Tennesseans interested in preserving their local heritage now have an easier way to request help from MTSU’s Center for Historic Preservation.
The center has streamlined the application process for its professional services partnerships, which enable local governments, state agencies, nonprofit organizations and community groups to save their local history with the help of the CHP’s professional staff and graduate research assistants at no cost.
“It’s just a little bit more formal and a little bit more streamlined so that we have a specific date at which people can come to us,” said Dr. Antoinette van Zelm, the center’s assistant director.
Projects of particular interest to the center include those that can be completed within one year; address a significant historic property, event or issue; are located within a 300-mile radius of MTSU; demonstrate community need; and demonstrate the sponsor’s commitment of time, effort and support.
The 300-mile radius includes almost all of Tennessee as well as cities as far east as Asheville, North Carolina; as far west as St. Louis, Missouri; as far north as Indianapolis, Indiana; and as far south as Troy, Alabama.
Projects that have benefitted from CHP partnerships include the Gem Theatre in Etowah, Tennessee, and the West Bemis Rosenwald School in Jackson, Tennessee.
The Etowah Arts Commission obtained the CHP’s help in restoring Gem Theatre, a 1927 vintage “picture palace,” to its former glory. The facility is now used as a community arts center.
The West Bemis Rosenwald School is believed to be the oldest Rosenwald School still standing in Tennessee. It is one of many schools built by Julius Rosenwald, co-founder of the Sears & Roebuck Co., to educate African-Americans. The former school is now a community center.
The deadline to apply for a partnership is Thursday, June 1. Applicants should submit:
- A cover letter.
- A one-page description of past projects with the CHP, if any.
- A detailed description of the proposed project, with images as necessary, not to exceed five pages.
- A full description of the community need, the number of people the group hopes to reach and the types of support provided by the applicant and its partners, not to exceed three pages.
- At least three letters of support from government officials, property owners or other stakeholders.
CHP faculty and staff may visit the proposed project in June or July. Partnerships will be announced Tuesday, Aug. 1.
Applications may be emailed as PDFs to firstname.lastname@example.org or printed and mailed to the Center for Historic Preservation, Box 80, MTSU, Murfreesboro, TN 37132.
For more information, contact van Zelm at email@example.com or programs manager Lydia Simpson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Both can be reached at 615-898-2947.
— Gina K. Logue (email@example.com)