Museum Assistance Grant Program

Enhancement Grants

The B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore uses Enhancement funds to suport its core programs.Enhancement Grants are available to Maryland’s flagship museums to support on-going activities that serve the needs of both out-of-state visitors and citizens.  Grant awards are based on the level and significance of the institution’s commitment to serve the public and to conduct its practices to the highest professional standards.  This competitive program offered once per year, is supported through an annual appropriation from the Maryland General Assembly.  The amount available for award is not known until the General Assembly adopts the State budget in early April.

To ensure that your proposal will be competitive, MHT strongly encourages applicants to discuss your project parameters and budgets with MHT staff before developing a proposal.  Applicants should closely read the application guidelines and instructions [hyperlink to document] prior to submission to ensure that your application is complete.

For further information, contact Mary Alexander, Director, Museum Assistance Program, at (410)-514-7622.

If you are a current grantee looking for information about reporting requirements, payment requests, contract questions, or other issues related to grant administration, please click here.

Eligible Activities

Eligible Activities

  • Research related to collections, exhibits, or other educational activities;
  • Care, conservation, documentation, and interpretation of collections;
  • Planning, design, and construction of exhibits and displays;
  • Design and implementation of educational programs and activities;
  • Development of master plans for the museum, including activities required to achieve accreditation by the American Association of Museums or other pertinent
    entity that provides museum accreditation; Construction of minor structural modifications;
  • Development of plans and specifications and provision of architectural, engineering, or other special services directly related to the construction or rehabilitation of museum facilities
  • Staff costs related to any of the above activities

Ineligible Activities

  • Bricks and mortar projects of any kind.

See the current year’s application for a complete list of eligible and ineligible activities as well as for a list of current funding priorities.


Applicant Eligibility

Only nonprofit organizations and local jurisdictions may apply for MHT Museum Assistance Program grant funding. 

  • Museums must have been open to the public on a regular basis for three years.
  • Museums must have a current, board approved long range plan. 
  • Nonprofit organizations must be in good standing with the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, be qualified to do business in Maryland, and have the legal capacity and authority to incur obligations under the grant program.  Contact the State Department of Assessments and Taxation to determine your organization’s status.


Award Amounts

Awards are a percentage of the applicant’s annual operating expenses (per CDP for most recently completed fiscal year (depreciation and capital expenditures excluded).


Matching Requirements

Matching funds are not required, see Special Requirements below for eligibility criteria.


Application Process and Timeline

Museum Assistance grant awards are made once annually.  A panel of Maryland museum professionals reviews and ranks applications and presents their recommendations to the MHT Board of Trustees.  The Board reviews the proposed awards and makes a recommendation to the Secretary of Planning for final approval of each grant. 
Specific dates for submission vary from year to year, but follow this general schedule:

  • September – series of three grant workshops announcing availability of grants
  • October – Grant applications available on the MHT website
  • Early December – One page “Intent to Apply” Form due
  • End of March – Completed applications due
  • April –June – Applications are reviewed
  • July – Award announcement made
  • August—September – Development of grant agreement between grantee and MHT
  • October – Project starts


Special Requirements

Enhancement Grants institutions must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Current, board approved long range plans are required of all applicants for all Museum Assistance Program grants.
  • At least one paid staff member (1 FTE okay) (Cultural Data Project Profile)
  • Current board approved Long Range Plan (to be enclosed with application)
  • Fifty percent  non-state financial support (Cultural Date Project Profile)
  • Participant in assessment program from professional organization (Application)
  • Museums must complete the Maryland Cultural Data Project profile.



This page updated: May 26, 2009