My summer spent working in Macon turned out to be quite different than what I expected. I went to Macon with the idea that I was getting away from Missouri to partake in an internship over the not-so-thrilling topic of tax credits. Little did I know what awaited me. My spring 2016 school semester was my first introduction to historic tax credits, and what I gathered was they were complicated and pretty boring. However, right from the start Historic Macon Foundation (HMF) showed the potential of utilizing tax credits to help improve the city through historic districts. I never imagined the outstanding improvements possible through historic tax credits without experiencing it on a larger scale. It was not an experience you can get in the classroom.
Preservation is a team effort. Not only did I witness first-hand the importance of communication between the staff at Historic Macon Foundation, but also with their clients, members, volunteers, and fellow preservation foundations, just to name a few. All of these groups were factors in making sure each project or event ran smoothly. It’s always stressed in grad school that you should be a team player in preservation, but until you see it in action the concept is often taken for granted. I knew communication was important coming into my internship, but seeing the benefits of working together to make something happen really showed me the power of collaboration.
Tax credits are only a small part of historic preservation. Without communication between the individuals involved in each scenario, it would be impossible to achieve goals. Even though tax credits can be daunting, the finished projects are always incredible and well-worth the process it takes to make them happen.