Preserve America News from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

In this Issue

Picture Perfect Preservation! Enter the Preservation50 National Photography Contest
African American Civil Rights Grants Now Available
Historic Sites Get Visitors While Pokémon Go Players Catch Digital Creatures
Expand Your Preservation Leadership Skills
New Community and Stewards Designations
Flooding in Historic Towns
Know of a Community That Should Be Recognized for Preservation Successes?
Preservation50 Calendar
Contact Information Needed From Preserve America Communities


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Preserve America News |August  2016

Picture Perfect Preservation! Enter the Preservation50 National Photography Contest

As a part of this year’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, Preservation50 is offering a national photography contest. It’s a great chance to show off your photography skills and highlight your favorite historic places and what preservation means to you.

The top five photographs in each of four categories with be featured on Preservation50’s website and promoted by partner organizations, whose social media following numbers tens of millions of Americans. The four categories are Inspiring Place, a building or site that illustrates an inspirational story and has been or is now being preserved; Endangered Place, a place endangered due to development, neglect, climate change, or other factors; Underrepresented Place, a place that illustrates an underrepresented story in the national preservation movement, such as sites affiliated with the stories of racial minorities, women, and the LGBTQ community; and Cultural Landscape, a natural or planned cultural landscape such as an archaeological site, battlefield, park, or other cultural site.

The deadline for submitting photographs is Oct. 1. For more information about the photo contest, click here. We encourage you to submit a snapshot of your favorite historic place!

Manteo-Roanoke Marshes Lighthouse dedication-North Carolina

African American Civil Rights Grants Now Available

On Aug.17 the National Park Service (NPS) announced the opening of the application period for African American Civil Rights Grants. As a part of ongoing efforts to build a broader and more inclusive preservation program, the African American Civil Rights Grant Program aims to assist states, territories, federally recognized Indian tribes, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian organizations, local governments, and non-profit organizations with projects that will preserve and highlight the sites and stories related to the African American struggle for equality in the 20th century. Possible projects include surveys and documentation, interpretation and education, oral histories, architectural services, historic structure reports, planning, and bricks and mortar preservation. The deadline for submitting applications is Oct. 14.

For more information about the grant program or the application process please see the NPS news release

Jubilee Hall at Fisk University Shutterstock © KennStilger47

Historic Sites Get Visitors While Pokémon Go Players Catch Digital Creatures

Since its launch in the U.S. on July 6, the smart phone app Pokémon Go has become a national craze, exploding to more than 21 million active daily players within a week of its release. The augmented reality app utilizes a smart phone’s GPS capabilities to place users in a digitized version of the real world where they can capture creatures called Pokémon through their phone’s camera. As a part of this digital world, many local landmarks, monuments, and historic buildings are utilized in-game as interactive points called Poké Stops, where players can collect game items that will help them on their quest to “Catch ‘em all!” Some local officials have utilized Pokémon Go to encourage visitation to these places, and to organize community events for players. Interested readers can learn more about Pokémon Go and the civic engagement opportunities it presents by clicking here

Does your Preserve America Community use Pokémon Go or any other types of gaming to encourage visitation to historic sites, or as a part of interpretation and heritage education activities? If so, please send us a brief description of what you do, with any helpful links, so we can share it in the next e-newsletter. 

Picture courtesy Destination DC

Expand Your Preservation Leadership Skills

Preservation50 and American Express are excited to announce the launch of ARCUS: a community of support for emerging leaders of the historic preservation movement’s next 50 years. ARCUS is a leadership development program offering easy access, low cost, cutting edge courses, materials, and networking opportunities to individuals who seek to become effective leaders in the cultural heritage and historic preservation movement. This opportunity is for both ambitious individuals at the early stages of their preservation leadership AND current mid- to upper-level leaders who recognize they need to improve certain aspects of their leadership talents to continue to be successful.

Online courses will be available to build skills in areas such as volunteer management, fundraising, advocacy, evaluation, entrepreneurship, social media, and grassroots organizing and can be taken at a student’s own pace. The focus is on the intersection between modern leadership theory and practice and the real organizational and systemic challenges facing the preservation movement.

An ARCUS “fellowship” lasts six months, during which time students will have full access to an online platform with courses and networking opportunities available 24/7. In-person attendance is required at one full-day training/networking session scheduled during those six months. The online portal will become available in October 2016. Through the financial support of American Express, fees and most costs for the fall 2016 fellows class are covered. Fellows are responsible for any costs associated with traveling to and from the in-person session. At the end of the program, a certificate of completion, useful as a professional credential, will be provided.

Now is the time to apply for the first two fellowship programs. The fall ARCUS fellows will meet on Nov. 14, 2016, in Houston, Texas–one day before the National Trust’s PastForward Conference. Please apply no later than Oct. 1, 2016. Admission is rolling, and the class will close when full. The spring ARCUS fellows will meet in Washington, D.C. on March 13, 2017–one day before Preservation Advocacy Week. Please apply by Jan. 15, 2017. More information is available here

© kkolosov –Fotolia

New Community and Stewards Designations

The Preserve America program now can boast 904 designated communities with a recent announcement of First Lady Michelle Obama's latest letters to the honorees. Read more about Redwood City, Calif.; Shelby Township, Mich.; Warwick, R.I.; and Tyler, Texas.

Mrs. Obama also recently signed letters naming the Friends of Burial Hill and the Friends of Lakewold Preserve America Stewards. This brings the nationwide total of Stewards to 56. Read more here.

Redwood City, Calif., courthouse square concert

Flooding in Historic Towns

We extend our sympathy and support to the residents of Baton Rouge, La., and Ellicott City, Md. (Howard County seat) following the recent disastrous flooding both Preserve America Communities experienced. Resources are available from State Historic Preservation Offices to deal with evaluating and remediating damage to historic areas caused by flooding. Communities are also encouraged to do proactive disaster management planning to facilitate recovery efforts. An example is Louisiana’s Resilient Heritage booklet

Residents in the Baton Rouge area discard anything that was submerged in flood waters to begin the recovery process. (Photo by Laura Guzman/FEMA)

Know of a Community That Should Be Recognized for Preservation Successes?

Preserve America is seeking your suggestions of communities that deserve national recognition for their commitment to historic preservation. A potential Preserve America Community should be able to demonstrate this commitment by describing a recent preservation project which contributes to the economic vitality of the community and was a public-private partnership.  Designees must also have an active historic preservation commission, or have adopted a preservation ordinance or preservation plan. The flexible requirements ask communities to tell us how they meet five of 10 criteria, such as creating heritage tourism experiences, supporting a museum or archive, or sponsoring public events that celebrate a community’s history.

To check if a community is already a Preserve America Community, see the list of more than 900 cities, towns, counties, neighborhoods, and tribal communities designated to date. Please send the name of any community you think may be worthy of designation as a Preserve America Community to Judy Rodenstein.  If there is someone in particular you suggest we contact, let us know and we’ll reach out to them.
Click here for more information and application forms. 

Preserve America Community Hartwell, Ga.s downtown walking tour

Preservation50 Calendar

Are you hosting or organizing an event during this Preservation50 celebration year? Complete this form, and the Preservation50 team will add your event to the Preservation50 calendar and promote it on social media. 

Contact Information Needed From Preserve America Communities

Has it been a while since your community was designated a Preserve America Community? Have you elected a new mayor? Has your contact person moved on to a new job? Have e-mail addresses changed? In order to stay in the loop about funding opportunities, model programs, and other resources for Preserve America Communities, please update the following information and send to Judy Rodenstein:
Community name
Congressional district
Name of chief elected official, e-mail address, and phone number
Name of best contact person, e-mail address, and phone number

Advisory Council on
Historic Preservation
401 F Street NW, Suite 308
Washington, DC 20001-2637