Cornerstone Academy, the preservation education partnership of the Preservation Alliance and MNHS, launched in 2014. The statewide preservation education program has developed a training series for homeowners, community members, and professionals in fields that frequently interact with historic buildings and districts. Last year, hundreds of property owners across the state participated in more than 40 workshops. Courses included Understanding Historic Tax Credits, Handyman Special, Repairing Old Windows, and Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Older Homes.
MNHS is working to engage Twin Cities youth in programming in order to increase their interest in history and the Minnesota Historical Society. MNHS promotes and recruits diverse students for programs that engage them in understanding how public organizations present historical narratives. One of these programs is the American Indian Museum Fellowship program (above). The funds also provide logistical support for diversity outreach efforts, which includes having tables at events and community engagement activities.
Partner: Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps
The Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps develops lifelong workforce skills by connecting young people to the earth, cultures, and traditions through historic preservation work and outdoor service. In partnership with the Minnesota Historical Society, a feasibility study was conducted and a business plan developed outlining the initiative's purpose and goals, detailing the proposed scope and strategies, and demonstrating that the initiative is financially viable.
The Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps and MNHS are refining the lessons learned from the fall 2014 demonstration project to increase the viability of a historic preservation activity built on a conservation corps model. The pilot phase focused on building
the capacity of the corps through diversification of revenue and expansion of service projects, skills training, and networks.
The Minnesota Main Street program is a proven, comprehensive strategy that helps communities create new jobs and businesses while revitalizing buildings and preserving their historic downtowns. MNHS's Heritage Preservation department works with the partners
listed above to implement Minnesota Main Street,
which provides the tools, training, information, and networking that communities need to revitalize their business districts.
There are currently seven Minnesota Main Street designated communities: Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar, and Winona.
MNHS has in its care over 100,000 cubic feet of hard-copy government records and manuscript collections dating from the territorial period to the present. To access the vast majority of these holdings, researchers must currently visit the History Center or make other special arrangements. In FY16, MNHS is piloting a unique "scan on demand" service for researchers that will allow them to request, either online or in person, the digitization of specific materials with the resulting images being put online for wide public access.
MNHS cares for more than 100,000 cubic feet of hard-copy government records and manuscript collections dating from the territorial period to the present. To access the vast majority of these holdings, researchers must currently visit the History Center or make other special arrangements. In FY16, MNHS began piloting small projects to develop and test workflow and to identify and plan equipment and space needs. In FY17, MNHS will add staff to begin responding to patron requests for manuscript and state archives digitization in advance of a full rollout of the scan-on-demand process next year.
American Indian ceremonies were held at Historic Fort Snelling in November 2015, marking the 150th anniversary of the execution of Sakpedan (Shakopee) and Wakanozhanzhan (Medicine Bottle) at Fort Snelling. They were convicted by a military commission for their participation in the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. MNHS provided a community meal for the Dakota community immediately following the ceremonies.
The Together in Time project meets the needs of a diverse, aging population by empowering them as lifelong learners, encouraging them to tell stories, and by supporting their caregivers in carrying out their essential roles. Core elements of the program include leading programs in multiple locations for those with memory loss and their caregivers and working on tools such as a mobile app to show objects from MNHS's collections in order to spark conversations.
MNHS continues to focus on broadening access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the Internet. This funding supports the web development professionals who plan, build, and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects and helps pay for Web hosting to make these projects accessible to people in Minnesota and beyond. MNHS also uses the web to report on its use of Legacy funds at legacy.mnhs.org and for the public to apply for Legacy grant funds at legacy.mnhs.org/grants.