Regional heritage grants available

Keweenaw Historic Park advisory commission promotes preservation efforts

Photo via National Park Service A sign at the Keweenaw National Historical Park. Grant applications for preservation projects are due Friday, March 31.

CALUMET — The Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission is accepting applications for the 2023 Keweenaw Heritage Grant Program until the close of business (5:00 pm) on Friday, March 31, 2023.

This program helps local partners preserve and interpret resources and stories related to the Keweenaw’s nationally significant copper mining history, from preserving buildings and landscapes to interpretation and museum collections. As in previous years, proposed projects must meet certain criteria: located within the legislated boundaries of Keweenaw National Historical Park; affiliated with a Keweenaw Heritage Site; and/or located at the Cliff Mine, Torch Lake, or the community of Painesdale. Applicants must be a designated Keweenaw Heritage Site organization, a non-profit organization, a local or regional government, an academic institution, or a federally recognized Indian tribe.

Advisory Commission Executive Director Sean Gohman said Heritage Grant Program applications are welcome from either organizations or individuals.

“The individual must be working on a property or topic lying within the bounds of the park, connected to an existing Heritage Site partner (they will sometimes “sponsor” a grant application from an individual wanting to do research on a property or artifact, that a Heritage Site owns, for example.,” said Gohman. “As for the Heritage Site applications, that must come from an existing governance structure (i.e., board) representing a property or landscape that the public can access at regular hours.”

Once a grant application is approved, the applicant is not just not left on their own.

The Advisory Commission allows and encourages applicants to consult with experts at the National Park Service, Gohman said, and others during the application’s creation, as well as during the completion of the approved grant.

“Approved grants can also be modified as need be,” he said. “The upheaval brought about by COVID required a lot of adapting during our 2020, ’21, and ’22 grant cycles, and so we’ve kept that spirit of adaptation going forward.”

As other entities have pointed out, Gohman said the Copper Country is receiving more and more attention, and its local Heritage partners have had to learn to adapt quickly to changing visitor needs. “The grant program has had to as well,” he added.

The Advisory Commission will be offering up to $125,000 for the 2023 grant program. Grants are subject to a 1-to-1 match, although up to 100% of the match may be in-kind. This year, applicants are asked to use an hourly rate of $25 when calculating the in-kind match.

Grants will range between $1,000 and $15,000. Organizations may submit up to two applications, which must be prioritized when submitted; their highest priority grant application will receive greater consideration, although all applications will be evaluated. Projects will be selected for funding based on the information provided in the application and to ensure a balance of project types and locations.

Gohman said that since 2008, the Commission has awarded almost $2 million in grants towards historic preservation, education and interpretation, research, curation and artifact care, exhibit creation, and organizational development.

Grant applications are available on the park’s website at https://www.nps.gov/kewe/learn/management/keweenaw-heritage-grants-application-2023.htm or can be requested directly. Applicants are invited and highly encouraged to consult with NPS staff on their project design as well as on the application itself. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Advisory Commission members and NPS staff. Awards will be announced by May 5, and grant funds are expected be available to successful applicants by June 1, 2023.


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