Heritage Preservation Grant: Educational Projects

City of Austin

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Predicted Deadline
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Predicted deadline: Sep 22, 2024 3:00pm PDT

Grant amount: Up to US $250,000

Fields of work: Historic Preservation

Applicant type: For-Profit Business, Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Exhibitions, Conference, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Texas: Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Hays County, Travis County, Williamson County

Location of residency: Counties in Texas: Bastrop County, Caldwell County, Hays County, Travis County, Williamson County



Historic preservation is a community-building economic tool that preserves sites, creates jobs, and strengthens local economies. The Economic Development Department’s Heritage Tourism Division manages heritage tourism programs that derive community and economic benefits while honoring and preserving Austin as a place of personal heritage.

The Heritage Preservation Grant serves to preserve and promote Austin’s irreplaceable historic sites and heritage tourism experiences. Our partners in preservation authentically represent inclusive stories of Austin’s history through capital, planning, educational, or marketing projects that engage new audiences and tourists.

Historic Preservation Fund

Per the current city code (Section 11-2-7), 15% of the City’s 7% of the hotel occupancy tax collected by the City of Austin, is allocated to the Historic Preservation Fund to support historic preservation and restoration projects and activities that attract tourists and convention delegates to the city. This may include the preservation, restoration, or rehabilitation of historic buildings, structures, objects, monuments, sites, or districts; and programming and marketing to encourage tourists and convention delegates to visit historic sites or museums in Austin.

In accordance with state statute, any expenditure of hotel occupancy taxes must meet two criteria:

  • The expenditure must directly enhance and promote tourism and the convention and hotel industry; and
  • It must fit into one of the state statutorily approved functions. For historic preservation and restoration projects, the project must be:
    • At, or in the immediate vicinity of, convention center facilities or visitor information centers; or
    • Located in the areas that are reasonably likely to be frequented by tourists and convention delegates

Applicants may submit either a Capital, Planning, Educational, or Marketing project proposal per funding cycle. Only one application per applicant will be considered. Applicants must solicit and submit two bids from outside consultants or vendors when submitting a project proposal.

Educational Projects

Projects that actively create experiences for tourists and residents to interact with historic places, events, or activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present and enhance the understanding or perspective on heritage, culture, and history. The project sites must have a historic designation or deemed eligible for a historic designation. Designation must be completed by the end of the contract term.

Educational project types may include the development and production of:

  • Conferences, Workshops, or Technical Assistance Programs
  • Event or Program at a Historic Site / Historic District
  • Heritage and Historic Exhibitions (for Outdoor Interpretive – See Capital Projects)
  • Historic Marker (must indicate eligibility in advance)
  • Tour Development: Historic, Heritage, Legacy and Natural Resource. Historic site tours may include a partnership with tourism-serving legacy businesses

Educational Projects must include:

  • Bids for proposed preservation priorities.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Eligible Applicants:
    • For-Profit, Government, Nonprofit (with 990s posted to Guidestar.org)
    • Applicants must be registered as a City of Austin Vendor
    • Applicants must demonstrate operations in the Austin metro area for at least two years.
    • Applicants that are not currently receiving or are applying for funding from the City for the same proposal within the contract period.
    • Applicants must reside in the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) which includes Travis, Bastrop, Caldwell, Hays, and Williamson Counties.
  • Historic properties eligible for grants
    • Grounds must be accessible, open, and marketed to tourists and residents for the purposes of viewing and appreciating the historic/heritage value with reasonable visiting hours to be set by the site
      • City of Austin Historic Landmarks;
      • East Austin Historic Survey Property Eligible for Designation (non-residential)
      • Locally Designated Historic District (contributing historic property)
      • National Historic Landmark
      • National Register Historic District (contributing historic property)
      • National Register of Historic Places (property individually listed)
      • Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
      • State Antiquities Landmark
      • Properties determined to be eligible for historic designation. If the property is not designated at the time of the application, the applicant must provide a determination of eligibility from the Texas Historical Commission or National Park Service with the application. The property must be historically designated by the time the proposed project is completed and final grant funds are disbursed
  • Applicants may include an optional 10% Project Management fee, not to exceed $10,000 (for capital projects), insurance costs, and/or an optional $1,000 fiscal sponsor fee as part of the funding request.



  • Ineligible Applicants:
    • Applicants whose non-profit status has been revoked by the Internal Revenue Service.
    • Applicants unable to demonstrate at least two years of operations within the Austin metro area.
    • Applicants who are not receiving or requesting funding for the same project from other City-funded programs. 
    • City of Austin Employees 
    • Individuals younger than 18 years old 
    • Individuals who reside outside of the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). 
    • Owner-occupied (residential) stewards or properties.
  • Ineligible Projects include:
    • Activities outside Austin;
    • Acquisition of property;
    • Archeology excavation projects (educational projects eligible);
    • Audits (unless required by agreement);
    • Capital projects that do not meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards or local Historic Design Standards;
    • Community Activated Park Projects Proposals at City- owned historic sites that have not been pre-approved;
    • Consultants who are members of an applicant’s board;
    • Existing deficits, fines, contingencies, penalties, interest, or litigation costs;
    • Food and beverages;
    • Fundraising expenses;
    • Furnishings;
    • Historic interiors (planning projects eligible);
    • Historic properties with fencing in front of, or near, the property that would obscure or prevent visual observation of the building from the public right-of-way;
    • Landscaping or Cultural Landscape projects (planning projects eligible);
    • Mass-produced commercial products;
    • Murals;
    • Neon Signage;
    • New building construction or expansion;
    • Owner-occupied properties or historic residential properties;
    • Payments to students or interns;
    • Preservation, heritage, and historic projects not associated with a historic site;
    • Projects with no historic designation or are not eligible for historic designation;
    • Property Taxes or any other tax;
    • Purchase of gifts, awards, cash prizes, scholarships, contributions, or donations;
    • Purchase of gasoline;
    • Supplementing staff salaries, board, volunteer, and docent activities;
    • Travel-related costs;
    • Wayfinding and right-of-way signage.

City of Austin

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This page was last reviewed October 23, 2023 and last updated August 27, 2023