Federal Agencies Announce $14.89 Million in Save America's Treasures Grants
Innovative federal partnership funds the preservation and conservation of the U.S.' irreplaceable and endangered historic properties, sites, documents, artistic works and artifacts
October 17, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), National Park Service (NPS), National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) jointly announced the awarding of $14.89 million in federal competitive Save America's Treasures (SAT) grants. With these funds 61 organizations and agencies will act to conserve significant U.S. cultural treasures, which illustrate, interpret and are associated with the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation's history and culture.
Through the Congressionally-appropriated competitive SAT program, awards were made to 32 historic properties and sites and 29 nationally significant artifacts, collections, documents and artistic works. These awards are the culmination of a process begun in late 2004 and are the result of detailed consideration by preservation and conservation experts.
For a complete list of Save America's Treasures grants go to http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/treasures/2005grants.htm. The list of those grants supported by the Arts Endowment is available on our web site.
Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, said, "Historic preservation and conservation has such an important place in America. The devastation in the Gulf region is a stark reminder of the significant fragility of buildings, sites and artifacts that define our neighborhoods and the character of our country. Through these Save America Treasures grants, and together with our Preserve America initiative, President Bush and I want to help every American - especially children - learn about our nation's heritage, history and culture."
The selection of this year's Save America's Treasures awards drew on the cross-disciplinary expertise of an innovative partnership between the federal cultural agencies (NEA, NEH, and IMLS) and the National Park Service, which administers the program in collaboration with the President's Committee. This collaborative approach allows the program to support the restoration not only of outstanding National Historic Landmarks, such as Fort Stanton in New Mexico, but also such fragile artistic treasures as the choreographic works of Alvin Ailey and the photographic legacy of Ansel Adams.
"Preservation goes beyond bricks and mortar," said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. "Under the Bush Administration, the Save America's Treasures program is about protecting and maintaining those structures, sites and other important components of our culture and heritage that help to explain America's past to future generations."
"The NEA is proud to join our partner agencies in congratulating the 2005 Save America's Treasures grant recipients. The Save America's Treasures program plays a major role in preserving the nation's cultural and artistic heritage. With preservation issues at the forefront of the country's consciousness after Hurricane Katrina, this program assumes even greater importance for the vital work it facilitates," said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia.
General George Washington's legacy to the nation is preserved in several different ways by this year's SAT awards. Robert Dinwiddie's Papers, the British Crown lieutenant governor's correspondence of the 1750s documents in part the beginnings of Washington's military career; Thomas Sully's 1819 Passage of the Delaware depicts Washington leading his troops to battle; and finally, the Revolutionary War Orderly books, which Washington required of units under his command, record the daily life of the army. The value of these fragile documents and works to historians, artists, writers and scholars, such as David McCullough's 1776 or David Hackett Fischer's Washington's Crossing , is undeniable in bringing our nation's past to life.
NEH Chairman Bruce Cole said, "NEH is proud to continue its support for the preservation of America's cultural treasures. These projects will preserve important records of Native American history, rare military documents from the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, U.S. newspapers created before 1877, as well as unique records and letters from our nation's founding period."
"The collections held in the nation's museums, libraries and historic sites connect people to the full spectrum of the human experience: culture, science, history and art," said Mary Chute, Acting Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "For lifelong learners making these connections is vitally important to broaden our knowledge of who we are, where we come from, and where we are going. IMLS is proud to be a partner of Save America's Treasures and congratulates the recipients of this year's awards."
PCAH Executive Director Henry Moran indicated, "Save America's Treasures represents an extraordinary process that blends the best expertise of several federal agencies to select and recommend projects of exceptional value to our nation's cultural and historic legacy. With the support of Congress and the White House, this program exemplifies what the public and private sector can accomplish together in preserving these pre-eminent symbols of our democracy and cultural values."
The private sector plays a significant role in the success of Save America's Treasures. Each award encourages private sector investment through its requirement of a 1:1 match with nonfederal funds. As the SAT's private sector partner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation assists many of these federal SAT grantees in raising required matching funds, more than $52 million since the program began.
National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe said, "For seven years, Save America's Treasures has helped ensure a brighter future for our past by recognizing and supporting the preservation of the places and collections that tell America's story. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is proud to join the National Park Service and our country's major cultural organizations in this model public-private partnership."
In addition to these awards, Congress also designates projects as earmarks for SAT funds at the beginning of the federal fiscal year, October 2004, and for fiscal year 2005 $14.8 million was awarded to 83 projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Together the competitive grants and Congressional earmarks for Save America's Treasures amount to a $29.3 million investment in our nation's most precious cultural and historical treasures.
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