County Historical Commissions (CHC) have a statutory relationship with the Texas Historical Commission (THC). Enhancing the relationship by developing a partnership expands both local and state preservation missions.
The THC is the state agency for historic preservation. CHCs are part of county government. By statue, CHCs train appointees with assistance from the THC. Several THC programs offer in-person training across the state and online educational material to accommodate a wide range of audiences.
CHC Outreach staff strive to address the tangible and intangible needs of CHCs. We take time to learn about CHC projects and relay information about CHCs to colleagues within and outside the agency. However, we can disseminate information only if it is shared with us. Good communication expands statewide preservation efforts, the whys of which will be discussed in greater detail next week. Understanding THC’s diverse range of programs may seem overwhelming but enables your CHC to participate more fully in statewide preservation efforts.
To get the most out of the CHC-THC partnership, appointees should take time to know what THC programs are offered, in what programs your CHC participates, and the appropriate staff person to contact. THC staff can provide recommendations and connect your CHC to local, regional and statewide preservation partners of which you may be unaware.
Strategies for effective communication with the THC will be discussed later this month, but basic principles on what a constructive relationship looks like are listed below.
A constructive partnership relies on balanced communication. Here are some examples.
- CHC provides THC with correct contact information for your chair and appointees––THC uses that information to provide educational material, information about THC initiatives, and upcoming events.
- THC contacts CHCs about potential impacts to historic resources––CHCs respond with current information about those resources. CHCs learn about THC programs and contact THC staff about local preservation matters––THC provide program recommendations and advice about caring for historic resources.
- THC develops workshops and webinars––CHC chairs and appointees attend those trainings.
- CHCs share preservation knowledge with fellow appointees and the public––THC provides web material for CHC continuing education.
- THC provides reporting template and reminders to CHC chairs––CHC chairs work with appointees to complete report in its entirety.
These statements illustrate healthy communication between CHCs and the THC that builds a strong foundation for increasing your involvement in THC programs. Prioritize these efforts and identify areas of improvement so you keep up with upcoming opportunities, existing support, and pertinent communications.
For more about partnerships with the THC, visit our webpage.