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A large brick building with a gable roof.

Second annual Preservation Pitch Party donates $3,500 to creative local heritage projects Surprise gifts from Southway Builders and FreedomCar offer $500 for all seven preservation micro-grant finalists

Baltimore Heritage’s second annual preservation micro-grant pitch party on last Monday at Whitehall Mill ended in a happy surprise. Southway Builders and FreedomCar made the unexpected decision to offer matching gifts and expand our micro-grant funding pool from $1,500 to $3,500. The result? Instead of just giving out four gifts, all seven groups that pitched an idea received $500 to make it happen.

On behalf of everybody at Baltimore Heritage, congratulations to the seven organizations, and sincere thanks to micro-grant donors Ms. Brigid Goody, Southway Builders, and Freedom Car!

The seven projects span the city from east to west Baltimore, including:

  • Beloved Community Services Corporation at Union Baptist Church is working with the Baltimore Museum of Art to launch Soul Café: a project to create a safe space for community art engagement in Upton’s Marble Hill.
  • Civic Works is making a new exhibit at Clifton Mansion showcasing an antebellum call-bell system and improving visitor experience on tours for their Legacy Education Project.
  • H.L. Mencken House is buying garden supplies for volunteers to beautify the front stoop and improve the home’s back garden.
  • Lillie Carroll Jackson Civil Rights Museum is buying books and organizing a new Saturday Civil Rights history book club for teens and young adults.
  • Mount Clare Museum House is planning new special weekend tours celebrating Mount Clare’s one hundred years as a house museum
  • Poe Baltimore is designing and printing a set of postcards featuring historic images of the Poe House.
  • Preservation Society of Fells Point is planning to secure and stabilize the Caulker’s Houses on Wolfe Street, the only surviving eighteenth-century timber frame buildings left standing in Baltimore

Thank you to everyone who submitted proposals for the pitch party and everyone who came out on October 3. We plan to check in with the seven award-winning projects and share updates on their fantastic projects over the next few months. Stay tuned!

Do you have a good idea for a small local preservation project? Share your plan and you might win a "micro-grant" at our 2017 Pitch Party.

Do you have a good idea for how you can help preserve Baltimore’s historic places? Would a $250 or $500 help you to make it happen? Consider applying for our 2017 Preservation Pitch Party or read on to learn more about how we are giving away four micro-grants this fall.

For the next two weeks, we’ll be taking your suggestions for small preservation projects. We’ll pick the top six ideas on Friday, September 22 and help the people who proposed these promising ideas prepare to make their case. On the evening of October 3, they’ll have just three minutes to make a pitch for why they deserve one of four “micro-grants”. Then, the crowd at Whitehall Mill will have the chance to vote and award two $500 grants and two $250 grants.

We are happy to consider any application related Baltimore’s history and historic places. Eligible projects could include doing repairs at a historic neighborhood park; planning a tour of a historic neighborhood; hosting an event to celebrate Baltimore’s history; or engaging neighborhood youth around preservation and architecture.

We know the amount of the award ($250 or $500) may not be enough to complete your entire project. But we believe a little help can sometimes make a big difference. You do not need to be a designated nonprofit or other incorporated organization to apply. Individuals and informal groups are welcome.

If you have any questions, pease email me at hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org or call our office at 410-332-9992. Whether you submit a proposal or not, you are welcome to join us at Whitehall Mill on October 3; sign up online today!

Baltimore Immigration Museum completes work on preservation mini-grant project Door repointing and repair stops leak at museum

Last October, Baltimore Heritage held our first preservation mini-grant “Pitch Party.” We put out a call for good ideas to help preserve Baltimore’s historic places and revitalize our historic neighborhoods and then threw a party to select nominations to receive small grants. Two projects received grants of $500 and another two received grants of $250.

One of our $500 grant award winners was the Baltimore Immigration Museum, located at the Immigrant House in the Locust Point neighborhood. The museum proposed repointing and repairing masonry above the main entry door to stop a leak that was slowly rotting away the woodwork on the door. This job was important in the short term to stop the leak and an important part of the museum’s long-term goal of restoring the building.

The Museum completed the work in early January and its directors are happy to report that the repairs worked: with the masonry shored up, the leak has stopped.

Special thanks to long-time member Ms. Brigid Goody for making the preservation mini-grant program possible, as well as everybody who participated in our first pitch party last fall. In addition to the Baltimore Immigration Museum, three other projects received mini-grant funding.

  • The Herring Run Archaeology Project received $500 to purchase supplies for a spring archaeology project.
  • Taylor’s Chapel in Mount Pleasant Park received $250 as part of a fundraising campaign to stabilize frescoes in this 1850s church that likely were painted by Constantino Brumidi, the fresco artist in the U.S. Capitol building.
  • Lastly, the Market Center Merchant’s Association received $250 to bring Baltimore City public school kids who participate in the Maryland History Day competition to the Market Center Area for a tour of Civil Rights heritage sites.

Stay tuned as we provide updates on these other mini-grant awardees!

Baltimore Heritage Awards Four Micro Grants for Four Great Ideas Winners Selected at Preservation Pitch Party

A gathering of people at the newly opened Baltimore Immigration Museum awarded four micro-grants for four great preservation ideas at Baltimore Heritage’s 2016 Preservation Pitch Party.  Supporters of the projects got three minutes each to pitch their project and then the crowd determined the recipients of the awards.

Making tough choices from the eight ideas that were presented, the following ideas received funding. As an indication of how compelling the projects were and how narrow the vote was, only four votes separated the winning projects.

  • $500 for the Baltimore Immigration Museum to repair the brickwork around the front door and prevent water from coming in.
  • $500 for the Herring Run Archaeology Project to continue their archaeology efforts in 2017. The group works in Northeast Baltimore identifying and excavating previously unknown archaeological sites in Baltimore’s Herring Run Park with neighbors and community schools.
  • $250 for the Market Center Merchant’s Association to bring Baltimore City public school kids who participate in the Maryland History Day competition to the Market Center Area for a tour of Civil Rights heritage sites. This year’s History Day topic is “Taking a Stand in History.”
  • $250 for Taylor’s Chapel for a project to stabilize frescoes in this 1850s church that likely were painted by Constantino Brumidi, the fresco artist in the U.S. Capitol building.

We’ll be following these projects with updates, event announcements, and calls for volunteers as they unfold this winter and spring. Stay tuned!

We need your voice at the Preservation Pitch Party! Help select projects to receive preservation mini-grants

Baltimore is full of compelling historic sites, buildings, and neighborhoods each with dedicated people working hard for their preservation. To support these people and their projects, Baltimore Heritage will distribute four small grants during a “we the people” Preservation Pitch Party. Supporters of eight preservation projects around Baltimore City will get three minutes to pitch their project and at the end, the crowd will decide which ideas to award. We hope you can join us to contribute your vote!

Last month we asked for preservation groups to submit ideas for projects to fund. We whittled the excellent submissions own to a final group of eight. Of those eight proposals, two $500 grants and two $250 grants will be distributed at the pitch party. Below is list of the eight finalists:

  • Baltimore Immigration Museum is seeking funds for work that needs to be done on their building, including the partial re-pointing and repair of the brick facade around the entry door in order to prevent future water infiltration into the structure.
  • Friends of St. Vincent Cemetery in Clifton Park seeks funds to pay for weed and brush removal tools, wheelbarrows, and work gloves to assist with their work cleaning and restoring this abandoned but no longer forgotten 5.3 acre cemetery.
  • The Herring Run Archaeology Project is looking for funds to continue their work in 2017. The group works in Northeast Baltimore identifying and excavating previously unknown archaeological sites in Baltimore’s Herring Run Park with neighbors and community schools.
  • Irish Railroad Workers Museum requests funds to help promote and increase an audience for their “Second and Fourth Saturdays Presentations” for 2017.
  • Taylor’s Chapel asks for money to restore historic frescos believed to be painted by Constantino Brumidi, who painted the frescoes in the US Capitol building.
  • Friends of Gwynns Falls/Leakin Park is looking to fund an independent assessment from expert consultants to determine the feasibility of the stabilization or restoration of two historic field stone structures (ca.1858) in Winans Meadow in Leakin Park.
  • G. Krug & Son Ironworks Museum seeks funds to help market their 2016 Holidays at Krug, an annual winter event that allows the public to experience the entirety of the 206-year old blacksmith shop.
  • The Market Center Merchants Association wants funding for the Market Center History Day Celebration to bring students in for a tour and discussion of historic sites in around Lexington Market.

The pitch party takes place on Friday, October 21, 2016 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Baltimore Immigration Museum, immediately after the conclusion of Baltimore Heritage’s 2016 Bmore Historic Conference. Please join us and cast your vote and hear about great preservation ideas in Baltimore. The pitch party is free and will include a wine and cheese reception. Space is limited to 75. Reserve your seat at the pitch party today!

For questions, please contact Johns Hopkins at 410-332-9992 or hopkins@baltimoreheritage.org.