Appalachia Heritage 3 Minute Success Story Nominations

The Appalachia Heritage Luncheon was conceived by Ohio’s Hill Country Heritage Area and Heritage Ohio as an opportunity to share the many diverse successes that highlight the past and future of Ohio’s Appalachia Region.  Selected project representatives each present their projects’ story, providing exposure to many successes in Appalachia.

Nominations are now being accepted to present 3-minute success stories of projects which have created, enhanced, preserved and/or improved the value and understanding of Ohio’s Appalachia Heritage, and as a result improved quality of life,  created meaningful employment or entrepreneurial opportunities to be presented at the 2014 Appalachia Heritage Luncheon, held in the Ohio’s Capital Building Rotunda.

To nominate a project fill out this form Appalachia Heritage Success Stories Nomination Form

I dig history, do you?

When I started college, I initially went to school for historic preservation. I always wondered what it was like to live a century ago, loved looking at historic photographs and hearing stories from the older residents in my town. While in college, on a whim, I took two archaeology classes one semester and fell in love. Yes, history provides you with names and dates and beautiful stories; however archaeology appealed to me because it is void of any opinion when it comes to telling the story of the past. I could tell you that I eat yogurt and snack bars at work, and drink a lot of water. However, if you took a peak at my garbage can next to my desk, you would see many candy and cereal bar wrappers, a few yogurt containers, and a lot of tea bags. Does that mean I live solely on those foods? No, however, it does mean that when I’m at that location, that is what I tend to consume. Material culture (physical remains, artifacts) can tell us a lot about history, particularly the history which doesn’t have a written record. It can also confirm written record.


Excavating on a college campus


If you think about a historic site as a whole with a story to tell, the standing structures tell just part of the story. A house, for example, can tell a lot about both the people who built the structure, as well as the current function. However, the house has not been there since time began. The landscape and what is beneath the land also has a rich history. Perhaps the area was formerly a farm. You might find footprints of former buildings, construction materials, farming tools, or animal bones. If there was a building and it collapsed in on itself, it will look different than if it was taken apart piece by piece. The material that the building was constructed of will leave different evidence and could show a different history. It could also show a chronology on the site, and help with dating the site. Materials such as nails were manufactured in different ways during certain set dates. Local resources used for construction material can also help provide the earliest date. Perhaps limestone or granite was quarried and used for building foundations, but you know that that ceased in a certain year. That year can be used as a point of reference.

One of the most important data components in archaeology is where the artifacts were found relative to the surface and relative to other physical or material culture. As archaeologists slowly excavate, the story of the history of that 1-meter square comes to light. Perhaps you find a 1980 penny and some plastic toys on the top surface, and then the next layer below you find the remnants of a glass bottle you can assign a date to, and kitchen utensils and maybe a broken dish, and then a layer of charcoal and burned wood when you know there was a house fire on that site at a certain date. This would indicate an area of undisturbed soil. However, many times all of those artifacts are lying next to each other; the 1980 penny sitting right next to a wire nail from the 1890s. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it still provides us with a picture of site activity because it would indicate that at some point the ground was disturbed. Perhaps it because it became plowed field, perhaps a tornado ripped through, or maybe a road came through nearby and the soil was dumped there.

In the next year, I will be writing blogs about different archaeology projects that have occurred or are occurring in Ohio. I encourage you to think about what other history is below ground, or what questions could be answered/confirmed through archaeology.

Jeff Speck Walkable Cities Webinar January 15th


We’re excited to start our 2014 Webinar Series with a nationally recognized speaker, Jeff Speck, author of Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. His book delves into the practices that have become entrenched in our society, and he discusses what REALLY works to make out cities more livable. Speck is a city planner and architectural designer who, through writing, lectures, and built work, advocates internationally for smart growth and sustainable design. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he oversaw the Mayors’ Institute on City Design and created the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, a federal program that helps state governors fight suburban sprawl.

Heritage Ohio webinars are a benefit of membership. Click here to join Heritage Ohio

Heritage Ohio members may register for the webinar HERE

IRS rings in 2014 with more clarity on tax credit structure

A somewhat quiet, but nonetheless controversial, tax credit ruling erupted in August of 2012, when a court decision found that a development partner in a historic rehab was not, in fact, a bona fide development partner. What did this mean? Quite simply, this ruling had the potential to take redevelopment partners, often the development partners who put upfront construction money into a project, off rehab projects. And removing the funding source to make construction happen means stopping rehab projects in their tracks (this article from the Canton Repository shows how the Boardwalk decision hit home in Ohio.)

Without clear guidelines on how the IRS would treat development partners, active investment has lagged in the past 16 months. Fortunately, the IRS recently published guidelines to clarify development partners’ relationships, and how those partners can make use of tax credit allocations. The Preservation Exchange, a blog originating from Preservation Studios in Buffalo, NY, published a post providing analysis of what the IRS guidelines may mean for future developer partnership structures. You can read the PE post here.

You can read the IRS guidelines here. Heritage Ohio will continue to monitor the impact of the IRS guidelines and share updates as we learn of them.

Ohio Capital Arts Committee Releases Final Report

The Capital Arts Committee has issued their recommendations to the Ohio General Assembly for Capital Bill appropriations for the 2015-2016 biennium budget.  The proposed $33 million appropriation is projected to leverage $862 million in matching money. Click the following link to see recommendations.  Ohio Capital Arts Committee Final Report

ODSA Announces Cincinnati Historic Tax Credit Event

You are invited to celebrate Cincinnati’s Historic Buildings… 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
10:00 a.m.
21c Museum Hotel
609 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 

The Ohio Development Services Agency invites you to this special event to celebrate Cincinnati’s preservation of historic landmarks. Speakers include David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency; Mary Cusick, Chief of TourismOhio; Stephen Leeper of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and Kevin Pape of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. Join us for a presentation and tour of the award-winning facility, 21c Museum Hotel and learn about other Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit projects coming to fruition in 2014.

Questions can be addressed to Nathaniel Kaelin, Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Manager, at (614) 728-0995.

Parking available via valet (for a fee) and at nearby garages

Ohio DSA announces Round 11 tax credit recipients

Today the Ohio Development Services Agency announced that 31 buildings in 10 different communities received allocations of the Round 11 tax credits. As in past rounds, the credits were divided for projects throughout the state (although the northwest and southeast regions were absent from this round). While few dispute the power of the credits in making multi-million dollar rehabilitation projects possible (with three separate projects taking the maximum $5 million per project), the state continues to work to make sure smaller projects don’t fall through the cracks. This round of credits included a $65,000 rehab project in Wilmington. The Wilmington project is slated to receive $13,825. You can read the ODSA press release here.

A Small Business Saturday bribe, er, incentive, for American Express cardholders!

Small Business Saturday, the local business answer to Black Friday (and now Tryptophan Thursday) calls on shoppers to patronize their locally owned businesses, injecting some dollars into the local economy. Since 2010 us Main Street types have cheered a day sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, giving local businesses some shopping publicity, and now American Express has sweetened the deal for cardholders who shop this Saturday. Here’s the deal: spend at least $10 at a qualifying local business (you can check the list here) and receive a $10 credit on your AMEX statement. However, it appears there are limited “slots” for cardholders to sign up to get this deal, so don’t delay. You can learn more here.

Thank you very much, American Express. I’ll take your $10 bribe and happily do some local shopping on Saturday in observance of Small Business Saturday. I hope you all will do the same. Happy Thanksgiving!

Update: Frank charged some delicious vanilla hazelnut bulk coffee from his favorite local coffee retailer, Cup o Joe, on Small Business Saturday!

Marketing Your Main Street

Join us in beautiful downtown Millersburg, Ohio on November 6th as we hear from speakers around the state regarding the importance of marketing your Main Streets. The life and longevity of communities depend on effective marketing strategies. Learn from experts in the field on how cities can implement marketing to enhance public spaces. We are pleased to welcome Pat Williamsen, Katherine Buluva, and Jesse Mireles as our speakers for today’s workshop.


To register, please click here

Pat Williamsen

Pat Williamsen, Executive Director for the Ohio Humanities Council, has been a member of the OHC staff off and on since 1985.  From 1993 through 2001, she provided leadership to several cultural agencies, including a community symphony and a public access television station.  She holds an MA in film history from the Ohio State University.  An accomplished documentary photographer, Pat is working on several projects that involve family photographs made while traveling the United States and Europe.


Katherine Bulava

Katherine Bulava specializes in communications-related strategic planning, media relations, public relations, digital media and public affairs. In January 2010, Bulava started HATHA COMMUNICATIONS, which specializes in working with organizations that focus on community development, economic development, foreclosure prevention, and neighborhood revitalization. Bulava has a wide range and extensive amount of experience including consultant work for political campaigns, major fundraising success as co-chair of SPACES, and has been a freelance journalist for Kaleidoscope Magazine. Bulava received a Certificate of Recognition from the Ohio Community Service Council from Make A Difference Day 2006, and was awarded the Best News Story from the Neighborhood & Community News Association in 2005.

Jesse Mireles

Jesse Mireles, principal of Mireles Design, specializes in branding and logo development. His rich portfolio drawn from more than thirty years of work for businesses features work done for various fortune 500 companies, as well as for institutional and nonprofit organizations. As an Hispanic, born in Mexico, Jesse Mireles offers a bi-cultural background which has helped him approach his work with a global perspective that transcends borders and boundaries of culture and ethnicity. His company however is a full service design firm and continues to offer clients simple, direct, powerful visual design and marketing strategy for print, TV and electronic media. Among the many honors, Jesse Mireles’ work has been published in prestigious Logo Lounge International Identity Books; Volumes 2, 3, 4 and 7. His logos have also been included in the Logo Lounge Masters Library Series; Volume 2, Volume 3 and the latest published, Volume 4.



Grant Opportunity

The Laura Jane Musser Fund

The Laura Jane Musser Fund was set up to continue Laura Jane Musser’s great work in personal philanthropy. The fund is divided into four categories: Arts Programs, Environmental, Intercultural Harmony, and Rural Initiative. The Rural Initiative program appears to be the most applicable to Main Street programs, focusing on encouraging participation and collaboration among citizens in rural communities. The fund focuses on projects related to education, arts and humanities, business preservation, economic developments, and public space improvements.


What You Need to Know

Since the Rural Initiative Program focuses on rural communities, the applicant community must have a population of 10,000 or less and “be able to demonstrate characteristics of a rural community. Projects must be able to demonstrate plans to complete the project within 18 months, support from a variety of community members and institutions, significant volunteer participation, and matching financial support from the community. Communities in Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Ohio may apply.


What Projects Can Be Funded?

Funds are available for either planning of or implementation of programs, but not both. Up to $5,000 would be awarded to planning projects which could include hiring a consultant or staff, mailings, local travel, refreshments, and meeting costs. Up to $25,000 are available for implementation of projects which “originate in, have been planned by, and involve diverse people of the community.” The program will also cover new projects or programs within their first three years.


How Do I Apply?

Local units of Government, 501(c)(3) organizations, and organizations forming under the support of a 501(c)(3) are able to apply. Proposals will be accepted online through November 6, 2013, with announcements made February 2014.

You will need to include the following:

1. Short Overview

2. Proposal Narrative

3. Budgets

4. Letters of Support/Fiscal Sponsor

5. IRS Status or Local Unit of Government


For a detailed description of each section, please click here:


To apply click here


*Priority will be given to projects that: actively include community members throughout the process, have measurable short term outcomes within the first 12-18 months, collaborate with a wide variety of community members and institutions, and work towards a positive outcome in the community.

« Previous PageNext Page »