Tourism Cares, the non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the travel experience for future generations, is awarding the second group of grants in 2011 totaling $60,000, to six non-profit organizations as part of its Worldwide Grant Program. All recipients will receive full matching funds from other organizations. Therefore a total of $120,000 will be presented to the organizations for projects in the areas of historic preservation or educational programs to enhance interpretation, at cultural and maritime heritage sites, or natural sites. Collette Vacations and Trip Mate have generously made contributions to this group of Worldwide Grants. The Tourism Cares Blue Ribbon Panel, comprised of U.S. experts in the fields of conservation, preservation, restoration, and tourism, make up the selection committee.
Tourism Cares is pleased to announce the following second group of 2011 Worldwide Grant recipients:
• American River Conservancy, Coloma, CA
• General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, Norfolk, VA
• Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ
• Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach, FL
• Maine Maritime Museum, Bath, ME
• USS Constitution Museum, Inc., Boston, MA
"Tourism Cares has long been an advocate of preservation, restoration and education of exceptional cultural heritage and natural sites," said Bruce Beckham, Executive Director of Tourism Cares. "The worthy recipients of the Tourism Cares Worldwide Grants have demonstrated goals that are in line with the Tourism Cares mission."
Supporting non-profits around the world with grant funding is vital to the mission of Tourism Cares. To date, Tourism Cares has awarded funding to 178 organizations in 32 countries and 42 states (including a dozen U.S. national parks). These grants, when combined with matching funds, total more than $2 million.
Following are brief descriptions of the projects:
The American River Conservancy, in Coloma, CA, has as its mission to preserve and protect scenic vistas and cultural heritage within the American River watershed between Sacramento and Lake Tahoe, California for a sustainable future of these natural landscapes and the life they support. The Gold Hill Wakamatsu Park is an important cultural heritage site, and the location of the 1869 Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Farm Colony, the first Japanese colony in the United States, listed on the National Register of Historical Places. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will support an educational program to enhance visitors' understanding of the story of Japanese Immigration at the time of the Gold Rush in the late 1800s. This includes the creation of three interpretive kiosks and a self-guided interpretive tour. The non-profit expects its current annual visitation of 5,000 to triple to 15,000 as a result of project. The project has matching funds from the California Cultural and Historical Endowment, and the endorsement of both the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce Visitors Authority Council and Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The General Douglas MacArthur Foundation, in Norfolk, VA, has as its mission to support the MacArthur Memorial, through educational and leadership programs. This significant cultural heritage site is a primary educational and heritage tourism destination, which brings history alive for future generations. It highlights the sacrifices made by millions of American and Allied troops who served five-star General MacArthur during World War I and II, the occupation of Japan, and the Korean War. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will help expand and modernize the memorial, and support improvements to interpretive programming. This includes the theater's multi-media system, an interactive world map, immersive exhibit interpretive panels, and historic cast figures. The organization seeks to engage its visitors, including schoolchildren, through hands-on, interactive exhibits. Current annual visitation to the site of 50,000 is expected to increase 40% to 70,000 as a result of the project. The project has matching funds from a private donor, and the endorsement of both the Norfolk Convention and Visitors Bureau and the City of Norfolk.
The Heard Museum, in Phoenix, Arizona has as its mission to educate the public about the heritage and the living culture and arts of the Native Americans in the Southwest. This noteworthy cultural site showcases and celebrates the history of creative artists, representing Native Americans and indigenous peoples of the Southwest. It is one of the oldest museums dedicated to Native Americans in the Southwest. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will support a brick-and-mortar project to replace the original historic doors on the 1929 structure, to ensure the safety of visitors, and to preserve and protect the museum's collections. The site welcomes 150,000 visitors each year, and in 2012, the state of Arizona will be celebrating its centennial, with the museum counted among the official centennial sites. The project has matching funds from American Express and the endorsement of the Scottsdale Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, in Palm Beach, FL has as its mission to preserve and interpret Whitehall and its collections, related to the life of Henry Morrison Flagler, as unique and important elements of Florida's history and America's Gilded Age. The site is a major cultural and educational venue that tells the story of Henry Flagler, a founding partner of Standard Oil with John D. Rockefeller, and a key figure in the development of the East Coast of Florida. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will aid with the rental of high quality, user-friendly audio tour wands, a cutting-edge technology. This will enhance the way the site is interpreted, increasing accessibility for non-English speaking visitors, through translation of the tour into three foreign languages – Spanish, French, and German. Annual visitation to the site is 92,500. The project has matching funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the endorsement of Visit Florida and the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The Maine Maritime Museum, in Bath, ME, has as its mission to educate the community and a worldwide audience about Maine's important role in regional and global maritime activities. Bath, Maine, was voted one of America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations in 2005, by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This important maritime heritage site, listed on the National Historic Register, is one of Maine's top tourism destinations. It contains the 1897 Percy & Small Shipyard, America's only remaining authentic shipyard from this era, where some of the largest wooden sailing vessels were built. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will assist a brick-and-mortar project to restore the 1897 Paint and Treenail building, so that an expert in historic structures can repair the foundation. The museum will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012. The site welcomes 45,000 visitors annually. The project has matching funds from The Charles R. Niehaus Fund, and the endorsement of the Maine Office of Tourism. Linda Greenlaw, best-selling author of books with maritime themes, serves on the organization's Board of Directors.
The USS Constitution Museum, Inc. , Boston, MA, has as its mission to serve as the memory and educational voice of the USS Constitution and its 213-year history, by collecting, preserving, and interpreting stories of the ship Old Ironsides and her crew. This major heritage site, situated in historic Charlestown Naval Yard and along Boston's Freedom Trail, is the fourth most-visited museum in the city. The non-profit was a 2004 recipient of a National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services. The Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant will support the creation of the Old Ironsides 1812 Discovery Center, with a stage and family area. Through hands-on interpretive programming, the non-profit intends to convey the vital role the ship played in the War of 1812, making it relevant for today's audiences. The project has matching funds from a private donor, and the endorsement of the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau. Current annual visitation to the site of 335,000, is comprised of adults, children, and families, and is anticipated to increase significantly in 2012, due to the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
The next Tourism Cares Worldwide Grant Application for the March 1, 2012 deadline, and instructions for how to apply on-line, are currently accessible by clicking here.
About Tourism Cares
Tourism Cares is an innovative nonprofit organization formed in 2005 through a consolidation of the National Tourism Foundation and the Travelers Conservation Foundation. The organization works to preserve the travel experience for future generations through a three-pronged approach. We give grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites throughout the world. In addition, we host unique volunteer restoration projects designed specifically for travel professionals. Recognized as the most innovative "give-back" program in the industry, Tourism Cares volunteer project and Volunteer Day draw thousands of corporate leaders and individuals together to share in the conservation and preservation of treasured cultural and historic sites. We also help assure a knowledgeable tourism workforce by awarding academic and professional development scholarships to tourism and hospitality students and professionals.
For more information about Tourism Cares, please visit www.TourismCares.org