Preserving the real places and the real stories of Texas.

Real Places 2019: Funding Opportunities With National Park Service Grants

Breakout 2C

Day/Time: Thursday, January 17, 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Location: Capitol Salon A, 3rd Floor
Speakers: Megan Brown, National Park Service and Cara Bertron, City of Austin

In recent years, the National Park Service (NPS) has offered special grant programs such as the Underrepresented Communities Grant, Grants for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and the African American Civil Rights Grant. In this session, Megan Brown, national coordinator of the Certified Local Government Program and NPS’ Grants Division, will discuss these funding opportunities in more detail and give examples of the types of projects that have been selected for funding in the past. In 2017, two Texas communities, including Austin, were awarded an Underrepresented Communities Grant. Cara Bertron, deputy historic preservation officer for the City of Austin, will describe the city’s work on the grant project, which includes working with historically African American and Hispanic neighborhoods on National Register nominations, as well as expanding the city’s preservation education, outreach, and partnership-building throughout the community.


Megan Brown has worked at the National Park Service (NPS) for 14 years as a grants management specialist, Certified Local Government (CLG) coordinator, and now chief of the State, Tribal, Local, Plans and Grants Division. She is responsible for the management of the Historic Preservation Fund and the $50-70 million that it disburses annually to state, tribal, and local preservation partners. Almost 1,000 active grants fund annual assistance to states and tribes, as well as project grant programs such as Underrepresented Communities, African American Civil Rights, Save America’s Treasures, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Brown previously worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation in Fort Worth and the State Historic Preservation Office in South Carolina. She has a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Auburn University and a master’s degree in Historic Preservation from the University of South Carolina.


Cara Bertron is the deputy preservation officer for the City of Austin. With more than 12 years of experience in preservation planning and community development, she is committed to shaping more equitable cities through the creative preservation of historic and cultural heritage. She has led equity-focused preservation planning in Seattle’s Chinatown International District and facilitated the development of the report, Action Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities. As the first director of the Rightsizing Cities Initiative at PlaceEconomics and the co-founder and chair of the Preservation Rightsizing Network, Bertron has spoken and written extensively about legacy city preservation. She has also developed and advised on innovative historic resource surveys. She serves as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is a member of the Next City Vanguard.