The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission supports the Texas Historical Commission’s goals to identify, research, document, educate, and promote the cultural heritage of Texas. Particular emphasis is placed on the strength in numbers achieved by empowering community-based preservationists through education, training, consultation, and support. The following programs, supported through YOUR generous contributions, allow the Friends to achieve these goals.
Preservation Scholars Program: The THC seeks to generate interest in historic preservation among college students from historically under-represented cultural and ethnic groups through the Preservation Scholars Program. Begun in 2007, this program encourages students, through paid internships at the THC, to consider pursuing careers in history, architecture, archeology, downtown revitalization and heritage tourism, and to learn about and understand the impact preservation programs can have on a community’s economic development. The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission is honored to have the support of the Still Water Foundation, the Fondren Fund for Texas of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Robert Oliver for the 2020 Preservation Scholars Program.
Real Places Conference: Presented by the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, the THC's annual Real Places Conference brings together the people who make historic preservation in Texas happen – providing public officials, stewards, and professionals from the fields of preservation, travel and tourism, archeology, architecture, engineering, real estate development, etc., a platform for listening to, learning from, and sharing ideas with some of the leaders in this business. Attendees return to their communities with renewed energy, ideas, and resources for building or enhancing their historic preservation and heritage tourism programs. Click here to learn more about the conference and sponsorship opportunities.
Development Seminars & Webinars: The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission coordinates Development Seminars geared towards volunteer leadership (board members and advisors) and staff from nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about securing philanthropic support for their organization. The series is suited for large and small organizations from any discipline with limited development staff, and highlights best practices while facilitating dynamic group interactions to help attendees build and strengthen their fundraising "tool-kit" so they can more effectively and sustainably achieve their mission. Click here to learn more and for upcoming seminar/Webinar dates and locations.
Texas Archeological Stewardship Network: The responsibility for a public archeology program to preserve and interpret the vast archeological landscape of Texas — covering 266,807 square miles and 254 counties — falls largely to the Texas Historical Commission (THC). The staff is dedicated and capable, but with a small team of archeologists, they need help in tackling this huge job. That's why in 1984 the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network (TASN) was formed. One of the most innovative and successful programs of its kind, the TASN has served as the model for similar programs in other states. Stewards are not professional archeologists, yet highly trained and motivated avocational archeologists who strictly work on a volunteer basis. Click here to support the Texas Archeological Stewardship Network.
Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program: In 1999, the Texas Historic Courthouse Preservation Program and its local partners began making significant financial investments to restore many valuable historic courthouses throughout the state. In order to protect and preserve these buildings for future generations, the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program was created in 2005 under THC's Architecture Division to assist counties by fostering facility planning, budgeting and training. The goal is to prevent the facilities from returning to a state of deferred maintenance and disrepair. Click here to support the Texas Courthouse Stewardship Program.
Friends Alliance Program: The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission collaborates with the THC Historic Sites Division's (HSD) Community Partnerships Program on several initiatives to support local Friends Groups for the THC's State Historic Sites. Support for Friends Groups is offered through fiscal sponsorship, training opportunities, and the Friends Alliance Awards. Learn more here.
State Historic Sites: The Texas Historical Commission preserves and operates 22 state historic sites across Texas. Most recently, we welcomed the French Legation in Austin, Texas as a state historic site. These unique places honor Texas history and inspire an understanding of what it means to be a Texan. From American Indian sites to frontier forts to common and elegant homes and the leaders and statesmen who lived in them, these sites enrich people’s lives through history. Click here to read about each historic site, for information on visiting, and to donate.