Our mini-grant program is designed to provide essential funding for innovative exhibits, tours, planning, art programs, historic preservation, marketing, conservation, and projects.

Rocket Grants

Applications are accepted, reviewed, and funded on a rolling deadline starting on July 1 every year. Projects must be non-capital in nature, ie. cannot be bricks-and-mortar projects or repairs. Projects should seek to attract cultural heritage tourists to the region by creating a new tourism product, enhancing/interpreting an existing product, and/or providing access to these assets.

Requests may be for $1000 to $5000. Each request must be matched 1:1 with non-state funding (cash) or in-kind contributions. Up to 100% of the matching funds can be in-kind. In-kind funds can be documented pro bono services, staff time, or documented volunteer hours (counted as cash). The current state volunteer rate is $32.82 currently as established by Independent Sector.

Non-profits and municipalities in the state-certified Anacostia Trails Heritage Area boundary are eligible. If requested, you should be able to provide the following materials upon request: IRS letter of determination, bylaws, and articles of incorporation (if a nonprofit organization), municipal charter, or other documents that confirm the status (for government agencies), and your latest financial statement. Other government agencies, individuals, and/or for-profit businesses may partner with eligible organizations on proposals consistent with our guidelines.

The following themes represent some but not all eligible project types. Please feel free to contact us to discuss any potential projects.

Trails: These grants are for cycling, pedestrian, and trail amenities that support local and tourist use of our trails and help connect to partner sites. Examples include trail clean-ups, bike parking, wayfinding, bike repair stations, bottle fill stations – as well as placemaking along trails and/or connecting trails to towns.

History: These grants will support research and interpretation of historical themes and persons. Project examples include walking tour brochures or websites, event promotion, exhibits, oral histories, podcasts, research, interpretive signage (NPS standards required), digitization projects, printing, and more. Special consideration will be given to projects that illuminate underrepresented stories and perspectives in history.

Education: These grants are for supporting educational programs that connect students of all ages to the history, art, and culture of the region and our partner sites. Examples include the cost of creating a “museum-in-a-box,” traveling programs, educational planning, program implementation, and costs for field trip buses.

Arts: These grants will support arts, culture, performance, and other cultural endeavors. These projects can include murals, public performances, intangible history, and the marketing/outreach related to these efforts.

Grant requests are accepted, reviewed, and awarded on a rolling basis starting July 1 of each year. These funds are first come first served. ATHA staff will review your application for eligibility, completeness, relevance, and impact within 2 weeks of receiving your application. If selected, awards are made within 1 month.

Mini-grant proposal evaluation depends on the degree to which the proposal meets the required criteria, including:

  • Consistent with existing interpretive themes and/or programs, projects, and activities in the heritage area
  • Includes collaborative partnerships
  • Enhances the visitor experience by tourists and/or residents
  • Leverages other funding (The match should be in-hand or committed)
  • Demonstrates the ability of the applicant to initiate, administer, and complete the project within the proposed timeframe
  • Past record of success

A portion (typically 50%-75%) of the funds will be released upon completion of a grant agreement. Portions of the funds can be released at other agreed-upon intervals and/or at the conclusion of the project. A final report filing is required to receive the final grant remainder.


Complete your Application Online Here

Or email your complete application to with the subject line: ORGANIZATION NAME – ROCKET GRANT.

Grant Application

Grant Budget Example

State Grants

Grants can support projects involving historical, cultural, or natural resources, sites, events, or facilities. Eligible projects must have a heritage tourism component (i.e. the project involves a visitor destination such as a museum, visitor center, or nature center; helps to provide facilities and services that support heritage tourism, such as rehabilitating a historic building for tourism related use or is a new event that will help to create a long-term increase in visitation to the Heritage Area).

ATHA Inc. will receive the applications and provide a ranking system for the MHAA for the applications. 

  • A letter of intent is due in January through the Maryland Historical Trust online grants portal.
  • Draft applications are due to ATHA in March. 
  • ATHA’s review committee then reviews, ranks, and submits applications to the MHAA,.
  • MHAA staff first review applications for completeness and accuracy and will contact ATHA or applicants if additional information is required.
  • Complete applications are forwarded to the MHAA Grant Review Panel for review.
  • State grant panel recommendations are then forwarded to the MHAA for review and final action at the Authority’s July meeting
  • Grant awards will be announced in July and funds dispersed in Fall/Winter.

All grants must be matched in an amount at least equal to the amount of the grant award (dollar-for-dollar match).

  • The match must consist of a cash match equal to at least 75% of the grant award (e.g. if $100,000 of MHAA grant funds is awarded, a minimum of $75,000 of the grantee’s total match must be cash)
  • No more than 35% of the minimum required cash match may consist of applicant staff salaries.
  • The balance of the project match may consist of in-kind contributions.
  • State of Maryland funds may not be used as a match.
  • Contact ATHA Inc. staff for possible matching solutions.

FY21 Grants for COVID Relief

  • Friends of Greenbelt Theater | $10,000
  • Laurel Historical Society | $10,000
  • Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center | $10,000

FY21 Grant Awardees:

  • Friends of Greenbelt Museum — Phase II of Greenbelt Museum Education and Visitor Center | $100,000
  • Laurel Historical Society — Building Rehabilitation at the Museum | $30,000
  • Neighborhood Design Center — Art at the Divide: Windom Road Barrier Reimagined | $30,500
  • Pyramid Atlantic Art Center — Artwork Preservation & 40th Anniversary Exhibition | $16,000
  • City of Mount Rainier Revitalization | $100,000
  • Town of Bladensburg for Bostwick Use Study | $20,000
  • ATHA Management Grants | $125,000

FY20 Grant Awardees:

  • Anacostia Trails Heritage Area — Boundary Amendment Study | $40,000
  • City of Bowie — 10th Street Heritage Park | $74,660
  • Friends of Greenbelt Theatre — Film Center & Media Arts Lab | $75,000
  • Town of University Park — Meadow Trail | $47,000
  • Compass Inc — Arts Center Roof Repair | $50,000
  • ATHA Management Grants | $125,000

FY19 Grant Awardees:

  • Anacostia Trails Heritage Area & Prince George’s County History Consortium — Civil Rights Trail | $40,000
  • Anacostia Watershed Society — Anacostia Watershed Field Guide | $10,000
  • City of Greenbelt — Greenbelt Community Center Bas Relief Repair | $29,500
  • City of Hyattsville — Getting Around the Town (Cycling/Wayfinding Plan) | $29,339
  • Town of North Brentwood — Outdoor Pavillion | $25,500
  • Pyramid Atlantic Inc. — Arcade Building Improvements | $16,200

FY18 Grant Awardees:

  • George A. and Carmel D. Aman Memorial Trust — Bostwick House Exterior Envelope Restoration | $87,500
  • Field of Firsts Foundation, Inc. — USPS Air Mail Centennial Exhibit | $34,000
  • City of Bowie — Historic Properties: Belair Stable Museum Replacement Interpretive Panels | $9,350