The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation (FAIC) entered into a three-year cooperative agreement with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in 2020 to conduct the Held in Trust project. The project is considering the current state, future directions, challenges, opportunities, and resource needs for the conservation and preservation of cultural heritage in the U.S. “Held in Trust” will examine the intersection of cultural heritage preservation with issues of urgent importance in the world today which affect the cultural landscape, including sustainability, social and racial justice, equity and diversity, climate change, and environmental resource preservation.
The work will align with the overall goals of A More Perfect Union, NEH’s vision for the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The outcomes of the project, expected in 2023, will guide work through to 2026 and following the semiquincentennial.
The Climate Crisis and Environmental Impact Working Group of which Sarah Sutton and Héctor Berdecia-Hernández are co-chairs concluded that cultural heritage practitioners need hands-on and comprehensive climate resilience resources. In 2021, Climate Resilience Resources for Cultural Heritage: A project of Held in Trust was awarded by NEH and is set to complete in Spring 2024. The grant funds the development of an interactive, ArcGIS-based cultural heritage climate risk map, training and planning modules for community resilience for cultural heritage organizations, and two pilot communities of practice (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin island, and U.S. West) for prototyping the map and modules. The project is conducted in partnership with FAIC and the Held in Trust project, Environment & Culture Partners as project lead and content experts, the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University and a cadre of cultural heritage experts.
More information can be found here.