Heritage Vitality Task Force Update
By Kyle Jansson
Hundreds of heritage organizations have struggled to remain open during the past few years. For other groups, the struggle has lasted for a couple of decades.
To find potential solutions to their challenges, the 2011 Oregon Legislature created a Task Force on Heritage Vitality in Oregon. The legislation, HB 3210A, designated 14 positions on the Task Force to be filled by specific organizations, including two spots for at-large public members.
The Task Force, which will present its report to the Legislature by October 1, wants solutions that will improve the operations and effectiveness of heritage organizations in promotion, history education, heritage tourism, historic preservation and related economic development.
The Task Force is studying and reviewing heritage-related laws and the effectiveness of heritage organizations with education, tourism, preservation and economic development. Task Force members have examined research, including the Oregon Heritage Vitality Report, as well as presented their diverse perspectives. They have also asked that additional research be conducted into laws related to county historical funds and city museums.
Recently, the Task Force established three committees to draft solutions related to public funding, private funding and best practices. The full Task Force will discuss those potential solutions at its meeting on Monday, August 13 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 124 at the North Mall Office Building located at 725 Summer St. NE, Salem (view map). Members of the public will also be able to address the Task Force with their potential solutions.
So what solutions do you want to suggest? Do they require any legislative action? Are they fiscally possible in 2012? Are they sustainable? We invite you to start the discussion here with your comments.
Kyle Jansson is the coordinator for the Task Force on Heritage Vitality in Oregon and for the Oregon Heritage Commission.