Minnesotans Build A Valuable Legacy for Future Generations

For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 18, 2012
Media contacts: 

Julianna Olsen, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3039, julianna.olsen@mnhs.org

Amy Danielson, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3020, amy.danielson@mnhs.org

Megan Lawson, Marketing and Communications, 651-259-3141, megan.lawson@mnhs.org

Minnesotans Build A Valuable Legacy for Future Generations

New Report Details 2012 Legacy History Projects and Programs



St. PAUL, Minn.--Minnesotans around the state are preserving and sharing more history than ever thanks to support from the Legacy Amendment, which mandates that a portion of funds "preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage."  A new report from the Minnesota Historical Society details 2012 Legacy history projects and programs that are creating new opportunities for students, revitalizing communities, protecting priceless historical resources and allowing unprecedented access to those resources.

“Together we are writing the book of Minnesota history.  The Legacy Amendment is allowing us to build a richer, more complete resource for future Minnesotans to use and enjoy,” said Steve Elliott, Director and CEO of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Examples of 2012 Legacy history projects and programs:

Education:  Society staff is developing cutting-edge technology for schoolchildren on field trips that will create deeper, more meaningful learning experiences.  “History Live” is delivering lively, interactive history lessons straight to Minnesota classrooms via video conferencing technology.

Building Community:  Across Minnesota, young and old are forging deep connections by documenting their community’s history together.  Dozens of small Minnesota cities are learning how to best preserve their historic downtowns while boosting business.

Preservation:  Local historical organizations statewide are protecting fragile collections and historic buildings like the Probstfield House, the oldest home in the Red River Valley.  Legacy funds are also helping to preserve the Dakota language. Fewer than ten first-language Dakota speakers are left in Minnesota.

Access:  Minnesotans in the farthest corners of the state can go online and find a growing wealth of resources like historical newspapers, documents, maps, artifacts and photographs that help paint a fuller picture of the past.

“We are carefully investing Legacy funds in important projects and programs that are benefitting Minnesotans in every county in the state,” Elliott said.  “We are eager to share the exciting work being done.”

All expenditures are detailed in a report submitted to the governor and legislature and are available at mnhs.org/legacy or in a pdf at mnhs.org/2012legacyreport

For fiscal year 2012, the legislature appropriated $12.05 million from the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to the Minnesota Historical Society for statewide grants, programs and projects.  During the first half of fiscal year 2012, the Society has awarded 97 grants totaling $573,000 in 46 counties to more than 90 organizations across Minnesota.

Minnesotans passed the Legacy Amendment in November 2008.  Language now in the state constitution mandates that a portion of the funds be used to “preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.”