Maritime Washington National Heritage Area Awards Grants for Interpretation Projects

February 26, 2024 // Alex

Eight organizations across Washington State will receive funding for projects that support our region’s maritime heritage—creating engaging, accessible, and interesting opportunities for residents and visitors alike to learn about the incredible water-based stories of our region.

Since time immemorial, people have settled along the saltwater shores of what is today Washington State, supported by the rich maritime resources for food, shelter, inspiration, trade, and transportation. Today, Washington’s shores continue to serve as home to many vibrant maritime cultures, and these grants will help to share their stories.

This first round of grants from the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area supports organizations throughout the region in their work to interpret maritime heritage. Washingtonians rely on community institutions like museums, seaports, nonprofit organizations, local governments, Tribes, and regional educational facilities to interpret history and culture. Beyond simply providing information, interpretation connects us with stories and places in an accessible, meaningful, and connected way. These grants will support that goal and help visitors and residents to learn more about Washington State’s maritime heritage.

Maritime Washington is awarding over $60,000 in total funding to the following projects for a wide range of interpretive work. These projects will include physical spaces, vessels, podcasts, interactive displays, and signage available to the public:

  • Burke Museum: A $14,500 grant from Maritime Washington will support a new public exhibit at the Burke Museum in Seattle for the 200-year old s.dəxwìł (“hunting canoe” in Lushootseed) to provide the best possible access to tribal members, carvers, and the general public.
  • Harbor History Museum: A $10,000 grant from Maritime Washington will support the design, production, and installation of interpretation for the 1925 fishing boat Shenandoah at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor.
  • Grays Harbor Historical Seaport: A $9,089 grant from Maritime Washington will support an inclusive multi-disciplinary Exhibit Center at Seaport Landing in Aberdeen where the Grays Harbor Historical Seaport will showcase local maritime history including tales from the Lady Washington.
  • KMRE/Kulshan Community Media: A $5,250.60 grant from Maritime Washington will support the Love Your Waterfront broadcast/podcast, a collaboration between KMRE Community Radio, Bellingham SeaFeast, Whatcom Working Waterfront Collation, and Bellingham Tourism to record and produce sound stories and news from the greater maritime community in Whatcom County.
  • Orca Network: A $8,323 grant from Maritime Washington will support Orca Network’s multimedia exhibit at the Langley Whale Center focused on the intersection of the life of Tokitae the orca (Lummi name Sk’aliCh’elh-tenaut), Coast Salish culture, the endangered status of Southern Resident Orcas, and environmental stewardship.
  • Westport South Beach Historical Society: A $15,000 grant from Maritime Washington will support the Westport South Beach Historical Society’s installation of signage with stories and engagement opportunities throughout Westport.

Two additional technical assistance awards—valued at $30,000—are granted to facilitate strategic planning for future interpretive projects:

  • City of Anacortes Museum: Maritime Washington will fund an interpretive planner to work with the City of Anacortes’ Anacortes Museum and Samish Indian Nation to plan for signage at Q’elech’ilhch Park. The park is near an ancient Samish village location and was, more recently, an old fishing dock and salmon cannery site.
  • Southwest Seattle Historical Society: Maritime Washington will fund an interpretive planner for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society to create an interpretive plan that inspires visitors to learn about the Duwamish Peninsula history through the lens of maritime heritage.

The Maritime Washington National Heritage Area is thrilled to announce this grant opportunity, the first round of the new Maritime Washington Grant Program. “We’re proud to be able to support such wonderful organizations and their important work to share Washington State’s diverse maritime stories,” said Program Director Alex Gradwohl. “We received many fantastic applications for this funding, demonstrating both the breadth of wonderful stories to be interpreted along our shores and the need for additional resources to bring these initiatives to life.”

Maritime Washington will open an additional round of grant funding this spring and encourages all those engaged in celebrating, maintaining, and sharing our state’s maritime heritage to subscribe to its bi-monthly newsletter to stay informed of upcoming opportunities. For more information, please contact Maritime Washington staff at [email protected].

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