"Save America's Treasures" Awards $14.5 Million in Federal Grants
Innovative federal partnership funds the preservation of the U.S.' irreplaceable and endangered building and collections
October 11, 2004
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 $14,500,000 in federal Save America's Treasures (SAT) grants. With these funds 60 organizations and agencies will act to conserve some of America's most significant cultural treasures, which illustrate, interpret, and embody the great events, ideas, and individuals that contribute to our nation's history and culture. Through the Congressionally-appropriated SAT program, awards were made to 35 historic properties and sites and 25 nationally significant collections of artifacts, documents and artistic works.
Please see complete
project list at http://www.arts.gov/news/news04/SAT2.html.
Laura Bush, Honorary Chair of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, said, "Our historic buildings, art and writings are the storehouse of America's memory and values. The grants provided by Save America's Treasures will help preserve these so that we can pass on this critical legacy and teach our young people the story of this nation."
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 the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona, but also such fragile artistic and intellectual treasures as the writings of Carl Sandburg and New Jersey's Revolutionary War Documents. The National Trust for Historic Preservation, Save America's Treasures' private sector partner, assists many of the federal SAT grantees in raising required matching funds.
"These historic projects shed light on our past and inspire our children and future leaders," Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton said. "The grants reflect the Administration's efforts and the value and interest our communities hold for preserving and protecting these historic treasures."
Save America's Treasures projects are exceptional places and artifacts that face a host of threats from water damage to dry rot to structural collapse. Rust has attacked the battleship U.S.S. Massachusetts, the former flagship of General George Patton during the Allied invasion of North Africa, and this year's award will repair the deck to prevent further corrosion. Structural defects threaten to destroy Connecticut's Joseph Webb House (1752), where George Washington planned his campaign to defeat the British at Yorktown, and SAT funds will be used to replace critical beams and roof supports.
Not all of the 2004 SAT projects are as rugged as a battleship nor as substantial as a house--some are as fleeting as a dance performance or a memory. One of the nation's most tragic events, the destruction of the World Trade Center, is captured in snapshots of missing persons, video footage, notes and other fragile artifacts held in two 9/11 collections-one at the New York City Police Museum and the other at the Museum of the City of New York, and SAT monies will be used to conserve these items. This year's SAT funds also ensure that recordings such as those of major dancers from the American Ballet Theatre to Martha Graham are preserved and fragile textiles and other objects in New Mexico's Palace of the Governors are restored.
IMLS Director Robert Martin said, "IMLS is delighted to be a partner to Save America's Treasures. The collections held in the nation's museum and historic sites have great power to connect us to our nation's heritage. These grants will help ensure that families, students and all lifelong learners are able to make those connections for generations to come."
NEA Chairman Dana Gioia stated, "Together with our partner agencies, the NEA congratulates the 2004 Save America's Treasures grant recipients. Save America's Treasures helps to preserve the best of America's cultural and artistic heritage through significant projects, such as the restoration of New York Public Library's incomparable video dance collection and the conservation of the Peabody Awards Collection."
NEH Chairman Bruce Cole said, "NEH is proud to contribute to the preservation of America's cultural treasures. Our nation's future depends on our ability to safeguard the ideas, ideals, and institutions of the past. These projects tell the unique story of America, from preserving early Revolutionary War documents to the history of Rosenwald rural schools to the influence of early American languages."
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."
National Trust for Historic Preservation President Richard Moe said, "The National Trust is the proud private partner in the federal Save America's Treasures program, and we congratulate the 2004 awardees for helping to ensure a brighter future for our past. By protecting the places that tell America's story, we are preserving our nation's history for generations to come."
Save America's Treasures received 390 grant applications from eligible federal agencies; state, local, and tribal governments; and nonprofit organizations in 2004. A panel of experts representing preservation and conservation disciplines reviewed the applications and made final recommendations to the Secretary of Interior. Each award encourages private sector investment through its requirement for a 1:1 match with nonfederal funds. To be successful each applicant project must be of national significance, demonstrate an urgent preservation need, have an educational or other public benefit, and demonstrate the likely availability of non-federal matching funds. In addition to these awards, Congress also designates projects for SAT funds, and in 2004 $17.9 million was awarded to 99 projects in 39 states.
Since FY 1999, 660 grants (293 earmarks and 367 competitive grants) have been awarded to preserve nationally significant and endangered historic buildings, structures, places, collections, artifacts and artistic works. To date, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Midway Island have received grants.
Additional information on the Save America's Treasures program can be found on the PCAH Web site at www.pcah.gov, the NPS Web site at http://www2.cr.nps.gov/treasures/, or by contacting the NPS at 202-513-7270, ext. 6.
David Barna, NPS, 202-208-6843
Felicia Knight, NEA, 202-682-5570
Mamie Bittner, IMLS, 202-606-8339
Noel Milan, NEH, 202-606-8439
Kimber Craine, PCAH, 202-682-5661, 202-441-0080 (cell)
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