Heritage programs leader resigns

Four Rivers director Donna Dudley to head Charles County tourism

December 21, 2007

Donna Dudley, executive director of Four Rivers: The Heritage Area of Annapolis, London Town & South County, has resigned to assume a new position as chief of tourism for Charles County, according to the Four Rivers Board of Directors.

Dudley, Four Rivers' executive director since 2002, has brought more than $1.68 million in matching Maryland Heritage Areas Authority funding into the community.

This funding has supported major projects at Historic London Town & Gardens, Historic Annapolis Foundation, Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau, and the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

Heritage area funding has also benefited the Galesville Heritage Society, the Shady Side Rural Heritage Society, Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Foundation, the Charles Carroll House, St. John's College, the Frederick Douglass Museum & Cultural Center, Banneker-Douglass Museum, the Thomas Point Shoal Light, Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, the West-Rhode Riverkeeper program and the Deale Area Historical Society, as well as the City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County.

Dudley created the first heritage area mini-grants program in the state, which has leveraged other funding for more than 40 additional heritage-related projects in this region.

She is also responsible for the annual heritage awards program that honors local heritage projects, people and organizations. Four Rivers produced several award-winning heritage tourism products under Dudley's supervision, including Roots & Tides: A Journey Through Southern Anne Arundel County, Landings: A Boater's Guide to the Four Rivers Heritage Area, Footnotes: A Walking Tour of the Historic Properties of Cornhill & Fleet Streets, and Discover Four Rivers: A History Explorer's Guide.

Dudley also serves on the Annapolis & Anne Arundel County Conference & Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, the Executive Directors' Council to the Maryland Tourism Development Board, and as co-chair of the Coalition of Maryland Heritage Areas.

Four Rivers is part of Maryland's award-winning heritage areas program, which preserves and enhances natural, cultural and historic resources, to encourage community revitalization and heritage tourism.

For information on the state program, visit www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net. For information on the Four Rivers Heritage Area, access www.fourriversheritage .org.

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