Apply for Professional Services Partnerships for 2018-2019

Our 2017-2018 Professional Services Projects included a partnership to create interpretive materials for three historic African American cemeteries in Knox County.

Does your historic site or organization have a great idea that you’d like some professional help with? The Center for Historic Preservation at Middle Tennessee State University is excited to announce that we are taking applications for our next round of Professional Services Partnerships. These partnerships provide communities with an opportunity to take advantage of our professional staff and graduate research assistants’ knowledge and expertise at no cost. Potential projects cover a wide range of possibilities, including driving tours, historic structure reports, exhibitions, preservation plans, and publications.

Proposals are accepted annually, and the 2018 deadline is June 1. For more information and to download the application form, see our Web site. Applicants will be informed of their status by the beginning of August 2018, and the new projects will begin later that month.

Our 2017-2018 Professional Services Partnership Projects have taken us across the state, and we are currently wrapping up projects in partnership with communities in all three grand divisions. In East Tennessee, we are collaborating with Knox Heritage and the West View Community Action Group to create interpretive materials for three historic African American cemeteries in Knox County. Also in East Tennessee, we are partnering with Crossroads Downtown Partnership, the Main Street program for the city of Morristown, to design a walking and driving tour of local historic resources.

In Middle Tennessee, staff and students are assisting Wolf Gap Education Outreach in assessing the historic resources of Giles County in an effort to identify sites with educational and interpretive potential. In northern Middle Tennessee, we are working with the Upper Cumberland Development District and Clay County community rmembers to develop an exhibition about the county’s history, which will be displayed in the historic Clay County Courthouse. This project follows up on a heritage development plan completed by the Center in 2011.

In West Tennessee, we are partnering with the Walter Brewer Bemis Community Center to create a heritage room that will interpret and house artifacts related to the historic community associated with the former West Bemis Rosenwald School that now houses the community center. This partnership will fulfill part of a heritage development plan completed for the community by Center staff and students in 2014. In addition, Center director and state historian Dr. Carroll Van West has been working extensively with partners in Memphis to create interpretive products to have ready for the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., this spring. Dr. West, staff, and students have created driving tours, exhibitions, and publications for several Memphis partners, including the Memphis Heritage Trail, Soulsville USA, and the Universal Life Insurance Company.

For more information about the Center for Historic Preservation’s Professional Services Partnerships, please contact Antoinette van Zelm or Lydia Simpson at the Center. They can be reached via e-mail ( or or phone (615-898-2947).

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