MEDIA ALERT: MINNESOTA HISTORY COALITION RECOMMENDS LEGACY FUNDS BE DEDICATED TO HISTORY STATEWIDE

For immediate release

Release dated: 
April 9, 2009
Media contacts: 

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

MEDIA ALERT: MINNESOTA HISTORY COALITION RECOMMENDS LEGACY FUNDS BE DEDICATED TO HISTORY STATEWIDE

The Minnesota History Coalition has recommended that 50 percent of the Arts and Cultural Heritage portion specified in the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment passed by voters on Election Day 2008 be used for statewide history education and preservation. Specifically, half of 19.75 percent of the total funds allocated to Arts and Cultural Heritage would be used for this purpose. The balance of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment funds is designated for outdoor heritage and clean water initiatives (33 percent each) and parks and trails (14.25 percent).

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

The constitutional amendment states that the Arts and Cultural Heritage funds may be spent only for “arts, arts education, and arts access and 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."

The success of the Legacy Amendment, which passed by a 56-percent margin, shows the importance of history to our citizens says Minnesota Historical Society Director Nina Archabal. "With their votes, Minnesotans have shown that, even in these challenging economic times, they value the preservation of our history. It is our responsibility and obligation to save and protect these irreplaceable resources so that our citizens may know and understand where we have been as they shape our future."

The Minnesota History Coalition has recommended that the Minnesota Historical Society serve as the administrator of Legacy Amendment funds designated for history education and preservation. The Society has long worked with Minnesota’s more than 400 state, regional and local historical organizations, disbursing federal and state grants, providing expertise and technical support to community partners, and acted as an educational resource for teachers and the public.

"The Preservation Alliance of Minnesota is proud to be a part of the Minnesota History Coalition representing thousands of Minnesotans who voted to invest in our historic places.Our hope is that the legislature recognizes the importance of Minnesota’s history in our state’s education system and our economy, and provides significant funding for the preservation and interpretation of our shared heritage from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund," says Bonnie McDonald, executive director of the Minnesota Preservation Alliance.

"Funding for history from the Legacy Amendment has the potential to help many historical organizations across the state to build upon their long history of service to their communities," adds Todd Mahon, executive director of the Anoka County Historical Society. "Through enhanced funding for history, as well as development of partnerships, Minnesotans will better understand their past as they work to build a strong Minnesota for the future."