Thursday, January 19, 2017

HAT Press Release -- and the Judges

Here's a press release regarding the "Heritage After Trump" Award. Please feel free to circulate, post, share with your favorite reporter, etc. This also serves to announce the winners.

Thomas F. King, PhD, llc
8715 1st Ave. #805D, Silver Spring MD 20910, USA
A Veteran-Owned Small Business

For Immediate Release

“Heritage After Trump” Prize Awarded

A US$1,000.00 prize has been awarded in the “Heritage After Trump” contest, sponsored by Thomas F. King, PhD LLC – a consulting firm based in Maryland.

Many people involved in managing and protecting “cultural heritage” – historic buildings, archaeological sites, antiquities, indigenous spiritual sites and landscapes, and other parts of the environment valued for cultural reasons by human communities – anticipate that the Donald Trump administration will quickly do away with many of the legal protections that such heritage enjoys. They also expect that many of the government systems set up to manage heritage, such as State Historic Preservation Officers and the National Register of Historic Places, will be transformed and cut back, if not eliminated. Many view these possibilities with fear; others think they present the opportunity to build better systems.

Grounded in Eleanor Roosevelt’s maxim that “it is better to light a candle than curse the darkness,” last November Thomas F. King, a Maryland-based private consultant specializing in cultural heritage work, announced that he was offering US$1,000.00 for “the best written description of the cultural heritage program the United States should put in place once the Trump phenomenon has run its course.” The contest rules stipulated that contestants should assume that all existing systems are eliminated, and to propose new heritage management systems that are simple, balanced, reasonable, just and equitable, open to use by and for everyone, that involve “results-oriented dialogue,” and that are “minimally bureaucratic.” Existing systems have been criticized, by King among others, for failing to meet such standards.

Seven entries were received by the contest deadline of January 10, and reviewed by a panel of judges representing a broad cross-section of heritage-related interests. On January 15th the judges agreed to award the prize to Emily-Kate Hannapel and Christopher Vann, graduate students at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Hannapel-Vann entry will be published in King’s weblog, “CRM-Plus” (, on January 20.

In announcing the award, King stressed that all the entries had strengths, and that the award did not mean that the judges thought the Hannapel-Vann approach to be perfect. One judge with deep experience in the western U.S. worried that the winning entry reflected an eastern perspective, focusing on the actions of local governments. He warned that Indian tribes, land managing agencies, and western landowners will have very different perspectives, that will need to be accommodated in any new system.

Still, King said, “What Hannapel and Vann have done is to give us a reasonable starting point for further discussions as we work our way through the challenges of the coming years.” One of the “Heritage After Trump” judges, Jeremy Wells of Roger Williams University ( is establishing a new website to facilitate such discussions.

For further information on the HAT Award, please contact King at


Let me also take this opportunity to reveal the identities of the judges, who were chosen (by me) to represent a wide range of interests and kinds of relevant expertise, while NOT being substantially embedded in the "cultural resource management" or "historic preservation" establishments. Besides moi, the judges have been:

Jaime Bach: PhD candidate cultural anthropologist at the University of Montana, specializing in cultural heritage and perceptions of environmental change in Kiribati.

Judy Scott Feldman: Art historian, head of the National Mall Coalition, working to preserve the National Mall in Washington DC as a living historic and cultural landscape

Claudia Nissley: Former Wyoming SHPO, former head of the ACHP's (erstwhile) western office in Denver, consultant, trainer and writer specializing in heritage and consultation.

Kurt Russo: Executive Director, Native American Lands Conservancy

Jim Kent: Head of James Kent Associates, specializing in cultural ecology

Jeremy Wells: Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University

Kurt Dongoske: Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Pueblo of Zuni

Mike Nixon: Attorney specializing in historic preservation, environmental, and tribal law

 I very much appreciate the hard work and contributions of all the judges.

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