A dozen or more projects celebrating New Mexico's Centennial of Statehood will receive grants from a state planning group. The New Mexico Centennial of Statehood Steering Committee will accept applications from non-profit organizations beginning August 15.

The New Mexico Humanities Council (NMHC) will administer the grants, ranging from $3,000 to $5,000, for projects occurring between September 1 and June 15, 2011. The committee expects to support 12 to 15 grants.

The Steering Committee, a statewide collaboration created by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs (NMDCA), has been working for the past five years to plan for statewide activities commemorating New Mexico's entry into the union as the 47th state on January 6, 1912. Commemorative activities begin September 2011.

Governor Bill Richardson signed legislation this spring supporting centennial activities in the amount of $270,000 to NMDCA. Half of these funds have been made available to the department for 2010, with $50,000 allocated for non profit organizations seeking funding support for centennial activities. A wide range of projects will be considered for funding, from public programs to written histories, creative and performance art, planning and preservation. All projects must produce outcomes available to the general public.

Craig Newbill, NMHC executive director said, "Communities across the state have been meeting and planning for the centennial for some time now and funds currently available for projects will be put to good use. Every good project opportunity starts with sound planning and a realistic assessment of the funding needed. Many plans end as a result of having neither."

For more information, contact NMHC at 277-3705. To download the application, visit www.nmhum.org.