From Stonewall National Monument to the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House, the physical memory of our nation’s civil rights history is preserved in many powerful places.
The National Park Service recently awarded $2.4 million to six projects in six states as part of the new History of Equal Rights grant program, which focuses on the continued preservation of such sites. One of those was in Miami.
A grant of $398,199 was awarded to the Ace Theater Foundation Inc. for the Rehabilitation of the Ace Theatre in Coconut Grove. The Ace Theater was a prominent venue for movies, graduations, proms, boxing matches, and concerts for the Black community during the period of segregation.
“As we begin the celebration of Pride Month, we reflect on the diverse and complex history of all Americans who fought for the equal rights of their people,” said NPS deputy director Shawn Benge. “The new History of Equal Rights grants program supports our state, Tribal, local, and nonprofit partners in the physical preservation of historic sites related to the struggle for equal rights.”
Congress appropriated funding for the History of Equal Rights Grant Program in 2020 through the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF). The HPF uses revenue from federal oil leases on the Outer Continental Shelf, assisting with a broad range of preservation projects without expending tax dollars, with the intent to mitigate the loss of a nonrenewable resource to benefit the preservation of other irreplaceable resources.
Established in 1977, the HPF is authorized at $150 million per year through 2023 and has provided more than $2 billion in historic preservation grants to states, Tribes, local governments, and nonprofit organizations. Administered by the NPS, HPF funds may be appropriated by Congress to support a variety of historic preservation projects to help preserve the nation’s cultural resources.
For more information about NPS historic preservation programs and grants, visit nps.gov/stlpg/.