Arts, Culture, and Humanities

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area

  • Lawrence, KS
  • www.freedomsfrontier.org

Mission Statement

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area (FFNHA) is dedicated to building awareness of the struggles for freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas.

Main Programs

  1. Offer Interpretive Grants to Schools, Museums and Historic Sites and Organizations
  2. Create Regional Heritage Tourism Products for Visitors & Residents
  3. Provide and Support Professional Development Opportunities for Partner Organizations
  4. Create & Support Elementary, Secondary & Lifelong Learning Opportunities about Heritage Area Themes
  5. Provide signage for partner organizations, informational highway signs, and directional signage to increase traffic flow to partner sites
Service Areas

Self-reported

Kansas

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area is a bi-state heritage area with 12 western Missouri counties (Barton, Bates, Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray, St. Clair, Vernon), and 29 eastern Kansas counties (Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte).


ruling year

2003

Executive Director since 2015

Self-reported

Mr. Jim Ogle

Keywords

Self-reported

interpretation, conservation, preservation, education, economic development

Notes from the Nonprofit

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area is one of 49 congressionally-designated heritage areas in the country. Freedom's Frontier is dedicated to building awareness of the struggles for freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. These diverse, interwoven, and nationally important stories grew from a unique physical and cultural landscape. Freedom's Frontier inspires respect for multiple perspectives and empowers residents to preserve and share these stories. We achieve our goals through interpretation, preservation, conservation, and education for all residents and visitors.

Our heritage area covers 12 counties in western Missouri (Barton, Bates, Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Lafayette, Jackson, Johnson, Platte, Ray, St. Clair, Vernon) and 29 counties in eastern Kansas (Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte). Our bi-state heritage area has as its honorary co-chairs the governors of Missouri and Kansas.

Our themes are the shaping of the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War, and the enduring struggle for freedom. More than 200 active partners (historical societies, historic sites and museums, libraries and archives, genealogical societies and cemeteries, forts and battlefields, parks and trails, tourism bureaus and DMOs, economic development agencies, schools and educators, universities, humanities and arts councils, businesses, donors and other friends) work together to tell the stories of people, places and events that happened along the Missouri-Kansas border that shaped the region and impacted the nation.

Partners pay no dues. They sign a partnership pledge, and work together for the greater good of the region. Ongoing projects include: directional signage and partnership signs; Interpretation Grants to partners seeking to enhance their site's ability to tell their stories and connect them to the heritage area's stories; technical assistance, seminars and workshops; tourism itineraries and raising awareness of Freedom's Frontier; site preservation and conservation; history awards for high school students; recognition of our most valuable partners with an annual award.

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Also Known As

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, Inc.

EIN

48-1246975

 Number

7769667156

Physical Address

200 W. 9th St.

Lawrence, KS 66044

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Historical Societies and Related Activities (A80)

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Citizenship Programs, Youth Development (O54)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

In 2017, Freedom's Frontier: is Implementing gateway and directional signage in Olathe (Johnson County) Kansas and Butler (Bates County) Missouri, to assist in getting travelers to partnering museums and historic sites. Signage is also going up throughout the heritage area to indicate sites are partners in Freedom's Frontier; produced history summer daycamps for more than 250 4th-5th grade Boys and Girls Club students in Topeka, Lawrence, Olathe, Manhattan and Kansas City, Kansas; Independence and Kansas City, Missouri. More than twenty partner sites participated in camps with "Civil War to Civil Rights" learning activities and kayaking; provided six urban high school students summer employment in a Freedom Corps that traveled to 17 partner sites to assist with projects from maintenance to interpretation. They had fun while learning local history, life skills, and about their role as community stewards; contributed to field trip transportation costs. Freedom's Frontier created a website where educators could find programs that meet history curriculum criteria. Since August 2015 we've received 33 Bus On Us! applications, and awarded $8798.45 for classroom visits to 13 partner sites, serving 2,510 students and 191 adults; awarded Interpretive Grants of up to $5,000. Funded projects have included: indoor or outdoor exhibits, podcasts, tour brochures, mobile tours, videos, storytelling sessions, author readings and public murals. More than 80 grants have been approved since 2012.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Offer Interpretive Grants to Schools, Museums and Historic Sites and Organizations

This is an ongoing program designed to empower our partner museums and historic sites to preserve and share their Freedom's Frontier related stories in a more compelling and connected fashion. The grant program allows partners to put the knowledge about improving interpretation and making connections that they gain from attending partner meetings into practice at their sites. Grants are matched by grantee organizations through financial or in-kind resources. Grant projects have proven to create opportunities for new partnerships, programming and future projects which help generate a cohesive visitor experience and boost economic development.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Program 2

Create Regional Heritage Tourism Products for Visitors & Residents

This is an ongoing program designed to develop heritage tourism products that provide residents and visitors with a better understanding of the region's history and create an economic impact through heritage tourism. Heritage tourists spend more time and money than the average traveler. Creating heritage tourism products like thematic tours and products that tie recreation and heritage together will entice these tourists to explore the history of the region, thereby improving chances for sustainability in heritage attractions and stimulating the regional economy. As an added benefit, these products will provide a greater understanding of the importance of the heritage area to its residents.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 3

Provide and Support Professional Development Opportunities for Partner Organizations

This is an ongoing program designed to raise the level of professionalism and sustainability at partner sites and organizations, including historic sites, museums, historical societies, libraries and DMOs. Additionally, Freedom's Frontier works to increase cooperation between these organizations throughout the heritage area. The heritage area depends on strong partners. The most effective means to strengthen the heritage area is to invest in the vitality of our partners and serve as a central coordinating entity that can help facilitate multi-partner projects.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Budget

Program 4

Create & Support Elementary, Secondary & Lifelong Learning Opportunities about Heritage Area Themes

This is an ongoing program designed to raise awareness of the struggles for freedom in western Missouri and eastern Kansas. These stories are central to the evolving ideal and fundamental American value of freedom and humanities education focusing on these stories can help to inspire respect for multiple perspectives and strengthen American democracy.

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

Program 5

Provide signage for partner organizations, informational highway signs, and directional signage to increase traffic flow to partner sites

Provide partnering sites with signage indicating their affiliation with Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area; work with the Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation to post informational signs on major highways in the heritage area; working with counties and municipalities to install directional signage for partner sites

Category

Arts, Culture & Humanities

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Our 2017 goals include: Increasing our endowment through financial contributions; expanding daycamps and Freedom Corps; producing a comprehensive marketing plan, implementing a traveler's app, and putting informational kiosks with brochure racks at partner sites; continuing implementation of the master signage plan.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area has a written plan, the 2009 Management Plan, that outlines short-term and long-term strategy for the heritage area.

    Partnership plays a large role in Freedom's Frontier. Partners offer ideas and guide the creation of an annual workplan, which is filed with the Midwest Region office of the National Park Service. Partners and Board of Trustees are surveyed annually by Freedom's Frontier to identify needs and shape the annual workplan.

    The workplan outlines project goals, who is responsible for goal achievement, and project budget. Additionally, staff have individual workplans.

    Freedom's Frontier staff and partners work to identify funding opportunities from government entities, foundations, and other grants. Freedom's Frontier already offers daycamps in seven communities. In summer 2017, daycamps will be expanded to provide the service to students in Osawatomie, KS.

    A marketing committee with staff, Trustees and partners is meeting regularly to discuss ways to increase awareness of the heritage area. The Freedom's Frontier website has microsites for partnering organizations, some of which are small and might not have staff to maintain their own websites. Microsites for partners, and a list of potential partners are being updates in preparation for working with an existing travel app to add Freedom's Frontier sites. Construction of informational brochure kiosks is underway. The first six will be completed in 2017, with a goal of creating 24 more, and placing all of them at partner sites. The first one is slated to go to the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park, KS.

    Signage customized to the needs of partner sites is going up throughout the heritage area. Two sizes of signs can be mounted inside or outside at partner sites to indicate Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Partner Site. At the request of partners, two sizes of window clings that also indicate Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area Partner Site have been created. The window clings are affordable for sites with small budgets, and allow them to promote the heritage area on doors and windows at their sites. The signage coordinator continues to work with the National Park Service, the Missouri and Kansas departments of transportation, and governmental entities in counties and municipalities to implement the signage plans for gateway, highway and directional signage in two pilot locations: Olathe, KS, in Johnson County, and Butler, MO, in Bates County. Signs are going up in Butler and Bates County, and should soon begin to be installed in Olathe. A recent success came when MODOT agreed to let Freedom's Frontier highway signage include the Arrowhead logo of the National Park Service.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area relies on its partnership to help: identify heritage area needs, guide organizational goals, and implement programs. Partners meet in the odd-numbered months to network, get project updates, and participate in training seminars and workshops, tour the meeting facility and gain knowledge about historical connections among the partner sites. Partners are also advocates for funding, with legislators, and inform Freedom's Frontier staff on pressing issues of running a historic site. Partners have assisted Freedom's Frontier with meeting federal grant match by working with their elected officials to provide funding for the heritage area.

    Staff maintain relationships with partner sites, legislators at the city, county, state and federal level, and provide updates on projects. Staff includes: an executive director, managing director, partnership coordinator, youth camp coordinator, education and interpretation manager, communications and marketing manager, signage coordinator, and university student interns who all bring a variety of skills to the operation of the heritage area.

    One hundred percent of the Board of Trustees contribute financially to the organization. Trustees represent various aspects of the heritage area, so that representatives for tourism and convention visitor bureaus, economic development, museums, historical societies and historic sites, and community volunteers can all bring knowledge and expertise to the table. Board members gather for regular meetings six times per year, at a partner location in either Kansas or Missouri, and are offered a facility tour to assist them in learning about the heritage area's partner sites.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    Progress is tracked with the 2009 Management Plan. Annual workplans follow the plan outlined in the management plan. All projects must align with the management plan.

    Progress in the youth programs can be tracked by the number of individual students are served by daycamps, and the number of partner sites that join the program as daycamp sites. It can also be tracked by the number of communities served. In 2017, the daycamps will expand from seven to eight communities.

    The Freedom Corp program's progress can be tracked by the number of students that Freedom's Frontier can employ during the summer, and the number of sites that provide work for the students. In 2016, six students worked at 17 sites.

    Progress with the marketing plan will be shown as the informational kioks are completed and installed at various partner locations, by the number of brochures distributed through the kiosks, and by having partners help track attendance. The app for travelers will be tracked through metrics and statistics on clicks to partner sites.

    There is a Comprehensive Master Signage Plan that was created by an outside vendor to show areas of greatest traffic on highways in the heritage area. When signs have been installed at the 25 locations in Missouri and Kansas that have the most traffic, we will have succeeded at the first phase of highway signage. When all partners have installed Freedom's Frontier Partner Site signs, we will have success at that phase of signage. When directional signage is installed at the pilot sites in Olathe, KS, and Butler, MO, we will then identify the next communities to work with to continue the plan.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Freedom's Frontier has increased staff from a two-person operation to having four full-time employees, three part-time employees, high school Freedom Corps workers, and university interns. This has allowed staff to specialize and concentrate efforts on managing operations, fundraising, education and interpretation, youth programs, communications and marketing, signage, and partnership relationships.

    Partnership has increased from around 125 active partners on our printed map brochure, to more than 200 active partners that all want to be included on the next printing of the map. In addition, the National Park Service has allowed us to partner with several NPS sites that are outside of our heritage area boundaries, but still connect to our themes of shaping the frontier, the Missouri-Kansas Border War, and the enduring struggle for freedom. We have identified more potential partner sites, and will contact them through our monthly fieldwork days to share information about the heritage area and invite their participation.

    Signage is one of the programs that partner sites have asked for since the heritage area was established. Though we have not yet been able to get signage in every community in our 41-county region, we have initiated programs to make signage available that indicates Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area partnership, and we will soon have signs in the ground at two pilot sites: Olathe, KS, and Butler, MO (where some signs are already in place).

    The traveler's app, an existing app that we will connect our partners with, has not yet been updated with all of our partner locations. Our website and the information we maintain about partner sites is being updated to facilitate exporting information to the app. Potential partners have been identified. A marketing plan for the app is being developed. Information kiosks are being built. Six kiosks of a goal of 30 to be placed this year, are under construction.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Kansas

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area is a bi-state heritage area with 12 western Missouri counties (Barton, Bates, Buchanan, Cass, Clay, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray, St. Clair, Vernon), and 29 eastern Kansas counties (Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Bourbon, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Linn, Miami, Montgomery, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Wilson, Woodson, Wyandotte).


Additional Documents

Social Media

Funding Needs

Endowment: Freedom's Frontier enabling legislation expires in 2021. While it is feasible that the national heritage area will be reauthorized, the national heritage area needs to be on sound financial footing to weather any potential political climate. To that end, our greatest need is to build an endowment that can sustain Freedom's Frontier in 2021 and beyond. Board Members: The Freedom's Frontier Board of Trustees welcomes the addition of qualified, competent, interested and engaged Missourians and Kansans who are willing to serve on the Board. New ideas and perspectives are always welcome at the table. Partners: Freedom's Frontier is a coalition of willing partners who want to preserve, interpret and promote our shared Missouri-Kansas history. New partners are welcome to get engaged with our mission by attending partner meetings, applying for interpretive grants and helping with the various initiatives of the national heritage area.

Accreditations

Videos

photos


External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

TERRITORIAL KANSAS HERITAGE ALLIANCE
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair, Board Co-Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Community
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Executive Director

Mr. Jim Ogle

BIO

Jim Ogle, who was the general manager for Topeka television station WIBW-TV for nine years, was named the organization's executive director in December 2015. He worked in journalism for more than three decades. "I was looking for a different challenge, and now I've found it," Ogle said. "I've been a storyteller all my life. This is a great job to tell great stories of heritage and how it relates to today."

The goal of Freedom's Frontier is to bring awareness to the struggles during the Civil War in Kansas and Missouri. The National Heritage Area covers 29 eastern Kansas counties and 12 counties in western Missouri. Ogle said he wants to highlight the unique history of the 41-county area.

One of his first projects would be to establish signage throughout the area that would help people identify significant sites of the Civil-War era, he said. "I'd be really excited if at some point we could see that people have a better understanding about what Freedom's Frontier is," Ogle said. "Our story is unique and interesting; the border wars, the fight over desegregation, once people hear the story they're surprised of the kind of conflict that occurred here as people defined who got what amount of freedom where."

Ogle, who lives in Topeka, has previously worked in Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and North Carolina. He was a former president of Downtown Topeka Inc. and has served on other nonprofit boards. Ogle graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

STATEMENT FROM THE Executive Director

"A National Heritage Area is a place designated by Congress where natural, cultural, historic and recreational resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally distinctive landscape arising from patterns of human activity shaped by geography.

After seven years of local work and full support from the Kansas/Missouri Congressional delegation, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area was granted national designation bringing with it affiliation with the National Park Service. Our region, with its divisive history still powerfully remembered, still refers to the state boundary as a "border." Yet today our citizens are learning to integrate their differing points of view into a shared story. With leadership from Freedom's Frontier, our region can attract interest and visitors, yielding educational, cultural and economic benefits.

This was especially true as we commemorated the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011, when national attention was focused on how this conflict came about. To call our western Missouri and eastern Kansas homeland the birthplace of the Civil War is no exaggeration.

Our landscape is dotted with places that capture the pivotal role this region played in the development of the nation. Citizens are beginning to pool resources, set common goals, and encourage dialog to transform our story into a plan of action to bring greater awareness to our shared heritage and to reap the economic and social benefits of doing so.

Together we weave our individual stories into a cohesive experience explained through divergent yet integrated philosophical perspectives, connected by maps, virtual guideposts, and honest, accurate explanations designed to educate, enlighten, and bring to life the rich and diverse impact that made this region Freedom's Frontier."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mrs. Jody Ladd Craig

Community Volunteer

Term: Jan 2013 - Dec 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

Yes

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

No

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


ORGANIZATIONAL DEMOGRAPHICS

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

Gender
Race & Ethnicity
Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Diversity Strategies
No
We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
No
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
No
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
No
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
No
We have a diversity committee in place
No
We have a diversity manager in place
No
We have a diversity plan
No
We use other methods to support diversity