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Historic Preservation Month: First Annual Save Your Spaces Festival

Tanzy Ward

The heart of historic preservation is its community. Many unsung stories and legacies are overlooked and not preserved properly. These intricate stories and spaces are deeply rooted in the identity of America. Unfortunately, many historical Black spaces are not being celebrated and registered as official historic sites. Save Your Spaces, Georgia’s first annual historic preservation festival aims to spread the awareness of protecting Black spaces. The festival provides education, activation, and inspiration for historic preservation efforts. I am honored to be a presenter and panelist at the innovative and exciting festival, which is a first of its kind. 

The first annual Save Your Spaces festival is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The festival focuses on the education, activation, and inspiration for cultural heritage and historic preservation efforts. 

Historic preservation involves several different factors and solutions. We all can aid in protecting cultural heritage and preserving important stories from the past. Protecting the community’s historical theater or youth center, implementing effective ways to stop blight in historic communities, preserving family ancestral photos or heirlooms, and listening to the stories/memories that our elders share with us are all vital to progressive historic preservations. 

“Unsung Portraits: Anonymous Images of Black Victorians and 20th Century Ancestors” celebrates the stories and lives of 19th and early 20th century  African American photography. The book features all original portraits from my personal collection of antique photography and is available to purchase At Zanathia Jewelry. 

Although historic preservation month is in May, every day is a good day to help protect sacred spaces and sentimental stories. Every community should value historic preservation and encourage others to support historical cultural heritage efforts. Hopefully the Save Your Spaces Historic Preservation Festival will continue to grow and inspire others. Each of us has personal family memories, places, and heirlooms that we value. Protecting these precious stories is not only important for studying the past but is vital to the present & future as well. 

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