Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative: Natural and Cultural Heritage Tourism

Appalachia’s gateway communities—towns that border publicly owned lands such as national and state parks and forests—often struggle to balance the need for economic growth with the desire to protect their natural ecosystems, landscapes, and cultural heritage.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) have partnered to develop the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative: Natural and Cultural Heritage Tourism Development (Gateway Initiative). The Gateway Initiative will provide training and technical assistance for natural and cultural heritage tourism development activities to Appalachian gateway communities. Assistance will be provided by The Conservation Fund (TCF) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP). In addition to enhancing a community’s natural and/or historic assets, the Gateway Initiative will also include the role of the arts in the development of a comprehensive natural and cultural heritage tourism development strategy.

Application receipt deadline date: June 6, 2008. To be eligible, applicants (or the gateway community) must be located in an ARC distressed, transitional or transitional/at-risk county.  For a list of the ARC counties and their economic status, please see pages 22  -25 of the attached RFP. ARCNEAGatewayRFP.pdf

Tony Tighe, Coordinator, Federal Partnerships
Office of Government Affairs, National Endowment for the Arts

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