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Grants Available for Heritage Preservation Projects

July 30, 2012. The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced its 2012 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide funding for projects that preserve, interpret, and promote Western North Carolina’s rich agricultural, craft, Cherokee, music and natural heritage. These five distinctive legacies earned the region a Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area in 2003.

“Western North Carolina is such a special place to live and to visit,” says BRNHA Executive Director Angie Chandler. “Our grants help preserve our heritage while boosting visitor spending and other investments in our towns and communities.” 

Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and units of state and local governments are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide at least an equal match. The total pool of funding for the 2012 grant cycle is $225,000. 

“This year we are putting out a special call for music heritage projects, to help expand and raise awareness of the Blue Ridge Music Trails which were started years ago,” says Chandler.

Over the past nine years, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 91 grants totaling over $1.5 million to projects that preserve, interpret, and develop the heritage resources of the region. These awards have leveraged over $2.6 million in state, local and private matches.

Grants awarded in previous cycles have supported historic building renovations, indoor and outdoor exhibits, oral history projects, video documentaries, interpretive programs, visitor brochures, Junior Appalachian Musician programs, and the promotion of local foods and farms. The grant projects have provided engaging and authentic heritage experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents.

The deadline for grant applications is December 14, 2012. Grant information sessions will be held around the region in September. Complete information on the 2012 Heritage Grants Program can be found at www.blueridgeheritage.com.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, designated by Congress and the President in November, 2003, works to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to sustain our heritage and stimulate improved economic opportunity in our region. National Heritage Areas are locally-governed institutions that encourage residents, non-profit groups, government agencies, and private partners to work together in planning and implementing programs that preserve and celebrate America’s defining landscapes.

The views and conclusions contained in this news release are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.