AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Historical Commission (THC) recently announced the selection of three new communities to participate in the 2010 Visionaries in Preservation (VIP) program
. Beaumont, Eastland and Gonzales were chosen to work with this program, which provides cities with the opportunity to plan for the future and implement revitalization projects.
Every Texas community has a unique history and helping tell their stories and preserve their unique sense of place is one goal of the VIP Program. However, many of these
ties have been neglected and affected by urban sprawl. The VIP Program empowers them to shape the future of their historic preservation efforts through visioning and planning by providing training and assistance tailored to achieve local preservation goals
“VIP communities are places that capture the true Texas mystique,” said Josh Lasserre, state coordinator of the VIP Program. “The structures and the people that shape each unique place tell the real stories of our state’s historic past.”
Beaumont, Eastland and Gonzales join 31 other communities participating in the VIP Program that utilize historic preservation as a vital element to create jobs, provide affordable quality housing, increase economic development and revitalize downtown business districts. The VIP Program helps establish a path to capture these benefits utilizing an innovative planning process known as “visioning.” Visioning is a tool that brings citizens together to develop a shared image of the future and the steps needed to achieve specific goals. The visioning process consists of a series of facilitated public workshops that produce a local preservation action plan based on community input with guidance from THC staff. The action plan’s advantage is its simplicity and clarity, allowing the community to become more effective managers of its historic resources.
To learn more about the VIP Program contact the THC’s Community Heritage Development Division at 512/463-6092 or visit www.thc.state.tx.us.