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DAH Provides Support with Grants to Local Museums, Courthouses and Other Heritage Programs

By Stacy Hurst, Director of the Department of Arkansas Heritage


Arkansas is blessed with an abundance of unique places, special programs, and meaningful projects that help preserve and celebrate our heritage. Small museums, preservation projects, and educational programs, primarily funded by local communities, dot the landscape of our wonderful state. At the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH), we are proud to be a source of additional support and funding for these local efforts to preserve, protect and promote our unique Arkansas heritage.

DAH grants have touched almost every county across Arkansas - yours included. Through one of our eight divisions, grants are given for historic preservation, local art projects, historical markers, heritage events or exhibits, nature programs, small museums, historical research, documentaries and so much more. Your county is preserving its local heritage – which is Arkansas’s heritage – in unique and meaningful ways. The Department of Arkansas Heritage is proud to be a partner in these worthwhile efforts.

Chicot County, for example, received $86,963 in preservation funding from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, $1,642 from the Arkansas Arts Council and another $2,500 for a Small Museum Grant – all funded by DAH. That’s a total of more than $91,000 supporting efforts in the Delta to celebrate, enhance and preserve authentic aspects of our beautiful and interesting state.

This is just one example of the ways we invest in the local heritage economy across Arkansas. At DAH, we are honored to help tell our state’s story! Our Arts in Education Grants, coordinated by our division, the Arkansas Arts Council (AAC), help propel the creative economy of our state and nourish local art programs. AAC granted almost $1,300,000 in the last 12 months, with substantial support in Crittenden, Miller and Washington counties. County Courthouse Restoration Grants and other preservation grants, coordinated by DAH’s Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, have helped restore courthouses in 61 of our 75 counties since 1989. These and other historic structures are vital links for community pride and local history. In the last year, these grants totaled just under $3 million and top counties to receive funding included Hot Spring, Cleveland and Logan. The Black History Commission of Arkansas, part of DAH’s Arkansas State Archives division, provided nearly $38,000 toward archival and genealogical preservation efforts in multiple counties, including Garland, Faulkner and Monroe.

In total, DAH and its divisions have supported Arkansas’s story with more than $4.4 million in grants during the past year. These monies are collected at the state level, but returned to local communities. Odds are a DAH grant has supported a program or project near you. Is there a historic site or natural area nearby? Was your county courthouse recently restored? Is there an amazing local museum in your area? Check out the map above to see how grant funding is preserving and protecting your authentic Arkansas heritage.

Arkansas heritage is not one singular person, place or thing. Everything from land, food, clothing, past events, plants, animals, architecture, art, cultural eccentricities, music, artifacts, family history and much more, come together to create our state’s unique identity. Your town plays a part in telling the compelling story of Arkansas. For more information, call (501) 324-9150.