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Division of Culture and History introduces Certified Arts Community and Certified Historic Preservation Community programs

11/21/2005

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History (WVDCH) has announced a program that will enable cities, counties and towns throughout the state to become certified arts and/or historic preservation communities.

According to Troy Body, WVDCH commissioner, the honorific designations will recognize communities that have shown commitment to expanding public participation in the arts or preserving historic sites.

“People across West Virginia are working hard every day to advocate for arts and historic preservation causes in their communities. These certified districts will be a great way for communities to be recognized for these efforts,” he added. “The districts also will demonstrate the collective strength of these efforts on a statewide level. Arts and heritage tourism are among the fastest-growing segments of the tourism industry and we need to help our communities position themselves to be competitive.”

The West Virginia Certified Arts Community (CAC) designation is for communities that have realized the benefits of cooperation between arts and humanities groups, business leaders and jurisdictional agencies. To be eligible, communities must support arts organizations by providing volunteer governance, financial contributions and audiences for arts programming; adopt a resolution indicating recognition of the importance of the arts to economic development, educational quality and civic involvement; and demonstrate successful collaborations between arts, humanities and heritage groups, and business leaders and jurisdictional agencies.

The West Virginia Certified Historic Preservation Community (CHPC) designation is for communities that have taken steps to ensure the preservation and promotion of historic resources. To be eligible for the CHPC program, the community must demonstrate involvement in heritage education through its historic resources; have a local preservation plan, historic landmark commission or a design review ordinance; and demonstrate promotion of its historic assets.

Applications for either program must be submitted with any required attachments which includes letters of support, resolutions of governing authorities and other documentation of fulfillment of qualification, which is part of the application packet. The WVDCH arts section will review applications to the CAC program and will forward successful applications to the West Virginia Commission on the Arts for final approval. The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) will follow the same procedure for the CHPC program, forwarding successful applications to the West Virginia Archives and History Commission for final approval.

For more information about the CAC program or to request an application packet, contact Richard Ressmeyer at (304) 558-0240, ext. 721. For information about the CHPC program or to request an application packet, contact Chris Knorr at (304) 558-0240, ext. 156. The applications also are available on the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org/arts/grants.html for the arts program and at www.wvculture.org/shpo/forms.html for the historic preservation program.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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