Preserving the Legacy

When Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008, it was a strong statement in support of protecting our state’s quality of life. Voters put pencil to ballot to state that we are willing to pay just a little more (3/8th of one percent more) in sales tax to dedicate needed funding to preserve what is ubiquitous with “Minnesota”: our environment, the arts, and our cultural heritage.

Now, we find ourselves two years down the road with grants having been awarded and successes to report.  A Minnesota House of Representatives Legacy Funding Division hearing today featured testimony from the agencies responsible for awarding those grants.  I was proud to sit in the audience on behalf of the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota to support our partner, the Minnesota Historical Society (MHS), in their testimony on the success of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund grant program.  You will be amazed by what has been achieved in just two years:

  • 474 grants awarded to 343 organizations in 86 counties
  • $6.55 million awarded in grant funding
  • $1.95 returned to the State of Minnesota for every $1 spent

Testimony provided by MHS Director Michael Fox and David Kelliher, Director of Public Policy & Government Relations, highlighted the incredible impact made in just two years.  MHS’ report, complimented as a model by Chair Representative Dean Urdahl, details all 474 grants and their return to the citizens of Minnesota.

We need to be prepared to urge our legislators to appropriate continued funding for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund’s history and historic preservation grants in 2011.  The Legislature must appropriate new funding levels for fiscal year 2012-2013 to continue this vital grants program.  Make sure to sign up for our e-alerts to receive our calls to action when important hearings approach.  Also, join us at the Minnesota State Capitol on Monday, February 21, for History Matters Day hosted by MHS.  More information is forthcoming on the History Matters website about coming to St. Paul to talk with your state legislators.

Your voice is important.  Stand up and be heard at the Capitol on behalf of the historic properties in your community.

Live from the Capitol,

Bonnie McDonald

Executive Director

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