Judy Billings is going to Washington this week looking for $10 million in federal assistance to promote and preserve history in Lawrence, Douglas County and another 37 counties of eastern Kansas and western Missouri.
Billings, director of the Lawrence Convention & Visitors Bureau and executive vice president of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, is leading an effort to establish Freedom's Frontier: Bleeding Kansas and the Enduring Struggle for Freedom National Heritage Area. She is scheduled to testify today before the House Resources Committee's Subcommittee on National Parks.
A bill to establish the heritage area passed the Senate on July 26. The bill would provide money during the next 15 years to develop and promote exhibits, museums and historic sites within the region, including Watkins Community Museum of History in Lawrence, Constitution Hall in Lecompton and Black Jack Battlefield near Baldwin.