Grants available for WNC heritage projects

Press release from Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership:

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership (BRNHA) has announced its 2020 Heritage Grants Program, which will provide funding for projects that preserve, interpret, and promote Western North Carolina’s agricultural, craft, Cherokee, music, and natural heritage. These five distinctive legacies earned the region a Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area in 2003.

“These grants help organizations across the region shine a spotlight on Western North Carolina’s cultural and natural treasures,” said BRNHA Executive Director Angie Chandler. “In turn, this effort helps boost the economies of 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 2020 grant cycle is $180,000.

Over the past 16 years, BRNHA has awarded 173 grants totaling over $2.3 million and leveraging another $5.6 million in matching contributions from local governments and the private sector. This has resulted in a $7.9 million investment for projects in all 25 counties of Western North Carolina. In 2019, BRNHA awarded 19 grants totaling $190,171 to support projects across the North Carolina mountains and foothills.

Grants awarded in previous cycles have supported exhibits, demonstration gardens, oral history collections, video documentaries, interpretive programs, teaching materials, artist training, visitor brochures, music venue improvements, and the marketing of heritage destinations. The grant projects have provided engaging and authentic cultural experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents.

The deadline for grant applications is October 1, 2020. Complete information on the 2020 Heritage Grants Program can be found at

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