Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area Awards Grants to Seven Recipients on Mid Shore

Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc. (ESHI) has announced the award of $11,500 in “mini-grants” to seven nonprofit recipients on the Mid Shore. ESHI is the managing entity of the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, which serves Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, and Talbot Counties.

The grant recipients include the following:
· Prince Theatre Foundation, Inc., Chestertown ($1,500) – to support the commission of a new play on colonial history, a project also supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, to debut at this year’s annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival;
· Kent County Quilt Documentation Project ($2,175) – to support three Community Quilt Days events to be held at branches of the Kent County Public Library from early summer through fall of 2009, a cooperative effort of the Olde Kent Quilters Guild, the Kent County Office of the Maryland Cooperative Extension Program, and the Historical Society of Kent County;
· The C. V. Starr Center for the American Experience of Washington College, Chestertown ($2,000) – for a new interpretation program for visitors to the Colonial-era Custom House on Water Street entitled “Chestertown’s America: Freedom, Slavery, and History at the Old Custom House;”
· War of 1812 Eastern Shore Consortium ($2,500) – to support a major new web site to interest visitors and scholars in stories of the War of 1812 on Chesapeake Bay’s eastern shores. This project is a collaboration of the four counties of the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area and the Heart of Chesapeake Country Heritage Area, which serves DorchesterCounty. The State of Maryland plans a year of major events and programs during the upcoming 200th anniversary year and has already begun programs to encourage local history celebrations.
· Adkins Arboretum, Ridgely ($1,325) – for a new interpretation program, “Nature’s Role in the Story of the Eastern Shore’s Underground Railroad;”
· Oxford Museum, Oxford ($1,000) – to support videotaped oral history projects;
· Tilghman Island Watermen’s Museum, Tilghman Island ($1,000) – to support videotaped oral history projects.

Funding for ESHI’s Small Grants Program comes from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA), which allows heritage areas to spend a portion of their administrative grants for distribution to local partners. Caroline, Kent, and Queen Anne’s Counties each pledged $15,000 for a total of $45,000 in local government support to match the $80,000 state operating grant awarded to Eastern Shore Heritage, Inc., this fiscal year. The remaining required cash match for the grant, $15,000, must be raised from private sources. County support enables the technical assistance provided to Small Grant recipients and other groups and agencies within each county.

ESHI will be conducting the heritage area’s next round of Small Grants this spring, in advance of the state’s new fiscal year, to enable local partners to begin their projects as soon as possible after annual administrative grants are awarded by the MHAA in July. The deadline is June 15, 2009. ESHI will hold a required grant-writing workshop on April 30 atChesapeake College for potential applicants. For more information, call Elizabeth Watson, Executive Director, at 410-778-1460 or email ewatson@storiesofthechesapeake.org.

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