Category: Microgrants

2020 Virtual Pitch Party: Help Us Give Away Five Micro-Grants!

Preservation in Baltimore is a participatory sport and we hope you will join in at our 2020 micro-grant giveaway on Thursday, October 22! At this free and virtual event, you’ll get to help us give away five micro-grants to help great projects in Baltimore. Based on your votes, we will give out two $500 grants, two $250 grants, and one $50 grant. Here are the finalists:

Jean Lee Cole, Friends of Contee-Parago Park
Hope Ford, ImagineIN
Matt Hood, The Baltimore Crime Museum
Nneka Nnamdi, Fight Blight Baltimore
Steven Skerritt-Davis, The Linden Avenue Association

We will count the results and let the winners know on the spot which grant they have won! It will be an exciting night and we can’t wait to “see” you there! Questions? Email ricks@baltimoreheritage.org

Accepting Ideas for 2020 Micro Grants for Preservation Work

We’re in our 5th year of giving away micro-grants to help fund preservation work in the city. If you have a good idea to help preserve a historic building or place in Baltimore or help revitalize a historic neighborhood, we’d love to hear from you! The process is easy: simply fill out the online application and hit send by Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

We’ll pick the five most promising ideas and give them a chance for one of two $500 grants, two $250 grants, or one $50 grant. The awards will be made on October 22, 2020 at a virtual pitch party. Over Zoom, supporters of each idea will get three minutes to pitch them and at the end, the crowd will cast virtual ballots to decide which ideas receive the micro grants. Whether funded or not, we will promote all the ideas and projects to help them garner attention and volunteers.

The types of eligible projects are endless, and as long as they relate to Baltimore’s history, heritage, historic buildings or historic neighborhoods we will consider them. Past award winners include: restoring leaking masonry at a historic church, launching an after school arts-based safe space program in a historic neighborhood, supporting archaeological efforts at a historic furnace, and providing supplies for a community trying to provide access to a neighboring park. The sky’s the limit!

The amount of the award ($50, $250, or $500) may not be enough to complete an entire project. That’s OK. The goal is to help spark new and support existing neighborhood-level preservation work. You don’t need to be a nonprofit organization or even a formalized group to be eligible. Individuals and small groups are welcome! Complete rules can be found on the application.

And you can now register for October 22’s Virtual Preservation Pitch Party! 

The Northampton Furnace Archaeology Project: An Update from One of Our Micro-Grant Recipients

At our annual preservation micro-grant event in October, Baltimore Heritage gave archaeologist Adam Fracchia $250 to help with his archaeological exploration of the lives of enslaved people and convict labor at the ruins of the former Northampton furnace iron foundry (near Hampton Mansion). The project has already yielded many fascinating results! Please enjoy our guest blog post by Dr. Fracchia (fracchia@umd.edu) below. 

Students began excavating in the early fall of 2019.

In December of 2019, the first season of the Northampton Furnace Archaeology Project came to a successful conclusion. The Project’s goals were to better understand and document the lives of the convicts, indentured servants, and the enslaved peoples forced to work at the iron furnace operated by the Ridgley family from 1762 to the late 1820s. The iron furnace, which produced pig iron and cast iron including cannons and shot used in the Revolutionary War, generated the Ridgley’s great wealth and supported their lavish lifestyle.

The archaeological field school operated through the University of Delaware, Newark, sought to find material evidence of their lives that would add these workers to the history and narrative of the Hampton plantation. Starting in August, the students and I began a field survey of the furnace landscape. They documented and mapped different features on this industrial landscape such as the earthen dam, quarries, the furnace, outbuildings, and structures.

The remains of the earthen dam used to channel water to the water driven furnace bellows.

Through the excavation of shovel test pits, the students surveyed a large area where workers were believed to have lived. Five test units were also excavated around the remains of a structure that may have dated to the period of the furnace. The students were able to document these structures below the surface and map and describe the different soil strata that detail the history of the site. Some artifacts were found dating to the furnace period. Evidence was also found of the farm that post-dated the furnace and was in operation until the flooding and creation of the Loch Raven Reservoir in the early twentieth century.

The students presented their preliminary findings to the public at Hampton NHS in December and the analysis of the archaeological data is currently ongoing. Much of the landscape of the furnace is buried or hidden under the later farm or is more ephemeral. The Project seeks an external contractor to conduct a higher resolution LIDAR scan of the core furnace area. This detailed scan of the elevation would allow us to better locate structures, such as the log houses, where the workers may have been living. This project is just the beginning of an effort to detail the lives of the workers at the furnace. We sincerely thank Baltimore Heritage for their support and encouragement with this project.

A mix of iron handwrought and cut nails.
A mix of fragments of 18th and 19th-century ceramics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information, check out the project’s blog

The Arches & Access Project: An Update from One of Our Micro-Grant Recipients

At our annual preservation micro-grant event in October, Baltimore Heritage gave the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council $500 to support its Light City Baltimore community party, Arches and Access, at Druid Hill Park. It was a huge success and absolutely brightened the neighborhood! Please enjoy our guest blog post by co-organizer Graham Coreil-Allen. 

The organizers (left to right): Graham Coreil-Allen, Jessy DeSantis, and Courtney Bettle (Photo by Graham Coreil-Allen) 

Showcasing the cherished connections between Druid Hill Park and surrounding neighborhoods, the Arches & Access project illuminated and activated the historic Druid Hill Park Gate at Madison Avenue, Druid Hill Park, and the Rawlings Conservatory with colorful lights, a community parade, and a public party. On the evening of November 3rd, 2019, over three hundred residents, artists, and performers transformed Madison Avenue and Druid Park Lake Drive into a spectacular, roving block party. Neighbors collectively created a place to march, dance, and perform in celebration of our West Baltimore communities united in green space and creating safe streets for people. The Neighborhood Lights Project was presented as part of the Brilliant Baltimore festival of light and literature and organized by Reservoir Hill residents Jessy DeSantis and Courtney Bettle, and Auchentoroly Terrace public artist Graham Coreil-Allen.

The colorful Rawlings Conservatory (Photo by Graham Coreil-Allen) 

The project was made possible with help from community organizer Kate Jennings and the Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, 7th District Councilman Leon F. Pinkett, a grant from Baltimore Heritage, volunteers from Beth Am Synagogue’s IFO organization, and numerous local youth. The Baltimore Heritage Microgrant help fund multicolored flashlights and a free photo booth at the after party.