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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Mrs. Laura Bush, First Lady of the United States and Honorary Chair of the Preserve America initiative, has announced that in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation she will lead a national Preserve America Summit Oct. 18-20, 2006, to mark the 40th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. Those four decades have seen great progress in the stewardship and productive use of America's historic properties, and more opportunities lie ahead. The national Preserve America Summit will explore ways to build on this progress.

What are the Summit’s goals? Summit participants will review the major components of the national historic preservation program and present their considerations designed to advance historic preservation programs and policy. In addition, Summit participants will generate unique and innovative ideas for assisting communities throughout the United States in developing the tools and processes necessary for advancing historic preservation on a local scale.

When and where will the Summit be held? The Preserve America Summit is a two-day conference that will be held Oct. 18-20, 2006 in New Orleans. Mrs. Bush will be the keynote speaker for the Summit. Attendance will include champions in the field of historic preservation who are identified as experts on one or more of the Summit subtopics.

Who is hosting and planning the Summit? The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) is hosting the Summit and a number of private organizations and federal agency partners — including the Departments of the Interior, Commerce, and Defense; the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers; the National Trust for Historic Preservation; and, the Council on Environmental Quality — will assist in planning the Summit and events leading to it.

What is the source of funding? The Summit is being funded by a coordinated public/private effort.

What are the Summit focus areas? A series of expert panels has been tasked with developing program and policy ideas in a number of issue areas. Federal and non-federal co-chairs are coordinating each expert panel and issue area. The expert panels conferred and met throughout the summer of 2006. The issue areas are:

  • Building a Preservation Ethic and Public Appreciation for History
  • Coordinating the Stewardship and Use of Our Cultural Patrimony
  • Determining What Is Important
  • Protecting Places That Matter
  • Improving the Preservation Program Infrastructure
  • Dealing With the Unexpected
  • Addressing Security
  • Using Historic Properties as Economic Assets
  • Involving All Cultures
  • Fostering Innovation
  • Participating in the Global Preservation Community

To provide comments on these issue areas, click here. An opportunity for public comment on the final Summit findings will also be provided following the Summit.

For questions about the Summit program, contact Ron Anzalone (202-606-8503; ranzalone@achp.gov)
For questions about Summit registration, call 202-652-0200; registration@preserveamericasummit.org

What is the Preserve America initiative? The Summit is part of Preserve America, a White House initiative announced in March 2003. Preserve America encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. The goals of the initiative include a greater shared knowledge about the nation's past, strengthened regional identities and local pride, increased local participation in preserving the country's cultural and natural heritage assets, and support for the economic vitality of our communities. More information is available at www.preserveamerica.gov.

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