BNHA Neighborhood Placemaking Grants (NPG)

Content about Neighborhood Placemaking Grants (NPG)

The Baltimore Heritage Area Association (DBA- The Baltimore National Heritage Area) administers the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant Program. Launched in 2018, this grant program is a source of funding designed to provide small, but strategic investments in cultural heritage tourism (non-capital) projects within the heritage area. This highly competitive grant program awards $25,000 a year and grant amounts range from $1,500 - $5,000 with a required match.

The goal of the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant Program is to assist neighborhoods:

  • With enhancing their quality of life through heritage tourism stewardship;
  • Become more visitor-friendly and visitor-ready;
  • Balance community and tourism; and
  • Increase awareness of the Baltimore National Heritage Area and its resources for neighborhoods.

The following non-capital projects or activities within these heritage area neighborhoods may be assisted. 

Navigate Your Neighborhood

Festivals, performances, reenactments, and events that promote heritage tourism and attract visitors (virtually or with a COVID contingency plan). Projects that aid in navigating through neighborhoods such as interpretive signage, pedestrian way-finding signage, interpretive brochures, development of online navigation platforms and apps, walking tours, educational programs and materials, other interpretive activities that support the heritage area’s neighborhoods.

Plan Your Neighborhood

Planning and feasibility studies for capital projects, vacant lot development planning, market research, branding and marketing projects, research for content development, and project evaluation surveys.

Green Your Neighborhood

Projects that promote neighborhood greening activities, environmental stewardship, cleanliness, beautification, citizen community education and stewardship.

Interpretive Signage Guidelines:
Neighborhood Placemaking Grant funds may be used for the creation of interpretive signage.

Interpretive signage in parks operated by Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks (BCRP) must adhere to city specifications and cost estimates as a requirement. Please see application guidelines for projects in city parks and the approval process. Please plan two weeks to receive approval from BCRP and a letter of support. This documentation must be uploaded to the grant application at time of submission.

For all other interpretive signage projects, please review BNHA's recommended guidelines for interpretive signage projects. The National Park Service has also created a comprehensive guide for creating wayside exhibits and interpretive signage. The guide is available for free from the NPS Harper's Ferry Center. Projects that follow these best practices will score higher on their application due to the required due diligence.

Eligible activities must address or complete a priority activity identified in and consistent with the goals, objectives, strategies, and actions outlined in the Baltimore National Heritage Area Comprehensive Management Plan. Generally, grants will be made as one-time awards and not for ongoing projects or activities that require a multi-year grant commitment. 

WHO CAN APPLY

Due to congressionally mandated boundaries, the proposed project must be within the heritage area's eligible neighborhoods. 

Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations and tax-exempt community/neighborhood associations in good standing with the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations involved under the grant program. 

GETTING STARTED WITH THE APPLICATION PROCESS

  • BNHA uses an online system for the grant process, which you can access once the grant cycle begins. Create a user account to allow you to save a working version of your application before final submission. 
  • First-time applicants to Baltimore National Heritage Area are required to contact Kenyona Moore, Interpretation and Outreach Coordinator at kmoore@baltimoreheritagearea.org.
  • An overview of the grant application and guidelines is available. A link to this document is provided below.
  • Your grant application must include a specific budget form. A link to this form is provided below.
  • The online system has strict word limits. Take a look at this primer on tips for writing with brevity and clarity.


FORMS FOR YOUR APPLICATION

Begin the Grant Application (Opens September 2020)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When does the grant round open? When are applications due?

Can I meet with heritage area staff to discuss my project?

How much grant funding can I request?

Is there a match requirement?

Are there any guidelines to follow for creating interpretive and wayfinding signage?

Can the Neighborhood Placemaking Grant be used to fund a mural or facade improvement project?

BNHA Neighborhoods

Previous Awards

2020 Grant Awards ($26,393 for 6 projects)

2019 Grant Awards ($27,945 total for 7 projects)