This copy is to used for all Grants in which we make application.
LAUREL HIGHLAND’S HISTORICAL VILLAGE, INC.
To provide a forum to inspire, motivate and teach young people about their rich cultural and ethnic inheritance through storytelling, handicrafts and skills demonstrations and seminars, period architecture, garments, tools and lifestyles. We want to provide a powerful and vivid experience that is both entertaining and educational, and engenders in our children and youth interest in the many and varied ethnicities which shaped our nation.
As an historical venue, the Laurel Highlands Historical Village seeks to create an ethnic-centered heritage village reflecting life in earlier times and is accessible to the public. We hope to showcase the contributions, skills and talent of many ethnic groups who shaped to the progress of this region.
The Village will be created on a tract of farmland, and will be complete with replicas of buildings, gardens and trails as well as domestic and work-related features common to the Laurel Highlands region pre-industrial revolution. LHHV’s focus will be on areas such as glass blowing, textiles, agronomy, blacksmithing, music, food, arts and crafts, with emphasis on teaching the skill in the context of various era lifestyles.
We are a community born from the principles that every person can make a difference and that every moment matters. We further affirm that education is fun, learning should be something one is passionate about and knowledge should be presented in a manner that personally engages and stimulates the desire to learn all one can. In addition, we believe that we have a duty to preserve our world and its history, and, most importantly, its culture and ethnic diversity.
We coordinate groups of children to help them discover and enhance their ethnic origins and personnel potentials.
The Laurel Highland’s Historical Village, a nonprofit organization, was founded in 2003 for the purpose of promoting an appreciation and understanding of the rich cultural and ethnic diversity of the Highland’s region which, historically, has served as the home of many immigrants who arrived in the 19th century to work in the coal mines, steel mills, on the railroad, and as farmers. The underlying rationale for the Village is that the more residents, and particularly the youth understand their unique, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic heritage and how it has contributed to building strong communities, the stronger is their commitment is to working together to preserve the area’s diversity and in strengthening the communities which have emerged over the past century.
Much like how other historical venues such as Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts and Williamsburg in Virginia have evolved into major tourist attractions, the Laurel Highland Historical Village seeks to recreate – in Western Pennsylvania – an ethnic-centered heritage village which will reflect the what life was like in the early life of the Highland’s region, while, most importantly, showcasing the contributions of many ethnic groups to the progress of the region. The Village – created on farm land – will be complete with authentic buildings, gardens, and other related economic and work-related features common to Highland’s area during the pre-industrial and the industrial period, such as glass blowing, blacksmithing, coal mining and steel-making.
While the Village will serve as an educational and cultural venue for all age groups, primary consideration will be given to meeting the educational enrichment needs of children and youths. A key program of the Village will be, for example, an Enrichment Day Camp for Children designed to provide opportunities for personal growth and the development of self-esteem, for self-discovery of their heritage, the opportunity to engage in discussions with ethnic leaders from the community, and for building friendship and relationships across ethnic groups. We envision the Village becoming an important and much needed extracurricular environment that will help to foster learning and success. To help implement the educational component of the Village, the organization plans to utilize, as tutors, discussion facilitators, and instructional leaders, students from area higher educational institutions such as University of Pittsburgh, Johnstown and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Finally, the Enrichment Day Camp will fill an important need for today’s children to experience life outside the city and to engage directly with the natural environment; an opportunity increasingly disappearing as a result of urban sprawl.
When the Village is fully developed, it will include space for shops, merchants and artisans who will provide – not only opportunities for purchases of ethnic foods, local crafts, and theme-based merchandise – but also provide an additional educational opportunity for visitors to learn about the early life and commerce of the Highland’s region and how it has shaped an important region in the history of the U.S. We believe that this component, as well as the other features such as an actual “working” farm and the Village’s open air environment, will position the Village to become a major tourist destination for much of the eastern seaboard of the United States, and thereby adding a new dimension to the local region’s economy; much the same way other “theme” parks have done in other regions of the U.S.
In sum, the Laurel Highland’s Historical Village is an idea whose time has come for fruition in Western Pennsylvania.
To enable further planning of the Laurel Highland’s Historical Village concept, the organization is seeking a grant of $00,000 from the Pittsburgh National Bank. This grant will be used for to pay for a planning consultant, who, working with the Village’s Board of Directors, will help develop a physical and infrastructure plan for the Village and for hiring a consultant to assist the Board in developing a Business Plan to guide financial decisions, for determining the Village’s capital fund development needs, and future marketing in order to ensure the long term sustainability of the Village as a viable enterprise
Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Ronald J. Shawley
Employer Identification Number: 86-1079004
Foundation Status Classification: 509 (a) (1)