Grants Available for Heritage Projects

Jul 10, 2018

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced its 2018 Heritage Grants Program to fund 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.

“Western North Carolina is exceptionally rich in heritage and cultural traditions,” said Angie Chandler, BRNHA Executive Director. “Our grants help organizations across the region shine a spotlight on this heritage and make it an economic asset for 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 2018 grant cycle is $180,000. 

Over the past twelve years, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 154 grants totaling over $2.1 million to projects that preserve, interpret and develop the heritage resources of the region. These awards have in turn leveraged over $4.5 million in state, local, and private matches.

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 heritage experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents.

The deadline for grant applications is Oct. 1, 2018. Complete information on the 2018 Heritage Grants Program can be found at

Grant Information Sessions

BRNHA staff will hold several grant information sessions around the region in July. Attendance is recommended for those who have not attended information sessions for previous BRNHA grant cycles.

Please review the grant guidelines on the BRNHA website and RSVP to Rob Bell ( or 828-296-7230, ext. 229) if you plan to attend a session.

The dates and locations for the meetings are:

Bryson City
Thursday, July 12
2–3 p.m.
Swain Center
60 Almond School Road
Bryson City, NC

Tuesday, July 17
2–3 p.m.
Rutherford County Administration Office
289 N. Main Street
Rutherfordton, NC

Thursday, July 19
2–3 p.m.
Wilkes Heritage Museum
100 East Main Street
Wilkesboro, NC

Wednesday, July 25
2 – 3 p.m.
NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Western Office
176 Riceville Road
Asheville, NC

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, designated by Congress and the President in November, 2003, works to protect, preserve, interpret, and develop the unique natural, historical, and cultural resources of Western North Carolina for the benefit of present and future generations, and in so doing to sustain our heritage and stimulate improved economic opportunity in our region. National Heritage Areas are locally-governed institutions that encourage residents, non-profit groups, government agencies, and private partners to work together in planning and implementing programs that preserve and celebrate America’s defining landscapes.

The views and conclusions contained in this news release are those of the authors and should not be interpreted as representing the opinions or policies of the U.S. Government. Mention of trade names or commercial products does not constitute their endorsement by the U.S. Government.