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THE CROOKED ROAD NATIONAL HERITAGE AREA DESIGNATION

July 30, 2012

The Crooked Road is holding a number of public meetings throughout the region to seek input and comments about the NHA. A meeting will be held at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, August 1st in the J. Henry Kegley Room in the Bristol Public Library at 701 Goode Street. The meeting is presented by The Crooked Road and the City of Bristol, with the support of Congressman Morgan Griffith and Senator Mark WarnerTo learn more read below and come tonight!

A National Heritage Area (NHA) is defined as a place “where natural, cultural, historic and scenic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography.” National Heritage Areas are based on collaboration and partnerships to include local governments, business, residents, tourism entities, and non-profit organizations working together to support economic development and community revitalization. The National Park Service (NPS) is the “advisor” for the designation process and provides technical and planning assistance. However, decision-making authority and management rest in the hands of local people and organizations. There is no application form for National Heritage Areas. After completion of steps in process, a place must be designated as a NHA by the U.S. Congress.

WHY IS THE CROOKED ROAD REGION PROPOSED AS A NHA?
The musical traditions of Southwest Virginia have had an indelible impact on American music. That musical heritage reflects the mix of cultures brought to the region by settlers of European and African ancestry, and shaped over hundreds of years by life in the Appalachian mountains. Some of the greatest names in American music are from the region including the Carter Family, Jim and Jesse, the Stonemans and Ralph Stanley. Just as important is the manner in which the musical traditions are interwoven into the everyday fabric of life for the region’s residents. The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail (TCR) helps the people and communities of Southwest Virginia promote and celebrate their unique musical heritage.

TCR has had a significant economic impact upon Southwest Virginia and has received major national and international recognition. TCR works with local governments in 19 counties (and associated towns) and four cities, tourism organizations, musicians, music venues (9 major venues and over 50 affiliated venues and festivals) in the region to generate community development based upon the music and cultural heritage of Southwest Virginia.

BENEFITS OF NHA STATUS
National recognition (there are currently 49 NHAs) Funding assistance (matching) — does NOT require additional appropriation of any federal $$ Recognition for private foundation funding sources (based on federal designation) Continuation of economic impact and development through cultural heritage tourism The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail.

STEPS COMPLETED TO DATE
Approval by TCR board (60 members from 19 counties and 4 cities) to pursue NHA status
Meetings and communication with NPS staff Draft of feasibility study completed and submitted to NPS Commitment of support for designation from Congressman Griffith and Senator Warner.

WHAT ARE THE NEXT STEPS?
Hold public community meetings in region
Complete feasibility study
National Park Service comments on study
Submit congressional designation
Congress votes on the proposed designation

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO SUBMIT COMMENTS
Jack Hinshelwood, Executive Director
The Crooked Road
One Heartwood Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210
Telephone: 276 492-2402
Email: jhinshelwood@thecrookedroad.org