The Cortez Historic Preservation Board has received a grant that will fund a series of history-themed podcasts that it has been planning for months.
During a meeting on Wednesday, board vice president Linda Towle announced the state-funded Certified Local Governments program has agreed to award a roughly $7,000 grant for the podcast series. Since the “Ancient Voices” podcast that Mesa Verde Country released last year, Towle and other members of the board have discussed creating their own audio guide to Cortez’s historic buildings since the fall. Towle said the city likely won’t receive the money for a few more months, but she hopes to be ready to release the podcast series sometime this summer.
The podcasts will essentially be a digital version of the brochures the city has offered in the past for walking tours of the downtown area. Towle said they will focus on historic buildings on or near Montezuma Avenue, Ash and First Street.
June Head and Ginger Graham, local historians who contributed to the original brochures, have volunteered to “be the voices” on the podcast, Towle said. But they likely won’t begin recording for a while.
“Last time we got a grant, it took three months for History Colorado to get the city the contract to sign,” she said.
At its next meeting, on Tuesday, the City Council will vote on whether to accept the grant once it receives the contract. Towle said the city will also send out requests for proposal for contractors to help record, upload and market the podcasts.
The Mesa Verde Country Visitor Information Bureau launched a series of three podcasts in July 2017, with the help of a $25,000 grant from the Colorado Tourism Office. Each podcast provides an audio tour of historic sites in the Four Corners region, from Canyons of the Ancients to Lowry Pueblo and Hovenweep, complete with stories from each place’s past.
The historic preservation board hopes to accomplish something similar, though on a smaller scale, with Cortez’s own podcasts.
Also during the meeting, the board voted to allow chairwoman Patricia Lacey to write a letter of support for the next grant application to preserve the Calkins Building. The Montezuma County Housing Authority failed to receive a State Historic Fund grant to replace the historic school house’s windows and doors earlier this year, but it is in the process of re-applying. Towle said the housing authority has already received a $2,500 grant from the Ballantine Family Foundation to help cover some of the matching funds if it receives the state grant.
Other actionDuring Wednesday’s meeting, the board also:
Discussed the possibility of putting a map of Cortez’s historic places on the city website.Agreed to include a period for public comment and requests for historic property status from residents in all future meetings.Discussed activities for this year’s Historic Preservation Day, which will include free walking tours of Main Street.Discussed options for replacing the National Register of Historic Places plaque on the Montezuma Valley Bank Building.