cultural heritage, Nordic American Churches


engaging Artists and Communities to Preserve Nordic heritage Churches is a new initiative of Partners for Sacred Places (PSP, www. sacredplaces.org). Founded in 1989, PSP is the only national, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization focused on building the capacity of congregations of historic sacred places to better serve their communities as anchor institutions, nurturing transformation and shaping vibrant, creative communities. The Nordic heritage churches project represents the first broad inventory of Nordic American churches and seeks to raise the profile of Nordic cultural heritage in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (a geographic area determined by the project funder). These churches reflect cultural roots in nineteenth- and early twentiethcentury immigration from Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark. The inventory will result in a publicly accessible and userfriendly website that builds awareness and encourages study of Nordic heritage churches in the region. This inventory, the first of its kind, demonstrates the wide array of sacred places that exist across these six upper Midwestern states, and it will make it easier for scholars, practitioners and members of the public to find these sacred places, to visit them, support them, and preserve them. Currently, we have identified over two thousand Nordic heritage churches in the study area, and that number is expected to increase.