Museum and Library Launch $12 Million Fundraising Campaign Baltimore, MD (September 23, 2020) – The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC), formerly the Maryland Historical Society, is pleased to announce the launch of its Shaping the Future of History campaign. The $12 million campaign will help the newly re-branded museum and library enhance educational and visitor experiences, advance collection stewardship, and create a sustainable future for the 176-year-old institution. “In launching our Shaping the Future of History campaign, we continue our mission to collect, preserve, and interpret history through a Maryland prism,” said Mark Letzer, president and CEO of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. “We want to preserve the time-honored narrative of Maryland history, while writing a progressive and inspiring new story for the future.” To date, the MCHC has raised more than $8.7 million. The MCHC has received 16 six-figure gifts and one seven-figure gift to the cause. Lead donors to the Shaping the Future of History campaign include the France-Merrick Foundation. “The France-Merrick Foundation is proud to invest in this new chapter for the Maryland Center for History and Culture,” said Amy M. Gross, executive director, France-Merrick Foundation. “We are particularly excited to see how the campaign investments looked outward to realize the potential of the MCHC collections as a connector in the region’s larger cultural community through digitization and community engagement. At the same time, they are prioritizing much needed facilities projects, helping ensure that all these unique stories found in the collection are preserved for generations to come.” The balance between education, access, and sustainability is crucial to moving the Maryland Center for History and Culture forward. The goals of the institution—which is located in Baltimore’s Mount Vernon cultural district—include creating a new, state-of-the-art Learning Lab for enhanced educational experiences, and creating intentional community spaces made for facilitated dialogue and discovery. Vibrant, vital, and inclusive programs will engage and connect with new, diverse audiences. Since April, when its doors were closed because of COVID-19, the MCHC has reached beyond its traditional installed exhibitions to host a series of virtual programs that attracted close to 7,000 attendees. These widely popular virtual programs extended the institution’s audience and demonstrated its creativity and flexibility. The Shaping the Future of History campaign will further enable the MCHC to innovate and expand its offerings and outreach. The museum and library will also look to advance collections stewardship and access. By repurposing some of its space, it will ensure proper stewardship of its storied collection and focus resources on increased access to the collection for a more engaged and dynamic experience. The MCHC has already improved digital access to its nationally and internationally renowned museum and library collections by launching a new digital collections portal on its website this month. Staff are adding digitized items to the portal daily. Organizational sustainability of the MCHC, the oldest continually operating cultural institution in the state, is also a priority. “The Maryland Center for History and Culture—more than any other organization in our state—understands how to connect people of all ages to the power of history,” said Clinton Daly, board chair, the Maryland Center for History and Culture. “It took tremendous vision and foresight in 1844 to invest in an idea: that Maryland history had value and was worth preserving. At the MCHC, that vision is alive and well.” With funding and support from this campaign, the Maryland Center for History and Culture is seeking to shape the future of how history is presented far beyond its walls, connecting with new audiences and greatly expanding its state-wide and national presence. Learn more about the Shaping the Future of History campaign.