Construction has a labor supply problem. This week, CNN Business published an article entitled America desperately needs 1 million more construction workers. The Campaign for Historic Trades, powered by Preservation Maryland, is a national effort to reshape the landscape of historic trades. The organization builds out training programs and creates hands-on opportunities for individuals looking to build careers.
Ms. Caitlin's School of Blacksmithing in Frederick, Maryland Photo from Ms. Caitlin's School of Blacksmithing, April 2020.
From The Executive Director: The Year Ahead – Saving History & Building Communities in 2021
11/13/2020 By Nicholas A. Redding
Organizations like Preservation Maryland aren’t just preserving the past – we’re investing in our future. In just the past year we’ve invested heavily in our work and refused to accept the mounting challenges as a reason to retreat or hold our position. But – trust me as I say this – we simply cannot rest on our past victories. The future demands action – and with your support, we will make 2021 a year to celebrate.
FROM THE DESK OF NICHOLAS A. REDDING
We have been through a trial unlike anything most of us can ever remember. But, just like the blacksmith’s blistering coals shape lifeless iron into works of art, the fiery trial through which we now pass will shape us; it is up to us to decide what form that shape will take.
We intend on using this moment to shape a better Maryland – and here’s what your gift will support:
CAMPAIGN FOR HISTORIC TRADES
Through the Campaign for Historic Trades, we’re preparing to roll out an ambitious new plan in 2021 that we are confident will change the future of trades training across the nation. We’ll be working to develop a first-of-its-kind open-source curriculum and lay the necessary groundwork to establish federal apprenticeships for historic trades training; an unrealized goal of the preservation movement since the 1960s.
Jonathan Street archaeology project partners, 2020.
REVOLVING FUND SUCCESS & EXPANSION
With success on Jonathan Street fueling a new momentum for our property redevelopment program, we’re laser-focused on expanding the footprint of revitalization in that neighborhood and securing support for even greater investments. Already, we’re eyeing the next building(s) to save. Elsewhere in the state, we’re preparing to announce our role in a project aimed at saving a priceless historic structure from rising tides. The project will be a case study for other communities to follow as they grapple with a changing climate and dangerous storms – and we will make Maryland a leader in that conversation.
AUTHENTIC UNDERGROUND RAILROAD STORIES & SITES
In a new partnership with the National Park Service and support from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we’ll help to document overlooked sites of slavery and freedom along the Harriet Tubman Byway on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Telling the full story of American history requires knowing the full story – and this new effort will arm preservationists with an even greater understanding of the state’s African American heritage.
Aerial view of Brunswick, Maryland, protected with a conservation district.
Forested land in Anne Arundel County. Photo from Maryland DNR.
SMART GROWTH MARYLAND
As municipalities and counties struggle with ballooning budget deficits, we need smarter growth now more than ever. Simply put; subdivisions cost more than farms. By leading local coalitions in some of the fastest-growing counties in the state – our on-the-ground advocacy will provide a balance to the forces of growth-at-all-costs; we’ll save forests, preserve farms and protect history – and we’ll continue to build a broader coalition with the environmental community to advocate for all preservation.
BATTLEFIELD PRESERVATION ACROSS THE STATE
On battlefields across the state, our investment in these places where American history was made continues. On South Mountain Battlefield we’ll lead a new effort to re-brand and help to re-interpret that field and bring more visitors. In Southern Maryland, on St. George Island, we’ll lead a new effort to document this site of Maryland’s largest Revolutionary War Battle – an almost unknown site with major potential for discovery.
SUSTAINED ADVOCACY HAS IMPACT
In Annapolis, we’re prepared to make preservation a priority in a legislative session destined to be fraught with challenges and looming deficits. Specifically, we’ll be focused on replenishing the now exhausted funds for the historic tax credit program aimed at supporting small projects on Main Streets across the state. With local communities ravaged by pandemic-induced business closures, we’ll be working to provide capital to private sector partners to invest in the brick-and-mortar of Maryland.
Project team accepting The Phoenix Award at the Hebrew Orphan Asylum, August 2020.
And, we’ll drive another $150,000 or more worth of grants into projects around the state, record another 52 podcasts, host dozens of trainings, webinars and lectures, provide thousands of hours of technical assistance and continue to show that preservation is a powerful force for good.
None of this ambitious agenda will be possible without your support.
Every year I tell you that, but given the challenges we’re facing in the year ahead – I mean it more than ever before. We’re taking a big leap of faith with this agenda, but I know we can count on our donors; you’ve simply never failed us before.
I hope you’ll make this gift because you know that:
Preservation Maryland is a trustworthy non-profit that has an 89-year track record of success.
Preservation Maryland does what we say we will – every year we make promises to our donors and we deliver on them.
Your support will unlock thousands of dollars in matching grants we’ve lined up – and will help save more history.
Preservation Maryland is ambitious, innovative, and tackling projects big-and-small, at the local, regional, and national levels.
As I conclude my sixth year with this organization, I remain inspired by your support and enthusiastic about our future. Together, we can save history, build strong communities, and show everyone that preservation is a powerful tool in moments like this.
Be well, stay healthy, and keep on preserving, Nick
Nicholas A. Redding