For immediate release

Release dated: 
October 6, 2009
Media contacts: 

Suzanne Fedoruk
Fedoruk & Associates, Inc.
612-861-7807, cell: 612-247-3079

Marjorie Nugent
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Society to award $6.75 million statewide for projects of enduring value over the next two years; Deadline for first grant application is October 30

Without a concerted effort, our state’s historic and cultural treasures are in danger of being lost to time.  The Minnesota Historical Society today announced that applications are now being accepted for the first round of Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.  The grants are made possible by a 2009 appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund created with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution in November 2008.

“This is a proud moment for the citizens of Minnesota.  The Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants provide an unprecedented opportunity for non-profit, government and educational organizations to modernize and revolutionize the way they preserve and share our history and cultural heritage,” says Britta Bloomberg, deputy state historic preservation officer, Minnesota Historical Society.  “In this tough economy where many local history and historic preservation organizations are experiencing a decline in financial resources, these grants will provide new life for projects statewide and take them to the next level.”

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants

For the past nine months, Society staff spent hundreds of hours meeting with partners in history and historic preservation to develop and fine tune the grant application process.  Their work has included outreach to more than 300 individuals, numerous statewide public meetings, a review of past grant processes and the appointment of a 13-member panel to advise on policy and procedures as well as review applications and make award recommendations to the Society’s Executive Council.

The Society will award grants to non-profit, tribes, educational and government organizations throughout Minnesota totaling $2.25 million for fiscal year 2010.  The remaining $4.5 million will be awarded for fiscal year 2011.  Grants are available in categories for history and historic preservation projects through a tiered competitive grants process: Small or “Fast Track,” Mid-Size and Large.  The first deadline for Fast Track grants of $7,000 or less is Friday, Oct. 30, 2009.  Subsequent Fast Track grant deadlines are the final Friday of every month through 2011 depending upon the availability of funds.

Applications for Mid-Size grants between $7,000 and $50,000, as well as Large grants of more than $50,000 will be accepted and awarded in two grant cycles with deadlines of Nov. 23, 2009 and April 12, 2010.  Interested parties are encouraged to visit www.mnhs.org/legacy for complete details including the application and submission process.

New Life for Local History

The grants follow a strong tradition of state funding for local history.  “Minnesota is a leader in its commitment to preserve and share its history.  In the 40 years that the Society has administered grant programs we have witnessed first-hand the benefits that grants of this nature have brought to Minnesotans,” Bloomberg adds.  “The impact of grants from the much larger pool of funding available from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund will be felt throughout the state for many years to come.”

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849 to preserve and share Minnesota history.  The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.  More information can be found at www.mnhs.org.