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Join the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission in commemorating American Indian Heritage Month

November has been proclaimed American Indian Heritage Month in Kentucky by Gov. Steve Beshear, with several events planned across the Commonwealth. This is the 10th anniversary of the annual designation. Click here for a high-resolution file of the commemorative poster. [PDF - 607KB]
American Indian Heritage Month poster iconThe Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission kicked off the month with a meeting Nov. 3 at Paul Sawyier Public Library in Frankfort. The commission was established under the auspices of the Kentucky Heritage Council/State Historic Preservation Office (KHC), to recognize and promote Native American contributions and influence in Kentucky history and culture. The body is made up of 17 members, eight of whom are required to be of Native American heritage, and includes representatives from institutions of higher learning, archaeology, Native American arts and the public.

According to Helen Danser of Tyner, commission chair, many misperceptions and stereotypes exist about Native American Indian cultures.

“We hope the work we do is helping to clarify some of these, and continuing to add to our understanding of Native American contributions to our society,” she said. “For example, one common misperception is that all native people shared a similar way of life, when in reality, customs and language could differ greatly among tribes – just as they did, for example, in European cultures. Hundreds of years ago, just as today, there is a great deal of cultural diversity among American Indian tribes in terms of music, art, religious practice and traditions.”
The most prominent event will be a reception and exhibit featuring award-winning Cherokee artist Donald Vann, from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7, at First Southern Arts Center in Stanford, free and open to the public. Vann will discuss his work and heritage, and his paintings will be exhibited at the gallery through the weekend, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Entertainment for the reception will be provided by Navajo flutist Fred Nez-Keams.

Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission meeting Nov. 3, 2014Vann is largely known for his portrayal of the Trail of Tears, and has been proclaimed “one of the best-known Indian artists of the 20th century” by the Cherokee National Historical Society. He has also been recognized as “Artist of the 20th Century” and “National Treasure” by the Cherokee Nation.

Other activities will include a public display focusing on Kentucky Native American history at the State Capitol, and presentations throughout the month by Tressa Brown, KHC commission coordinator. These include information sharing at the 2014 East and Midwest Multi-Regional Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Training, Tuesday through Thursday at the Brown Hotel in Louisville; three presentations at Burgin Elementary School, Nov. 10; a Native American Heritage Observance Presentation on Pow Wows to the Corps of Engineers in Louisville, Nov. 12; and a Native American Heritage Observance Presentation on Myths and Stereotypes for a school group, Nov. 25 at the Patton Museum in Fort Knox.

Kentucky Native American Heritage Month was established by the Legislature in 1998 to recognize the contributions of Native Americans to Kentucky history and culture. According to the gubernatorial proclamation, “American Indians have lived in Kentucky for more than 12,000 years and have made significant contributions to Kentucky’s rich cultural heritage… We recognize the past, present, and future contributions that American Indians have made and continue to make to enhance the quality of life of all Kentuckians.”

Photo, from left, Commission Member Anne Wood, Chair Helen Danser, KHC Commission Coordinator Tressa Brown

Paducah rolls out the red carpet for "Preservation Tools & Strategies"

Paducah street scene

Huge thanks to Paducah Main Street [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ], Preservation Kentucky Inc. [External Link - You are now leaving the .gov domain. ], the Kentucky Main Street Program and city of Paducah for their assistance and hard work in presenting the fourth and final presentation in the Kentucky Heritage Council's 2014 Kentucky Preservation Series, Preservation Tools and Strategies, October 23-25, in historic downtown Paducah.

Sessions were open to the public and geared to owners of historic buildings, real estate agents, members of architectural review boards and preservation commissions, Kentucky Main Street Program communities and supporters, local officials, and anyone interested in community preservation.

The weather was beautiful during this last weekend of October as participants enjoyed a trolley tour of the city; a garden reception at the Mary Jane, a beautiful historic home in the LowerTown Arts District; and sessions on topics ranging from rehab tax credits to marketing and selling historic real estate. The weekend was capped off Saturday afternoon with an informative walking tour highlighting downtown buildings, their architectural details, and rehabilitation and other changes that had been made to some of the facades.

We had a great time! And appreciate the financial and organization support provided by Ray Black & Son, Independence Bank, and Paducah Life magazine.

Other events in the 2014 Kentucky Preservation Series were:

Jan. 15-17, Frankfort
Creating Life on City Streets: Walkability
, presented in partnership with Preservation Kentucky, in conjunction with the annual Kentucky Main Street Program winter meeting. Keynote presenter was Jeff Speck, city planner and author of “Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time”

March 21-22, Covington
Planning to Preserve
, presented in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Northern Kentucky Restoration Weekend, including rollout of a survey and series of public meetings to engage constituents in developing the next five-year state historic preservation plan

Aug. 1-2, Pikeville
Capitalizing on Culture
, exploring how innovative marketing of heritage tourism could reap huge economic returns. Presented in partnership with Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) and Community Trust Bancorp Inc., with support from Preservation Kentucky, the Kentucky Main Street Program, Friends of Kentucky Main Street, Pikeville Main Street, the City of Pikeville and Pike County

We thank all those who attended, and who helped present these informative and fun events.

Help set the course for preservation in Kentucky

Take the Survey graphicThe Kentucky Heritage Council is seeking public input to develop goals and strategies for the state's new five-year historic preservation plan, required by the National Park Service to help states identify and conserve historic places they consider important.

Take the Survey today to help set the course for preservation in Kentucky over the next five years.

KHC's goal is to get feedback from as many Kentuckians as possible, to find out how well communities are saving and maintaining their historic buildings and neighborhoods, and whether local officials place a priority on trying to find new uses for places such as old post offices, schools and downtown commercial buildings.

"We are trying assess whether communities are putting historic buildings and sites to work for economic growth," said Craig Potts, KHC executive director and state historic preservation officer. "For instance, do elected leaders support efforts to rehabilitate and preserve historic places so they can be used to attract new businesses, or draw tourists interested in experiencing local history in an authentic way? And how can our agency better support community development that emphasizes preserving unique and irreplaceable local assets?"

The Preservation Payoff 

Each year the Kentucky Heritage Council compiles information about the impact of historic preservation in each of Kentucky's six Congressional districts. These data sheets quantify the financial and cultural value that KHC programs such as rehab tax credits and the Kentucky Main Street Program generate in investment back into communities. This information is presented both cumulatively (statewide) and by district, and projects in each district of particular interest are highlighted.

Two documents have been created for each Congressional district based on 2012 statistics - one of general interest, and a separate data sheet showing the impressive economic impact generated by state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credit programs administered by KHC. Find these in the column at right.

Please use these to help illustrate the economic and cultural impact that historic preservation programs are having in your community!

In 2012, Annville Institute in Jackson County was listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Preservation Works: Historic Preservation Projects and Case Studies booklet coverPreservation Works

Does your legislator, local elected official, family member, friend or neighbor want to know more about historic preservation?  Would you like to learn about how current preservation projects across the state are creating jobs, attracting private investment, generating tax revenue, promoting environmental sustainability, contributing to community planning and improving our quality of life?  Then check out Preservation Works! Historic Preservation Projects and Case Studies [PDF - 976KB], produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council.  For a hard copy, e-mail Vicki Birenberg, CLG and Planning Coordinator, or call 502-564-7005, ext. 126.


... to the Kentucky Heritage Council / State Historic Preservation Office Web site.  Our mission is to identify, preserve and protect the cultural resources of Kentucky.  Heritage Council staff administer all state and federal historic preservation and incentive programs in Kentucky, including the National Register of Historic Places.  Sixteen Kentucky Heritage Council members are appointed by the governor of the state to serve four year terms on the Heritage Council.  Council members live across the state representing the citizens of the Commonwealth and engaging in historic preservation projects.Morris Fork Community Center, Breathitt County

The Heritage Council is a repository of a priceless assemblage of survey forms, maps, photographs and other images in its unique archival collection of inventories of historic structures and archaeological sites in the state.  Our rural heritage is highlighted in a variety of programs including the Kentucky Crossroads Rural Heritage Development Initiative, an rural preservation/economic development partnership with Preservation Kentucky.  The Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a partnership with the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology, promotes the preservation of archaeological sites and educates the public about protecting these resources.

The Heritage Council seeks to build a greater awareness of Kentucky's historic places and to encourage the long-term preservation of Kentucky's significant cultural resources.  Kentucky leads the nation in the number of Preserve America communities, is fourth in the number of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and administers the federal and statewide rehabilitation tax credit programs.

Recent Kentucky Heritage Council Press Releases
  • 6 sites approved this week for listing in the National Register of Historic Places
    Thursday, December 11, 2014
    The Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board this week approved six sites for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, nominations which will now be forwarded to the National Park Service for final determination of eligibility. A decision on designation for these sites in Bellevue, Covington, Lexington, Louisville and Pike County will be rendered within 60 to 90 days.
  • Window Restoration Boot Camp taking place this week at Jefferson Jacob Rosenwald School
    Tuesday, November 18, 2014
    A nationally known historic building expert is leading a Window Restoration Boot Camp this week at Jefferson Jacob Rosenwald School, a former African American school listed in the National Register of Historic Places, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily through Friday at the school, located in Prospect. The boot camp is being presented as a pilot project for a proposed craftsman training program in the preservation trades.
  • KY Main Street Program encourages shoppers to Shop Small – Shop Downtown this holiday season!
    Friday, November 07, 2014
    This year, Small Business Saturday will be Nov. 29, the highlight of many holiday activities planned and already underway in Kentucky Main Street Program (KYMS) communities. Since 1979, the Main Street Program has successfully helped towns and cities across the state focus on downtown revitalization and economic development within the context of preserving and reusing unique local assets, such as historic commercial buildings. Visit www.heritage.ky.gov for the complete list of holiday promotions and events.


NEW - Celebrate the Holidays on Main Street!

Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission Members

Preservation or Archaeological Community
Dwight R. Cropper, South Portsmouth
David Pollack, Ph.D., Lexington

Arts Community
Sarah Elizabeth Burkey, Bradfordsville

Citizens at Large
Chair: Helen Danser, Tyner
Vice Chair: Michael C. Presnell, Louisville

Angela M. Arnett, Waynesburg
Ricardo Nazario Y Colon, Clearfield
Michael Dunn, Louisville
David Lee Fallis, Frankfort
Cynthia L. Isbell, Louisville
Susan Mullins, Berea
Christopher A. Robinson, Richmond
William St. Pierre, Villa Hills

Institutions of Higher Learning
John P. Bowes, Ph.D., Lexington
A. Gwynn Henderson, Ph.D., Lexington
Rep. Reginald Meeks, Louisville

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KHC agency brochure
[PDF - 529KB]
NEW tax credit tools
KHC announces significant economic impact of rehab tax credit programs
Review federally funded KYTC projects and request to become a Consulting Party in the Section 106 Review process

Learn more about new Section 106 Review submission procedures, effective Monday, July 8, 2013

Economic impact of historic preservation by Congressional District

1st District
Rep. Ed Whitfield
[PDF - 275KB]

2nd District
Rep. Brett Guthrie
[PDF - 283KB]

3rd District
Rep. John Yarmuth
[PDF - 309KB]

4th District
Rep. Thomas Massie
[PDF - 215KB]

5th District
Rep. Hal Rogers
[PDF - 274KB]

6th District
Rep. Andy Barr
[PDF - 247KB]

Tax Credits 2012

1st District
[PDF - 441KB]

2nd District
[PDF - 417KB]

3rd District
[PDF - 457KB]

4th District
[PDF - 406KB]

5th District
[PDF - 413KB]

6th District
[PDF - 411KB]

External Links
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Last Updated 11/7/2014
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