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$7,100 assessment grant for History Center could lead to future awards for upgrades

       The Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) has received a $7,190 grant from a national organization that could make the group eligible for larger grants in the future.
       The focus is the History Center that the OCCHS owns and operates in a nearly 125-year-old former church at 1 S. 24th St.
       According to a society press release, the Conservation Assessment Program (CAP) grant is from the Heritage Preservation, a national nonprofit “dedicated to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States.”
      

A view of the Old Colorado City History Center last August.
Westside Pioneer file photo
The OCCHS applied for the grant in February and learned of the award this month, said Sharon Swint, a board member and recent president of OCCHS.
       The award will allow the OCCHS to hire a “professional conservator to assess the collections [the center has a large number of mementoes and photos from the Westside's past] and a historic preservation specialist to assess the historic building,” the press release adds.
       According to Swint, the Heritage Preservation has provided resumes of individuals who are qualified to do such assessments. The work will start with a visit to the center by whoever the OCCHS hires, possibly in April, she said.
       Under the terms of the CAP grant, the assessments following the visit must be provided to the Heritage Preservation by the end of the year.
       The outcome will be the OCCHS having documentation it could use to justify future grant requests for substantive improvements.
       “I think it [the grant] will help us out,” Swint said. “It's a good beginning.”
       With no government funding or paid staff, the OCCHS typically relies on donations in addition to bookstore sales, presentation admission fees and fundraisers. Last year, heavy rains not only forced the cancellation of one ot its main fundraisers (the Cemetery Crawl), but also caused flood damage to the building.
       OCCHS heard about the CAP grant opportunity through the 13-member museums group it's a part of, Swint explained.
       The press release adds that “Heritage Preservation assists museums, libraries, archives, historic preservation and other organizations in caring for our endangered heritage. It supports 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums.”

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 3/16/14; Community: Old Colorado City History Center)

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