Legends & Lore® Marker Grant Program
Does your community have a great piece of folklore that should be shared? Legends & Lore is designed to promote cultural tourism and commemorate legends and folklore as part of our heritage.
Generally speaking, folklore is the stories, customs, traditions, and expressive arts and crafts that are passed on from one person to another, often from generation to generation. Folklore is the knowledge that people share as members of a group or community. Our shared identities and sense of belonging are the result of shared traditions, stories, customs, and activities.
For an instructional guide on how to apply, click here: How to Apply
Ready to apply? Click here: Apply for Grant
Legends and Folklore Subject Matter Guidelines
Successful Legends & Lore marker applications typically fall within three main categories:
- Folktale — Fictional stories passed down about people or events not proven to have existed. (e.g. Thirteen Curves, Champy, Headless Horseman, Tramping Ground)
- Legends — Stories passed down that are popularly regarded as historical although not verifiable. (e.g. John Henry, Grancer’s Ghost, Betsy’s Ride, Natty Bumppo, “Natty Bumppo”)
- Folklife — Traditions such as music, skills, crafts, and events passed along within a community. Often involving real people that can be verified with primary sources. (e.g. “Goose Day,” The Arborglyphs, Dennis McGee, Herbs & Healing, Folk Singer)
Subjects which are not successful include:
- Historical events lacking a folkloric aspect
- Purely literary creations
- Personal/family folklore which does not extend to the greater community
Legend & Lore grants are available to 501(c)(3) organizations, nonprofit academic institutions, and local, state and federal government entities within the United States. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact an eligible local organization, such as an applicable historical society or folklore-related nonprofit. They will often apply for the grant on behalf of the individual.
Please note that Legends & Lore is currently available in the following 13 states: Alabama, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont and West Virginia. Check back regularly for program availability in your state.
Marker Design and Text Guidelines
The color of Legends & Lore markers are deep red with light beige lettering and border. Markers are 18” x 32” cast aluminum with a 7’ aluminum pole.
The title line allows 15 characters and the five body lines can have 27 characters each, including spaces and punctuation. Each Legends & Lore marker includes two credit lines below the inscription. The first line features the name of the Foundation’s state folklore partner. The second line lists the Foundation’s name followed by year granted.
Applications are accepted twice a year.
2023 Important Dates
- 03/13/23 – Application available online
- 05/01/23 – Application deadline
- July 2023 – Grants awarded
- 08/28/23 – Application available online
- 10/16/23 – Application deadline
- December 2023 – Grants awarded
Grant Application Procedure
Applications are only accepted online. To create an account and apply, please use this link: Apply for Grant
Applications must include the following:
- the applying agency’s information
- contact information for the person responsible for the application
- proposed installation location in specific detail (including GPS coordinates)
- a brief description and significance of the folklore being commemorated
- proposed inscription for marker
- a letter from the landowner granting permission for the marker to be installed
- documentation supporting proposed marker inscription
Primary sources are not required for this grant program. However, successful applicants include supporting documents in their application which demonstrate their proposed inscription is a valid example of a legend or folklore according to criteria as stated on our website. Be sure to provide scanned copies of documents, not just indexes or citations. Applications submitted without supporting documentation are less likely to be approved.
Legends & Lore marker grants are fully-funded and cover the entire cost of the marker, pole, and shipping. If your application is approved, and upon receipt of your signed Acceptance Letter, the Foundation will mail a check for the total amount made payable to the applying agency. Marker order instructions will be provided via email. The grant recipient is responsible for installation of the marker.
Please carefully consider the location where the marker is to be installed.
- Markers should not be placed on high-traffic roadways or roadways where vehicles are traveling at a high rate of speed if there is no place for a vehicle to safely pull over out of traffic.
- Markers should not be placed where the visitor must intrude on private property to read it.
- Markers should not be placed where existing signage contains the same information requested for the marker text.
Before installing your marker, please be sure you are following all of your state’s guidelines around digging and excavation.
Become a Legends & Lore Partner
As we expand nationally, we seek to partner with folklore organizations, folklore-related academic departments and state supported councils & agencies to evaluate Legends & Lore grant applications and promote the program statewide. Visit the Legends & Lore partners page for details, benefits and eligibility.
Contact Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 315-913-4060, Monday – Friday between 8:00 am and 4:30 pm (EST).