Preservation Action Foundation’s 2015 Advocacy Scholars Program

Posted by eden on September 29, 2014 at 10:30 am : Blog

From Preservation Action:

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Preservation Action Foundation is excited to announce its call for papers for the 2015 Advocacy Scholars Program. Are you or someone you know interested in historic preservation, planning, history, public policy, law, architecture or a related field and currently enrolled in a undergraduate or graduate program? If so, encourage them to apply to our Advocacy Scholars program, which offers a limited number of competitive scholarships to students interested in attending National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week (March 2-4, 2015) in Washington, D.C. The first year of the program was a huge success in training the next generation of preservation advocates and thanks to our many great sponsors, we are excited to announce the second year of the program. Attached is a copy of the flyer. Through the Advocacy Scholars Program, Preservation Action Foundation offers a limited number of stipends so that students can attend the National Historic Preservation Advocacy Week in Washington, DC. This year’s program will be held March 2-4, 2015 in Washington, D.C. In addition to the stipend, Advocacy Scholars receive complimentary registration to the conference and are our guests at special events including the Congressional Reception and luncheon.

To be considered, applicants submit:

1. A cover letter stating your interest, any previous legislative or advocacy experience and how participating in the program will contribute to your academic work and professional goals.

2. A 1,500 word essay on one of the following topics:

National Heritage Areas@30: In 2014 Congress considered multiple requests to designate new National Heritage Areas, even though the program faces continued financial and legislative challenges. Why is this large landscape program so compelling and what is its future? Give us your thoughts.

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 established policy to protect our nation’s cultural resources. Preservation Action was founded by advocates to make historic preservation policies a national legislative priority. How do people who value preservation continue to take a stand? How to engage the next generation of historic preservationists and advocates?

3. Proof of academic enrollment. Students should submit essays by email to education@preservationaction.org by Friday, October 31, 2014. This is a competitive juried process. Selected Advocacy Scholars will be notified no later than Monday, January 5, 2015. For more information, please see www.preservationaction.org/scholars-2015/ and the attached Call for Papers. Please feel free to share this opportunity.

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Announcing Our New Ally, The Heritas Group

Posted by marion on May 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm : Blog

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Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC is pleased to announce the launch of its strategic ally, The Heritas Group. Heritas is a global firm of big idea strategists for government, business, and social change organizations.

Through this new venture we bring together a team of thirteen proven leaders, collaborating from our Washington, DC and San Francisco headquarters and from satellite offices on five continents, to complement our work at Cultural Heritage Partners. Heritas practice areas include:

  • Global Government Affairs: Forging unlikely coalitions and strategies that break through to ensure voices are heard
  • Social Enterprise & Innovation: Crossing sectors to discover system-changing solutions to intractable challenges
  • Leadership by Design: Producing transformative leaders in unprecedented times
  • Cultural Heritage Solutions: Leveraging the strength of the world’s diverse heritage to secure a more prosperous future

Our theory is simple: we think these are the most promising pathways to advancing the work of inspiring clients, while also helping to discover and scale answers to more universal challenges.

Our Heritas team includes co-founding partners:

  • Deborah Lehr, a China expert most recently Vice Chairman of the Paulson Institute, founded by former US Secretary of the Treasury and former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson, and previously Senior Managing Director at the New York Stock Exchange and Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for China.
  • Penelope Douglas, a pioneer in community development and impact investing and chair of Mission Hub, which includes collaboration labs nationwide and Social Capital Markets (SOCAP), investors and social innovators building a market at the intersection of money and meaning.
  • Peter Herdrich, a veteran television producer for the major networks, and former CEO of the world’s largest archaeological organization, the Archaeological Institute of America.
  • Greg Werkheiser, CHP co-founder and a pioneer of leadership development movements, social entrepreneur, and legal advocate.
  • Marion Werkheiser, CHP co-founder and leader in cultural heritage law and its intersection with politics and socio-economic development.

Learn about the eight other exciting members of our team, our clients, current initiatives, and more at www.heritasgroup.com.

We’re excited about this new phase of our work. Please let us know what you think and how we might collaborate!

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GAPP Holds Successful Kickoff Summit

Posted by eden on April 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm : Blog

The Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) held its inaugural Summit, Honoring Our History-Fueling Our Future, in Pittsburgh on March 21, 2014 at the Fairmont Hotel. Attendees discussed how to simultaneously and collaboratively encourage energy exploration and protect important historic resources in and around the areas of potential impact of such exploration.

An overflow crowd of 130 professionals included executives from energy companies, including supermajors, energy industry trade associations, cultural resource management firms, engineering firms, state and national professional archaeological associations, state government historic preservation offices, tribal agencies, academic institutions, and law and business consulting firms.

The Pittsburgh Post Gazette provided front page coverage of the event (available here), and an Associated Press article appeared in twenty major newspapers nationwide (available here).

The summit advanced three objectives:

  • Educate the energy industry about the social and economic importance and methodologies of cultural resource preservation;
  • Educate the preservation community about the economic and geopolitical importance and methodologies of energy development; and,
  • Develop the business case for working together to develop voluntary practices that advance energy exploration while protecting the most important cultural resources.

Perhaps the greatest accomplishment was overcoming healthy skepticism from many attendees that in the midst of the nation’s highly contentious political environment, two seemingly different interest groups could forge an alliance of mutual benefit based on shared values and compromise. That is not to say GAPP’s job is done, but some essential trust was built in Pittsburgh which will facilitate joint solution-building in the months ahead.

Please check the GAPP conference webpage for updates such as video and photo coverage, speakers’ PowerPoint slides, and a concise summary of the main points from each session.

Next steps in GAPP’s efforts are to:

  • Continue to build the GAPP governing board to expand strategic resources and to reflect (as it does now) equal representation from industry and the preservation community.
  • Guide GAPP’s four working groups to the production of their respective components of a set of draft voluntary best practices for circulation and feedback. See GAPP working group descriptions here: http://gasandpreservation.org/working-groups/
  • Expand the dialogue to include other energy industries, including solar, wind and electric.

GAPP welcomes new participants. If your company may be interested in becoming more involved as a board member, financial or promotional supporter, or through membership in one of GAPP’s working groups, please get in touch.

Working Groups: workinggroups@gasandpreservation.org

Sponsorship and General Questions: info@gasandpreservation.org

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The Converging Roads to Energy Independence and Historic Preservation

Posted by marion on February 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm : Blog

Marion F. Werkheiser posted a piece this week entitled, “The Converging Roads to Energy Independence and Historic Preservation,” to the Preservation Leadership Forum hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The piece discusses the important work of the Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) to develop voluntary practices that encourage shale gas development while taking into account impacts to historic and cultural resources.  Join CHP at the GAPP Summit: Honoring Our History, Fueling Our Future on March 21, 2014 at the Fairmont Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Culture, Interrupted: Eden Talks About Third Reich-Era Looting at GSU Law

Posted by eden on February 12, 2014 at 1:46 pm : Blog

On February 10, 2014, Eden joined Professor Ryan Rowberry and members of the International Comparative Law Society at Georgia State University Law School to talk about Third Reich-era art looting and some of the related cases she has worked on.

Between January 1933 and May 1945, untold millions of pieces of art and cultural objects were looted by the Nazis during their campaign to recast culture in their own ideal image. And despite the well-publicized heroics of the Monuments Men, there were also some instances of Allied soldiers taking advantage of the wartime chaos to take home valuable items. These instances of theft have led to several reported – and even more unreported – restitution claims and other efforts by looting victims to recover their property.

 

 

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IRS Publishes HTC Safe Harbor

Posted by eden on January 10, 2014 at 9:24 am : Blog

As one of its last items of business in 2013, the IRS released its long-awaited Revenue Procedure addressing Historic Tax Credits on December 30 (Revenue Procedure 2014-12, 26 C.F.R. § 601.105). The Rev Proc “establishes the requirements (the Safe Harbor) under which the [IRS] will not challenge partnership allocations of § 47 rehabilitation credits by a partnership to its partners” (Section 1). Early reviews report that the document resolves many of the questions the HTC community has been dealing with since the Third Circuit decided the Historic Boardwalk case last year. That case caused reluctance among tax credit investors to invest in new projects. Rev. Proc. 2014-12 is designed to address the ambiguity created by Historic Boardwalk and to encourage investment in historic structures by providing a reasonable safe harbor for HTC projects.

The Rev Proc applies to allocations made on or after December 30, 2013; for buildings placed into service before December 30, the IRS will not challenge allocations if they meet the same criteria. Here is a brief summary of the Rev Proc’s requirements:

  • The investor must invest at least 20% of its total expected contributions, and at least 75% of the total contributions must be fixed in amount, before the building is placed in service.
  • The investor must maintain at least 5% interest in each item of partnership income, losses, and tax credits for the taxable year for which the investor’s percentage share of that item is the largest.
  • The investor’s interest must have “a reasonably anticipated value commensurate with the Investor’s overall percentage interest in the Partnership,” and cannot be a substantially fixed amount.
  •  The investor cannot be substantially protected from losses and must participate in profits in a manner not limited to a preferred return.
  • The developer (Principal) must have at least a 1% interest in income, losses and tax credits.
  • Several limitations on the investor’s master tenant in an “inverted lease” to sublease the building back to the developer.
  • The developer’s promises to the investor are limited to “the performance of any acts necessary to claim the § 47 rehabilitation credits.” They must be unfunded, meaning that “no money or property is set aside to fund all or any portion of the guarantee, and if neither the person making the guarantee (the guarantor) nor any person under the control of the guarantor agrees to maintain a minimum net worth in connection with the guarantee.”
  • The developer cannot indemnify the investor against loss of tax credits in the case of an IRS challenge, although the investor is entitled to procure insurance from “persons not involved with the rehabilitation or the Partnership.”
  • The developer may not have a right to repurchase the investor’s interest, but the investor may have a right to force the developer to repurchase at fair market value.
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Halie Geller Discusses Gurlitt Case in Jewish Week

Posted by eden on December 31, 2013 at 9:09 am : Blog

Earlier this year, German Customs seized over 1,000 works of art from an apartment in Munich occupied by 80-year-old Cornelius Gurlitt, the son of Hildebrand Gurlitt, a Hamburg dealer who worked during the Nazi regime. The world’s art community has been paying close attention to the case.

CHP’s New York attorney Halie Geller recently commented on the case for The Jewish Week — please read the article here.

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Protecting Art During a Natural Disaster: AXA v. Christie’s

Posted by eden on December 23, 2013 at 11:59 am : Blog

By Caitlin McCurdy, Law Clerk

The unprecedented devastation of Hurricane Sandy forced many art owners to ask, what do I  do with my collection now that it’s been irreparably damaged? AXA Art Insurance Corporation v. Christie’s Fine Art Storage, No. 652862 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.. Aug. 15, 2013), brings this question into stark relief for one major collection.

The Jacqueline Piatigorsky Revocable Trust contracted with Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services to store its collection at Christie’s Warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  When Hurricane Sandy hit Brooklyn on October 29, 2012, the Trust’s art collection was in the staging area on the ground floor of Christie’s warehouse.  The Trust claims that the collection suffered severe damage and is seeking $1.5 million.

Background

AXA Art Insurance Corporation, which insured the Trust’s collection, alleges that the collection sustained damage during the storm because Christie’s negligently left it on the ground floor of the warehouse—despite repeated flood warnings that the Red Hook area could receive as much as 11 feet of water.  Authorities evacuated the entire Red Hook area before the storm.

In its complaint, AXA alleges that Christie’s sent two form emails to its clients, one before the storm and one after.  The first outlined the precautions Christie’s was prepared to take to mitigate any damage, including raising all of the art on the first floor off the ground.   Christie’s post-storm email stated that it had inspected the warehouse and found no damage to the property.  Despite these assurances, the Trust alleges that its collection suffered water damage, affecting its value to the tune of $1.5M.

Causes of Action & Christie’s Motion to Dismiss

AXA alleged four causes of action against Christie’s: (1) gross negligence, (2) negligent misrepresentation, (3) breach of contract (bailment), and (4) breach of contract (non-performance).  AXA claims that Christie’s was grossly negligent because it was on notice about the potential impact of Sandy, yet it left the collection on the ground floor staging area without even elevating it off the ground.  AXA also contends that Christie’s had no reasonable grounds for believing that the representations in made in its two emails were true, that it breached the bailment contract by failing to keep the collection in a reasonably safe condition, and that it breached the contract through nonperformance by leaving the art on the ground floor staging area for more than a week after representing to the Trust that it would only take one to two days to process the collection and place it in a secure storage area.

On November 22, Christie’s moved to dismiss AXA’s complaint.  Christie’s asserted that Sandy was an Act of God, meaning that no amount of foresight could have prevented the damage.  Christie’s also argued that the Trust agreed to procure insurance and waive subrogation against Christie’s for any loss or damage to the property.  The Loss Damage Liability Waiver (“LDL waiver”) that the Trust signed required the Trust to notify AXA of the LDL waiver and arrange for the insurance carrier to waive any rights of subrogation against Christie’s.  However, Christie’s argues that even if it is found liable, the Trust agreed to limit Christie’s liability to $100,000 for any loss of or damage to the property.

More News to Come

The outcome of this case is still pending.  Both parties have agreed to postpone a decision on Christie’s motion to dismiss until the end of January.  At this point, the “good news” takeaway for the Trust is that insurance pays, so regardless of the outcome of the subrogation suit, the Trust will be compensated.  The only undecided question is whether AXA or Christie’s will pay.  The “bad news” is that art is unique; a $1.5 million pay-out may not fix all of the damage and it certainly cannot replace a piece of the collection if it was totally destroyed.

Tips for art owners at the outset of possible natural disasters: Owners should always insure their collections, even though insurance is not a cure-all. Always follow up on mass communications so that you can receive specific information about the safety of your art. Natural disasters happen, and often their severity is not properly predicted.

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Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) Summit Registration Opens

Posted by marion on November 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm : Blog

Registration for the Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP) Summit: Honoring Our History, Fueling Our Future, is live.  This action-based conference will bring together the energy industry and the preservation community at the Fairmont Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA on March 21, 2014.

GAPP is a collaboration between the energy industry and the historic preservation community to protect sites that may be impacted by shale gas development.  GAPP is developing voluntary best practices for the industry that more effectively balance development and preservation concerns in the absence of federal and state regulations.  Cultural Heritage Partners is counsel to GAPP and provides day-to-day management of the effort.  Contact us to learn more.

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Join Marion Werkheiser at the National Preservation Conference Oct. 31

Posted by marion on October 29, 2013 at 1:14 pm : Blog

CHP Managing Member Marion Werkheiser will moderate a session entitled, “Bridging the GAPP: Mapping a New Policy Agenda for Shale Gas Development and Historic Preservation,” at the National Preservation Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana on Thursday, Oct. 31.  The session will feature a discussion between Mark Boling, the President of V+ Development Solutions, a division of Southwestern Energy, and Chuck Niquette, the President of Cultural Resource Analysts, Inc.  Mr. Boling and Mr. Niquette serve as Vice-Chair and Chair of the Gas and Preservation Partnership (GAPP).

The shale gas boom is expected to produce more than 1.6 million jobs by 2035 and has already increased America’s energy self-sufficiency and fueled much needed economic growth throughout the United States. Yet a significant amount of shale gas development takes place on private land with private funding and is exempt from National Historic Preservation Act compliance. The Society for American Archaeology has estimated that more than 195,000 cultural and historic sites could be at risk in just nine shale formations. With no cultural resource reviews required, unfortunate outcomes are already coming to light, such as the partial destruction of a significant Native American site in Pennsylvania and the disturbance of a cemetery near a historically black coal camp in West Virginia.

Instead of relying on traditional adversarial methods to address this problem, stakeholders are partnering to devise solutions.  GAPP serves as a mechanism for proactive collaboration between the preservation community and the shale gas industry to establish best practices that balance responsible shale development with our collective interest in preserving cultural and historic resources.

Join us at 3:00pm on Thursday, Oct. 31 in the Crowne Plaza Illinois Street Ballroom West in Indianapolis.

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