Mary K. Bowman Fine Arts Fund

In 2008, the board of directors of the Washington County Historical and Fine Arts Trust voted to dissolve their corporation and turn assets of $1 million over to the Community Foundation. A new fund, the Mary K. Bowman Historical and Fine Arts Fund, was established at the Foundation to carry on the distribution of grants as intended by the will of Mary K. Bowman. Their advisory board remains intact to continue the granting process.

The Mary K. Bowman Fund for Historical and Fine Arts provides financial support for current charitable and educational initiatives that preserve and maintain historical and cultural properties in Washington County. It also promotes the fine arts, history and historic preservation while encouraging the interest in and study of such matters. Anyone who has an interest in historical preservation and education, or the fine arts, can support this fund at the Foundation at any time.

MK Bowman Group-crop

Program Description

Applications are now closed for the 2019 granting cycle. Grants go towards organizations and programs that preserve and maintain historical and cultural properties in Washington County, and promote the fine arts, remembrances in the historical, history and historic preservation, and encourage others to do so, and promote interest in and study of such matters. The average grant amount in recent years has equaled about $4,500. The Community Foundation does not fund overhead expenses or capital expenses not directly related to programming.


  • Applicant organizations must be based in and primarily serving Washington County, MD, and have a current 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS.
  • Organizations may apply for funding for more than one program; however, each program requires a separate grant application.
  • Any project requesting financial support for capital improvement to a historical structure must be in compliance with the Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties.

**Please note: If you choose to apply for funding for a program previously supported, please include evidence of the program’s success and any partnerships into which you have entered into in order to ensure continuity of the program. Explain why continued support from this fund is essential to the program’s viability.**

If you have any questions about this fund and its granting process, please call Sarah Burge, director of grants & donor relations at (301) 745-5210.

Last year’s fund awarded $66,232 to the following 16 local nonprofit organizations:

  • Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Foundation: $1,090 for the Summer Arts Academy for students in 5th-12th
  • C&O Canal Trust: $5,000 for canal classrooms in Williamsport providing a multidisciplinary STEAM program to 4th
  • Clear Spring District Historical Association: $723 to preserve Civil War era flags.
  • Fort Ritchie Community Center: $4,500 for the Summer Arts & History program for children ages 6-13.
  • Friends of Tolson’s Chapel: $1,460 for the Chapel’s on-site educational experience.
  • Hagerstown Aviation Museum: $5,000 to support a mobile exhibit trailer project.
  • Hagerstown Community Concert Association: $2,000 to provide students in grades 5-7 a high energy performance by Vocal Trash that teaches the importance of green sustainability and anti-bullying.
  • Hagerstown Day Nursery: $4,150 for the children at the center to attend Kinder Konzerts.
  • Maryland Symphony Orchestra: $10,000 to support the 2018-19 Kinder Konzert series.
  • National Road Heritage Foundation: $1,200 to obtain an illustration for the engineering and paving exhibit at the National Road Museum.
  • Robert W. Johnson Community Center: $924 for an after school fine arts program open to children ages 6-12.
  • John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church: $3,500 for the restoration and preservation of the historic “Rabboni” stained-glass window.
  • Washington County Arts Council: $1,000 for the Art Educators of Washington County 2019 Exhibit.
  • Washington County Historical Trust: $7,500 to restore the Saylor House at Kiwanis Park.
  • Washington County Museum of Fine Arts: $16,635 to support youth art education programs during 2018-19.
  • Women’s Club Foundation: $1,550 to restore and refurbish the front portico on the building.