2021 Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards Open for Nominations, Deadline: Jan. 21

The Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology (SOULA) has won a 2020 Oregon Heritage Excellence Award for its work on the Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project. Photo Credit: SOU News

Nominations for the 2021 Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards Program are now being accepted. Criteria and the application process can be found online through the Oregon Heritage website www.oregonheritage.org or by contacting Oregon Heritage Coordinator Katie Henry or (503) 877-8834. The deadline for submitting nominations is January 14, 2021.

The Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations for outstanding efforts on behalf of Oregon’s heritage, drawing public attention to these efforts, and raising the quality of heritage-oriented activities. The Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemetery Preservation is a special category that may be awarded to one individual, organization, or project demonstration excellence in preservation of historic cemeteries.

Nominations are encouraged for organizations and projects of all sizes and heritage purposes and for volunteers and professionals from all heritage sectors.

“The award recipients represent the exceptional efforts to preserve Oregon’s heritage,” said Katie Henry, coordinator for the Oregon Heritage Commission. “They serve as models for others for innovative, collaborative, and authentic approaches to preserving Oregon’s stories.”

2020’s Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards event in April was canceled due to COVID-19. In order to honor last year’s recipients we created videos of the award winners that are now available to view here.

2020 recipients included:

— Astoria YMCA Restoration Project, Astoria, for excellence in fa?ade restoration of a nearly abandoned building and honoring the building’s civic roots in reuse. Award Video<https://youtu.be/0x4YC-Y1BSs>.

— Black Butte Cupola Restoration Project, Sisters, for a collaborative historic preservation effort between Friends of the Metolius and Deschutes National Forest to restore and preserve the 1922 look-out structure. Award Video<https://youtu.be/u61Vps0yxXM>.

— Brookside Pioneer Cemetery, Dayton, for creating a cemetery preservation plan, documenting conditions, and repairing over 121 headstones to their original upright positions (Sally Donovan Award for Historic Cemeteries). Award Video<https://youtu.be/7uGCrY56Z4o>.

— Janice Dilg, Portland, scholar, public historian, and history builder who uncovers diverse voices of resistance, particularly related to Oregon’s women’s history. Award Video<https://youtu.be/ivIaMfJoCG4>.

— David Ellis, Portland, for a distinguished 50-year career preserving Oregon’s archaeological, ethnohistoric, and historic resources and encouraging Tribal participation in cultural resources management. Award Video<https://youtu.be/Xu9hqAznOM0>.

— Eileen Fitzsimons, Portland, for dedicated statewide work on heritage projects preserving Oregon’s history, including devotion to historic trails, the Oregon Quilt Project, and local history. Award Video<https://youtu.be/bfuQi0gQsF0>.

— Oregon Chinese Diaspora Project, Southern & Eastern Oregon, a grassroots Federal/State/Local partnership in public archaeology helping to rewrite the role of the Chinese diaspora and Chinese Oregonians in the history of the state. Award Video.<https://youtu.be/Urw4LYYoBO8>

— Don Peting, Eugene, founder of PNW Field School and central figure at UO Historic Preservation Program for 40 years who has created a ripple effect through those he has taught. Award Video.<https://youtu.be/U7mETkhYzAE>

— Racing for Change- The Eugene Story, Eugene & Salem, a partnership between Oregon Black Pioneers and the Museum of Natural and Cultural History that prioritized community outreach and input to tell a local story about race relations in Eugene. Award Video.<https://youtu.be/TWEbKgbskB4>

— Phyllis Zegers, Roseburg, a dedicated volunteer who has researched over 3,360 unclaimed cremated remains in the custody of the Oregon State Hospital and assisted in reuniting approximately 573 urns with family members. Award Video<https://youtu.be/NMTHToAb5pA>.

The 2021 awards will be presented at the Oregon Heritage Virtual Summit, April 29-30, by Oregon Heritage, a division of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The announcement for 2021 awardees will be made in February 2021. Tickets for the awards presentation will be made available this coming spring.

For more information visit www.oregonheritage.org.