Preservation Summit and Honor Awards – February 18, 2016

IMG_6784 IMG_6790wooldridge3 copy Moontower02SponsorsThank you for a great Preservation Summit. We appreciate everyone who joined us and look forward to seeing you all again next year.

Preservation Texas 2016 Summit Schedule
February 18, 2016

[detailed session descriptions can be found at the bottom of this page]

Central Christian Church (1929, National Register of Historic Places)
1110 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701

8:00-8:30       Registration and Coffee
8:30-8:45       Welcome and Opening Remarks
8:45-9:30       Making Homes for the Arts in Sacred Places
                        Karen DiLossi – Director, Arts in Sacred Places, Partners for Sacred Places
9:30-10:00     Historic Truss Bridges in Texas
                        Rebekah Dobrasko – Historic Preservation Specialist, Texas DOT
10:00-10:15   Break
10:15-10:45   Texas Freedom Colonies: Research, Preservation & Innovation
                        Lareatha ClayChairman, Friends of the Texas Historical Commission
Kim McKnight – Cultural Resource Specialist, City of Austin Parks and Rec Dept
Andrea RobertsDoctoral Candidate, The University of Texas at Austin
10:45-11:45   Saving Historic Rural Places
Deb Fleming – President, Texas Dance Hall Preservation
                        The Hon. Ed Janecka – County Judge, Fayette County
                        Suzanne C. Yowell – Director, Texas Region, Partners for Sacred Places

Wooldridge Square Park (1909, National Register of Historic Places)
900 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701

12:15-12:45   Preservation Texas 2016 Most Endangered Places Announcement
12:45-1:30     Boxed Lunch (Annie’s Cafe & Bar)

Central Christian Church

1:30-2:00      The Financial Sustainability of Historical Organizations
                      Melissa Prycer – President and Executive Director, Dallas Heritage Village
                      Gary Smith – Program Officer, Summerlee Foundation
2:00-2:30      Funding Strategies for Endangered Structures
                      Sehila Casper – Field Officer, National Trust for Historic Preservation
                      Lisa Harvell – Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program Coordinator,
                      Architecture Division, Texas Historical Commission
                      Patrick J. Kennedy, Jr., Esq. – Kennedy Sutherland LLP
                      Gene Krane – Executive Director, Texas Historical Foundation
2:30-2:45      Break
2:45-3:15      Hands-on Preservation Training: Needs and Opportunities
                      Elizabeth Louden, PhD – Historic Preservation Programs Director, Texas Tech
                      Jacob Morris, PhD – Historic Preservation Officer, City of Palestine
3:15-4:15      Preserving the Legacy of the Modern Civil Rights Movement
                      Jennifer Harris – President, Blackshear/O.L. Price Ex-students Association
                      Dwayne Jones – President-elect, Preservation Texas
                      Mickie Ross – Executive Director, The Williamson Museum

4:45-6:00      Architectural Walking Tour of Historic Congress Avenue  (weather permitting) 

State Theatre (1935, Congress Avenue National Register Historic District)
719 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

6:00-7:00      Summit and Honor Awards Reception
7:00-8:30      Preservation Texas 2016 Honor Awards Presentation

Registration Fees:
Registration fees will increase after Friday, February 12th, regardless of membership status.

Full Day [includes all Summit sessions, boxed lunch and PT Honor Awards]
$120/non-member (includes one-year individual membership)

Summit Only [includes Summit sessions and boxed lunch]
$100/non-member (includes one-year individual membership)

Honor Awards Only [includes Reception and Honor Awards event at the State Theatre]
$50/non-member (includes one-year individual membership)

Questions?  Contact us!



Preservation Texas 2016 Summit

Session Descriptions



The briefing will present findings from research conducted by Karen DiLossi, Director of the Arts in Sacred Places program at Partners for Sacred Places. Building on Partners’ successful Arts in Sacred Places program, the space needs of dance, theater, and other performing arts groups in Austin along with Baltimore and Detroit were examined in a national study. This presentation will focus on Austin’s results.  Representative sacred places in Austin were assessed to determine the availability of space and willingness to share it with Austin’s artists. The findings illuminate the dire situations faced by these artists and include recommendations for potential space-sharing models that can be adopted across the country.



Over the past 30 years, Texas lost approximately 90% of its metal truss bridges due to deterioration, increased traffic needs like oil and gas exploration, and lack of continued maintenance.  Only 140 truss bridges remain in vehicular service across the state, so the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is developing a management plan to ensure these bridges remain in viable use.  TxDOT is partnering with the Texas Historical Commission and the Historic Bridge Foundation on these planning efforts.  Rebekah Dobrasko, a historic preservation specialist at TxDOT, will explain the benefits of a management plan and will highlight some of TxDOT’s toolkits and support for local owners and bridge enthusiasts wanting to maintain and save their historic truss bridges.



From 1870 to 1890, in the shadow of Reconstruction, former slaves founded more than 500 “Freedom Colonies” or Freedmen’s Towns across Texas.  For those settlements threatened by development, gentrification, or population loss, accessing resources and technical assistance can be challenging.  The panelists will share insight into how identity and memory among the descendants associated with Freedom Colonies catalyze their planning and historic preservation activities, including the example of Shankleville’s preservation and heritage tourism activities, research on a network or “cultural region” of Deep East Texas Freedom Colonies and lessons learned from public engagement with descendants of Freedom Colonies in Austin.



Across rural Texas, changing demographics impact the continuity of important traditions, institutions and infrastructure.  The preservation of rural historic resources, from dance halls to churches to small schools to bridges, often requires advocates to reach beyond their local communities and build statewide networks around a specific building type.  Hear from Texans engaged in saving rural Texas by building grassroots support and local political commitment, including a county judge who has been dedicated to preserving his rural county.



A recent report by the Summerlee Foundation sought to answer the question: What makes some history-based organizations sustainable, and others not?  By studying a range of organizations in Texas, the report reached some important conclusions.  Findings will be presented, with examples of sustainability practices being implemented at Dallas Heritage Village, one of the study’s participants.  This session will demonstrate that authentic historic places with integrity, strong and collaborative leadership, sound governance, diverse revenue streams and a business-minded plan for the future can thrive in Texas.



Many at-risk historic places are owned by nonprofit organizations.  The struggle to find the funds necessary to restore and rehabilitate these buildings can be daunting, particularly for smaller organizations that are struggling to operate day-to-day.  Learn about a powerful new opportunity for nonprofits to participate in the state historic preservation tax credit program, and about grant programs with the Texas Historical Foundation, Texas Historical Commission and National Trust for Historic Preservation that can be leveraged to make your project a success.



At its core, preservation is about protecting and repairing historic resources to ensure that they remain standing for generations to come.  Yet there is a lack of opportunity for people to learn how to properly maintain and restore old buildings.  With greater access to hands-on preservation training, it might be possible to preserve much more of our irreplaceable past. Participants will share programs that are happening across Texas, and will discuss how we might expand those efforts statewide to benefit projects in your community.



Over the last sixty years, Texans of diverse backgrounds have worked to ensure that African-Americans, Mexican-Americans and LGBT citizens are able to share in the ideals of liberty that are at the foundation of our democracy.  Documenation, protection and interpretation of sites associated with those efforts and the people who were at the forefront of the civil rights movement is an essential part preserving the legacy of a turbulent period in our state and history.  Advocates working to protect these places and the complicated stories they tell will share their experiences and insight from a preservation perspective.