California Cultural and Historical Endowment

The California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) is a state entity tasked with preserving and protecting California’s cultural resources. These include the tangible aspects of California’s history – the artifacts, collections, archives, historic structures and properties that cultivate understanding of our collective past, and preserve the many treasures that are California's cultural legacy.

CCHE is led by a ten-person board and enjoys the participation of four legislative representatives. There are two full-time staff members at the CCHE.

The CCHE was originally established within the California State Library in 2003 when then-Governor Gray Davis signed AB 716 (Firebaugh) (PDF) | (HTML).  AB 482 (Atkins) (PDF) | (HTML) signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, transferred the CCHE to the California Natural Resources Agency (Resources) and authorized a new museum grant program.

The Legislature intended the CCHE to raise the profile and scope of California historic and cultural preservation program in an era of cultural homogeneity and dwindling historic structures. Over 180 CCHE grants have helped to preserve the many historic treasures that are California’s cultural legacy. These sparkling jewels belong to all Californians collectively and convey important lessons about opportunity, hardship, innovation, injustice, perseverance, and redemption.

Funding for CCHE projects comes from voter-approved bonds from the California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks, and Coastal Protection Act of 2002, more commonly known as Proposition 40 (PDF) | (HTML).  CCHE’s share ($122 million) was distributed competitively to government entities, non-profit organizations, and Federally Recognized Indian Tribes for the acquisition, restoration, preservation, and interpretation of historical and cultural resources.  The $3.4 million balance in this bond fund is available for the first two cycles of the Museums Grant Program (MGP).

The Endowment operates under the direction of a Board made up of the following:

Ex Officio Members

Board ChairWade Crowfoot, Chair

Keely Bosler, Director of the Department of Finance
(Jacqueline Wong-Hernandez and Karen Finn, designees)

Greg Lucas, State Librarian of California

Gubernatorial Appointees

Ennette Morton, Public Member
Jacqueline Blackshear, Public Member
Catherine Gudis, Public Member

Senate Appointees

Carmen Martinez, Public Member

Assembly Appointees

Georgette Imura, Public Member
Jon F. Vein, Public Member

Legislative Representatives

In addition to the ten Board Members, two members of the Senate and two members of the Assembly meet with the Endowment and participate in the activities of the Board, but do not vote.

Assemblymember Evan Low and Assemblymember Ian Calderon currently represent the Assembly.

Senator Anthony Portantino and Senator Scott Wiener currently represent the Senate.

CCHE Projects

Snoopy License Plate to fund California Museums This specialized license plate to support California museums features the image of a dancing Snoopy, generously licensed by Jean Schulz and Peanuts Worldwide through the assistance of the California Association of Museums. Purchase your plate today at www.snoopyplate.com.
Museum Grant Program A competitive grant program to support small capital projects in museums, authorized by AB 482 in 2013. Initially funded with Proposition 40 bond funds, it will subsequently be funded with revenues from the new Snoopy license plate. Sign-up for the Museum Grant Program ListServClick here.
 
Preserving California’s Treasures, Second Edition CCHE and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento collaborated on Preserving California Treasures, a publication showcasing the capital projects and planning grants funded by CCHE. These sparkling jewels belong to all Californians collectively and convey important lessons about opportunity, hardship, innovation, injustice, perseverance, and redemption.
The California Cultural and Historical Endowment (CCHE) was created to tell the many stories that collectively comprise California's diverse history. The CCHE achieves this goal by providing resources to non-profit organizations and local governments who then work to preserve and protect the many historical and cultural resources that serve as physical reminders of California's past.
The Second Edition of Preserving California's Treasures showcases these planning and construction projects which CCHE funded and which each tell a part of the multi-faceted story of the development of our state.
 
This publication is a collaboration between the CCHE and the Center for California Studies at California State University, Sacramento. The Center was created in 1982 and works to increase understanding and awareness about California through conferences, research, and education programs. Both entities share common ground in their devotion to a state where many varied threads make up a colorful tapestry worthy of preservation and consideration.

 

This Second Edition includes information about each of the projects CCHE funded, maps of the 12 touristic regions of California, funding details, CCHE Grantee contact information, and essays on California history and why studying history in a state as diverse as California is important. The publication is written and edited by Mimi Morris and Francelle Phillips with contributions from other writers.

A partial pdf may be viewed by following this link. Limited quantities of the 8 x 10 glossy, 190-page paperback book are available for sale from selected CCHE grantees or online from CSUS by following this link.

CA Cultural Survey and Summit The 2012 report to the Governor and the Legislature surveys the state of cultural and historical preservation, accessibility, and interpretation in California. The Cultural Summit here was held in October as the culminating event.
Cultural Survey Update

The CCHE's enabling legislation included the requirement that the endowment undertake a comprehensive survey of the state of cultural and historical preservation, accessibility, and interpretation in California, and report to the Governor and the Legislature. The report is to include all of the following:

  1. Survey of elements in CA's assemblage of buildings, sites, artifacts, museums, cultural landscapes, trails, illustrations, the arts and artistic expressions, written materials, and displays and interpretive centers that are missing or underrepresented, such as if current facilities, materials, and services leave out, misrepresent, or inadequately present some important thread of the story of California as a unified society or of the many groups of people that together comprise historic and modern California.
  2. Recommendations for steps that should be taken to fill in the missing or underrepresented elements identified in subdivision (1).
  3. Recommendations for the manner of transferring the Office of Historic Preservation in the Department of Parks and Recreation to the endowment, consistent with the Legislature's intent expressed in Section 20052.5
  4. Recommendations for additional steps that should be taken to better preserve and administer cultural and historic resources efficiently and effectively, including additional actions that should be taken to improve the governmental structures responsible for historic and cultural preservation in California, including oversight and support of museums. In particular, the endowment shall examine the feasibility and desirability of establishing the endowment as a separate institution in state government, without ties to any existing agency or department, although under the general authority of the Governor. The endowment shall also identify the most appropriate chair, or the most appropriate method for selecting the chair, of its board.
  5. A survey of the capacities and fiscal conditions of public, nonprofit, and other private entities in California that provide cultural and historical facilities and services, including museums.
  6. Recommendations for the future financing of cultural and historical programs provided by public agencies and nonprofit agencies in California, including museums.
  7. Recommendations for programs to encourage the historical maintenance and restoration of properties in private ownership, including, but not limited to, a state tax credit for restoration of historic properties that maintain historic integrity, property tax deferral as long as a property's historic integrity in maintained, and low interest loans.
  8. A study of the economic impact of the preservation and interpretation of cultural and historic resources in the state. This should include the economic befits resulting from the preservation of historic commercial and residential properties and sites, and from historic and cultural tourism activities.

Components #1 and #2: The Legacy of California's Landmarks: A Report for the California Cultural and Historical Endowment by Donna Graves

Appendix A - "Five Views by County"

Appendix B.1 - "All California National Register Listings"

Appendix B.2 - "California Register Listings"

Appendix C - "Summary Notes from Community Conversations"

Component #3: Transferring OHP to the CCHE by Mimi Morris

Component #4: Improving Cultural Heritage Stewardship in California by Mimi Morris

Components #5 and #6: A Capacity Survey of California's Cultural Heritage Organizations and Recommendations for Funding by Mimi Morris

Component #7: Supporting Historic Preservation in California by Donna Graves

Component #8: The Economic Impact of Preservation in California by Mimi Morris

Comprehensive Cultural Survey Executive Summary by Mimi Morris

Cultural Summit Proceedings

Landmarks California: Places of our Diverse Histories and Cultures A program to strengthen and deepen Californians understanding of their history, present society and themselves. Over 20 statewide organizations participated in the 2012 festival honoring the life and work of Julia Morgan, paving the way for her selection as the AIA’s Gold Medal Winner in 2014.