MINNESOTA HISTORY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE BENEFITS FROM $6.75 MILLION IN LEGACY GRANTS

For immediate release

Release dated: 
December 14, 2010
Media contacts: 

Suzanne Fedoruk Herrick
612-861-7807
Fedoruk & Associates, Inc.
suzanne@fedorukinc.com

Marjorie Nugent
Marketing and Communications
651-259-3145
marjorie.nugent@mnhs.org

MINNESOTA HISTORY AND CULTURAL HERITAGE BENEFITS FROM $6.75 MILLION IN LEGACY GRANTS

Organizations in all 87 counties awarded much-needed support for projects of enduring value. 65 organizations receive grants in the final round of Fast Track Grants for fiscal year 2011.

ST. PAUL (Dec. 14, 2010) – For the past 13 months, Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants have provided unprecedented support to organizations throughout the state to preserve projects of enduring value.  The Minnesota Historical Society (MHS) today announced the recipients of the final round of Fast Track Grants for fiscal year 2011.  Sixty-five organizations in 50 communities throughout Minnesota will benefit from this round of grants.

Between October 2009 and October 2010, MHS awarded its $6.75 million appropriation for Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants to organizations in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties.  In total, 334 entities in 165 communities benefited from the grants for fiscal year 2010 and 2011.

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment by the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.  The amendment supports efforts to preserve Minnesota land, water and legacy, including our state’s history and cultural heritage.

“The response to the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants has been incredible. We have been able to fund 54 percent of all grant applications submitted, yet there’s still much more to do,” said Britta Bloomberg, deputy state historic preservation officer, Minnesota Historical Society.  “Not only is there a pent up demand that these funds are helping to address, but the grants are uncovering new historic properties that will need to be stabilized, preserved and interpreted for Minnesotans to learn from and enjoy."

Looking to the Past and the Future

Communities throughout the state have been energized and inspired by the grant projects, many of which have made Minnesota history more accessible to its residents.  In St. Bonifacius, a grant was used to create markers with historic interpretation of a Nike-Hercules Missile that resides in a city park.  The Nike-Hercules Missile battery near St. Boni was dismantled in the 1970s, but the missile hull was showcased to preserve the city’s participation in the Cold War.  With memories of the Cold War fading for newer generations, the markers will give succeeding generations access to St. Boni’s Cold War-era history.   

In preparation for the sesquicentennial of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 in 2012, the Upper Minnesota River Valley Regional Development Commission conducted a survey of all existing markers and monuments to understand both what aspects of the story were already told, but also to identify areas where the Dakota voice might be missing.  Based on this research, 10 interpretative panels will be added at six sites along the Minnesota River Valley to provide a more inclusive interpretation of this significant event in Minnesota’s history.   

“These grants have had a significant economic impact as well, creating jobs for workers in a variety of fields, from architects to construction workers and from archaeologists to museum professionals, while providing support for a wide range of projects of enduring value,” explained Bloomberg.  “The Legacy Amendment has allowed MHS to fulfill an unmet need for preservation grant funding across the state – a need that continues to grow.  It’s impressive what this grant program has already accomplished in such a short time.”

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant Recipients: Fast Track Grants

Each Grant project will preserve and enhance Minnesota’s cultural and historical resources.  The latest round of grant recipients (up to $7,000) are:

  • Aitkin:  Aitkin County Historical Society; to acquire 38 rolls of microfilmed newspapers for its research library, $2,070.
  • Albert Lea:  Freeborn County Historical Society; to acquire 133 rolls of microfilmed newspapers for its research library, $7,000.
  • Belview:  City of Belview; to hire a qualified historical architect to prepare drawings in preparation for historic preservation work on the Odeon Theatre, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, $6,000.
  • Brooklyn Center:  Brooklyn Historical Society; to publish the three-volume work, "Patriots of Brooklyn: Suppressors of the Great Slaveholder's Rebellion" profiling over 200 veterans of the American Civil War, $6,998.
  • Buffalo:  City of Buffalo; to hire a qualified historian to research and prepare a historic context study of the City of Buffalo, $4,720.
  • Burnsville:  India Association of Minnesota; to conduct seven interviews that will document the history of subcontinental Indian music in Minnesota, $7,000.
  • Chaska:  City of Chaska; to hire a qualified historian to research and prepare materials that will enable broader public access to historic resources, $6,610.
  • Cokato:  Cokato Historical Society; to make primary records accessible through a new microfilm reader/printer, $7,000.
  • Collegeville:  College of Saint Benedict; to conduct 30 interviews that will document the history of the all-women's college in preparation for its sesquicentennial observance, $6,962.
  • Duluth:
    • Lake Superior Marine Museum Association; to hire a qualified conservator to prepare a treatment proposal for the inspection certificate of the shipwreck Thomas Wilson, $350.
    • Western Lake Superior Sanitary District; to fabricate and install an exhibit on the history of the sanitary district that will broaden public access to the district's story, $5,900.
  • Eagan:  
    • Caponi Art Park; to establish the institution archives through training and basic processing, $6,990.
    • Trinity Lone Oak Lutheran Church; to reconstruct interment records of the Lone Oak Lutheran Cemetery and broaden public access through deposit at the Dakota County Historical Society, $2,125.
  • Ely:  Ely Greenstone Public Art Committee; to control the climate in Miners Dry and Shaft Houses, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, $6,000.
  • Elysian:  Le Sueur County Historical Society; to hire a qualified HVAC engineer to prepare planning documents for a future project that will improve environmental conditions for the Elysian School, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, $5,500.
  • Excelsior:  Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society; to add 500 digital images of artifacts into its PastPerfect Museum Software collections management system, $5,048.
  • Fergus Falls:  City of Fergus Falls; to hire a qualified historian to research and assemble materials for the creation of a heritage tourism brochure, $5,000.
  • Fridley:  Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society; to build and install a display case that will house artifacts from the Hesper shipwreck, $4,148.
  • Grand Rapids:  City of Grand Rapids; to restore 26 light fixtures in the Central School, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, $7,000.
  • Granite Falls:  Upper Sioux Community; to hire a qualified professional to conduct public input meetings in preparation for Tribal Historic Preservation Office status, $7,000. Hanley Falls:  Minnesota's Machinery Museum; to improve the organization's ability to secure collections held in the public trust, $5,575.
  • Hewitt:  City of Hewitt, to hire a professional HVAC engineer to evaluate the Hewitt School, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and make recommendations for meeting climate standards, $6,950.
  • Hokah:  City of Hokah; to enable public access through historical markers documenting the history of the City of Hokah, $6,400.
  • Lake Bronson:  Kittson County Historical Society; to conduct 7-10 interviews that will document the military experience of Kittson County from 1941-2010; $6,995.
  • Lake City:  Wabasha County Historical Society; to conduct a general conservation assessment of its collections and provide a long range plan for preservation, $5,500.
  • Le Sueur:  Le Sueur Public Library; to add 35 standard Minnesota history titles to broaden public accessibility at four public libraries in Le Sueur County, $1,962.
  • Litchfield:  Greater Litchfield Opera House Association, Inc.; to hire a qualified historical architect to prepare planning documents in preparation for historic preservation projects, $7,000.
  • Madison:  Lac qui Parle County Historical Society; to gain intellectual and physical control over museum collections that document Lac qui Parle county history, $2,984.
  • Mantorville:  Dodge County Historical Society; to conduct a general conservation assessment of its collections and provide long range planning for preservation, $5,935.
  • Maplewood:  Maplewood Area Historical Society; to hire a qualified historian to research and draft an exhibit on Gladstone, an early suburban development in Maplewood Township, $7,000.
  • Marine on St. Croix:  City of Marine on St. Croix; to hire a qualified historical architect to prepare a Historic Structure Report for the Marine Village Hall, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, $7,000.
  • Minneapolis:
    • American Red Cross Twin Cities Area Chapter; to research and develop a book about World War I Red Cross volunteer Alice O'Brien, $7,000.
    • Firefighter's Hall and Museum; to grow the capacity of the organization to preserve and interpret history through a national training standard, $7,000.
    • Minneapolis College of Art and Design; to conduct 15 interviews that will document Minnesota's cartoonists' community, $7,000.
    • Minnesota African American Museum & Cultural Center; to hire a qualified historian to research and draft a traveling exhibit on African Americans in Minnesota, $7,000.
    • Minnesota Council of Churches Refugee Services; to publish a book documenting refugee resettlement in Minnesota, $7,000.
    • Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency; to publish a revised and expanded version of its 108-year history as an 80 page book, $6,700.
    • Preserve Minneapolis; to hire a qualified historian to research and assemble materials that will create walking and bicycling tours to historic resources in the city, $7,000.
    • Sabes Jewish Community Center; to fabricate and install an exhibit on new Minnesotans who have begun to weathemselves into the state's story, $7,000.
  • Minnesota Lake:  City of Minnesota Lake; to rehouse and properly store museum collections that document the history of Minnesota Lake, $5,004.
  • Moorhead:  Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County; to conduct a general conservation assessment of its collections and provide long range planning for preservation, $6,342.
  • Morton:  Dakota Wicohan; to catalog 23 hours of recorded Dakota language from elders that speak Dakota as a first language, $4,300.  
  • Pine River:  Heritage Group North, Inc.; to install a self-guided walking tour that will enable public access to the history of Pine River, $6,975.
  • Red Wing:  Goodhue County Historical Society; to add 60 rolls of microfilmed newspapers that will broaden public accessibility to primary records, $3,325.
  • Richfield:  Richfield Historical Society; to make publicly accessible a collection of 7,500 photographs of Richfield housing from 1955-1957, $4,620.
  • Shakopee:  Scott County Historical Society; to create microfilm of two years of seven Scott County newspapers not currently on microfilm, $2,105.
  • Shakopee:  Three Rivers Park District - The Landing; to gain intellectual and physical control over museum collections housed in five buildings, $6,750.
  • Slayton:  Murray County Historical Society; to conduct 4 interviews that will document the history of Lake Sarah Township, $3,440.
  • Springfield:  City of Springfield; to hire a qualified historian to conduct a historic context study for the City of Springfield, $3,500.
  • St. Cloud:  St. Cloud State University; to acquire 114 rolls of newspapers on microfilm for the research library, $6,247.
  • St. Louis Park:  Sholom Community Alliance; to conduct 15 interviews that will document the history of one Jewish long-term care system in the Twin Cities, $7,000.
  • St. Paul:
    • Amherst H. Wilder Foundation; to provide basic processing for 59 cubic feet of archival materials that will make Amherst H. Wilder archives publicly accessible, $5,221.
    • Cathedral Heritage Foundation, to provide basic processing and rehousing of archival materials that will make the Cathedral of St. Paul archives publicly accessible, $4,341.
    • Minnesota Women's Consortium; to edit audio-visual assets as a part of a larger project to create a documentary on women's political history in Minnesota, $2,000.
    • MN Administrators of Special Education; to conduct 7 interviews that will document the history of the development of special education in Minnesota, $6,998.
    • Saint Paul Heritage Preservation Commission; to hire a qualified historian to prepare the nomination of the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company Historic District to the National Register of Historic Places, $7,000.
  • Stephen:  City of Stephen; to republish and update "Backward Glances" (1982), the definitive history of the Stephen area by Lawrence Sunsdahl, $7,000.
  • Wabasha:
    • Grace Memorial Episcopal Church; to preserve Grace Memorial Episcopal Church, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, through improved electrical service, $3,466.
    • Wabasha Public Library; to hire a qualified historian to research and prepare an interpretive program that will enable the public to explore the river history of Wabasha, $5,556.
  • Wadena:  Wadena County Historical Society; to make local history publicly accessible by organizing and rehousing the Verndale newspapers, $275.
  • Walnut Grove:  Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum & Tourist Center; to fabricate and install a historical exhibit on the context of the Walnut Grove community at the time of Laura Ingalls Wilder's residency; $3,000.
  • Wayzata:  Wayzata Historical Society; to hire a qualified historian to evaluate the Section Foreman's House for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, $7,000.
  • Winger:  City of Winger; to broaden public access to the Gosen School, which houses the Winger History Museum, $2,900.
  • Winona:  City of Winona; to hire a qualified historian to prepare up to four nominations of neighborhood schools for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, $7,000.

Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants

The Society received a 2009 Legislative appropriation for a total of $6.75 million for Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund during the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years. The grants provide an unprecedented opportunity for non-profit and educational organizations, government units and tribal organizations to preserve and share the state’s history and cultural heritage.

The Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program is designed to be well-rounded with the goal to positively impact the lives of all Minnesotans.  Prior to the beginning the program, MHS conducted research across the state to determine priorities and discover the types of projects Minnesotans would like to see benefit.

Grants have been awarded to match the specific needs of organizations that demonstrate a clear rationale to produce measureable results in preserving the state’s history and cultural heritage.  Funded projects encompass a great range of ethnic and social diversity including American Indian, Asian American-Pacific Islander, African and Southeast Asian immigrants, Jews, Muslims, veterans, home school families and Americans with Disabilities.     

Grants were awarded for history and historic preservation projects in three tiers:  Small or “Fast Track” grants of $7,000 or less, Mid-Size grants between $7,000 and $50,000, and Large grants of more than $50,000. For more information on the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage grants program, including funded projects, visit www.mnhs.org/legacygrants.

About the Minnesota Historical Society

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849.  Its essence is to help illuminate the past as a way to shed light on the future.  The Society collects, preserves and tells the story of Minnesota’s past through museum exhibits, libraries and collections, historic sites, educational programs and book publishing.