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Women's Heritage Center seeking $5M in funds for permanent space

Leaders at the Maryland Women's Heritage Center are scouting locations in Baltimore and Annapolis for a permanent home for its exhibits that highlight the Free State's leading ladies. The site pays homage to accomplished Maryland women in a Hall of Fame display. Featured women include biotech pioneer Claire Fraser-Liggett, Harriet Tubman, environmentalist and "Silent Spring" author Rachel Carson and jazz great Billie Holiday.

Center leaders expect to open a 25,000-square-foot center within two years, and need to raise $5 million to open a permanent building, Executive Director Jill Moss Greenberg says.  

The center opens its temporary home June 19 at 39 W. Lexington St. Located in the former Baltimore Gas & Electric Building, the initial space was donated by David Hillman, CEO of Southern Management Corporation. Greenberg says the board is looking at half a dozen sites in downtown Baltimore and is zeroing in on Baltimore and Annapolis with the hope that the locales can attract conference attendees and students on school trips.

The permanent location will host more interactive exhibits, a library, women's history archive, arts and crafts display, meeting space and gift shop with books and gifts made by Maryland women.

Center officials will launch a capital campaign this year."I know it's terrible timing because of the economy but we're at the point where we need to do so," she says.

The center has an operating budget of about $100,000 and gets its funding from the state, corporations, foundations and individuals. Entrance is free.

The Maryland Women's Heritage Center is an offshoot of the Maryland Women's History Project, collaboration between the Maryland Commission for Women and the Maryland State Department of Education.

Source: Jill Moss Greenberg, Maryland Women's Heritage Center
Writer: Julekha Dash

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