Well look at that! I am pleased to announce that Spokane Preservation Advocates has seen fit to give its Historic Preservation award in the category of Public Education and Outreach to Spokane Historical.
Some context: Spokane Preservation Advocates (SPA) is a citizen advocacy group that promotes historic preservation. This is no knitting club, the SPA are fighting preservationists. Their victories include saving a 100-year-old warehouse after everyone else, including city government, had assigned to the wrecking ball. Spokane Historical is the digital project that my students work on, it is a smartphone app and website for local history with over 400 stories.
It is a pleasant sensation to sit in a crowd of people of you admire while someone up front says nice things about you. But as I made clear when I accepted the award, Spokane Historical is not me, it is the collected work of more than 50 Eastern Washington University students who have researched and written stories over the last five years.
It was an impressive set of awardees last night. Stephanie Petit won for her charming local history stories at the Spokesman Review. Iron Goat Brewing was recognized for renovated the old Jones Automotive building. And past SPA president Paul Mann was recognized for his many, many efforts, including bringing the National Trust for Historic Preservation conference to Spokane in 2012. And others as well--see the list here.
I am so grateful for this recognition. When we began Spokane Historical five years ago, I thought we'd work on it for a few years and move on. I mean, how many stories are there in this town? More than I could have imagined.