Marilyn Hatza, Director of Grants and Community Engagement at Maryland Humanities, passed away January 2023. 

Marilyn had a long, impactful career in Maryland.  She was dedicated and passionate about honoring, preserving, and when necessary reckoning with Maryland’s history (which was often). Before joining the staff at Maryland Humanities, Marilyn had extensive experience in museum collection management, educational program development, and archives management. She served as the Preservation Services Director at Preservation Maryland. She also worked as an archivist at the AFRO-American Newspapers, where she secured a grant and worked to digitize the archives there for the first time. She also served as the Assistant Curator at the Howard County Center for African American History and Culture. Marilyn served on The Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture, as well as the Board of Directors for both Baltimore National Heritage Area and The African American Fire Fighters Historical Society. She was a pioneering member of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project.

In 2014, Marilyn started her work with Maryland Humanities as Program Officer for Grants and Strategic Partnerships, leading our Grants and Regional Humanities Network programs. Marilyn built and grew our Regional Humanities Networks from scratch, bringing together humanities organizations from different sectors to collaborate, share resources, and find solutions to regional issues together.  In April 2021, she was promoted to a newly created position as the Director of Grants and Community Engagement and joined the Senior Staff.

Marilyn had a vision for and understanding of racial equity, and its relationship to grant-making and the humanities sector in Maryland. This is apparent in Maryland Humanities’ SHINE Program, where Marilyn was central. She was the first staff member to propose providing general operating support to humanities organizations. Maryland Humanities’ Racial Equity efforts started with her listening to the concerns of Maryland grantees and then advocating that the organization’s work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and access must live throughout the entire organization, not just in the grants department.