Wabaunsee County Historical Society and Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie News Release
Contact: Michael Stubbs
29377 Mitchell Prairie Lane
Wamego, KS 66547
Freedom’s Frontier Interpretive Grant awarded
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area and the Wabaunsee County Historical Society are pleased to announce that the society is the recipient of an Interpretive Grant in the amount of $5,000 for a project titled Freedom’s Frontier in Wabaunsee County at the society’s museum in Alma.
This grant funding will allow the society to create an exhibit in their new exhibition space that will introduce the public to the heritage area concept and how Wabaunsee County history and its stories are tied to the larger themes of the heritage area.
The Freedom’s Frontier Interpretive Grant program was started in 2012. Since then, more than 25 projects have been awarded grant funding. Grant projects have been completed on both sides of the Missouri-Kansas border, in the 41-county region that comprises the heritage area.
Projects awarded grant funding must interpret local history, and connect to one or more of the three major themes of the heritage area: the shaping of the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War, and the enduring struggle for freedom. Grants range in amount from under $1,500 to $5,000. All awards over $1,500 require that the grant recipient show a local match of half the amount of the award. This match can be in the form of cash, or in-kind donations and staff and volunteer time.
The Wabaunsee County Historical Society project was matched by the John Gerht Memorial Fund, which was used to purchase the museum’s new Mila-wall display area. Other contributions enabled the installation of new lighting in the lower portion of the museum where the exhibit will be displayed.
Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is one of 49 heritage areas in the U.S. Heritage areas are nonprofit affiliates of the National Park Service (NPS). They act as coordinating entities between the local organizations telling nationally significant stories and the NPS.
Freedom’s Frontier was established as a heritage area on October 12, 2006, when signed into law by President George Bush. The heritage area’s management plan was approved by the Department of the Interior and the NPS in 2010. Freedom’s Frontier is headquartered in the Carnegie Building, 200 W 9th St., in Lawrence, KS.
The Wabaunsee County Historical Society was formed in 1968 and currently has 200 members. Its mission is to collect, preserve, and exhibit artifacts relevant to Wabaunsee County; to record the history and culture of the people of the county through time; and to provide educational experiences for residents, school children, the traveling public and those searching for their family roots.
The society’s board president, John Hund, said the board was very pleased to receive the grant and that they were appreciative of the opportunity to connect Wabaunsee County’s fascinating history with larger themes of the heritage area.
Grant applications are accepted from organizations within the borders of the heritage area who have signed a partner pledge with Freedom’s Frontier, and meet all other qualifications for grant funding. Applications are reviewed quarterly by a peer group from the partnership. Organizations are asked to complete their grant projects within a year of the grant award. For more information about Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, visit the Web site at www.freedomsfrontier.org.
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