Edit Content




Extraordinary events in the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) forever changed America. In the nineteenth century, the nation turned its eyes to the Missouri/Kansas border, where peoples with diverse definitions of freedom collided, inciting and fueling the Civil War. The impact of these events is forever woven into the nation’s fabric.

Shaping the Frontier: For the half million pioneers who traveled on the Santa Fe, California, Mormon, and Oregon Trials, the Missouri/Kansas border was the jumping off point. In this place where river travel ended, traders, miners, and emigrants purchased provisions and prepared for long overland treks. As they traveled west, many began to see the “permanent” Indian frontier beyond Missouri’s western border as an obstacle to Manifest Destiny.

Missouri/Kansas Border War: When Kansas was opened for settlement in 1854, a border war ensured, capturing the nation’s attention. The Kansas-Nebraska Act nullified the uneasy balance established by the Missouri Compromise and left the territory’s future slave status in the hands of settlers. The stakes were high for both sides. The violence of the Missouri/Kansas Border War ushered in the Civil War, consumed the region in bloody conflict through war’s end, and devastated communities on both sides of the border.

Enduring Struggles for Freedom: The nation’s struggle for freedom did not end with the Civil War. Though the war eliminated clashes over geography, efforts to break down society’s barriers continue. Since the Civil War, this place has inspired national policies and ongoing efforts to secure equal freedoms for all Americans.

Freedom’s Frontier provides new opportunities for visitors and residents to explore the evolving ideal and fundamental American value of FREEDOM.

Vision: Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area is an internationally recognized region in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. The heritage area shares its authentic and honestly interpreted stories with residents and visitors who add to the economic vitality of the region. Freedom’s Frontier respects multiple views of freedom and promotes the region’s contributions to the American story.

Mission: We tell the stories of the struggles for freedom in our region and their lasting impact on our nation.

Guiding Principles:
1. We will be tolerant and respectful diverse stories from multiple perspectives.
2. We will respect property rights.
3. We will focus on authentic and engaging experiences.
4. We honor the region’s peoples, past and present.
5. We appreciate unique cultural and historic assets within the nationally important landscape.
6. We will invest in community engagement, education, and empowerment.
7. We will sustain and grow a sense of place.
8. We value and protect the natural environment.
9. We will consider future generations in all actions.

Prior to its designation as a National Heritage Area, FFNHA completed a feasibility study. It was submitted to Congress in 2006.

Read FFNHA’s feasibility study.

FFNHA was designated by Congress as a National Heritage Area on October 12, 2006.

View our enabling legislation here.

National Heritage Area legislation typically requires the development of a management plan within three years of designation. National Heritage Area management plans include long-range policies, goals, strategies, and actions; an implementation plan with short, mid, and long-range actions and performance goals; a business plan for the heritage area coordinating entity; and an interpretive plan.

For readability and user convenience, the FFNHA Management Plan is separated into sections below. A complete PDF can be found here.

I. Front Cover & Table of Contents

II. Executive Summary

III. Part 1: The Power of Place

IV. Part 2: The Power of Story

V. Part 3: The Power of Action

VI. Part 4: The Power of Partnership

VII. Part 5: The Power of People

VIII. Appendix A

IX. Appendix B

The maps below appear in the FFNHA Management Plan.

Counties of Freedom’s Frontier
A map of Freedom’s Frontier NHA’s boundaries

Cultural Watersheds
A map of the four principal river valleys within FFNHA’s boundaries

Native Peoples
A map of native ancestral lands within FFNHA

Population and Origins 1860
A map of FFNHA measuring population density of European-American settlers circa 1860

Shifting Political Boundaries
A series of maps demonstrating shifts in the political geography of counties within FFNHA since 1804

Growth and Development
A map measuring contemporary population density within FFNHA’s boundaries

Recreation Resources
A map indicating the locations of state parks, state forests, trails, and state scenic byways within FFNHA

Critical Habitat
A map measuring the density of endangered species recognized by state and federal agencies, along with the locations of national wildlife refuges, within FFNHA

Over the past 20 years, Congress has established 27 National Heritage Areas (NHAs) to commemorate, conserve, and promote important areas that include natural, scenic, historic, cultural, and recreational resources. NHAs are partnerships between the National Park Service (NPS), states, and local communities, where the NPS supports state and local conservation through federal recognition, seed money, and technical assistance. NHAs are not part of the National Park System, where lands are federally owned and managed. Rather, lands within heritage areas typically remain in state, local, or private ownership. In addition, other heritage areas have been designated by states and local governments and announcements. This issue brief, prepared by the Congressional Research Service, focuses on heritage areas designated by Congress, and related issues and legislation.

Learn more.

View our Graphic Standards here.

Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) is working to build a unified graphic identity, based on its logo. It is important to ensure proper usage of the FFNHA logo in order to strengthen the FFNHA name and image through consistent branding. A brand is more than a logo or a singular marketing message. A brand is a promise and a set of principles evident to those who come in contact with it. It is also a collection of perceptions in the mind of consumers. Examples of ways that visitors might develop perceptions about FFNHA extend beyond graphics to things like how they’re greeted at an attraction, whether the site under or overdelivers on their promise, whether the site was easy to find, etc. All of those experiences come together with the visual representation of the brand to create a perception. The FFNHA logo is the primary visual component of the overall brand and for that reason it is imperative that the logo be handled consistently to help maintain the brand’s equity.

The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Brand
With the development of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area, the organization has an opportunity to build and grow an entity with positive brand image and equity. Proper communication of the FFNHA brand will serve to both create and sustain a clear, unifying identity for the area.

Logo Significance
The FFNHA logo was designed to represent the trails that have been blazed, both literally and figuratively, throughout the region and how the past intersects with the present. The star used in the logo is a six-point star, symbolizing the North Star, used in the Underground Railroad as a guide.

Graphic Standards
As the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area logo is more widely-introduced it is critical to ensure that its visual integrity – its colors and graphics – remain consistent. In order to achieve this, graphics standards have been developed for the FFNHA logo and text. All communications and applications of the logo should remain within this umbrella.

Graphic standards have been established for the FFNHA logo. The complete set of standards is available online and will accompany any granted request for logo usage. Basic graphic standards are discussed in the section below.

Guidelines for Use
Projects of FFNHA will incorporate the FFNHA logo, provided the following guidelines are considered:
  •  The logo and text should be used together, as defined.
  •  The typeface shall not be altered or replaced with another.
  •  The proportions of logo and text shall be retained.
  •  The logo may be resized to accommodate a specific use, but the text must remain legible.
  •  The color of the logo shall not be altered in any way, other than to reproduce in black and white when necessary.

Acceptable External Use
Any organization’s website including the logo on their website must meet the following requirements:
  •  Be located within the boundaries of Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Have signed a Partner Pledge.
  •  Have submitted a letter of commitment.
  •  Have a mutual interest with Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Work to build understanding, generate excitement and expand local participation in Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Help to better the understanding of the region.
  •  Historic sites and museums must have a Freedom’s Frontier microsite prior to using the logo on their website.
  •  The FFNHA logo shall be hyperlinked to the Freedom’s Frontier website. FFNHA will provide the graphic button that organizations should use for this hyperlink. Any deviation from this graphic must be approved by the FFNHA office.

Any organization including the logo on their printed material must meet the following requirements:
  •  Be located within the boundaries of Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Have signed a Partner Pledge.
  •  Have submitted a letter of commitment.
  •  Have a mutual interest with Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Work to build understanding, generate excitement and expand local participation in Freedom’s Frontier.
  •  Help to better the understanding of the region.
  •  Historic sites and museums must have a Freedom’s Frontier microsite prior to using the logo on their printed/collateral material.

Promotional Material for Events:
Use of the logo for promotional material for events (fliers, brochures, etc.) must be submitted for prior approval to the FFNHA office. Requests must be made one month in advance. Address all requests to [email protected].

At this time, the FFNHA logo shall not be used on any signage. The use of the logo on signage will be addressed in the upcoming FFNHA signage study.

Prohibited Use
It is our policy that the FFNHA logo be used without modification and in an appropriate manner. Examples of prohibited use include, but are not limited to, the following:
  •  Any implication of endorsement by the organization.
  •  Commercial uses (placement of the logo on product packaging).

Requests For Use Outside Described Scope
Requests for use of the logo which fall outside the scope of the policy, or proposed variations on the logo design are to be brought to the attention of Freedom’s Frontier. Requests must be made one month in advance. Address all requests to [email protected].

A collection of primary-source based theater scripts produced by Kansas Humanities Council in cooperation with Freedom’s Frontier, Shared Stories of the Civil War features stories created from historical letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and other materials. These voices from history provide insight into how 19th century Americans living in Kansas and Missouri struggled to define the meaning of freedom during the Bleeding Kansas and Civil War years.

Learn more.

Teaching with Freedom’s Frontier Historic Places is a series of lesson plans using national register nominated structures within the 41 counties of Freedom’s Frontier. Modeled after the National Park Service program Teaching with Historic Places, these lesson plans provide new ways of looking at our local history. Each location selected reflects one of the three core themes of Freedom’s Frontier: Shaping the Frontier, the Missouri Kansas Border War, and the Enduring Struggle for Freedom.

Learn more.

The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Bus on Us! grant program is designed to assist educators and schools with the cost of transportation to field trips within the heritage area that also align with the themes of Freedom’s Frontier (Missouri Kansas Border War, Shaping the Frontier, and Struggles for Freedom).

Learn more.

Deanell Reece Tacha, Retired Judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, served as the founding Chair of the Board of Trustees of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2004-2010. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will engage students in grades 8-11. The Award is intended to be a way to help students learn about the issues, ideas, people and events that contribute to the themes of FFNHA. The Award is to be a cash prize given to high school student(s) in grades 8-11 residing in or attending school in Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area based upon a winning scholarly/creative work that relates to the history of the area and the themes of FFNHA.

Learn more.

One of the guiding principles of Freedom’s Frontier is to “consider future generations in everything we do.” The stories of Freedom’s Frontier can spark children’s imaginations and inspire in them respect for multiple perspectives. Additionally, local history education helps students to understand and care for the place where they live.

Learn more.

Honorary Co-Chairs
Mike Parson, Missouri Governor
Laura Kelly, Kansas Governor 

Ex-Officio Members
Matt Chappell
Acting Director, Kansas State Historical Society
Gary Kremer
Director, State Historical Society of Missouri

Board of Trustees
Kevin W. Wood, Chair ’25
Gary Nevius, Vice Chair ’27
Grant Glenn, Immediate Past Chair ’23
Larry Pfautsch, Member-At-Large ’23
Kristen (Yarǫ́nyąˀawíˀ) Zane, Member-At-Large ’28
Karen Arnold-Burger, ’30
The Honorable Dwane Benton, ’30
Marsha Corbin, ’25
Marilyn Davis, ’25
Mike Delaney, ’29
Kent Glasscock, ’31
Ray Hill, ’28
Steve Hitchcock, ’30
Mary Ice, ’23
John M. McGee, ’28
Caronda Moore, ’28
Martin Owens, ’30
Luther Smith, ’29
Bill Tempel, ’29
Bob Totten, ’28
Angel Tucker, ’28
Mary Billington*

*Elected by Partnership Advisory Group

The Board of Trustees meets six times a year. These meetings are open to the public.

February 15, 2023 – Johnson County Museum
April 12, 2023 – 1855 Harris-Kearney House and Westport Historical Society
June 14, 2023 – Lee’s Summit Historical Society
August 9, 2023 – Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop-Farm
October 11, 2023 – Shawnee Town 1929
December 13, 2023 – Cass County Historical Society

The Board of Trustees meets six times a year. These meetings are open to the public.

February 14, 2024
April 10, 2024
June 12, 2024
August 14, 2024
October 9, 2024
December 11, 2024

Meeting locations TBA.


Established to assist qualified partnering organizations with telling the nationally significant stories of the heritage area’s main themes, FFNHA Project Grants award reimbursable small grants up to $3,000 for projects that interpret your site’s story and connect it to the heritage area’s rich history. Learn more here.


2nd Quarter – May

Concordia Area Heritage Society
Website Update $5,000.00
Concordia, MO – Lafayette County
Funds will establish a webpage for the Concordia Area Heritage Society to promote the cultural history of Concordia, Missouri, and share the historical information of this area.

Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation

“Santa Fe Trail: Commerce, Conquest & Cultural Convergence”: $4,950.00
Manhattan, KS – Riley County
Stories are being developed to reflect upon the nature of changes brought about by the Santa Fe Trail. The stories are presented in a 60-minute documentary and a series of educational videos for elementary students as well as a series of audios for radio broadcast.

Jackson County Historical Society
1859 Jail Museum Exhibit Update: $1,018.77
Independence, MO – Jackson County
New exhibit panels will be printed and installed in the museum gallery. The focus of this new permanent exhibit is about the early justice system in Jackson County, and how the 1859 Jail fits into that story. Staff will also add an ADA compliant panel.

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Westward Ho! Program: $5,000.00
Independence, KS – Montgomery County
The museum will create a Westward Expansion exhibit, speaking tour, and elementary school study program entitled Westward Ho!

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
Clothing Collaboration: $5,000.00
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
Mahaffie staff will conduct period clothing construction classes at the Topeka Correctional Facility, teaching valuable sewing skills and enriching the lives of the residents there. The period clothing will be worn by interpreters at Mahaffie.

Ray County Museum & Genealogical Library
Website Update: $5,000.00
Richmond, MO – Ray County
The museum will develop a new website based upon existing content, adding new content, and designed for user-friendliness, mobile-responsiveness, and SEO optimization. New media and drone video footage will be included in the design.

Union Cemetery Historical Society

Website Update: $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
This new website development project will allow the site to be mobile-friendly and modern, engaging members and visitors to the historic cemetery while also informing and enticing potential donors, volunteers and visitors.

Wornall/Majors House Museums
Slavery Interpretation Exhibit Overhaul: $3,075.00
Funds will go towards radically overhauling interpretation of slavery at the Wornall site, with the goal of properly recognizing residents who have never been fully “brought to life” in tours and programming.



1st Quarter – February

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes 
Honoring Unsung Hero Mary Bickerdyke: $2,145.00
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
The Lowell Milken Center partnered with the Fort Scott National Historic Site for a community event honoring Unsung Hero Mary Bickerdyke, and opportunities to learn about Civil War era medicine, practices and modern health preparations.

Pony Express National Museum
Historic Photos Kiosk Project: $3,319.80
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
The Historic Photos Kiosk conveys the story of the Pony Express to through photographs of the various locations riders stopped at on the trail.

Kansas City Kansas Public Library

Guthrie Daguerreotype Preservation and Interpretation: $1,200.00
Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County
A vital photo within the library’s Quindaro colledction was preserved so that it could be exhibited, and the grant also allowed for further community interpretation through the library website.

Jackson County Historical Society
Party Like It’s 1843!: $2,880.90
Independence, MO – Jackson County
The three-day, “Party Like It’s 1843!” cultural festival event featured a lecture series, frontier fashion show, music, living history and much more. It celebrated the 175th anniversary of the Great Migration on the Oregon Trail.

Cass County Historical Society
Burnt District Exhibit 2.0: $3,900.00
Harrisonville, MO – Cass County
The historical society redeveloped an existing exhibit, and partnered with Next Exit History, a web-platform for GPS based tours and programming throughout the district and the museum.

2nd Quarter – May

De Soto Historical Society
Preserving the Diverse Stories of De Soto, Kansas’ History: $4,433.00
Desoto, KS – Johnson County
The historical society purchased a collection of De Soto newspapers from the Kansas Historical Society, transfered them to microfilm, and made them accessible to the public and available for research and interpretation.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site
Interpretive/Wayfinding Kiosks for Mahaffie Historic Site Grounds: $5,000.00
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
Grant funds defrayed almost half of the cost of designing, fabricating and installing three wayfinding and interpretation kiosks on the historic site grounds.

Oregon-California Trails Association
Telling the Story of Shaping the Frontier via the Oregon-California Trails Association’s Gateway (St. Joseph) Chapter Website: $4,977.50
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
The Oregon-California Trails Association’s (OCTA) Gateway (St. Joseph) Chapter built a website.

Reel Images Film and Video Group
“18th Street Lives”: $4,998.40
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
This documentary chronicles the history of Kansas City’s 18th and Vine district from the early to the mid twentieth century.

Friends of the Free State Capitol Inc.
Reenactment of the 1856 Dispersal of the Legislature at Constitution Hall in Topeka: $1,100.00
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
Federal forces on orders of President Franklin Pierce surrounded Constitution Hall, aimed cannons, and broke up the meeting of the Free State government. Through the grant, an important event in local, state, regional and national history was brought to life through dramatic interpretation.

Wornall/Majors House Museums
Freighting on the Frontier: Blacksmith Shop & Wagon Room Project: $2,025.27
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Interpretation of the Alexander Majors House blacksmith shop and wagon room, was improved. Site interpretation now include stories of the employees and enslaved men who worked on the property.

3rd Quarter – August

The Baker University Archives and Old Castle Museum
Museum Grade Mannequin: $988.90
Baldwin City, KS – Douglas County
The museum purchased of a museum-grade mannequin to display cloth materials found in the collection, and support cloth materials found throughout the archives. The mannequin also is used to display items related to Freedom’s Frontier themes.

City of Fountains Foundation

Bronze Statue Addition: $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
The fountain honors the founder of Kansas City, Francois Chouteau, and the Native Americans who lived and traded in the area. Funds will allow for the addition of a bronze statue depicting Native Americans in the area.

Clay County Museum and Historical Society
Battle of Liberty Exhibit, Driving/ Walking Tour and Documentary: $5,000.00
Liberty, MO – Clay County
The historical society created a documentary, exhibit, and walking/driving tour focusing on the Civil War and the Battle of Liberty.

Jesse James Birthplace and Museum
Website Update: $5,000.00
Kearney, MO – Clay County
The Jesse James Birthplace website was updated, creating an engaging experience and clear point of contact for site visitors.

Lecompton Historical Society
Website Update: $5,000.00
Lecompton, KS – Douglas County
The historical society created a highly secure website, designed to best reflect the historical significance of Lecompton and its role in shaping local, state, regional and national history.

Lawrence Community Food Alliance (Sunrise Project)
People’s History of East Lawrence Tour: $2,500.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Eastside People’s Intercultural Center (Epicenter) created lesson plans and brochures, with the voices of witnesses, their descendants, marginalized peoples and local historians. There was also an event celebrating the opening of the exhibit and tour to give visitors a deeper understanding of stories of lesser-known history, people, and places that shaped the city.

Douglas County Historical Society

Discover the Stories that Define Lawrence Brochure: $1,496.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The Watkins Museum of History created a brochure (Discover the Stories that Define Lawrence), promoting the museum in a new way—by engaging visitors with the community’s unique past first, then encouraging them to visit the museum for the full story.

4th Quarter – November

Bates County Museum
Website Update: $5,000.00
Butler, MO – Bates County
Bates County Museum developed a new website based upon existing content, adding new content, and designed for user-friendliness, mobile-responsiveness, and SEO optimization.

Alexander/Madison Chapter of KC Buffalo Soldiers
Website Update: $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Alexander/Madison Chapter of KC Buffalo Soldiers developed a new website based upon existing content, adding new content, and designed for user-friendliness, mobile-responsiveness, and SEO optimization.

Brown V. Board Sumner Legacy Trust
65th Anniversary Event: $5,000.00
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
A community event, “65th Anniversary of Brown V Board: An Unfinished Agenda”, provided forums, and a visitor experience of the environment leading up to the 1954 Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision, the present environment, and discussions for the future.

Excelsior Springs Museum & Archives
Website Update: $5,000.00
Excelsior Springs, MO – Clay and Ray counties
The museum developed a new website based upon existing content, adding new content, and designed for user-friendliness, mobile-responsiveness, and SEO optimization.

Franklin County Historical Society
Website Update: $4,288.00
Ottawa, KS – Franklin County
The historical society developed a new website based upon existing content, adding new content, and designed for user-friendliness, mobile-responsiveness, and SEO optimization.

Greater Kansas City Writing Project
Storytelling Project: $4,950.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
This writing project was developed to break down divisive barriers, like race, which divide our community through storytelling. Students from disparate high schools around the greater Kansas City area crafted and shared stories of their personal experiences. A Community Exhibition engaged the community with the shared oral and digital stories.

Guardians of Grover Barn
Brochure: $1,496.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The group developed, designed, and printed an informational brochure for public distribution, to increase the awareness of the barn’s historic past.

Miami County Historical Museum

Website Update: $5,000.00
Paola, KS – Miami County
The historical museum developed a secure, and easy to use site designed to quickly inform researchers and the general public regarding Miami County’s historical significance to the state, region, and nation.

Shawnee Indian Mission Foundation
Wagon Improvements: $1,650.00
Fairway – Johnson County, KS
This state historic site enhanced the interpretive and safety features of the full-sized covered wagon used for living history and school programming.

University of Central Missouri – Center for African Studies
Traveling Exhibit and Programming: $1,500.00
Warrensburg, MO – Johnson County
The center hosted a Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s Traveling Exhibit entitled “Frederick Douglass” in March and April 2019. This exhibition explores slavery and abolition through the life of one of the most famous men in nineteenth-century America. The companion project featured workshops, panels and speakers to connect this story to the Kansas City region.



1st Quarter – February

Little House on the Prairie Museum
Signage: $4,058.00 
Independence, KS – Montgomery County
The museum replaced three existing signs that tell the stories of the buildings on the site, and the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder and family, traveling in a covered wagon to undiscovered frontiers. The museum also created a new brochure and 11 postcards.

Raytown High School
Race Project KC Expansion: $4,850.00  
Raytown, MO – Jackson County
This project expands the efforts of students and teachers at Raytown High School, continuing the Race Project KC initiative, reading and discussing the details of the book “Some of My Best Friends are Black,” accompanying it with discussions with author Tanner Colby.

Shawnee Town 1929
Enduring Power of Story Workshop Program: $4,350.00 
Shawnee, KS – Johnson County
This project engaged visitors in the important work that story plays in all of our lives. Through the power of memory in intergenerational and teacher training workshops, folk tales and fables, the museum drew upon program participants’ experiences to foster a love of history and a heightened awareness of the our shared, sometimes diverse, experiences and struggles.

2nd Quarter – May

Arts and AGEing KC
Museums and Intergenerational Sharing: The Challenges and the Joy of Working with Persons with Dementia and their Caregivers”: $2,800.00 
Kansas City – Jackson County, MO
The organization conducted an all day training workshop on how to work with individuals with dementia and their caregivers. This workshop trained museum professionals and their volunteer interpreters.

Learning Tree Institute at Greenbush, Southeast Kansas Education Service Center
Greenbush Anywhere Virtual History Project: $4,990.56 
Girard, KS – Crawford County
Greenbush launched an expansion of existing distance learning programming to build awareness of the enduring struggles for freedom that have occurred throughout the heritage area. Four Freedom’s Frontier partner sites worked with the organization to develop relevant and engaging history lessons. Greenbush provided training and support to help sites align lessons to educational standards and engage students using interactive distance learning techniques.

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes
She Outranks Me: $4,000.00  
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
The center designed, produced and displayed a new exhibit panel featuring a hero from an era that greatly impacted Fort Scott: the Civil War. A standing display banner was created as a traveling exhibit to share the story at conferences around the country.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
In the News: Reprinting Historical Newspapers: $5,000.00 
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
The historic site defrayed approximately 2/3 of the cost of digitally scanning, locating online, retouching, and then professionally printing two copies of thirty-two editions of the “Olathe Mirror” (from years 1865-1867) to be used in living history programming.

Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum
From Quebec to Quindaro: $5,000.00  
Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County
Tim Kent and his wife, Doree, used a multidisciplinary methodology that included lecture, living history reenactment, interactive displays, and identification and availability of resources to facilitate a deeper understanding of the regional significance of the international fur trade. This 3-day series of educational and entertaining living history presentations in April 2018 concerned the stories and lifestyles of the international fur trade along the waterways of North America, and were offered to students of wide range of educational levels.

Wornall Majors House Museums
Interpreting Alexander Majors: $2,925.00  
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Majors House interpretation was modified for self-guided tours, including printing permanent interpretive signage, rearranging artifacts, creating artifact labels, and protecting particularly valuable or vulnerable items.

3rd Quarter- August

Kansas Historical Society
 – Kansas Museum of History
Captured: $3,935.00  
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The museum presented eight new Museum After Hours (MAH) lectures during the centennial commemoration of World War I and the close of the special exhibit “Captured: The Extraordinary Adventures of Colonel Hughes,” who served in both world wars. Seven of the eight speakers work within the 41 counties of Freedom’s Frontier.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site
Front porch of the 1865 Mahaffie farm house: $5,000.00  
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
A third of the cost of the architectural services and planning to repair/rebuild the front porch of the 1865 Mahaffie farm house was defrayed by the grant funds.

Community Health Council of Wyandotte County
Redlined: $5,000.00  
Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County
The second issue of the series, “9 Months”, extracts and narrates HEAT Report data collected on single mothers, children’s health, and access to prenatal care. Grant funds paid for writer/ artist fees and curriculum creation.

Fractured Atlas
Weaving the River: $4,960.00 
Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County
Weaving the River is an immersive art experience celebrating unrecognized history of the Wyandot Indian Settlement of Quindaro, and current Western University Alumni Association and Unified Government of Wyandotte County Quindaro Townsite. The installation included a soundscape composed by Jen Appell. Justin Border and Meghan Rowswell scultped the topography of Missouri and Kansas riverbanks. Between the land masses, Jillian Youngbird wove a river from sticks and resources collected from the settlement and yarn steeped in water of the Missouri. (This installment was also displayed at the Quindaro Symposium.)

4th Quarter – November

Lexington Missouri Tourism Bureau
Historical Banners and Cut-outs: $1,500.00 
Lexington, MO – Lafayette County
Three retractable banners were created for the tourism office to focus on the Battle of Lexington, and historic Highway 24 as an “Old Trail” to get visitors to/from Lexington. Also, cutouts of Lexington historical figures were constructed to place in windows of downtown businesses they once occupied.



1st Quarter – February

Olathe Parks and Recreation Foundation/Olathe Memorial Cemetery
Interpretive Kiosks: $5,000.00 
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
Grant funds defrayed the cost of acquiring eight interpretive kiosks for installation in historical areas of the cemetery, which has a rich history of the pre- and post-Civil War conflict. More than 300 Union and Confederate soldiers are buried in the cemetery, most in the Civil War circle (established in 1865).

Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council
Populating Douglas County: Pressures of Migration and Politics: $5,000.00
Lawrence, Eudora, Lecompton, & Clinton Lake, KS – Douglas County
This collaborative project resulted in the creation of a traveling exhibit and a minimum of four public programs. Douglas County, Eudora Historical Society, Lecompton Historical Society,  Douglas County Historical Society, and Clinton Lake Historical Society presented public programs focused on migration and politics, and the impact on past and current culture in Douglas County. Humanities Scholar, Cindy Higgins, moderated discussions sponsored by Humanities Kansas.

Friends of Fort Scott National Historic Site, Inc.
Native Neighbors Program: $5,000.00  
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
This program, a continuation of the two Native Neighbors programs in Ottawa, Kansas, highlighted many of the regional American Indian tribes, indigenous and relocated, which at one time or another called western Missouri and eastern Kansas their home. Their histories were told through dance, storytelling, folkways demonstrations, and more.

Jesse James Birthplace and Museum
Paper Conservation Project: $1,440.00
Kearney, MO – Clay County
The project enhancer the visitor experience at the museum, showcasing two of Reverend James’ documents: his license to preach and diploma from Georgetown College. The conservation of these two documents will provide a better understanding of how Reverend James helped shape the frontier on the western edge of Missouri prior to the Civil War.

Johnson County Museum
Permanent Interpretive Signage Panels: $5,000.00
Overland Park, KS – Johnson County
The grant funded, in part, permanent interpretive panels, and included costs for graphic design, fabrication, and image reproduction rights for a project along a 10.1 mile stretch of trail in Overland Park, Kansas. The panels survey the history of Johnson County by examining derivation of various street names that intersect the trail as well as other points of interest.

Lawrence Public Library/Lawrence Public Library Foundation
“Hike through History on the Burroughs Creek Trail”: $4,525.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Lawrence Public Library received partial funding to cover design and fabrication costs for a traveling exhibit that examines key points of historical interest along the Burroughs Creek Trail and Linear Park, a 1.7 mile concrete-paved path running 11th Street to 23rd Street in East Lawrence along a former rail line. Lawrence – Douglas County, KS

Marla Quilts, Inc.(African-American Quilt Museum & Textile Academy Program)
Elements of the Kansas Underground Railroad Program: $5,000.00 
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Middle school aged children created small quilts using hand-dyed fabric as part of the Beyond the Book program.

Marais des Cygnes Society (Poplar Heights Farm)
Poplar Heights Living History Farm: Permanent Fiber Arts Exhibit: $5,000.00  
Butler, MO – Bates County
This fiber arts exhibit provides visitors a hands-on experience with different forms of fiber production by taking raw materials and turning them into useful and decorative products.

St. Joseph Museums, Inc.
Professional Framing in Museum Quality Materials of Photographs: $1,500.00 
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
The museum acquired 15 printed Black Dignity images from the Mary Ellen Everhard collection at the Amon Carter Museum and had them professionally framed in museum-quality materials for exhibition in the Black Archives Museum.

Douglas County Historical Society (Watkins Museum of History)
Civil Rights Interactive Exhibit Kiosk: $5,000.00  
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The museum created an electronic, interactive display chronicling civil-rights issues in Lawrence in recent history. Through photographs, reproduced documents, archival footage.

2nd Quarter – May

Black Archives of Mid-America
BAMA Cultural Heritage Trail: Walking Tour Brochure: $5,000.00 
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
The archives created a Cultural Heritage Trail walking tour brochure that pinpoints historic sites of both regional and national significance in the historic 18th & Vine District of Kansas City, Missouri.

Franklin County Historical Society, Inc. (Old Depot Museum)
“Ritual and Reality: Secret Societies in Franklin County”: $3,500.00  
Ottawa, KS – Franklin County
The historical society purchased exhibit furniture made available by Traub Design Associates to ready the museum for the exhibit, “Ritual and Reality: Secret Societies in Franklin County.”

Friends of the Kaw
Enslaved by Freedom: Lecture series: $4,090.00  
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Friends of the Kaw supported “Enslaved by Freedom”, a lecture series accompanied by books and a digital program focused on the lives of lesser-known men and/or women born into slavery but now free from human ownership.

Great Overland Station
The Kaw: A Prairie River Shapes a State: $5,000.00 
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The museum created an exhibit called “The Kaw: A Prairie River Shapes a State.”

Kansas City Public Library
“The Pendergast Era: Kansas City in the Jazz Age and Great Depression, 1918-1941” (website): $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
The library developed an award-winning interpretive website, with educational content about the Pendergast Era. The website was created in conjunction with a symposium on the same topic, and a (book) compilation of the papers presented at the symposium also won awards.

Kansas State Historical Society (Kansas Museum of History)
Lecture Series: $4,903.00  
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The historical society produced a yearlong program of lectures, which presented information about Kansas history, and touched on Freedom’s Frontier themes.

Lecompton Historical Society
Artifact Records Updating: $5,000.00
Lecompton, KS – Douglas County
The historical society updated artifact records by inventorying, photographing, applying or reapplying identification numbers, collecting additional data on the artifacts, and entering it on PastPerfect software. The grant funds allowed the historical society to hire a student from the University of Kansas Museum Studies program to assist with the project.

Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes
Exhibit Expansion: $1,500.00  
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
The center expanded its exhibits to incorporate more local unsung heroes throughout history.

City of Osceola, Missouri
Interpretive Panels: $5,000.00 
Osceola, MO – St. Clair County
Twelve interpretive panels were installed along the walking trail from Benton Street to an RV Park, ending at the historic Osceola Square.

Shawnee County Historical Society
Heritage Area Programming: $4,298.00 
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The historical society provided  six weeks of heritage education programming for elementary and middle school-age youth. History camp met at the Cox Communications Heritage Education Center on the grounds of the Historic Ritchie House. The program, “Ethnic Communities of Shawnee County, A Melting Pot of History, Culture, and Traditions”, emphasized different ethnic groups in Kansas.

3rd Quarter – August

Monnett Battle of Westport Fund
Wayside Markers: $4,550.00 
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Three permanent wayside markers were installed, describing successive battles at the site on 22 and 23 October 1864, and the overall context of these events during the Battle of Westport.

Topeka Center for Peace and Justice 
Justice Circles: $5,000.00  
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
Approximately 30 middle school teachers were introduced to the value of Justice Circles in building community in schools, teaching children to value diversity, and to respect multiple perspectives. The teachers attended a training designed to help them develop Justice Circles in every middle school in the county. In historical context, these circles developed from Native American culture in Kansas, creating communities that celebrated freedom, while setting appropriate limits on the individual’s behavior.

Haskell Indian Nations University Cultural Center and Museum
Experience Haskell: Native Lawrence—Sharing Our Past, Building Our Future: $5,000.00 
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Haskell Indian Nations University has been part of the Lawrence, Kansas, landscape since 1884. This event highlighted common ties that connect and draw people closer, through promoting student activities, tribal histories, educational achievement, and the nexus of traditional and contemporary themes in lives and cultures.

Kansas City Museum 
Interpretive Signage Project: $5.000.00 
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County 
The museum used the grant funds to cover some of the costs related to the development of a permanent interpretative signage project along a 3.2 mile stretch of the Indian Creek Trail in Kansas City, MO that will survey the history of Jackson County by examining the derivation of the various street names that intersect the trail as well as other points of interest.

Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership
Brochure: $3,056.00 
Lexington, MO – Lafayette County
Old Trails Regional Tourism Partnership developed banner displays with supporting brochure materials to answer the question regarding the Old Trails Region, “What Trails?” Materials share the story of the Osage Trace (trail), Santa Fe and Lewis and Clark Trails and the Mormon experiences in the Old Trails Region.

Wornall Majors House Museums
Brokering the Border Exhibit: $4,500.00 
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
The museums developed “Brokering the Border”, an exhibition which provides an overview of emancipation in Missouri, with particular focus on western Missouri. The exhibit explores the impact of the long Civil War on the Kansas/Missouri border on enslaved Missourians and how the unique convergence of factors in the region facilitated emancipation.

Wyandotte High School
School Partnership and Bus Tours: $5,000.00 
Kansas City, KS – Wyandotte County
Wyandotte High School and Shawnee Mission East high schools furthered the established partnership that includes fall author visits, bus tours, writing showcase, Freedom Corps, all discussing the history of racial politics in Kansas City and its schools and how these issues affect us today.

4th Quarter – November

The Curators of the University of Missouri
Traveling Exhibit: $5,060.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Curators fabricated a traveling exhibit on the region’s suprisingly pivotal role in the rise of America’s gay rights movement.

Jackson County Historical Society
Paneled Exhibit: $1,300.00 
Independence, MO – Jackson County
The historical society developed a temporary, paneled exhibit that explores the migration of German immigrants to Missouri in the 19th century and the lasting effects the migration had on Missouri culture.

Johnson County Museum Foundation
Exhibition Costs: $5,000.00 
Overland Park, KS – Johnson County
The museum moved to a new location. Grant funds supported direct costs associated with a section of an exhibit in the new building that examines the Border War and Civil War period (1855-1865). The exhibition, “ecoming Johnson County”, provides museum visitors with a survey of Johnson County history and development from 1825-2000 and is expected to be a long-term exhibition with a 15-year useful life.

Lawrence Public Library
Signage Panels: $5,000.00 
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Lawrence Public Library designed and fabricated a series of nine, permanent outdoor interpretive signage panels that examine key points of historical interest along the Burroughs Creek Trail and Linear Park, a 1.7 mile concrete-paved path running 11th street to 23rd street in East Lawrence along a former rail line.

Shawnee County Historical Society/Ritchie House
Interpreting the Ritchie House: $3,562.61 
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The historical society acquired recommendations for improvement in how they are interpreting the story, presenting the Ritchie House and grounds, and to improve the education program hands-on experience for students.



1st Quarter – February

Fort Scott National Historic Site
Freedom, Equality, and Democracy: Unsung Heroes from the Civil War to Civil Rights (Educators Workshop/Symposium): $5,000.00 
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
The fort presented an educators’ workshop/symposium based on the theme of Civil War to Civil Rights. It focused on unsung heroes – local and national – that played a role in or benefited from the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments. The workshop also discussed the Voting Rights Act.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
Purchase of a Historic Mudwagon Stagecoach: $5,000.00 
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
The grant defrayed about 15% of costs to acquire an original, nineteenth century mudwagon-style stagecoach for use and exhibition.

Marla Quilts, Inc
Living History of Maria Rogers Martin: $5,000.00 
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Marla created a living history presentation depicting the life and times of Maria Rogers Martin. Lawrence – Douglas County, KS

Quindaro (Project Director Gwendolyn Thomas)
Re-printing of 500 books of “Polly’s Amazing Journey”: $5,000.00 
Kansas City – Wyandotte County, KS
“Polly’s Amazing Journey, The History of the Quindaro Settlement in Kansas City, Kansas” was introduced in 2009, and printed in tête bêche style, with sides for pre-school to first grade students, and second to third graders. It was illustrated by a young partner. The book is popular with schools, libraries, and students. The reprint includes Spanish language books as well.

2nd Quarter – May

Atchison Area Chamber of Commerce
Jesse Stone Murual: $5,000.00 
Atchison, KS – Atchison County
The chamber developed a mural of Jesse Stone on a highly visible building in downtown Atchison.

Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau
150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Juneteenth Celebration: $1,500.00 
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The CVB worked with the NAACP local chapter to support the commemoration of an historical one-day event related to the rich history of Freedoms’ Frontier National Heritage Area. For the event, 6-8 standing educational display banners were created.

Lecompton Historical Society
Artifact Inventory for Improving Interpretation, Enhancing Exhibits and Programming: $3,495.00 
Lecompton, KS – Douglas County
The historical society hired a University of Kansas Museums Studies Graduate Student for one semester to inventory and catalog the artifacts at the Territorial Capital Museum.

Louisburg Historical Society
Trevelling Retractable Banners: $400.00 
Louisburg, KS – Miami County
The historical society developed retractable banners that bring the story of Louisburg to the public throughout the city and county.

3rd Quarter – August

Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance
Gerken Story Mural: $1,489.00 
Humboldt, KS – Allen County
A 9’ x 12’ mural was painted on the east interior wall of the Orcutt Living History Backyard museum. The mural sets the scene for the “Gerken Story”.

Pony Express National Museum
Outdoor Interpretive Signage: $5,000.00 
St. Josheph, MO – Buchanan County
As a pilot site in partnership with Freedom’s Frontier for its outdoor signage program, the Pony Express Museum developed two signs: one was placed outside of the entrance to the Museum and the second outside the entrance of the Pony school, a reproduction one room school house from the 1860s.

4th Quarter – November

Atkins Johnson Farm and Museum
Visioning Workshop: $5,000.00 
Gladstone, MO – Clay County
Grant funding covered the consultant fee to facilitate the workshop and present findings.

Curators of the University of Missouri (for University of Missouri-Kansas City Center for Midwestern Studies)
“Wide Open Town: Kansas City During the Pendergast Era”: $5,000.00 
The project produced new scholarship on the history of Kansas City during the interwar period, an era often described as the city’s “Golden Age.” (The website, and book that resulted from this project earned various awards. There was also a symposium.)

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site
Border War/Civil War Program Equipment: $5,000.00 
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
Grant funds defrayed the cost of acquiring reproduction arms, uniforms, and other equipment for the site’s Tragic Prelude education program.

Wornall Majors House Museums
Interpretive Banners: $1,258.00 
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Two 33.5 x 86” banners to serve as mobile interpretive signage for the Wornall House.



1st Quarter – February

Van Go, Inc.
Rolling HIstory Mural: $5,000.00  
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Van Go, Inc., in partnership with the City of Lawrence, created a Rolling History mural, depicting significant historical events, people, and geography. This 200 sq foot mural was  designed and created at Van Go by Apprentice Artists, 20 at-risk teens who worked with teaching artists, staff, and volunteers after school for 8 weeks. This large-scale mural was  digitally adapted as a ‘wrap’ to be applied on a Lawrence bus. The bus runs a regular night route, but is primarily be designated for community outreach (visiting schools, community events, parades, etc.).

3rd Quarter – August

Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau
Abe Burns and Jake Washington: A Foundation for Black Freedom in Post Civil War Kansas (1865-1895): $4,000.00  
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Not much information is available about Abe Burns and Jake Washington, despite their early works to assist in growing commerce in Lawrence, Kansas. The project director knew of one well-known photograph of the two men dated 1896, owned by the Kansas Historical Society. The Burns and Washington project required research of death records, census, court records, cemetery plots, newspaper archives, church memberships, black historical society, and agricultural records, and interviews with elders still living in the area whose ancestors may have known the men. Information gathered assisted in the creation of display screens, a video and companion booklet about the two black men who fished on the river in Lawrence.

The Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc.
Battle of Westport Sesquicentennial Exhibition -Battle of Westport Visitor Center Museum Special Exhibit: $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
The Monnett Battle of Westport Fund, Inc. (“Monnett Fund”) sponsored the Battle of Westport Sesquicentennial Exhibition on October 23-26, 2014. As part of this observation, Monnett Fund iproduced a special exhibit in the visitor center containing a loaned collection of artifacts recovered from the adjacent battlefield on the Byram’s Ford site. These artifacts were only recently rediscovered. The exhibit recombined portions of the existing materials with these new items to illustrate the lives of the combatants and civilians who struggled for freedom in this decisive Civil War battle which marked the climax of the ten year war on the border.

Franklin County Historical Society, Inc
Native Neighbors from Freedom’s Frontier’s Past: $5,000.00 
Ottawa, KS – Franklin County
The 2014 Native Neighbors event was educational and interesting to visitors interested in formerly local Native Americans and their traditions, and highlighted the pressures that assured that these natives would be removed once more, this time to Oklahoma. The event included representatives of many native groups. Besides dancers, musicians, and craftspeople, there was a “Native Fair”. Groups displayed artifacts or materials relating to their life today. Visitors traveled around the fair to collect cards bearing information about each group and their experiences in Kansas and Missouri. A videographer documented the event and created visual exhibit material for the Old Depot Museum and its websites. This grant also helped to transition Native Neighborsfrom a Franklin County event to a heritage area-wide traveling event. A resource notebook was created to pass along to the next site that will host the event. (This event won an award from the American Association for State and Local History.)

Watkins Museum of History
Journal Exhibit: $4,950.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The proposed project is an expansion of a successful classroom activity into the permanent gallery at the Watkins Museum. The Maggie Herrington journal, kept by a Lawrence teenager in the 1860’s, will introduce families to the daily lives of early Lawrence residents. The proposed interactive gallery installation will feature a reusable family guide, reproduction artifacts and hands-on activities designed for use by family groups (and any group with children) to aid in the understanding of 19th century Lawrence.
Amount of Grant Request: $4950.00

4th Quarter – November

Territorial Capital Museum
New Website for Historic Lecompton: $1,000.00
Lecompton, KS – Douglas County
The museum got an updated website to promote historic Lecompton, and training on website maintenance, to make changes and updates in-house.

Wabaunsee County Historical Society
Freedom’s Frontier in Wabaunsee County: $5,000.00
Wamego, KS – Wabaunsee County
A 14-panel exhibition of photographs, artwork, maps and text tells the stories of Freedom’s Frontier in Wabaunsee County. Exhibition panels reflect the themes of the heritage area, telling the stories associated with the following subjects in present day Wabaunsee County:

  • Shaping the Frontier: Early exploration, Bourgmont, 1724, Santa Fe Trail, Oregon Trail, Fremont 1843 expedition, Mormon trail of 1854
  • Missouri/Kansas Border War: The Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony and their involvement and leadership within the Free-state cause.
  • Enduring Struggles for Freedom: The Shawnee and Potawatomi emigrant tribes, the Underground Railroad as documented by Charles Leonhardt and others, German emigration colonies.

(This exhibition is also a traveling exhibit, owned by Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area. For more information about the traveling exhibit, contact the heritage area at 785-856-5300, or [email protected].)

Washburn University
A Short Film about Ichabod Washburn: $4,729.00
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
The film presents information about the history of Lincoln College (Washburn University), founded in 1865 by the Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches of Kansas. The college was dedicated to freedom, and committed to providing an education to all – regardless of race or gender. This commitment caught the attention of Massachusetts industrialist Ichabod Washburn, an early benefactor and present namesake. His principles and idealism both founded the college and helped forge Kansas as a free state. The film brought his story to life, and interpreted it as part of the university’s sesquicentennial.



1st Quarter – February

Gardner Historical Museum
Civil War Expo and Cell Phone App: $1,150.00
Gardner, KS – Johnson County
A Civil War Expo brought re-enactors, artisans, storytellers and scholars to Gardner during the Festival of the Trails event. The cell phone ap was created to push information about the expo and the museum to cell phone users. A tablet donated by the ap developer can be used to access museum exhibits and artifacts online, and makes exhibits on the museum’s upper level (no elevator) accessible to a larger audience.

Marla Quilts, Inc.
Quantrill’s Raid Story Quilt: The Enduring Struggle for Freedom in Lawrence: $5,000.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
An 83-inch by 83-inch Story Quilt, accompanied by additional media that records and interprets the struggle for freedom, commemorated Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence through a community-based project.

Second Quarter – May

Fort Scott National Historic Site
35th Anniversary Temporary Exhibit: $491.50
FOrt Scott, KS – Bourbon County
A temporary exhibit of nine 24” x 36” posters mounted on foam core and placed on easels, all with text and photos/illustrations, highlighted the 35th anniversary of Fort Scott Historical Park becoming Fort Scott National Historic Site, and how local citizens effect change. Most notable is how the previously ignored story of the enlistment of free and formerly enslaved African American refugees into the first black unit organized by a Northern state and the first such unit to participate in combat can lead to national historic designations.

Territorial Capital Museum and Lecompton Historical Society
Digitization/Interpretation/Exhibition Project of the Lecompton Historical Society’s Gieseman Territorial Kansas Map Collection: $2,500.00
Lecompton, KS – Douglas County
The museum digitized and copied 25 maps. Some of the map copies were framed and exhibited with interpretive signage. The map copies not displayed are available for study and/or special exhibition to spread the story of Territorial Kansas and its changing borders and cultural landscape.

Lowell Milken Center For Unsung Heroes
Enduring Struggles For Freedom in Bourbon County, Eastern Kansas and Western Missouri: Jewish, Native and African American Exhibits: $5,000.00
Fort Scott, KS – Bourbon County
Local students assisted with creation of three exhibits with Freedom’s Frontier themes, and potential to draw tourism.

  • Struggle for equality of Jewish citizens in Eastern Kansas and specifically in Fort Scott: This exhibit presents the Jewish life of the 19th and some of the 20th centuries in the Freedom’s Frontier. Visitors to the center are exposed to a culture that they may be unaware of in this region. It also emphasizes teaching tolerance. Primary documents and photographs are included.
  • Struggle for equality of Native Americans in the early 19th century: This exhibit presents the Osage struggle to keep their homelands and lifestyle secure. The Osage Nation of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, aided with this exhibit. Kansas and Missouri educators at the center assist in the exhibit presentation.
  • Struggle for equality of African Americans in the 20th century: This exhibit explores African American life in the region, and the transformation from segregation to integration. Members of the local African American community are assisted with the development of this exhibit. Primary documents and photographs are included.

St. Joseph Museums, Inc.
Video Education and Marketing Project: $4,000.00
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
The museums created a video marketing project in cooperation with The American Countryside media group. Six radio features and three video features were produced. Each video is about 90 seconds in length, and is used to education visitors and promote exhibits with Freedom’s Frontier themes. The videos streamed on AmericanCountryside.com in conjunction with the radio show; they were uploaded to the museums website and the St. Joseph CVB YouTube channel, and shared on Facebook and Twitter. Videos were used to tell these stories in classrooms, with scouts, and throughout the community.

4th Quarter – December

Marla Quilts, Inc.
Turkey Red, A Story Quilt Interpreting the Life of Maria Martin: Missouri Slave, Kansas Contraband: $5,000.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Five story quilts and a series of talks interpreted the connections between Maria Martin, brought as contraband to Lawrence during a raid by Jayhawkers of Wayside Rest Plantation in Cass County, Missouri (a recognized Network to Freedom Underground Railroad site), and Lawrence, Kansas. The quilts depict Maria Martin’s life on the plantation through her trip to Kansas. Takls included information about traditional methods of dying fabric and creating quilts that Maria—a known quilter and seamstress—would have used to create her quilts.

St. Joseph Parks, Recreation & Civic Facilities/Friends of the Park/River City Development Committee
Paint the Town – Downtown Mural Project: $5,000.00
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
Two murals were created depicting the city’s role in Western Migration and the American Civil War. Artist Sam Welty painted the murals. Welty is known for his public murals throughout the east coast. The total cost for the Western Migration Mural was $125,000.00.



1st Quarter – February

Eudora Area Historical Society/Eudora Community Museum
“The Way We Worked”: $1,250.00
Eudora, KS – Douglas County
The historical society created supplemental programming and a three-panel exhibit in conjunction with the Humanities Kansas tour of the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibit “The Way We Worked”. The exhibit explored Eudora’s African American community from the late 19th Century to the present, focusing on the kinds of jobs they had, discrimination and other issues they faced, and how their jobs changed and/or improved over time. Eudora had a significant black population (well over 25% of the town) following the Civil War. Most of Eudora’s black residents were freed slaves from the neighboring slave state of Missouri. By the turn of the 20th Century, most of the black population had left Eudora.

Franklin County Historical Society
Native Neighbors from Franklin County’s Past: $5,000.00
Ottawa, KS – Franklin County
The historical society contacted descendants of Native Americans who once lived in Franklin County before white settlement. These groups were invited to share cultural and artistic heritage, and their modern lives. Current Franklin County, Kansas, was once part of the Permanent Indian Frontier, an area designated as the new home of Indians removed from the East Coast, South and Great Lakes states: Osages and Kanzas, Sac and Fox of the Mississippi, Munsee or Christian Indians, Swan Creek and Black River Chippewas, three bands of Ottawas (Roches de Boeuf, Blanchard’s Fork and Oquawanoxy’s Village), the Mission band of Pottawatomies, and the Illinois tribes (Peoria, Wea, Kaskaskia and Piankeshaw). Shawnee reserve and hunting areas also dipped into Franklin County. During the Civil War, thousands of other Union-supporting Indians from Indian Territory were also temporarily relocated to Franklin County for their protection—Quapaws, Seneca-Shawnees, Cherokees, Euchees, and Creeks.

2nd Quarter – May

Douglas County Historical Society/ Watkins Community Museum of History
Pilot Educational Program for 3rd Graders and Family Groups Exploring the Development of Lawrence as a Frontier Community: $1,475.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
Museum staff created and tested a pilot educational program for 3rd grade classes and family groups exploring the development of Lawrence as a frontier community. Participants use  primary source documents and reproduction artifacts to make connections about how Lawrence in the 1860-70s was like and/or different from the city as it is today. The program supports Kansas education standards for 3rd grade.

The George Historic Cemetery Association, Inc.
The George Historic Cemetery Heritage Park: $5,000.00
Oak Grove, MO – Jackson County
The grant provided graphic design and fabrication for interpretive signs outlining a cell phone tour of Heritage Park, on unused ground in the cemetery, to commemorate bravery of hundreds of Missouri families who suffered during the Civil War. The park area is planted with wild flowers. The signs along a Heritage Trail, cut through the field of flowers, tell of the “Strife in Civil War Missouri,” a little-known story.

Mount Mora Cemetery Preservation & Restoration Association
Mount Mora Cemetery Video: $5,000.00
St. Joseph, MO – Buhanan County
The 15-minute video introduces visitors to the history of the cemetery, established in 1851 (one of the oldest operating cemeteries in Saint Joseph; and listed in the National Register of Historic Places). They learn about its importance as a historical site, and get brief biographies on several people buried there who made an impact on Saint Joseph, Northwest Missouri, and Freedom’s Frontier.

Royal Valley Middle School
1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry Mural: $1,489.11
Mayetta, KS – Jackson County
In 2002 the Kansas Legislature passed House Bill 2614, which called for the placing of a mural, in honor of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry, at the Kansas State House. Royal Valley Middle School students researched and developed concepts for a four-panel mural, following the guidelines set out by the Kansas Capitol Preservation Committee. At completion of the concepts, and fabrication of sample panels, the mural was sent to the Capitol Preservation Committee for scrutiny, and possible inclusion in the visitor center at the state capitol.

Vernon County Historical Society
New Exhibits: $4,482.50
Nevada, MO – Vernon County
The historical society rejuvenated museum exhibits about the Missouri/Kansas Border War and Civil War periods. The renovation incorporated text, artifacts, images, and technology to create a multi-faceted and dynamic experience for a diverse audience. This project was accomplished by creating modern interpretive panels to replace older exhibits, and includes modern technology.

Westport Historical Society
Interpretive restoration of the second floor of the 1870 addition to the 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum: $5,000.00
Kansas City, MO – Jackson County
Renovations created two exhibit rooms, and reinterpretation of the bedroom of Hattie Dresdon Kearney. Her story of slave to freed slave to family member is told. Renovations included demolition of two bathrooms and some interior walls; refurbishing wood floors and brick walls; painting; replacing doors and window molding; and purchasing and installing exhibit lighting, display cases, audio-visual equipment, period correct bedroom furniture and accessories.

3rd Quarter – August

Historical Preservation Partnership of Lyndon, Inc. (HPPL)
Wells P. Bailey House: $4, 949.80
Lyndon, KS – Osage County
This log house in the Lyndon City Park dates to at least 1870. In the mid-1800s, a Sac & Fox Indian reservation covered most of the county, and the house was at the site of a Fox village. Once thought to have been built by the U.S. Government for the Indians, architectural studies and restoration efforts suggest the house was built by Bailey, a white settler, using logs from deserted Indian houses. These stories are told with a website, interpretive video, and QR codes.

Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
Changes for the Mahaffies: $4,963.00
Olathe, KS – Johnson County
Changes that the Mahaffie family endured in the mid-1860s while living at this historic site in Olathe are interpreted on a five-panel exhibit in the foyer of the original farmhouse. The grant funded research, design, fabrication and installation of the panels. The panels explore changes: in the Mahaffie family, to the farmhouse and farm, and within the community.

Monticello Community Historical Society
Driving/Cycling Tour Map and Brochure of Historic Site in Monticello Township, Kansas: $3,225.00
Lenexa, KS – Johnson County
The historical society developed and printed a driving/cycling tour map and historic site brochure for Monticello Township, Kansas.

4th Quarter – December

Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum
The Battle and Massacre of Baxter Springs Video Project: $5,000.00
Baxter Springs, KS – Cherokee County
The 15-minute video was created for the sesquicentennial of Quantrill’s attack on Ft. Blair (defended by the 2nd Kansas Colored Infantry), and the ensuing massacre of General Blunt’s command in Baxter Springs on October 6, 1863. The video is available for viewing on kiosks at the museum. Scout Productions will release the video to be viewed on YouTube as well as their corporate website.

Black Jack Battlefield & Nature Park
Black Jack Battlefield & Nature Park Self-guided Tour Brochure: $3,000.00
Lawrence, KS – Douglas County
The battlefield created a new, full color, self-guided tour brochure to direct visitors to various stops on the property. The historical events that happened at each stop are described in the brochure. QR codes for each stop provide visitors with a smart device to view video corresponding to the tour stop The same QR code technology provides the ability to donate and to sign a guest book.

Cass County Historical Society
“The Stern Visitations of War Cass County’s War Years, 1854-1865”: $4,877.00
Harrisonville, MO – Cass County
This traveling exhibit project details and explores the struggles which the Civil War imposed on all Cass County citizens: black and white, wealthy and poor, old and young, Union and Confederate. The war in Cass County was intensely personal, and due to Orders No. 11, particularly devastating to women and children left to survive on their own. The exhibit tells residents’ stories in their own words, and honors multiple perspectives to provide an authentic picture of those caught in the crossfires of war.

Friends of the Frontier Army Museum, Inc.
Fort Leavenworth Frontier Army Museum Video Project: $5,000.00
Leavenworth, KS – Leavenworth County
This 15-minute video, touching on themes of Freedom’s Frontier, was created to enhance the visitor experience, and introduce Fort Leavenworth’s rich frontier heritage. The video covers the time period from 1804 to present, and spotlights the important roles the US Army played in the critical period of our Nations westward expansion, in the Enduring Struggle for Freedom, and in the Kansas/Missouri Border Wars. The video is also used as an introduction for the Fort’s command college students, and can be shown on Leavenworth public access TV.

Great Overland Station
A Lesson of the Exodus: African-Americans Seek Freedom in Kansas: $3,000.00
Topeka, KS – Shawnee County
Exodusters were African-Americans who fled the South in 1879-1880 and migrated to Kansas seeking political and economic freedom. The station’s exhibit about the exodusters included multiple perspectives, and presented diverse, interrelated, and nationally significant stories. The exhibit was designed to be shared as a traveling exhibit as well.

Mid-West Educational Center, Inc. DBA Wonder Workshop Children’s Museum
“Take a Stand:” Historic Cell Phone Tour of Manhattan, Kansas: $4,790.00
Manhattan – Riley County, KS
The children’s museum created a cell phone tour with informational panels at historical sites in Manhattan dating back to 1855-1880. A site location map for website and print shows the stops on the tour, and provides more information.

Pony Express National Museum
Children’s Video: $4,840.00
St. Joseph, MO – Buchanan County
The museum’s project re-edited an existing introductory video, and added a Johnny Fry re-enactor for a school age level audience. This new video highlights objects important to the Pony Express Riders. The video is shown to school groups at the museum, is available for school groups in classrooms, and showcased through the museum website and on YouTube.

Designed to foster difficult but necessary dialogue, FFNHA’s Discussion Grants help communities better connect with their shared histories by facilitating thought, discussion, and reconciliation.

Discussion Grant projects are now eligible for funding through FFNHA’s Interpretive Grant program. Learn more here.

Feature your site’s news or event in our newsletter by completing this form.

The FFNHA Partner Advisory Group is both self-nominated and staff invited to get representation of a variety of different types of museums and historical societies along with geographic and age distribution throughout the heritage area. The group meets via conference call with staff on a bimonthly basis. The group selects one member from Missouri and one member from Kansas to serve on the Board of Trustees for one year. The group selects a chair to work with FFNHA staff outside of calls.

The members of the group are:

  • Alana Smith, Westport Historical Society (Chair)
  • Mary Billington, Baxter Springs Heritage Center & Museum (Secretary)
  • Carl Brenner, Fort Scott Historic Site – NPS
  • Paul Bahnmaier, Lecompton Historical Society
  • Sandra Kelly, Johnson County Kansas Heritage Foundation
  • Judy Lindquist, Douglass School Project
  • Alinda Miller, Historic Lone Jack Battlefield and Museum
  • Steve Novak, Watkins Museum of History
  • Alexis Radil, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site
  • Jennifer Reed, Cass County Historical Society
  • Marcia Rozell, Visit Manhattan
  • Will Tollerton, Bushwhacker Museum

The FFNHA Timeline traveling exhibit is available for display at any partner site. Contact us for more information.

Please allow one week before and after the exhibition period for delivery and pickup.

Judy Billings, Retired President and CEO of Destination Management, Inc., served as the founding Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2006-2012 and was instrumental advocating for National Heritage Area designation. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will recognize individual partners (current or retired) for their contributions to the FFNHA The Billings MVP award honors outstanding commitment to the advancement of the FFNHA Goals and adherence to FFNHA Guiding Principles over an extended period of time.

View nomination form.


Judy Billings, Retired President and CEO of Destination Management, Inc., served as the founding Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2006-2012 and was instrumental advocating for National Heritage Area designation. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will recognize individual partners (current or retired) for their contributions to the FFNHA The Billings MVP award honors outstanding commitment to the advancement of the FFNHA Goals and adherence to FFNHA Guiding Principles over an extended period of time.

View nomination form.

Deanell Reece Tacha, Retired Judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, served as the founding Chair of the Board of Trustees of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2004-2010. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will engage students in grades 8-11. The Award is intended to be a way to help students learn about the issues, ideas, people and events that contribute to the themes of FFNHA. The Award is to be a cash prize given to high school student(s) in grades 8-11 residing in or attending school in Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area based upon a winning scholarly/creative work that relates to the history of the area and the themes of FFNHA.

Learn more.

Judy Billings, Retired President and CEO of Destination Management, Inc., served as the founding Executive Director of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2006-2012 and was instrumental advocating for National Heritage Area designation. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will recognize individual partners (current or retired) for their contributions to the FFNHA The Billings MVP award honors outstanding commitment to the advancement of the FFNHA Goals and adherence to FFNHA Guiding Principles over an extended period of time.

View nomination form.

Deanell Reece Tacha, Retired Judge with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, served as the founding Chair of the Board of Trustees of Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) from 2004-2010. To honor her work, the FFNHA board has established an award that will engage students in grades 8-11. The Award is intended to be a way to help students learn about the issues, ideas, people and events that contribute to the themes of FFNHA. The Award is to be a cash prize given to high school student(s) in grades 8-11 residing in or attending school in Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area based upon a winning scholarly/creative work that relates to the history of the area and the themes of FFNHA.

Learn more.

The CROSBY KEMPER Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation, known as THE CROSBY, recognizes projects, programs, or polices that make, or have made significant contributions to historic preservation in conjunction with an entity or property in the states of Missouri or Kansas. This award acknowledges noteworthy accomplishments in the promotion and advancement of the National Historic Preservation goals with respect to cultural and natural heritage resources and historic preservation, especially those which add benefit for the state(s) and the public.

Any state or local agency, tribal government, non-profit organization, business, or person(s) is/are eligible to receive the Crosby Kemper Award.
Nominations must be related to stewardship, actions, activities, or undertakings of Historical Preservation projects, programs or polices

The Crosby Kemper Award will be conferred once a year during National Historic Preservation Month in May at a reception and open house at the 1855 Harris-Kearney House Museum. (Date to be announced each January)


Nominations must meet two or more of the following criteria:

  • Exemplary site, project, program, or policy resulting in rehabilitation and active use of one or more Historic resources
  • Outstanding organizational leadership in historic preservation public policy, or on issues of importance to historic preservation policy
  • Exemplary stewardship, treatment, or use of one or more historic resources
  • Significant contribution to economic development, community revitalization, heritage tourism, education, public involvement, sustainability, and livable communities, or other public benefit through preservation activities or programs; including those that focus on youth engagement or the involvement of underserved and diverse audiences
  • Exemplary advancement of cultural heritage programs such as America’s Great Outdoors or Preserve America
  • Promotion of heritage tourism and historic preservation efforts that demonstrate involvement of local government and/or other partners or stakeholders
  • Projects must be completed, and programs or relevant policies must have been implemented within the three years preceding the nomination date.

Nomination requirements

All nomination materials must include the following:

  • Nomination form
  • A list of nomination criteria met
  • A description (no more than 1000 words) of the site project, program, or policy being nominated, including: An explanation of the significance of the achievement in historic preservation. What was the preservation? What program(s) or policy(ies) was/were put in place to accomplish or promote preservation? What resources were involved? Include a timeline and number of work hours involved. Give an explanation of the challenges: what were problems, how were they resolved; any unique strategies or approaches undertaken; the impact of completion.
  • Any other information to support the nomination.
  • If applicable, the status of compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act

Nominations must also include:

  1. Up to seven supporting documents (such as brochures, news/Internet articles, or similar explanatory information); 
  2. Up to three letters of recommendation submitted with nomination
  3. A listing of any awards already received, if any.

If other agencies or organizations made significant contributions to the success of a site, project, program, or policy, provide the following:

  1. Contact person, name and title
  2. Agency/organization address
  3. Telephone
  4. E-mail Address
  5. Description of their contributions
  6. Photos are encouraged, but optional

Nominations may be submitted to the Westport Historical Society for consideration from September 1 of each calendar year to March 1 of the next calendar year. All nomination materials should be submitted together in a single package. All nomination material will be retained by the WHS.

Contact Information:

Questions regarding the nomination process may be directed to Ms. Alana Smith, [email protected] or at 913-648-0952

Please send completed nominations electronically ([email protected]) or by regular mail:

Ms. Alana Smith
Attn: Award Nomination and Selection Process
Westport Historical Society
4000 Baltimore
Kansas City, MO

After staff review for fulfillment of criteria, the nominations will be sent to the WHS President, the WHS Board of Directors, and Crosby Kemper, for the decision and naming of the Award Winner.

All nominees will be notified of the final decision by mail.

previous arrowprevious arrow
next arrownext arrow