State Arts support

Be sure to familiarize yourself with the types of art support programs in your state, which could either fund restoration of the site, or else provide names of individuals or organizations who would. Check if your state is one of the fortunate few to have a Per Cent for Art Program; this kind of program can facilitate funding documentation, preservation and restoration work, particularly if a folk art environment could be deemed an appropriate location for a park, and as long as the art works are ensured a safe haven.


National Register Criteria Listing a folk art environment on the National Register is no guarantee that the site will be preserved for future generations to enjoy, but can be an important part of preservation efforts while also providing recognition for the artist and his or her work. To have a property considered for listing on the National Register of Historic Places you first need to complete an NRHP nomination form which may be obtained from your local State Historic Preservation Officer who will be able to help you further. The proposal form should demonstrate how well-documented the site is and emphasize how significant it is in the eyes of the community. SPACES would be happy to provide more preservation and documentary assistance as the need arises.

According to the National Register criteria, the site must first be at least 50 years old and the artist must be dead, unless the site demonstrates outstanding cultural significance. The kinds of properties eligible for possible listing on the Register include single architectural structures such as houses, park sites, districts — “groups of buildings, structures, or sites that make up a coherent whole, such as a neighborhood or an industrial complex,” and finally, large-scale objects, “not portable museum objects, but large movable properties such as fountains and monuments.” Most relevant to large-scale contemporary folk art environments, the National Register outlines several qualities that these properties should possess. The site should provide a sense of history, whether architectural or cultural. A site should serve as a good example of vernacular architecture, a particular style, or possess “high artistic values.” Despite the “National” status of the Register, it was conceived to include properties which are of foremost importance to the local community, not just significant at the national level as “great national landmarks.” Eight folk art environments are currently listed on the Register. Citing them in your proposal will help support your efforts.

To receive a copy of “What Are the National Register Criteria?” as well as “How to Apply the National Register Criteria,” write to: The National Register of Historic Places, Interagency Resources Division, National Park Service, PO Box 37127, Washington, D.C. 20013-7127
Source: “What Are the National Register Criteria?”

Please let SPACES know how your preservation efforts are going.

  • You might also check SOS on the web. Save Our Sculpture, a Smithsonian survey of sculpture in the U.S. They are to give condition reports.
  • If your site is listed, mention it in the PR materials you send out.
  • Remember the words “Cultural Destination” when talking to politicians or business people.