Funding Strategies for Endangered Structures

Join Kennedy Sutherland LLP at the Preservation Texas 2016 Summit on February 18, 2016 at the historical Central Christian Church located on 1110 Guadalupe Street in Austin, Texas. The Preservation Texas 2016 Summit include education sessions, announcement of the 2016 Most Endangered Places list and the presentation of the 2016 Honor Awards. Join us and others for an excellent opportunity to learn, network and celebrate historic preservation in Texas!

See the Agenda & Register

MAKING HOMES FOR THE ARTS IN SACRED PLACES: The briefing will present findings from research conducted by Karen DiLossi, Director of the Arts in Sacred Places program at Partners for Sacred Places. Building on Partners’ successful Arts in Sacred Places program, the space needs of dance, theater, and other performing arts groups in Austin along with Baltimore and Detroit were examined in a national study. This presentation will focus on Austin’s results.  Representative sacred places in Austin were assessed to determine the availability of space and willingness to share it with Austin’s artists. The findings illuminate the dire situations faced by these artists and include recommendations for potential space-sharing models that can be adopted across the country.

HISTORIC TRUSS BRIDGES IN TEXAS: Over the past 30 years, Texas lost approximately 90% of its metal truss bridges due to deterioration, increased traffic needs like oil and gas exploration, and lack of continued maintenance.  Only 140 truss bridges remain in vehicular service across the state, so the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is developing a management plan to ensure these bridges remain in viable use.  TxDOT is partnering with the Texas Historical Commission and the Historic Bridge Foundation on these planning efforts.  Rebekah Dobrasko, a historic preservation specialist at TxDOT, will explain the benefits of a management plan and will highlight some of TxDOT’s toolkits and support for local owners and bridge enthusiasts wanting to maintain and save their historic truss bridges.

TEXAS FREEDOM COLONIES: DIASPORIC IDENTITY AND MEMORY: From 1870 to 1890, in the shadow of Reconstruction, former slaves founded more than 500 “Freedom Colonies” or Freedmen’s Towns across Texas.  For those settlements threatened by development, gentrification, or population loss, accessing resources and technical assistance can be challenging.  The panelists will share insight into how identity and memory among the descendants associated with Freedom Colonies catalyze their planning and historic preservation activities, including the example of Shankleville’s preservation and heritage tourism activities, research on a network or “cultural region” of Deep East Texas Freedom Colonies and lessons learned from public engagement with descendants of Freedom Colonies in Austin.

SAVING HISTORIC RURAL PLACES: Across rural Texas, changing demographics impact the continuity of important traditions, institutions and infrastructure.  The preservation of rural historic resources, from dance halls to churches to small schools to bridges, often requires advocates to reach beyond their local communities and build statewide networks around a specific building type.  Hear from Texans engaged in saving rural Texas by building grassroots support and local political commitment, including a county judge who has been dedicated to preserving his rural county.

THE FINANCIAL SUSTAINABILITY OF HISTORICAL ORGANIZATIONS: A recent report by the Summerlee Foundation sought to answer the question: What makes some history-based organizations sustainable, and others not?  By studying a range of organizations in Texas, the report reached some important conclusions.  Findings will be presented, with examples of sustainability practices being implemented at Dallas Heritage Village, one of the study’s participants.  This session will demonstrate that authentic historic places with integrity, strong and collaborative leadership, sound governance, diverse revenue streams and a business-minded plan for the future can thrive in Texas.

FUNDING STRATEGIES FOR ENDANGERED STRUCTURES: Many at-risk historic places are owned by nonprofit organizations.  The struggle to find the funds necessary to restore and rehabilitate these buildings can be daunting, particularly for smaller organizations that are struggling to operate day-to-day.  Learn about a powerful new opportunity for nonprofits to participate in the state historic preservation tax credit program, and about grant programs with the Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Historical Commission and National Trust for Historic Preservation that can be leveraged to make your project a success. Speakers include:

 Sehila CasperField Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation
 Lisa Harvell – Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program Coordinator,
                      Architecture Division, Texas Historical Comm.
 Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr., Esq.Kennedy Sutherland LLP
 Gene Krane – Executive Director, Texas Historical Foundation

HANDS-ON PRESERVATION TRAINING: NEEDS AND OPPORTUNITIES: At its core, preservation is about protecting and repairing historic resources to ensure that they remain standing for generations to come.  Yet there is a lack of opportunity for people to learn how to properly maintain and restore old buildings.  With greater access to hands-on preservation training, it might be possible to preserve much more of our irreplaceable past. Participants will share programs that are happening across Texas, and will discuss how we might expand those efforts statewide to benefit projects in your community. Speakers include:

PRESERVING THE LEGACY OF THE MODERN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT: Over the last sixty years, Texans of diverse backgrounds have worked to ensure that African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and LGBT citizens are able to share in the ideals of liberty that are at the foundation of our democracy.  Documenation, protection and interpretation of sites associated with those efforts and the people who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement is an essential part preserving the legacy of a turbulent period in our state and history.  Advocates working to protect these places and the complicated stories they tell will share their experiences and insight from a preservation perspective.

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