Eleven Heritage Organizations Named as Grant Recipients of the Newly Renamed “Miller History Fund”

February 26, 2021

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) is pleased to announce the renaming of its popular Pathways Grant Program, as well as the 2021 new class of 11 award winners. The program will be named the “Thomas V. ‘Mike’ Miller, Jr. History Fund,” in honor of the late Senate President Emeritus who sponsored the legislation that makes the publicly funded grant program possible.

The Maryland Center for History and Culture administers this program, re-granting $200,000 in funding annually to build the capacity of Maryland’s heritage sector.

“Senator Miller’s interest in the Maryland Center for History and Culture and in Maryland history at large extended far beyond this grant program,” said Mark Letzer, MCHC’s President & CEO. “He was a champion of our state’s many heritage organizations in so many ways throughout his storied career—the longest of any state Senate President in the country. The Miller History Fund builds on this legacy by empowering the stewards of Maryland history to prepare for the future.”

This year, the Miller History Fund is awarding 11 recipients—ranging from community archives to natural heritage sites—grants of up to $20,000. Projects will be completed in nine Maryland counties representing key Maryland regions, including the Eastern Shore, Western Maryland, and the Capital Region.

The Miller History Fund works to support projects that may not be eligible for other state funding opportunities such as collections care, marketing, and development initiatives. Award determinations were made by a group of third-party panelists of heritage experts working in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Delaware. MCHC staff facilitated the process but did not directly assign scores. This year, Miller History Fund panelists reviewed 30 eligible applications requesting $540,000 in support, demonstrating the great need for the program.

Awarded projects for fiscal year 2021 are:

  • Accokeek Foundation (Prince George’s County) – Long-term Marketing Planning and Site Improvements to Advance a Welcoming Space
  • Adkins Arboretum (Caroline County) – Maryland’s Sustaining Landscape Database Project
  • Blacks of the Chesapeake Foundation (Anne Arundel County) – Preserving a Local Legacy Collection
  • Catoctin Furnace Historical Society (Frederick County) ­– Forging Our Future: Ensuring Catoctin Furnace’s Long-term Financial Health
  • Diggs-Johnson Museum (Baltimore County) – The Diggs-Johnson Museum Legacy Preservation Project
  • Historical Society of Harford County – Unboxing the Collection
  • Historic Hampton, Inc. (Baltimore County) – Redesign of Exhibition of Slave and Tenant Cabins at Hampton National Historic Site
  • Historic Sotterley, Inc. (Saint Mary’s County) – Marketing Support for Sotterley’s Expansion and Future
  • Howard County Conservancy– Interact Virtually with Mt. Pleasant Farm at the Howard County Conservancy
  • Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture – New strategies and tactics for greater diversity and inclusion in leadership at the Peale
  • Southwest Partnership (Baltimore City) – Malachi Mills House Interpretation

Several grantees shared the Maryland Center for History and Culture’s excitement for this commemoration of Miller’s support for Maryland history.

“Senator Miller was a dedicated supporter of our organization,” said Laura Ford, President & CEO of the Accokeek Foundation. “His passing is a tremendous loss, but his legacy in Piscataway Park will continue to shape our work for generations.”

Catoctin Furnace Historical Society board member Elizabeth Comer similarly said, “Miller left a legacy of service and support of programs such as this one that steward Maryland’s unique history.”

The third cycle of Miller History Fund grants for fiscal year 2022 is scheduled to open this coming fall 2021 with a series of applicant workshops. For more information as it becomes available, visit mdhistory.org/about/miller-history-fund.