San Antonio: Office of Historic Preservation Launches African American Heritage Preservation Initiative

CONTACT: Ximena Copa-Wiggins, (210)207-0221

SAN ANTONIO (June 23, 2022) – The Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) has launched an initiative to preserve and promote San Antonio's African American heritage. Funded in part by grants, this initiative includes the development of an African American Cultural Context Statement and a survey of historic resources.

The initiative will identify significant places, events, people, as well as intangible heritage—foods, songs, dances, festivals, spirituality—important to the local African American community and will result in at least one new nomination to the National Register of Historic Places. A grant from the Texas Historical Commission will fund the cultural context statement and a strategic plan for future context statements. OHP launched an SASpeakUp survey open through July 22 for citizen input to help craft the context statement, due by the end of September. Citizens may also participate by calling 311 or providing comment at all public libraries.

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The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded OHP $50,000 under the NPS Underrepresented Community Grant Program. Funding will facilitate the historic resource survey of five historically African American neighborhoods within a 3-mile radius of downtown that remain largely untouched from urban renewal and modern redevelopment. This multi-year initiative will include extensive community engagement with partner organizations and will be guided by the African American Cultural Context Statement.

The Underrepresented Community Grant Program was created to diversify nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The Historically African American Neighborhoods Survey is being supported in part by an Underrepresented Communities grant from the Historic Preservation Fund administered by NPS, Department of the Interior.

An advisory group composed of citizens, scholars, and community organizations is providing guidance to OHP on this African American heritage initiative.

For more information, visit the African American Preservation Initiative website.

Filed Under: Government, City

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