For immediate release

Release dated: 
January 19, 2011
Media contacts: 

Julianna Olsen
Marketing and Communications

Suzanne Fedoruk Herrick
Fedoruk & Assoc.
612-247-3079 (cell)


Minnesotans get a positive return on their investment in Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society.

For more information visit legacy.mnhs.org.

History projects funded by the Legacy Amendment are delivering positive results to Minnesotans. They are creating new opportunities for students, revitalizing communities, preserving the past and delivering more history to more Minnesotans than ever before.

In addition, economic experts say Legacy-funded history projects are giving Minnesota taxpayers a 195% return on their investment.

A preliminary report released by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality finds that for every $1 of Legacy funds invested in history programs and projects, the state receives a return on investment of $1.95, which directly benefits state and local economies.
Minnesota voters passed the Legacy Amendment in November 2008. It mandates that a portion of the funds be used to “preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.”

For the 2010-2011 biennium, the legislature appropriated $22 million in Legacy funds to the Minnesota Historical Society for new statewide programs and projects. With those funds, the Society has developed statewide programs and projects centered on education and preservation. The Society also awarded 474 grants to 343 history organizations across Minnesota.

“We have taken our responsibility very seriously. We have carefully invested Legacy funds in projects and programs that are impacting Minnesotans in all 87 counties in the state,” said Minnesota Historical Society Director Michael Fox.

Legacy history funds are also giving Minnesotans unprecedented access to historical and cultural resources. All expenditures are detailed in a report submitted to the governor and legislature and also available at this website legacy.mnhs.org.

One Legacy-funded history program, Interactive Video Conferencing, is connecting classrooms statewide with live, active history lessons beamed from the Minnesota History Center in St. Paul using video conferencing technology.

“It can actually take my students places where we can’t afford to take them or to places that no longer exist,” said Karleen Black, a teacher in Ogilvie, Minn. who has used Interactive Video Conferencing for several of her history classes.

Legacy funding is supporting a groundbreaking educational exhibit at the Minnesota History Center designed for tech-savvy students, the development of a new hands-on history curriculum and innovative training opportunities for teachers.

“Legacy funding has given us a huge opportunity to meet the needs of students and teachers, which benefits all the people of Minnesota,” said Wendy Jones, head of education programs at the Minnesota History Center.
In North Minneapolis, which has one of the highest concentrations of unemployment in the state, Legacy funds are transforming a historic library into a 21st-century career and technology center.

“In our current economic times, our ability to get people back to work is really a great use of taxpayer dollars,” said Lance Knuckles of Emerge Community Development.

The Minnesota Historical Society is supported in part by its Premier Partners: Xcel Energy and Explore Minnesota Tourism.

The Minnesota Historical Society is a non-profit educational and cultural institution established in 1849. Its essence is to 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.