Nearly $2.7 million awarded by the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority

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CROWNSVILLE, MD (July 12, 2016) – The Hogan administration announced that 52 matching grants totaling $2,699,532 were awarded to Maryland non-profits, local jurisdictions and other heritage tourism organizations including museums, and historic preservation, natural resources, cultural, and educational organizations through the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA). These grant funds support heritage tourism projects and activities that draw visitors and expand economic development and tourism-related job creation throughout Maryland

Deidra Ritchie, Executive Director of Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority and the Canal Place Heritage Area, said that the Canal Place Heritage Area received over $123,000 in funding from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority for FY 17. ā€œIā€™d like to thank Governor Hogan and the District One Delegation for their support of these grants. This program has been very beneficial to our area and is the driving force behind heritage tourism in our area.ā€

Grant awards within the Canal Place Heritage Area included funding to the Allegany Arts Council for an interpretative mural, funding for programming for the Downtown Development Commission, as well as funding to administer the Canal Place Heritage Area Program and to operate and maintain Canal Place proper. Since the inception of the Maryland Heritage Areas Program, Canal Place has served as a conduit for local heritage tourism stakeholders to access over $2,400,000 in grant funds from the MHAA.

“Maryland’s Heritage Areas help celebrate and preserve the best of our history, cultural traditions, and natural areas,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I congratulate Maryland’s 13 Heritage Areas and their tourism partners on these grant awards. This important funding makes our communities more livable and vibrant, while fostering economic activity and growth through our rich tourism industry.”

One of every 16 workers in Maryland is supported by tourism-related employment, providing more than 140,000 jobs and $16.4 billion of visitor spending annually. Maryland’s Heritage Areas contribute to this by saving and enhancing the places that attract heritage tourists – people who focus their travels on historic sites, museums, cultural activities, or the natural beauty of Maryland’s Atlantic and Chesapeake Bay coastal areas and unspoiled scenery of Mountain Maryland. Studies show heritage tourists tend to stay longer and spend more money than other categories of tourists.

The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority is an independent unit in the executive branch of government administered by the Maryland Department of Planning. Since its creation in 1996, MHAA has awarded over $32.9 million dollars in grants and helped to leverage over $105 million in non-state funding for heritage tourism projects and activities in Maryland’s 13 Certified Heritage Areas.

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