February 2023
February has been a remarkable month for Baltimore.  Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, and Congressman Kweisi Mfume were able to bring over $4 million dollars to Baltimore for two long overdue projects. The Upton Mansion will now undergo rehabbing for the Afro American Newspaper archives. The East Baltimore Development Inc. (EBDI) was also awarded $2.3 million in congressionally directed spending, which allows EBDI to begin the first sub-phase of a new infrastructure project.

The BNHA team was also in Washington D.C. for the annual Alliance of National Heritage Areas' Legislative Advocacy Week. This is an opportunity every year to meet with the other 60 national heritage areas to learn best practices, share information, network with the U.S. National Park Service and the National Park Foundation for shared programming goals, and advocate for the national heritage areas’ program as a whole.

This year, there was cause for extra celebration, in-person!  President Biden signed the National Heritage Areas' Act (S.1942). The bill recognizes heritage areas through the U.S. Department of the Interior, which allows these historically important landscapes to receive technical and financial assistance through the National Park Service (NPS) for another 15 years. Baltimore was unique in the bill's passage as the national heritage area boundary is now congruent with the state certified boundary.

I was fortunate as well to meet President Biden after the State of the Union Address, thanking him for his support of all heritage areas. This herculean effort this past year could not have been possible without Senator Cardin, Senator Van Hollen, Congressman Kweisi Mfume, Sara Capen, who is Chairperson of the Alliance of National Heritage Areas, and all the national heritage area directors who worked tirelessly to make this happen.

BNHA is also making an impact with its Neighborhood Placemaking Grant Fund – a fund supported by the Maryland Heritage Areas’ Authority Block Grant Program for community-based, non-capital, heritage tourism projects that strengthen neighborhoods and communities. This fund distributed $25,000 in grant awards in February to six community projects. This very competitive grant program has such high demand but not enough funds for the many worthy projects. Responding to this need, BNHA applied and was awarded an additional $25,000 to grow this program from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (Community Safety Works Award Program). This grant will allow BNHA to award twice as many projects next year, with a focus on safety and crime solutions for heritage neighborhoods.  

Additionally, we have expanded the federally-funded Heritage Investment Grant program by a growth of 150% in available funds to award next year. We are listening and hearing the needs of our communities and securing the additional funds to reach many more organizations. We like to say, “we are a small, but mighty organization!”

These investments are just the beginning for Baltimore.  We can expect even better things to come from the Moore administration and the Baltimore delegation in Annapolis pushing for legislation to benefit Maryland and Baltimore. Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right people at the helm and all of us taking responsibility we can make Baltimore a better place to live, work and play “one block at a time.”

Wishing all the best,

Shauntee Daniels
Executive Director
BNHA is proud to announce the 2023 Neighborhood Placemaking Grants (NPG) Awards to Six Neighborhood Projects.

Congrats to all of our awardees!

A Place with a Past: Herring Run Parks Heritage Trail
Friends of Herring Run Parks, Inc.
Northeast Baltimore

Digital Discovery: Exploring Baltimore Through Stories of the Past
Media Rhythm Institute Studios Inc (MRI Studios Inc.)
Bromo Arts District

Sharp Leadenhall Heritage Festival
South Baltimore Partnership
Sharp Leadenhall

Park Historical Plaque Project
Family Survivor Network, Inc
Sandtown - Winchester

Waverly Book Festival
Waverly Main Street, INC

Explore Hamilton Lauraville Brochure & Website Integration
Hamilton-Lauraville Main Street

Authentic Baltimore Relaunched with New Vendors

Shop for one-of-a-kind Baltimore-themed gifts at BNHA's Authentic Baltimore Marketplace.

Youth Recreation Programs Now Available

BNHA is looking for Baltimore students public, private and charter to participate in our recreational programs. Youth get to experience the parks, trails and waterways of Baltimore with qualified instructors. Contact Joshua Williams, Recreation Coordinator, today for more information.

Shauntee Daniels
Executive Director

Danielle Walter-Davis
Grants Portfolio Manager

Kenyona Moore
Interpretation & Outreach Manager

Anna Brackett
Visual Information Specialist

Joshua Williams
BNHA Recreation Coordinator

The Baltimore National Heritage Area works to promote, preserve, and enhance Baltimore's historic and cultural legacy and natural resources.