Rocket Grants

ATHA, Inc.’s mini-grant program is designed to provide essential funding for innovative exhibits, tours, planning, art programs, historic preservation, marketing, conservation, and projects which build upon interpretive themes identified in our Management Plan. Project must be non-capital in nature, ie. cannot be a bricks-and-mortar project or repair. Projects should should seek to attract cultural heritage tourists to the region by creating a new tourism product, or enhancing/interpreting an existing product, and/or providing access to these assets.

Requests may be for any amount below $5,000  and must be non-capital in nature. Each request must be matched 1:1 with non-state funding (cash) or in-kind contributions. Up to 100% of the matching funds can be in-kind. In-kind funds can be documented pro bono services, staff time, or documented volunteer hours (counted as cash). Be sure to check (requires email address) and use the current state volunteer rate ($31.29 currently) established by Independent Sector.


Non-profits and municiaplties in the state certified Anacostia Trails Heritage Area boundary are eligible. You should be able to provide the following materials upon request: IRS letter of determination, bylaws and articles of incorporation (if a nonprofit organization), municipal charter or other document that confirms status (for government agencies), and your latest financial statement. Other government agencies, individuals, and/or for-profit businesses may parter with eligible organizations on proposals consistent with our guidelines.


The following themes represent some but not all eligible projects types. Please feel free to contact us to discuss any potential projects.

Trails: These grants are for cycling, pedestrian, and trail amenities which support local and tourist use of our trails and help connect to partner sites. Examples include trail clean-ups, bike parking, wayfinding, bike repair stations, bottle fill stations – as well as placemaking along trails and/or connecting trails to towns.

History: These grants will support research and interpretation of historical themes and persons. Project examples include walking tour brochures or websites, event promotion, exhibits, oral histories, podcasts, research, interpretive signage (NPS standards required), digitization projects, printing, and more. Special consideration will be given to projects that illuminate underrepresented stories and perspectives in history.

Education: These grants are for supporting educational programs that connect students of all ages to the history, art, and culture of the region and our partner sites. Examples include the cost of creating a “museum-in-a-box,” traveling programs, educational planning, program implementation, and costs for field trip buses.

Arts: These grants will support arts, culture, performance, and other cultural endeavors. These projects can include murals, public performances, intangible history, and the marketing/outreach related to these efforts.


Grant requests are accepted, reviewed, and awarded on a rolling basis. These funds are first come first serve during our fiscal year (July-June). ATHA staff will first review your application for eligibility and completenees then a review panel made up of members of our Board of Directors will also rate the applications. This process typically takes 2-4 weeks.

Mini-grant proposal evaluation depends on degree to which proposal meets required criteria, including:

  • Consistent with interpretive themes and/or suggested programs, projects and activities in the heritage area Management Plan and/or Five-Year Action Plan
  • Includes collaborative partnerships
  • Enhances heritage tourism by visitors and residents
  • Leverages other funding. The match should be in hand or committed (as in pro bono or volunteer comittment).
  • Demonstrates ability of applicant to initiate, administer and complete project within proposed timeframe.
  • Past record of success


A portion of the funds will be released upon completion of a grant agreement. Portions of the funds can be released at other agreed-upon intervals and/or at the conclusion of the project. A final report filing is required to receive the final grant remainder.






2020 Awardees:

  • Ally Theater “Welcome to Sis’s”
  • Joe’s Movement Emporium Marketing
  • Washington Area Bicycle Association Cider Ride
  • Greenbelt Online
  • Prince George’s Philharmonic “The City”
  • City of Laurel 150th Anniversary
  • Dance Exchange Moving Field Guide
  • UMD/MICA Powwow 2020

2019 Awardees:

  • Prince George’s Philharmonic/NASA “The Planets” (II)
  • Riversdale Historical Society Calvert Memorial Park Conservation
  • Friends of Old Greenbelt Theatre Screening Room Popup
  • Laurel Historical Society Postmark Laurel
  • Montpelier Mansion Marketing Support
  • Town of Riverdale Park Placemaking
  • College Park City-University Partnership Trolley Trail Day
  • College Park City-University Partnership Whittemore Poet Laureate Sign
  • Hyattsville CDC Arts & Ales Marketing

2018 Awardees:

  • Joe’s Movement Emporium “On Stage”
  • Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center “Misprints Exhibit”
  • Hyattsville CDC Interpretive Signage
  • Prince George’s Philharmonic/NASA “The Planets”
  • College Park City University Partnership “Paint Branch Underpass”
  • UMD College Park Farmers Market Pilot Project
  • College Park Arts Exchange Web Project

2017 Awardees:

  • Towns of Brentwood and North Brentwood, Windom Road Barrier Public Art Work
  • Hyattsville Community Development Corporation, Sis Tavern Signage
  • Prince George’s African American Museum & Cultural Center, Black Arts & Culture Festival
  • City of Bowie Museums, Historic Old Bowie Walking Tour
  • Greenbelt Association for the Visual Arts, Spring to Life Mural
  • City of College Park, Walking Tour Brochures