Moving Into the Future (Summer 2024)

Past Matters Summer 2024; posted on 6/7/2024

Greetings! Over the last several months, the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission has been working on updating our strategic plan for the next three years. In January of this year, the Friends Board of Trustees and key THC leadership spent a day together to discuss and reaffirm our mission, restate our vision and values to reflect the state that we serve, and outline our priorities for the next three years.

The broad theme that emerged during our discussions was that of ensuring that the stories we help preserve and pass along to our future generations are full of the richness, depth, complexity, and variety of Texas and Texans, and are ones that the full spectrum of our future generations can identify with and see themselves in. To that end, the Board of Trustees of the FTHC reaffirmed the mission statement with some modifications, to reflect its continued commitment to preserving all of Texas’ history for posterity.

Our mission at the Friends of the THC is to partner with the THC to preserve and protect the real places and real stories of Texas and all Texans, securing philanthropic resources to ensure a lasting legacy for future generations. As we preserve and protect the stories of Texas and all Texans, we hold our vision as an organization as our north star – that everyone has a place in Texas history. We operate with the following core values: authenticity, dependability, and integrity; respect for the varied and complex stories of Texas; inclusiveness and proactive collaboration; and valuing all of the support we get from you, our friends and partners on this journey.

We are continuing into the second half of this year and beyond with some key strategic goals that came out of our planning session. The first is focused on continuing to build strength in the relationship the FTHC has with the Commission it supports. We have come a long way as the nonprofit partner to the THC and provide critical support, that goes beyond fundraising, to help the Commission accomplish its preservation goals. We will continue to be a strong and present partner in the THC’s mission and will strategically strengthen our alignment with the agency to define and develop the Texas story.

The Texas Historical Commission places high value on place-based education – for students (K-12 as well as post-secondary) and adults. This focus manifests in a variety of educational programming led by historic sites, as well as the History Programs and Archeology Divisions of the THC. The Friends of the THC will continue to help grow and support these programs under an overarching “THC Education Programs” umbrella, and work on building key partnerships across the state in support of this goal.

In doing all of this work, stewardship of the critical historic resources across the state – the sites, the architecture, the archives and research – will be key. To that end, we will continue to engage and connect with communities and organizations across the state and amplify missions and messages of the THC.

In order for us to be effective in all of this, we have to continue to secure and bring financial investments into the realm of preservation. We will do this through strong and effective governance, financial transparency and integrity, and nimble and creative problem-solving.

As always, it is a privilege to be able to do the work that we do here at the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission, in partnership and with support from the incredibly committed leadership and staff at the Texas Historical Commission. And we continue to be deeply grateful to you, our friends, for your support. Your gifts help us preserve the stories and histories of all Texans, so we can continue to build community through storytelling. We look forward to your continued support!

On behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Friends of the Texas Historical Commission—warm regards and best wishes for a fun and relaxing summer!

Anjali Zutshi, Executive Director