Tacoma, WA —The Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) announced that it is recommending 36 history building projects across the state for funding through the agency’s Heritage Capital Projects (HCP) program. These local community projects were vetted through a competitive application process at a public meeting in Spokane on August 15, 2018. WSHS’s capital budget request includes a total of $10 million to provide matching grant funds for the 36 projects through the HCP program. The funding request will go to Governor Inslee and the Legislature for consideration for inclusion in the state’s 2019-2021 biennium capital budget.
“The recommended projects on the list have passed a high threshold of eligibility and good history practices, as verified by a panel of experts,” said Lissa Kramer, Heritage Capital Projects program manager at WSHS. To qualify for a grant through the HCP program, projects must be for facilities or historic landscapes that support history preservation and education. Projects may include improvements of existing structures, preservation, restoration, or new construction.
Most often, people think of old buildings that need restoration, but not all HCP projects fall into that category. For example, the program helped to fund the restoration of the Duwamish Hill Preserve in Tukwila, which opened in 2017. The preserve serves as an outdoor classroom?a space to explore nature and for informal recreation. It is also a significant cultural location for Native Americans.
Sometimes the projects even float, as in the case of the historic vessel Adventuress, which is maintained and operated through the organization Sound Experience and received funds in the last biennium. “All of us aboard the schooner were honored to host Governor Inslee earlier this year. Our crew were excited to share not only the ship’s remarkable century of history, but also her relevance to educating Washington’s youth with powerful shipboard maritime workforce and environmental stewardship programming. More than a thousand children and teens each year participate in programs on the Adventuress,” said Catherine Collins, executive director at Sound Experience.
Would you like to know if the new HCP list includes a project in your community? You can see the full list and project ranking at WashingtonHistory.org/hcp. If there is a project in your community you may have already heard about it through your local organization’s fundraising efforts.
Positive Community Impact
Many communities have already benefited from Heritage Capital Projects grants. The Legislature established the program in 1995, and over the past 22 years, nearly $80 million dollars has been distributed to more than three hundred public heritage projects across the state. Because the Heritage Capital Projects program provides a one-third matching grant, it means that triple the value of the state’s investment in history building projects is being invested in local communities. Two-thirds of the funding for projects is typically raised locally; hence many of the dollars stay in the community and provide benefit to the citizens living there.
“This year’s list of recommended projects totals about ten million dollars,” said Kramer. “So with the matching, if the list gets funded, it means that thirty million dollars will be spent in towns all over Washington.”
To see a range of projects funded in part through Heritage Capital Projects grants, see the interactive map on WSHS’s website at WashingtonHistory.org/hcp.
Future grant opportunities
If you know of a public history, preservation or heritage project and want to apply for a grant or learn more about program requirements, please contact program staff at heritage.capitalprojects.
The Washington State Historical Society’s mission is “to partner with our communities to explore how history connects us all.” WSHS is the state agency for preserving history and supporting history education. WSHS also provides support services for other historical organizations, and cultural emergency response for communities across Washington. The Society’s offices are located at the Washington State History Museum and at the Research Center in Tacoma.