Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program Overview

Program goals

To preserve and enhance access to Minnesota's cultural and historical resources and to support projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation across the state.

Where the money came from

When Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008, the state legislature created the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (H.F. 1231), a portion of which was appropriated to the Minnesota Historical Society for history-related projects around the state. One of those new initiatives was the Statewide Historical and Cultural Grants program, seeded by a pool of $6.75 million to be awarded in the 2010-11 biennium for "projects of enduring value for the cause of history and historic preservation."

The then-new grants program took shape over the summer of 2009. At meetings held across the state, more than 150 representatives of county and local historical organizations offered their input on how to use the special legislative funding most effectively. Among the most popular aspects of the proposed grant guidelines: a range of grant sizes and the potential for partnerships.

"This grant program will be a benchmark in its potential to reshape the future for local history and historic preservation in Minnesota," said Britta Bloomberg, past head of the Minnesota History Society Historic Preservation Department. "What we do in the first biennium will set the stage for ongoing funding of an initiative that has a 25-year span."

Historic Resources Advisory Committee

The Historic Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) per state legislation is a volunteer citizen panel that guides decisions for the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program.

Legacy Amendment reports

Each year in January, the Minnesota Historical Society publishes a new Legacy Amendment report, which contains data about grant activities in the previous year. Current and past reports can be found on the MNHS Reports page, under Legacy Amendment Reports.