July 6, 2018
Preservation Virginia Awarded $75,000 Grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as Part of $25M Effort to Preserve Historically Significant Places Across the US That Fully Reflect the American Story
Preservation Virginia is one of 16 recipients of the first grant cycle with the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund
RICHMOND – Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader, today announced that it is among the inaugural class of grantees of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s newly established African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The private non-profit was awarded $75,000 to conduct a two-part economic study of Shockoe Bottom. The study will make the case for developing the historic area as a heritage tourism destination through the creation of a memorial park while embracing equitable economic revitalization.
The study will be conducted through a partnership effort between Preservation Virginia, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Sacred Burial Ground Reclamation Project, the Center for Design Engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Valentine museum.
“Shockoe Bottom, once an epicenter of the domestic slave trade, tells a uniquely American story of the contradictions between the American ideal of personal freedom and the reality of American slavery and the continuing struggle for economic justice,” said Elizabeth Kostelny, CEO of Preservation Virginia. “The two-part study will analyze the economic benefits of the memorial park concept and identify appropriate and responsible economic revitalization of the area.”
Ana Edwards, Chair of Sacred Burial Ground Reclamation Project, stated, “This type of innovative economic analysis has not been undertaken elsewhere, it will provide a model for other urban African American projects that seek to examine and reconcile the past while bringing economic justice to their communities.”
The Action Fund is a $25 million multi-year national initiative aimed at uplifting the largely overlooked contributions of African Americans by protecting and restoring African American historic sites and uncovering hidden stories of African Americans connected to historic sites across the nation. Preservation Virginia was one of 16 grantees awarded more than $1 million in grants to support grassroots preservation efforts to preserve sites across the country.
Preservation Virginia was chosen from a pool of over 800 applications totaling over $90 million in requests for support, further illustrating the growing need for additional protection, preservation and restoration of spaces of social and cultural significance to the African American community.
In 2014, Preservation Virginia named Shockoe Bottom to their Most Endangered Historic Places list and since then has worked with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project and the Center for Design Engagement at the University of Massachusetts Amherst to promote a community-based approach to preserving this historic area.
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund was launched in November 2017 and is the largest preservation campaign undertaken on behalf of African American history. With a fundraising goal of $25 million over five years, the National Trust will support projects and organizations across the country that are working to tell the nation’s full history.
For the full list of grant award recipients visit savingplaces.org/2018-action-fund-grant-recipients
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ABOUT PRESERVATION VIRGINIA
Preservation Virginia is a private, non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889 that is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and serving as an advocate for Virginia's cultural and architectural history. Visit www.preservationvirgina.org
ABOUT THE AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURAL HERITAGE ACTION FUND
The African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund is a multi-year initiative led by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the Ford Foundation, The JPB Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and other partners, working to make an important and lasting contribution to our cultural landscape by elevating the stories and places of African American achievement and activism. To learn more visit: https://www.savingplaces.org/ActionFund
ABOUT THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. Visit https://www.savingplaces.org
804-648-1889, ext. 304