KHS Awards First Local History Trust Fund Grants
“You all have done a fantastic job,” Sen. Tom Buford (R-Nicholasville) told representatives of 17 history organizations from across the Commonwealth Thursday, Feb. 16.
The organizations were the first to receive grants from the Kentucky Local History Trust Fund (KRS 171.325), a funding pool that supports local history organizations’ efforts to preserve and tell Kentucky’s stories. Buford was a sponsor of the bill that created the tax check-off in 2014. Former representative Brent Yonts (D-Greenville) and Sal Santoro (R-Florence) sponsored the House version of the bill.
Money for the fund comes from Kentuckians who donate a portion of their state income tax refund.
Buford and Regina Stivers, deputy secretary of the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, joined the Kentucky Historical Society in awarding the grants in the State Capitol rotunda. They and KHS Executive Director Kent Whitworth talked about the relevance and importance of history, especially, Stivers said, this year when Kentucky is celebrating its 225th year of statehood.
Whitworth noted that communities often think of history organizations as being “nice” to fund when there is a little extra money, or to recognize when there is extra time.
“The pivot we have to make is from ‘nice’ to ‘necessary,’” he said.
Because knowing and engaging with history can help us understand the present and prepare for the future, history organizations must help people make those connections. When they do, communities and government officials will realize that they are “absolutely necessary to the fiber and vibrancy and the future of their communities and certainly the Commonwealth.”
“We think the organizations that we’re recognizing today have already made that pivot,” Whitworth said. “We hope these Local History Trust Fund awards are going to help you make that pivot even more profoundly.”
Individual grant amounts ranged from $290 to $1,000 and totaled more than $9,500. Recipients will use the money for projects related to collection conservation, education, promotion, exhibits and strategic planning.
Kentucky Local History Trust Fund grant recipients include:
- Appalshop, Inc., $1,000, Letcher County, for collection management
- Highlands Museum and Discovery Center, $1,000, Boyd County, for collection management
- The Friends of Audubon, $1,000, Henderson County, for exhibit artifact conservation
- Ben E. Clement Mineral Museum, $909, Crittenden County, for educational programming
- McDowell House Museum Inc., $700, Boyle County, for collections management
- American Printing House for the Blind, $700, Jefferson County, for exhibit installation
- Bluegrass Heritage Museum, $600, Clark County, for collection management
- Boone County Public Library, $500, Boone County, for collection management
- Shelby County Historical Society, $500, for organization development/management
- Montgomery County Historical Society, $500, Montgomery County, for exhibit artifact conservation
- Erlanger Historical Society, $355.30, Kenton County, for collections management
Six groups received $290 each to enroll in the American Association for State and Local History Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations field-based standards program. Participation in a standards-based program such as this one is one of the requirements for grant eligibility. They are:
- Duncan Tavern Historic Center, Bourbon County
- Historic Paris-Bourbon County/Hopewell Museum, Bourbon County
- Hickman County Historical and Genealogical Society, Hickman County
- Riverview at Hobson Grove, Warren County
- Allen County Historical Society, Allen County
- Kentucky Railway Museum, Inc. Nelson County
The Kentucky Historical Society administers the Local History Trust Fund, accepting applications and awarding grants.