Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

Legacy Amendment

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Introduction

On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to preserve and enhance some of the most important elements of our state. This amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, often referred to as the “Legacy Amendment,” created four funds, one of which is the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).

The Legacy Amendment mandates that a portion of the ACHF be used “to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage” (Minnesota Constitution, Article XI, Sec. 15). Each January, the Minnesota Historical Society is required to submit an annual report to the Governor and legislature detailing expenditures it has made from the ACHF.

This site details all ACHF projects and programs funded to date through the Minnesota Historical Society. The Society strives to publish new project records as soon as they are available.

ACHF history projects are benefitting Minnesotans statewide by:

  • Preserving our state’s most valuable historical and cultural resources for future generations
  • Sharing our state’s stories and treasured resources with ever-growing audiences including students, teachers, scholars, researchers, genealogists and the general public
  • Connecting Minnesotans of all ages to each other and to history—history that is becoming more accessible than ever before

Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.

Appropriations

The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) receives 19.75% of overall Legacy funding. In 2013, the legislature appropriated $27.875 million from the ACHF to MNHS for the two-year period July 2013–June 2015. That appropriation breaks down to $13.8 million for fiscal year 2014 and $14.075 million for fiscal year 2015.

The legislature divided the fiscal year 2014-2015 appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society into the following seven categories:

2014 Appropriation

  1. Statewide Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants -- $5,525,000

  2. Statewide History Programs -- $5,525,000

  3. Statewide History Partnerships -- $2,000,000

  4. Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites -- $300,000

  5. Minnesota Digital Library -- $300,000

  6. Civil War Commemoration Task Force -- $25,000

  7. Civics Programs -- $125,000 (1)

2014 TOTAL: $13,800,000

2015 Appropriation

  1. Statewide Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants -- $5,675,000

  2. Statewide History Programs -- $5,675,000

  3. Statewide History Partnerships -- $2,000,000

  4. Statewide Survey of Historical and Archaeological Sites -- $300,000

  5. Minnesota Digital Library -- $300,000

  6. Civil War Commemoration Task Force -- --

  7. Civics Programs -- $125,000 (1)

2015 TOTAL: $14,075,000

(1) $125,000 the first year and $125,000 the second year are for grants to Kids Voting St. Paul, Learning Law and Democracy Foundation, and YMCA Youth in Government, to conduct civics education programs for the civic and cultural development of Minnesota youth. Civic education is the study of constitutional principles and the democratic foundation of our national, state, and local institutions and the study of political processes and structures of government, grounded in the understanding of constitutional government under the rule of law.

Statewide Outreach

Since late 2008, the Minnesota Historical Society has collaborated with the public and many history-minded organizations to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of historical projects funded by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

MNHS has continued to solicit opinions and ideas from citizens around the state regarding history expenditures and where funding is needed most and has also helped potential grantees apply for funding through the ACHF-funded Minnesota Historical and Cultural Grants Program.

To date, MNHS has hosted or participated in 75 statewide events involving more than 3000 people (some map locations indicate multiple events):

Outreach Map of Minnesota

1,200+ grants
Grants have been awarded to 500+ organizations across Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program

All 87
The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) is investing Legacy history funds in all 87 Minnesota counties

100% Return on Investment
For every $1 of Legacy history funds invested, Minnesota receives a return on investment of $2, which directly benefits state and local economies (2)

$2.34 per person, per year
Less than the cost of one gallon of gas—that's how much each Minnesotan pays annually for the programs, partnerships and grants detailed on this website (3)

10,000+ Minnesota teachers
Teachers have more tools, training and resources to teach social studies and history thanks to statewide Legacy-funded programs

500,000+ Minnesota students
Students are benefitting from investments in Legacy-funded statewide history programs

3 to 1
Demand for history and cultural heritage funding outweighs available resources 3 to 1 (4)

56%
In November 2008, more than half of Minnesotans voted to increase their taxes to preserve Minnesota's legacy, including history and cultural heritage (5)

(2) “An Economic Analysis of Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Monies: An Update” prepared by the University of Minnesota Extension Center for Community Vitality, December 2012
(3) Based on U.S. Census 2011 Minnesota population estimate of 5,344,861
(4) Based on overall requested amounts for programs, partnerships and grants
(5) Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, State Constitutional Amendments Considered, www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/mngov/constitutionalamendments.aspx

 

Historic Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC)

Legislation specifies that the HRAC, a volunteer citizen panel that guides decisions for the ACHF-funded Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program, have balanced statewide membership and include representatives of local, county and statewide historic and cultural organizations and programs.

It further requires that the HRAC shall include, but is not limited to, members representing the interests of historic preservation, local history, archaeology, archival programs and other cultural programs related to the history of Minnesota.

In fiscal year 2014, HRAC members committed nearly 500 hours to reviewing proposals and allocating Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants.

List of HRAC members and qualifications.

The Minnesota Historical Society Executive Council

Grant recommendations made by the Historic Resources Advisory Committee for the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants Program are then reviewed and approved by the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) governing board, the Executive Council.

List of the Society's Governing Board and Executive Council members.

The Minnesota History Coalition

The Minnesota History Coalition is an advisory group comprised of representatives of various history organizations in Minnesota. Using public input and members' expertise, the History Coalition developed recommendations for the legislature on how the fiscal year 2014-2015 ACHF appropriation for history projects and programs could best serve Minnesotans.

Minnesota History Coalition Members:

  • Council for Minnesota Archaeology

  • Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums

  • Minnesota Archaeological Society

  • Minnesota Digital Library

  • Minnesota Genealogical Society

  • Minnesota's Historic Northwest

  • Minnesota Historical Society

  • Minnesota History Advocates for Research

  • Preservation Alliance of Minnesota

  • Minnesota State Historical Records Advisory Board

Accountability

The 2013 legislature reiterated the mandate that every project and program supported by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund report “actual measurable outcomes, and a plan for measuring and evaluating the results.”

MNHS staff and partners are now strongly positioned to ensure that ACHF projects and programs use best practices, current scholarship, and when appropriate, incorporate state-of-the-art technology for demonstrating measurable outcomes.

During the 2014–2015 biennium, MNHS will continue to evaluate the impact of ACHF projects and programs to ensure that they demonstrate measurable outcomes as well as economic value for citizens. These results will be shared on two websites explained below.

Transparency

The Minnesota Historical Society has an obligation to the citizens of Minnesota to ensure that ACHF funds entrusted to our care are invested in ways that are transparent and will produce the greatest measurable impact on Minnesotans, enabling our state to thrive.

To meet this goal, MNHS has assisted in the building of, and has itself built, websites that inform the public about all ACHF initiatives funded through the Society.

The first, Minnesota's Legacy (www.legacy.leg.mn), was created by the Legislative Coordinating Commission and contains information on all legacy-funded projects. The second website (this one), Minnesota History: Building a Legacy (www.mnhs.org/legacy), is maintained by MNHS and provides more in-depth project descriptions, photos, videos and information on opportunities to participate in history-related ACHF initiatives.

Through the end of the biennium, MNHS will continue to post the most current information about history-related ACHF initiatives on both websites, ensuring transparency and responsible stewardship of the funds.

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.