The Maryland Museums Association is a volunteer-managed alliance of institutions that collect, hold, interpret, and protect the material and cultural heritage of the Free State. We advocate for state museum funding, equity in the profession, and authentic interpretation of our shared histories in service of increased cultural understanding.

Our Priorities

Legislative Advocacy

Maryland Museums Association has perhaps never had such a busy Spring participating in Session in Annapolis and we're pleased to share the following news: 

Maryland Historical Trust - Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program – Funding passed creating an opportunity for future funding up to $5M for the Museum Assistance Program at Maryland Historical Trust — and with the removal of the restriction disallowing Maryland State Arts Council funding recipients from applying. This will continue to be our focus moving forward!

$1M in general funds was allocated for the Maryland Humanities' Strengthening the Humanities in Nonprofits for Equity (SHINE) grant program supporting small and mid–size nonprofits in strengthening artistic, cultural, and educational opportunities and programming in communities across the State. 

The Maryland 250 Commission was again supported at $250,000 with the provisions that $125,000 shall be expended only for the purpose of grants from the Department of Planning to county or municipal organizations throughout the State dedicated to the effort of celebrating the 250th anniversary of the United States.

A new grant program of up to $250,000 for maritime history was established within the Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement Fund.

The state museum run by the Maryland Commission of African American History and Culture in Annapolis will now be known as the Banneker-Douglas-Tubman Museum.

Funding from the Maryland State Arts Council's Preservation of Cultural Arts Program Special Fund supported the Prince George's African American Museum and Cultural Center among other arts organizations. 

Additionally, many museums were funded through the Maryland State Department of Education State Aided Institutions Program and individual funding bills.

Our Partners in Advocacy

Allegany Museum (Allegany County) B&O Railroad Museum (Baltimore City) Baltimore Museum of Industry (Baltimore City) • Banneker-Douglass Museum (Anne Arundel County) • Catoctin Furnace Historical Society (Frederick County) • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (Talbot County) • Historic Annapolis (Anne Arundel County) •  Julia A. Purnell Museum  (Worchester County) • Maryland-National Capital Parks & Planning Commission (Prince George's and Montgomery Counties)• Montgomery History (Montgomery County) The Peale: Baltimore’s Community Museum (Baltimore City) • Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture (Baltimore City) •  St. Mary's County Museums (St. Mary's County)

Museum Assistance Program Fast Facts

Museum Funding Reports

Preservation, Survey, and Museum Funding Needs (Joint Chairman's Report (JCR), 2016)

For many years, Maryland was a national leader in providing support for the preservation and interpretation of our irreplaceable heritage. Historic preservation and history museum assistance programs were supported by the Maryland Historical Trust Grant Fund, a continuing, non-lapsing special fund. Despite demonstrated demand for these programs, appropriations to the MHT Grant Fund were suspended beginning in fiscal year 2012.

At the close of the 2016 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Chairmen of the  Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and House Appropriations Committee directed  MHT to work with partners to evaluate the state of its historic preservation and museum grant programs. The following report addresses specific issues identified by legislators including need and demand for this type of  State support, funding options, staff capacity to administer these programs, and the experience of other states.

As this report demonstrates, the unmet needs of the state’s historic preservation and history museum community are substantial. Threats to our tangible and intangible cultural heritage continue to grow. State and federal sources of funding for cultural resource preservation have all but disappeared, leaving our local government and private sector partners with few options. 

PreserveMaryland: The Role of Museums and the Museum Assistance Program (2014)

The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) Museum Assistance Program served the state’s historical and cultural museums by providing grants, technical assistance and networking opportunities from 1999 to 2011, with the cessation of grant funding. 

In September 2013, MHT launched a formal needs assessment. This paper is the culmination of the needs assessment process, which opened with a statewide survey. Focus groups brought together museum representatives to review the survey’s findings and to offer perspectives on future programming.


Maryland's Semiquincentennial Commission known as Maryland 250, was re-established by Governor Wes Moore on July 3, 2023. The Commission is led by thirty-three Commissioners and staffed with two state employees. MMA is actively engaged with the Commission without having an appointment on the official body. Specifically, MMA seeks to be a hub of accurate information about the resources that might be available to practitioners and organizations in Maryland from Maryland 250 and other sources of technical or financial assistance.

As of February 2024, Maryland 250 staff is now hosting stakeholder Zoom meetings every 6 weeks having started on and offering standing Zoom office hours. Each virtual convening will begin with a brief presentation; then, stakeholders will have an opportunity to share updates on the status of their 250th planning; and there will be an opportunity to ask questions of stakeholders from around the state. Additional topics planned include launching a local 250th Commission; funding and marketing for the 250th; service opportunities for the 250th; civic engagement and the 250th; and history. 

We encourage everyone to take advantage of these meetings as an opportunity to stay up-to-date and share information with each other on regional and local commissions and what individual museum folks are working on. Please email Maryland 250 Assistant Administrator, Erin Bode, at to request calendar invitations for virtual convenings and/or virtual office hours. 

Statewide Preservation Plan

Maryland Museums Association was pleased to host and co-host meetings for museum workers at all-size organizations as part of the stakeholder research completed by the Maryland Historical Trust for the new statewide preservation plan. Based on this feedback and input from partner agencies and organizations, the plan puts forward a new set of goals, objectives, and strategies for preservation professionals in Maryland. 

Released in April 2024, Heritage2031, Maryland’s statewide preservation plan (2023-2031), is an eight-year guidance document for government agencies, nonprofit advocates, and other involved in historic preservation, archaeology, and cultural heritage throughout the state. 

We thank Maryland Historical Trust for encouraging robust participation and for their efforts to immediately respond to requests made during the process, stating: 

"In developing the plan, participants requested information about resources to support work by, with, about, and for marginalized communities and communities underrepresented in the historic record. While we have produced this list to respond to this request, resources such as these may be helpful to all kinds of projects. We have also refreshed our chart on funding opportunities, which includes but is not limited to a focus on marginalized and underrepresented communities. These lists will continue to be updated on MHT's website. If you wish to be included or know of another resource or funding opportunity, please let us know."

Economic Impact Reports

Maryland Heritage Areas Program: Economic Contribution Analysis (2020)

American Alliance of Museums | Museums as Economic Engines: A National Report (2018)

The Economic Impact of National Heritage Areas: A Case Study Approach (Baltimore National Heritage Area, 2017)

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