects or stream clean-ups, creation or restoration of existing wetlands, recharge ponds, floodplain, or riparian corridors.

· Recreational development projects and trail programming (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to support recreational projects and trails’ programming that advance heritage tourism within the national heritage area boundary. For example, this could include: Projects that engage the public, especially youth and families, in recreation, stewardship, education, and interpretation along trails, public activities and events (especially those focused on connecting Baltimore City residents to the trail), and trail promotion and outreach.

· Educational programs and interpretation (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to support interpretive projects that advance an inclusive understanding of Baltimore’s history to the public. Examples: Interpretive exhibits, interpretive signage, pedestrian way-finding signage, interpretive brochures, educational programs and materials, and other interpretive activities that support the heritage area’s mission.

· Marketing and community outreach grants (request up to $15,000 with required dollar for dollar match)

The primary purpose of this category is to support marketing projects that increase visitation to heritage area sites generated by marketing products (in-person or virtual). If awarded, tracking visitor numbers will be required as a measurable outcome of the project.

Who may apply - To be eligible for this grant program, applicant organizations must meet each of the following criteria:

· Be located within the boundary of the national heritage area (or the program/activity will occur within the boundary of the national heritage area). The map can be found online at https://www.explorebaltimore.org/explore. Please be sure you are viewing the national state boundary and not the state heritage area boundary, as they are different.

· Be a nonprofit organization (501c3) in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation or local units of government (City of Baltimore) are eligible to apply.

· Be qualified to do business in Maryland.

· Have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program.

· If you have an active Heritage Investment Grant project award, you can still apply in this grant cycle. However, if you received an operating grant award in the last two years, you cannot apply for an operating grant award for this cycle.

· NEW REQUIREMENT: The federal government is requiring a new Unique Identifier Number (UIN) to replace the DUNS number for all organizations receiving federal funds. This grant program is federally funded. If awarded a grant, you will need to provide BNHA with this number. No funds can be awarded without it. If you need help to obtain a Unique Identifier Number, please visit the SAM.gov website for assistance. There is NO CHARGE for this number. Once on the SAM.gov site, please look to the right of the screen. It will state: Register Your Entity or Get a Unique Entity ID.  Please enter this portal, and it will walk you through the steps to obtain a UIN. (Please note if you do not receive federal funds directly, you do not need to register your organization in SAM.gov– you simply just need to get a Unique Identifier Number).

Who May NOT Apply - The following types of organizations are not eligible to apply to the Heritage Investment Grant Program (this list is not meant to be exhaustive): Federal units of government; organizations that are serving as fiscal agents or fiscal sponsors for an organization or program; individuals; and/or organizations that have a history of grant award noncompliance with Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA) or currently are not in compliance with an active grant award.

Funding Restrictions

BNHA’s non-capital project funds cannot be used to fund staff salaries or benefits, although staff salaries may be used in the applicant's cash-match portion. However, contractors and consultants CAN be used under the award.

BNHA funds cannot be used for religious ceremonies or events advancing or inhibiting a particular religious ideology; direct fundraising costs or advocacy of specific political causes or candidates; capital improvements (facilities); agent’s fees for programs contracted through commercial agencies; travel outside of the United States and cannot be used for food/catering and/or alcohol. Any catering costs can be used under the match-portion (applicant’s contribution).

SELECTION CRITERIA –

Grant proposals will be reviewed using the criteria outlined below.

1. Clarity - Are the project/organization’s objectives and goals clearly described?

2. Consistency - Is the project specifically identified in the 2013 Comprehensive Management Plan? If not, how is the project consistent with the goals and objectives of the Plan and why should this funding request receive priority at this time?

3. Urgency: What is the down side to delaying this project or operating support? Why are funds needed this year?

4. Project Design: Are the budget, design, timeline, and personnel reasonable to accomplish the project?

5. Readiness: Is the project or organization ready to proceed and can the objectives be accomplished in a realistic and timely manner?

6. Heritage Tourism Value:

(a) Does the project or organization’s activities significantly increase the heritage tourism activity/value within the heritage area?

(b) Does the applicant have a public-facing outreach plan to attract visitors to their site, collection or program?

(c) Does the project align with BNHA’s definition of heritage tourism? Attracting visitors “to experience the places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past. Heritage tourism can include cultural, historic and natural resources.”

7. Under-represented Communities: Does this project highlight stories from under-represented communities currently not available to the public?

GRANT AMOUNTS AND MATCHING REQUIREMENTS

Grants may not exceed $15,000. All grants must be matched in non-federal cash in an amount at least equal to the grant. If needed, 25% can be contributed as in-kind match.

Applicants MUST download and use the BNHA Application Budget Excel template for their proposal budget. Upload the completed template in the application budget section of this online submission.

Grants must be matched with at least 75% cash. The remaining match can be in-kind services (maximum of 25%).

Ineligible Match:

  • Federal Funds
  • Expenditures made prior to the award of the grant or after the completion of the grant period
  • Expenditures that do not relate to the grant project’s budget

Examples of Cash Match:

  • Cash expenditures
  • Support from a non-federal grant or loan fund (e.g. MHAA grants)
  • Staff salaries for work specifically on the project is allowable for the match – not award column (must detail number of hours x hourly rate projected for the project)
  • For the exception of marketing grants, any marketing costs must be put in the match (not award request column)

Examples of In-Kind Match:

· Volunteer time for work on the project (BNHA accepts the Independent Sector’s volunteer rate for Maryland at $31/hour)

· Donated professional services (can be valued at their market professional rate, but only if working on the project in their professional capacity (i.e. architect donating architectural design services)

· Donated materials/supplies

Documentation of Match - It is encouraged, but not required, to have matching funds in-hand at the time of submission. However, it is best if the match is secured by December 2022 to ensure the project is completed on time. Acceptable documentation of match for the application may include:

  • Financial or bank statement from applicant organization stating funds are available for the proposed project
  • Letter of commitment from a donor, in-kind services or staff time
  • Award letter or grant agreement from non-federal matching entity

Disbursement of Grant Funds - If awarded, 50% of your award is disbursed at the signing of your grant agreement. The balance of your award however will only be disbursed after your project is completed (and final report submitted) as reimbursement. Please plan to use your required match and current cash flow to ensure your project is completed according to your project’s timeline.

Other Project Costs (“Over the Match Amount”) - If the total project/operating budget is expected to cost more than the total grant request and required match combined, those additional costs should be listed on the application budget as Other Project Costs.

GRANT TERMS AND CONDITIONS - All grantees will be required to enter into a grant agreement with the Baltimore National Heritage Area (BNHA), which generally contains the following standard terms and conditions:

  • Grant Term     – All grant funds must be expended within 24 months of the date of the      signed grant agreement, unless the BNHA agrees in writing to an extension of the grant period.
  • Grant Disbursements     – Two disbursements will be made: 50% of award amount will be disbursed at      signing of the grant agreement (and federal funds available) and second      disbursement will be made at the completion of the project - reimbursing the grantee, upon approval of a final report. All reporting forms are found on BNHA’s website through the online portal.  The match must be used and documented and      all receipts and proof of payment must be submitted in order to be      reimbursed. Advance disbursements of grant funds may be made on a case-by-case basis. Disbursements will be made upon request for payment      submitted by the grantee in a form satisfactory to BNHA and fulfillment of the other requirements of the grant agreement.
  • Insurance Requirement     –General Liability Insurance will be required for all non-capital      projects.
  • Nondiscrimination     – Each applicant shall comply with all applicable federal, state and city      laws and policies and programs regarding drug, alcohol, and smoke-free work places, disabled access and equal opportunity for employment, housing, credit practices and prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status or physical and/or mental disabilities in any aspect of the grant project.
  • Project Sign or Acknowledgment     – Grant recipients are required to provide appropriate acknowledgment of BNHA’s financial assistance.

GRANT SCHEDULE

  • April 1, 2022 – Application available to public on BNHA’s website.
  • June 1, 2022 - Application submission deadline at 11:59 pm EST through online portal (no paper      applications accepted)
  • June 2022 - Panel review period.
  • Mid-July 2022 - Grant awards announced.
  • August 2022– grant agreements drafted and signed.
  • September 1, 2022 – September 1, 2024  project period; All funded activities must occur within this project period.

APPLICATION SUBMISSION

Heritage Investment Grant applications must be completed online through the BNHA’s grant portal (scroll down to the orange button that reads: Begin Your Application). To submit a request for funding, applicants must create an account. This account will allow applicants to save draft proposals before the submission deadline. If you applied for a BNHA grant in the past (since 2016), you can still use your Submittable username and password, or create a new one. Please note if your project is located on land owned by either Baltimore City Department of Parks and Recreation or Maryland Department of Natural Resources, you must submit a required form and have approval by the submission date. A link to these forms is located in the application.

APPLICATIONS DUE

Applicants must submit a completed online application with uploaded supporting documents by 11:59 p.m. on June 1, 2022. Questions? Please contact Danielle Walter-Davis, Grants Portfolio Manager, Baltimore National Heritage Area, dwalterdavis@baltimoreheritagearea.org

Baltimore National Heritage Area