City of El Paso Selected as Site for Texas Historical Commission's Preserve America Workshop

Workshop scheduled for August 8th

The city of El Paso has been selected as the region's site for Round II of the successful Preserve America Workshop series, titled Texas Heritage Trails Program: Helping Communities Reach Their Tourism Potential. The workshop series will take place in July and August across the state in all 10 regions of the Texas Heritage Trails Program. The workshop in El Paso, sponsored by the city of El Paso Museums and Cultural Affairs Department, the El Paso Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the El Paso County Historical Commission, will take place on August 8, 2008 at the El Paso Museum of Art.

The workshop series on interpreting historic resources will be conducted by internationally recognized interpretive planner John Veverka. Veverka has designed and provided interpretive training courses for the Association of Partners for Public Lands/National Park Service Gateway Program, the State of Pennsylvania and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Interpretive Services Course. Workshop participants will learn core concepts related to visitor experience and principles used to develop the story told of historic objects and places through presentations and guided activities.

Attendees will receive a copy of the Texas Historical Commission's (THC) newly released Heritage Tourism Guidebook, unveiled in February in conjunction with round I of the workshop series. The guidebook provides assistance to communities and individuals interested in developing heritage tourism to preserve historic and cultural resources and boost local economies. This resource begins with an overview of tourism, the heritage tourism industry and identifies issues to consider before developing local initiatives.

Preservationists around the state are excited about the workshop series and are commending the THC's Heritage Tourism Guidebook.

"The new guidebook is nothing short of superb!" said William F. Haenn, chairman of the Kinney County Historical Commission. "It's a first-class publication with unlimited useful guidance and information. We applaud this singular effort to lead the way."

The workshop series and the Heritage Tourism Guidebook were funded through a $147,000 grant to the THC from the Preserve America program. The THC's Texas Heritage Trails Program (THTP) administers the grant to provide in-depth training for successful heritage tourism development. As part of the workshop funding, the THC will provide an in-kind match of $203,000 for a grant project totaling $350,000.

For a complete list of the Preserve America workshops with dates, locations and registration information visit www.thc.state.tx.us.

The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas.