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About $170,000 in grant money is available this year from the Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area, which is rolling out the program for the fifth consecutive year.

Since introducing the grant program for fiscal year 2016, nearly $692,000 has been awarded, along with another $51,000 in special project funds.

Applications are being accepted through Jan. 31, and a grant award ceremony will be held on March 17.

MHHAA offers grants for innovative projects that will help accomplish the goals and objectives defined in its Management Plan. The program is designed to provide strategic investments in heritage sites, events, programs and other projects of cultural, educational and recreational value within the boundaries of the MHNHA. The federal funds for this program are provided to MHHAA through the National Park Service and require a 1:1 match.

MHHAA funds projects that contribute to the mission of preserving, enhancing, interpreting and promoting the cultural and heritage resources within the Mississippi Hills.

The Mississippi Hills National Heritage Area is one of only 49 National Heritage Areas designated in the U.S., and one of only three in the state. The Alliance includes all or parts of 30 counties bordered by Tennessee, Alabama, Highway 82 and Interstate 55.

The mission focuses for the Mississippi Hills are African-American heritage, Civil War, Native American heritage and Music and Literature.

The grant program is open to nonprofit organizations, school groups, attractions, museums, partnerships, federally recognized Indian tribes, cultural and heritage events, programs, presentations and Mississippi Hills members.The four grant categories are:

• Education – Open to all schools districts, school support groups and nonprofit cultural/heritage attractions within the Mississippi Hills NHA. Requests of up to $1,000 per trip will be considered and multiple trips may be requested on the same applications. Funds must be used for educational field trip transportation and interpretation costs only.

• Flash – Open to all qualified applicants within the Mississippi Hills NHA. Requests of $1,000–$2,500 will be considered.

• Small – Open to all qualified applicants within the Mississippi Hills NHA. Requests of $2,500–$5,000 will be considered.

• Large Grants – Open to all qualified dues paying members in good standing. Requests for $5,000–$20,000 will be considered.

For more information, contact grantinfo@mshills.org or call (662) 269-2580 or visit mississippihills.org and click on the grants tab.

dennis.seid@journalinc.com

Twitter: @dennisseid

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