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It goes without saying that 2020 has been a difficult year. The effects of the pandemic and ensuing economic crisis have been felt everywhere. Historic buildings from theaters to restaurants to community centers have closed. Heritage and cultural organizations have shuttered and laid off staff. Small businesses in historic downtowns across Washington struggle to survive. People feel isolated, uncertain about the future.

But in this moment, as we look forward with hope, we at the Washington Trust know our purpose. We know that 2021 will be the year of rebuilding our communities. We know that preservation will be a key ingredient of our state’s economic recovery. And we’re digging in.

How will we accomplish these goals?

  • By advocating for Washington’s historic resources. As the governor and legislature determine the next state budget, we’re advocating for continued funding of capital grant programs for historic barns, county courthouses, and cemeteries, and also for the creation of a new capital grant program for historic theaters.
  • By supporting Main Streets. The Washington Main Street network is critical to the survival of small businesses in our historic downtowns and the health and vitality of our local economies. We’re asking state leaders for increased Main Street funding, including a Main Street capital grant program directly supporting small businesses in historic buildings.
  • By celebrating diverse stories. Preservation has too often been a barrier to telling the full story of our country, and we must acknowledge its biases and work towards a more equitable, inclusive movement. We will elevate and celebrate diverse voices and cultural sites through our programs, including Revisiting Washington, the Valerie Sivinski Fund, and the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area.
  • By bringing people together. We may not be able to gather in person again yet, but we can unite our communities by sharing stories, building collaborative partnerships, and gathering virtually. And trust us, as soon as it’s safe to reconvene in person, we’ll be there with you in your town or city—from Coupeville to Colville, Camas to Clarkston—fighting to save the places that matter in Washington State.

Won’t you join us? Make a year-end contribution to the Washington Trust. Not only is your gift fully tax deductible, you’ll be helping us rebuild Washington’s communities in 2021.

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