PA SHPO Announces Recipients of 2020 Community Initiative Awards

The Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office has announced the recipients of its 2020 Community Initiative Awards.

The Community Initiative Award recognizes individuals, organizations, or municipalities whose work reflects the themes of Pennsylvania’s historic preservation plan. SHPO does not solicit formal applications for the award; rather, the office selects winners by monitoring social media and traditional press coverage, tracking use of #PreservationHappensHere, and reviewing success stories submitted to the office. Recipients for 2020 were selected for their use of digital engagement and their demonstration of the importance of new technology in historic preservation advocacy.

This year, SHPO recognized three winners:

Erin Phillips was recognized for her work on her Instagram account Old Erie on Foot. Phillips uses the account to highlight Erie’s historic places and buildings.

The Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka is an organization dedicated to educating the public about the mid-century murals Croatian artist Maxo Vanka in the St. Nicholas Church in Millvale, Allegheny County. The society has used social media to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the conservation of the murals.

Mainstreet Waynesboro, Inc., a group founded to help revitalize downtown Waynesboro, planned to celebrate the recent listing of the Waynesboro Historic District on the National Register of Historic Places. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the group had to shift its celebration events to the internet. Their “Historic Designation Celebration” last May had over 1,700 viewers on Facebook Live. This event shared information about the Waynesboro Historic District with visitors around the country.

Congratulations to all the recipients.