Grants are available to support the rehabilitation and restoration of historic barns, cemeteries and theaters across the state because of funding from the Washington state Legislature.
The legislature’s approval of the 2023-25 state budget earlier this year included reauthorization of four state capital grant programs operated by the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP): the Heritage Barn Grant Program, Historic County Courthouse Grant Program, Historic Cemetery Grant Program and Historic Theater Grant Program.
These grant programs are intended to help to preserve, rehabilitate and restore some of the state’s most historically and culturally significant resources, according to a press release. As in the past, the grant programs are administered by the nonprofit Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, under contract to DAHP. Of the four grant programs, the grant recipients for the Historic County Courthouse Grant Program are pre-determined as part of the legislative request. The remaining three programs are accepting grant applications through Oct. 31.
Established in 2007 and now in its ninth round, the Heritage Barn Grant Program is specifically designed to assist in the preservation of Washington’s iconic historic barns, which stand as symbols of the state’s agricultural heritage. Barns must be listed on the Heritage Barn Register, a statewide list maintained by DAHP, in order to apply for funding through the Heritage Barn Grant Program. Nearly $1 million in grant funds will be distributed among successful applicants to “aid in the rehabilitation and safeguarding of these unique structures, ensuring their continued cultural significance for generations to come,” according to the release.
Established in 2016 and in its fourth round of funding, the Historic Cemetery Grant Program offers financial assistance to preserve and restore significant burial grounds throughout Washington. These cemeteries often hold valuable historical information and serve as the final resting places of pioneers, veterans and community leaders, making their conservation crucial to the state’s historical narrative, according to the release. Official historic designation is not required to apply; any cemetery within the state of Washington that contains five or more burials, with at least one burial more than 50 years old, is eligible for this grant program. Nearly $500,000 in funding is available for distribution as grants.
Lastly, the Historic Theater Grant Program, established in 2021, supports the conservation of historic theaters that have played a pivotal role in shaping the arts and cultural landscape of Washington, particularly given theaters’ financial difficulties and deferred maintenance during the pandemic, according to the release. Grants will be awarded to successful applicants to aid in the maintenance, repair and revitalization of these theaters, with a record $500,000 to be distributed.
Applicants are encouraged to review the eligibility criteria, program guidelines and application workshop recordings available on the Washington Trust’s website at preservewa.org/grants. All applications must be submitted through the online portal before Oct. 31.