Communities Heritage/History

Heritage Project Grants Available

Heritage Grants

Kelly Holdbrooks, executive director at Southern Highlands Reserve, a Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Photo courtesy of Southern Highlands Reserve

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHA) has announced its 2020 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide funding for projects that preserve, interpret and promote Western North Carolina’s agricultural, craft, Cherokee, music and natural heritage. These legacies earned the region a Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area in 2003. The deadline for applications is October 1.

“BRNHA was one of the first organizations to give a grant to the Will and Deni McIntyre Foundation in support of David Holt’s State of Music back when we were just beginning and before we had broadcast our first episode,” says the foundation’s co-founder Will McIntyre. “We are now working on Season 5 and we are on public television stations in more than 90 percent of the country. The underwriting we got from BRNHA was vital to our success.”

Over the past 16 years, BRNHA has awarded 173 grants totaling more than $2.3 million and leveraging another $5.6 million in matching contributions from local governments and the private sector. This has resulted in a $7.9 million investment for projects in all 25 WNC counties. Grants awarded
in previous cycles have supported exhibits, demonstration gardens, oral history collections, video documentaries, interpretive programs, teaching materials, artist training, visitor brochures, music venue improvements and the marketing of heritage destinations.

“BRNHA grant funds were the stimulus that enabled us to move forward with the new Women in Surry County Old-Time Music exhibit,” says Surry Arts Council executive director Tanya Jones. “We are so grateful to the BRNHA Partnership for their support and encouragement over the years in
our efforts to tell this story that is important to both Surry County and to the
old-time music world.”

Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and units of state and local governments are eligible to apply for BRNHA grants. Applicants must provide at least an equal match. The total pool of funding for the 2020 grant cycle is $180,000.

Complete information on the 2020 Heritage Grants Program can be found at BlueRidgeHeritage.

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