The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership offers matching grants to provide and leverage funding for new projects across the region which preserve, protect, and promote the rich historical, cultural, and natural heritage of Western North Carolina while stimulating economic opportunity.

Our next grant cycle is happening now!

Information sessions are scheduled for July 2016; applications are due October 3, 2016; and awards will be announced in mid-February 2017. Read below for details.

Grant cycles are offered every two years.

The total pool of funding for the 2016 grant cycle is $180,000. The maximum grant award is $16,000. Applicants must provide at least a one-to-one match from non-federal sources.

Types of Projects Eligible for Grants

Grants are available for the preservation, interpretation, development, and promotion of heritage resources in five thematic areas:

• Agricultural heritage
• Cherokee heritage
• Craft heritage
• Music heritage
• Natural heritage

These distinctive facets of Western North Carolina's heritage were the basis for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area designation in 2003.

Of particular interest to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area are projects that:

• are regional or multi-county in scope
• involve active partnerships between organizations
• leverage substantial matches from project participants and other grantors

Funds for the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area's matching grants program are provided by the federal government through the National Park Service.

Who Can Apply

The following types of organizations serving the 25-county Blue Ridge National Heritage Area region are eligible to apply:

• units of state and local government
• federally-recognized Indian tribes
• academic institutions
• non-profit organizations with 501(c)3 or 501(c)6 tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service

Applicants may submit no more than one application per grant cycle. Only one project may be proposed in a single application.

Grant Cycle Timeline

2016 grant cycle announced - June 15, 2016
Grant information sessions - July 2016
Deadline for grant applications - October 3, 2016
Applicants notified of funding decisions - by February 1, 2017 - UPDATE: We now expect to notify applicants by mid-February 2017.

Grant Guidelines and Application Forms

For further information on the BRNHA grants program, including categories of grants and eligible uses of grant funds, be sure to review our 2014 grant guidelines and application forms:

Grant Information Sessions

BRNHA staff will hold several grant information sessions around the BRNHA region in July 2016. Attendance is optional, but is recommended for those who have not attended information sessions for previous BRNHA grant cycles. Please download and review the grant guidelines posted above and RSVP to Rob Bell ( or 828-298-5330, ext. 308) if you plan to attend a session.

The dates and locations for the meetings are:

Thursday, July 7, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Museum of the Cherokee Indian
589 Tsali Boulevard
Cherokee, NC

Thursday, July 14, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Marion Train Depot
58 Depot Street
Marion, NC

Monday, July 18, 2016
2:00 - 3:00 pm
Wilkes Heritage Museum
100 East Main Street
Wilkesboro, NC

Tuesday, July 26, 2016
11:00 am - 12:00 noon
NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Western Office
176 Riceville Road
Asheville, NC

Previous Grant Awards - A Legacy of Regional Investment

Over the past thirtenn years, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 133 grants totaling over $1.9 million to projects that preserve, interpret, and develop the heritage resources of the region. These awards have leveraged over $4 million in state, local, and private matches. 

Grants awarded in previous cycles have supported indoor and outdoor exhibits, oral history projects, video documentaries, interpretive programs, visitor brochures, music classes, and the marketing of heritage destinations. The grant projects have provided engaging and authentic heritage experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents.

In February 2015, BRNHA announced a total of $170,000 in grant awards to 22 organizations. List of awards.

A list of all our grant awards can be found here.

Reporting Forms and Publicity Requirements for Grantees

Narrative and financial reporting forms for grantees:

BRNHA Grant Progress Report Form
BRNHA Grant Final Report Form
BRNHA Grant Financial Report Form
BRNHA Grant Financial Report Form (example)

A list of requirements for acknowledging receipt of grant funding and publicizing a grant award:

BRNHA Grant Publicity Requirements

More Information

For more information, please contact:

Rob Bell
Senior Director of Programs
Blue Ridge National Heritage Area
(828) 298-5330, ext. 308