Money Flows Down Four Rivers

Mini-grants help preserve Bay heritage

When the U.S. Lighthouse Society wanted to get Thomas Point Shoal Light ready for visitors, Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County helped with a mini-grant.
    Kneseth Israel Congregation used a mini-grant to explore a century of the Jewish Experience in Anne Arundel County. Annapolis Maritime Museum used another to show people around historic Eastport. Another mini-grant supported a kayak tour of the Rhode River. Yet another helped the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation get young and old together to Dig Galesville Roots.
    Over a decade, $2.7 million has been invested in historic preservation and education in Anne Arundel County. From Annapolis to South County, three-dozen organizations have received grants for some 80 projects. The money comes from Anne Arundel County, Annapolis and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.
    Four Rivers, one of Maryland’s 11 certified heritage areas, conducts the flow of money to the region and supports its historic organizations’ development and projects.
    You’ve got until Oct. 5 to get some of that money for your own pet project.
    Exhibits and events, educational programs for all ages, maps, tours, interpretive brochures, podcasts and websites are all eligible for mini-grants.
    There are, of course, strings.
    First, you’ve got to be part of a non-profit organization.
    Second, you’ve got to work within the Four Rivers Heritage Area.
    Third, you’ve got to bite off no more than you can chew. To get a grant, you’ll have to have your project well thought out and be seeking funding for a part of it doable with up to $5,000, including your half match.
    There’s ready help in tying up a neat package. “It’s part of my job to help organizations in our heritage area give the best form to their ideas,” says Four Rivers executive director Carol Benson.
    “We expect to grant around $25,000,” she adds. “So think outside the box for a heritage project to contribute to our understanding and appreciation of the past.”
    You’ll find the application online (mini-grants page at www.fourriversheritage.org). But you’ll want to call Benson for expert advice: 410-222-1805; heritage_area@aacounty.org.