The Young Ohio Preservationists are committed to broadening the awareness of historic preservation and supporting emerging professionals in the field. In 2017, YOP partnered with the Tiny Jane Project (my passion project) and members of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists to launch the first Tiny Jane Scholarship.
Even after Jane Jacobs’ death, she continues to have an impact on how individuals view the built environment and its impact on communities. The Tiny Jane Project pays respect to her life’s work and presents a fun way to spread preservation/planning awareness. I sewed 60 Tiny Jane dolls with the assistance of Young Ohio Preservationist board members and they were sold with 100% of profits being donated to the first Tiny Jane Scholarship.
Representatives from YOP and members RBCoYP organizations reviewed dozens of scholarship applications and selected five emerging professionals to receive a $200 stipend to assist with registration for PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference. Scholarship recipients wrote essays answering “How do you hope to challenge the world of preservation and planning?” Enjoy the following excerpts from their essays:
Kyle Anthony-Petter, St.Louis (MO):
“As a young professional in the field of historic preservation, I have realized that there is disconnect between the professional field and individuals interested in preservation. This split in the field of preservation has caused trouble in preventing protection of certain communities that are in need of support. I hope to work to challenge the world of preservation through collaborative projects by working on similarities that are shared by the groups.”
Amelia DeCoster, Savannah (GA):
“The challenge I am attempting to introduce to the field is the incorporation of psychological and sociological studies of preservation. It is my humble opinion that the preservation of architecture is owed these types of studies, not just physical architecture. I believe there are serious effects of preservation that are not just economical and spatial. I believe psychology and sociology are involved within preservation simply because humans are involved. “
Jacqueline Drayer, Washington (D.C):
“Historic preservation makes history tangible, and this makes it one of the most powerful cultural tools for putting the histories of traditionally marginalized populations front and center. An old building can make the realities of challenging history for people of color, minority religions, women, and LGBTQ communities more obvious to those who are unaware of it. I hope to showcase lesser-known Washington, DC histories through my work at DCPL [DC Preservation League]. Practical manifestations of this idea that I am working towards include creating tours and scavenger hunts that disrupt a “typical” chronological presentation of racial or LGBTQ history, enhancing DCPL’s Historic Sites App with information that complicate the narrative included in Washington’s city history signage, or developing a new program altogether.”
James Gonzalez, Toledo (OH):
“ With it’s sky-high rent and sky-high real estate prices, buying a home in the Bay Area, let alone a home with any ounce of history, was out of reach for years. (Maybe decades?) I desperately want to lead through example, especially as a Millennial. This meant moving somewhere I could buy a historic house, restore it, and ‘walk the walk.’ Last week I returned from a two week trip through Ohio, and saw dozens upon dozens of buildings that are crying out to be saved. (After some deliberation, I’ve decided to move to Toledo, and will make that happen in the next couple months.) I hope to buy a home before the end of 2017, start a blog, and begin the process of investing in the Midwest. The revitalization of Toledo starts with the people, and I hope to challenge the world of preservation and planning through the hearts and minds of the Toledoans who might not be able to see what’s right in front of them.”
Tim Wood, Portland (OR):
“I hope to develop a series of incentives and de-incentives to be implemented by the city of Portland to promote historic preservation by making it more financially feasible than demolition and new construction. Maximizing profit is often a key driving force in real estate development, but it can also be the key to historic preservation. A combination of de-incentives for demolition and new construction must be paired with incentives for adaptive reuse, community land trusts, and revolving loan funds. The city of Portland has already witnessed astonishing losses to its historical resources and will continue to do so until appropriate actions are taken.”
The Tiny Jane Scholarship will be evaluated following the PastForward Conference to ensure YOP, RBCoYP, and the Tiny Jane Project are providing the most meaningful support to those seeking preservation education. The 2018 Tiny Jane Scholarship Application will be announced in January 2018.
*A version of this article was published in the Fall issue of Revitalize Ohio, a Heritage Ohio publication.