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.

Program Description

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 only submit one application for one project each grant cycle.
  • 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.

In 2022, the following local nonprofit organizations received funds:

  • C&O Canal Trust: $5,000 for canal classrooms in Washington County.
  • Camp Ritchie Museum, Inc.: $4,000 for Ritchie Boys signage.
  • Clara Barton Memorial Committee: $10,000 for Clara Barton Memorial.
  • Fort Ritchie Community Center: $1,700 for Washington County History Adventures 2.0.
  • Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, Inc.: $10,000 for Newcomer House front parlor / office, historic furnishings & exhibition.
  • The Maryland Symphony Orchestra: $10,000 for MSO 2022-2023 Kinder Konzert series.
  • Three Roads Communications, Inc.: $5,000 for The House on Jonathan Street documentary project.
  • Washington County Arts Council: $1,000 for the Art Educators of Washington County exhibit.
  • Washington County Historical Society: $4,600 for their Washington County at War exhibit.
  • Washington County Historical Trust: $6,910 to continue restoring the Saylor House at Kiwanis Park.
  • Washington County Museum of Fine Arts: $15,000 for FY23 youth art education programs.
  • The Women’s Club Foundation: $1,980 for preservation of artifacts of the Women’s Club & Women’s Club Foundation.