Minnesota History Coalition Legacy Funding Recommendation

For immediate release

Release dated: 
February 18, 2011
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Julianna Olsen
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Marjorie Nugent
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Minnesota History Coalition Legacy Funding Recommendation

Positive Statewide Impact and High Demand Drive 2011 History Legacy Fund Recommendation

St. Paul, Minn. – Compelled by the positive results of last biennium’s Legacy Amendment-funded projects and the continuing need for funding, the Minnesota History Coalition is requesting that the state legislature appropriate $36.55 million over the next biennium from the Legacy Amendment’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to statewide history education and preservation.

Demand for funding for history projects last biennium exceeded available resources by more than 2-to-1. Meanwhile, Legacy-funded projects and programs are benefiting Minnesotans in all 87 counties in the state.

“Legacy-funded history initiatives are creating new opportunities for students, revitalizing communities, preserving our past and creating unprecedented access to historical resources,” said Minnesota Historical Society Director Michael Fox. “It’s essential that the history community continue the important work already underway.”

“The Legacy grants have created tremendous impact in communities across the state, stimulating investment, both public and private, in our irreplaceable historic properties,” said Bonnie McDonald, Executive Director of Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.

A report on all history-related Legacy expenditures for the 2010-2011 biennium can be found at this web site www.mnhs.org/2011legacyreport.

The Minnesota History Coalition recommends that the $36.55 million for the biennium be distributed as follows:

  • $14 million for history programs and projects that are of statewide significance or statewide responsibility including educational programs and projects that increase the general public’s access to collections and historic sites,
  • $15 million for the competitive Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program which funds statewide history programs and projects through local, regional and other historical organizations. In the first biennium, demand for history grants exceeded available resources 6-to-1,
  • $6 million for history projects and programs conducted through partnerships between historical organizations,
  • $600,000 for a statewide survey of historical and archaeological sites and
  • $950,000 for the Minnesota Digital Library’s efforts to preserve and increase online access to important historical resources.

The Minnesota History Coalition also recommends that the Minnesota Historical Society continue administering Legacy history funds. The Society has a 162-year track record of operating public programs that serve the people of Minnesota and a 42-year track record of administering competitive grant programs.

The Coalition has further recommended that the Historic Resources Advisory Committee, a volunteer citizen body created in the 2009 ACHF legislation, should continue to provide its expertise in overseeing the Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program.

The Minnesota History Coalition is comprised of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, the Alliance of Local History Museums, the Minnesota Genealogical Society, the Minnesota Archaeological Society, the Minnesota Digital Library, Minnesota History Advocates for Research, Minnesota’s Historic Northwest, the Council for Minnesota Archaeology and the Minnesota Historical Society.

Minnesota voters passed the Legacy Amendment in November 2008. Language in the Constitution mandates that a portion of the funds be used to “preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.” The amendment also states these funds "must supplement traditional sources of funding for these purposes and may not be used as a substitute."