Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton FL 34208
Our mission is to preserve our past to enrich our future. The Manatee County Historical Commission does this by:
  • Advocating for historic preservation and cultural tourism;
  • Preserving historic buildings and artifacts;
  • Educating the public through our programming; 
  • Creating and maintaining the historical environment of the Manatee Village Historical Park; and
  • Raising community and financial support to maintain and expand these efforts.
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
Board Chair Hinning Bolanos
Board Chair Affiliation Perfect Aide for Seniors
General Info
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1979
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes Feb 2017
State Registration 0
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $38,900.00
Projected Expenses $33,400.00
Impact Statement

  During the last year the Manatee County Historical Commission has:

  1. Completed four year restoration of 1887 Old Meeting House Church steeple. 
  2. Adopted an organizational Code of Ethics and a Collections Management Policy in order to achieve best practices for preserving and interpreting Manatee County's settlement history.
  3. Served 250 students through the production of Manatee County History Fair, supported 27 students who proceeded to the next level of competition at Florida History Fair, also seven students and one teacher who proceeded to compete at National History Day in College Park, Maryland.
  4. Served over 1,500 members of the community through no cost educational presentations and programming.
  5. Raised funding to complete the first phase of improvements to walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park which will ensure better accessibility for all visitors.

Goals for 2015 - 2016:

  1. Complete first phase, and raise funding to complete the second phase of  walkway improvement project. 
  2. Complete a board approved Emergency Preparedness Plan and prioritize a list of emergency preparedness needs and supplies.
  3. Increase number of students served through Manatee County History Fair to 300 or greater.
  4. Increase number of community members served through educational programming and presentations at Manatee Village Historical Park to 2,000 or greater.
  5. Devise and implement a fundraising plan for the restoration of the 1886 William H. Vanderipe House.
Needs Statement

  1. $12,000 to continue improvement of pedestrian walkways throughout Manatee Village Historical Park and increase accessibility to structures/exhibits;
  2. Sponsorships of $25 - $1,000 for Manatee County History Fair and/or Spirit Voices from Old Manatee;
  3. Volunteers to help conduct school programs for elementary school aged children, help facilitate Manatee County History Fair, conduct group tours of Manatee Village Historical Park, or work in the Whistle Stop Gift Shop;
  4. Knowledgeable, active volunteers to serve on the Manatee County Historical Commission and/or its standing committees and task forces;
  5. $9,000 to repaint 1887 Old Meeting House Church and to install a protective barrier around the base of the structure to protect newly installed climate control system's ductwork.


Background Statement
In 1974, a group of women left a business meeting of Manatee United Methodist Church, and lamented how they could save their historic sanctuary, which had been built in 1887.  The structure, along with a smaller building owned by the congregation, once Manatee County’s first courthouse, were to be torn down to make room for a new sanctuary and parking lot to accomodate a growing congregation. That night, they vowed to do all that they could to save the two structures.
The initial group, who rallied to save the two buildings, became known as the H.O.M.E. (Heritage of Manatee’s Environment) Committee.  Realizing that Manatee County had once had a Historical Commission which was no longer operating, they convinced the Board of County Commissioners to reestablish the Manatee County Historical Commission by ordinance making the Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court a perpetual member.  The remaining sixteen members would be appointed by the Board of County Commission each year.  They also organized the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. with its purpose to protect and preserve Manatee County’s history and to educate the county’s residents and visitors about that history.  As both a government ordained and a non-profit organization, the Manatee County Historical Commission stood ready to take on the task of saving the 1887 church and the 1860 courthouse. 
Both buildings were moved to the Park in December of 1974.  The effort became part of Manatee County’s celebration of the United States bicentennial and some funding for the bicentennial effort became seed money for the establishment of the Manatee Village Historical Park.  Most of the funding, however, came from private donors raised by Historical Commission members asking their friends, community leaders, and businesses for support.  The Park officially opened to the public on July 4, 1976. The effort continues today through encouraging historical preservation as Manatee County continues to grow and develop, as well as through raising support for the maintenance of the collection of buildings at Manatee Village Historical Park. For over thirty-five years, donations, grants, expertise and volunteers supplied by the Manatee County Historical Commission, Inc. and funding made available through the Clerk of Circuit Court by the Board of County Commission has allowed residents as well as visitors from far & wide to experience Manatee County’s pioneer heritage in its various buildings and programming. 
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
FL- Hillsborough
FL- Charlotte
FL- DeSoto
FL- Hardee
FL- Lee
Areas Served Comments Manatee Village Historical Park hosts visitors from all fifty states, as well as many international visitors each year. The majority of our visitors and program recipients are from Manatee, Sarasota, and Pinellas Counties, whether seasonal residents from the northern states, or year-round members of our community. Students from many surrounding counties participate in field trip programming at this location as well.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Arts,Culture & Humanities
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Description Manatee Village includes twelve structures and points of interest which were originally constructed during Manatee County’s settlement period, between 1860 and 1920. Each of these serves as a sort of time machine - an educational tool and monument to those who established our community, as well as a place to create dialogs that reach across generations and bridge cultural differences. Yet, beyond these, there are many and varied benefits that come from historical preservation projects like ours. They keep our community beautiful, vibrant, and livable. Historic preservation supports community building by making our surroundings richer for having the tangible presence of past eras and historic styles.
Budget $15,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Historic Preservation & Conservation
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified
Short Term Success Most recently, the Manatee County Historical Commission has been able to complete restoration of the 1887 Old Meeting House Church steeple from damage caused by termite infestation. The project called for a “from the ground up” approach, which was completed in phases as funding for each phase was achieved. Through the generosity of many members of our community, we have been able to work toward ensuring that this special structure, which has borne witness to the events of the last 127 years, will continue to be a landmark and part of our community for generations to come.
Long Term Success Each structure which has been saved from the wrecking ball, moved to, and restored at Manatee Village Historical Park is a testament to the long term success of the historical preservation program of the Manatee County Historical Commission. This historic site demonstrates how public awareness, civic incentive, as well as private support for the preservation of our local historic landscapes, architecture, and sites of local historic significance can play a role in developing a vibrant and livable community with economic benefits that extend beyond the borders of Manatee Village Historical Park, through revitalization, tourism and revenue generation.Historic preservation also demonstrates an environmentally friendly way to revitalize business districts and residential neighborhoods. And finally, preserved structures teach local heritage, increase understanding of the past and encourage cultural respect and civic responsibility.
Program Success Monitoring To determine the success of historical preservation efforts at Manatee Village, we monitor several factors. Initially, we monitor visitation numbers and commentary from the visitor perspective. We also monitor the ongoing physical condition of the preserved structures as maintenance and upkeep demonstrate effective stewardship of program funding. And finally, we monitor trends in donor support, which are a good indication of how our visitors are impacted by their own experience with the structures and their appreciation for care that has been exhibited in the maintenance of them.
Program Success Examples In 2014, more than 12,000 visitors of all ages and backgrounds were immersed into Manatee County’s pioneer past through their “time travel” amongst the buildings and structures at Manatee Village Historical Park. Each restoration project completed is a testament to the success of the program. Our most recent success is that of restoring the 1887 Old Meeting House Church Steeple.
Description The Manatee County History Fair, now in its 30th year, is a year-long education program affiliated with the rigorous and nationally recognized National History Day program that began in 1974. This program engages students in grades 6-12 in the discovery and interpretation of historical research. Students choose an historical topic related to an annual theme and conduct extensive research using libraries, archives, museums, oral history interviews, and websites. After analyzing and interpreting their primary and secondary sources and drawing conclusions about their topic’s significance in history, students work creatively and collaboratively to present their work in an original paper, exhibit, website, performance, or documentary. These presentations are held at the classroom, county, state, and national levels.
Budget $10,800
Category Education, General/Other Educational Programs
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) K-12 (5-19 years)
Short Term Success The Manatee County History Fair is a district competition of the National History Day program and is aimed at promoting civics and history education. Last year, local sponsors, helped strengthen education in our community and reward students for their hard work and dedication through support of programs costs, awards, and scholarships to help families cover travel expenses at the state and national levels of competition. Thanks to last year’s History Fair supporters, we were able to take a team of 28 students to Florida History Fair and send seven students and one teacher to the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland.
Long Term Success

In addition to facilitating the discovery of the past, Manatee County History Fair, as an affiliate of National History Day, also helps students develop the following attributes that are critical for future success:

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills,
  • Research and reading skills,
  • Oral and written communication and presentation skills,
  • Self-esteem and confidence, and
  • A sense of responsibility for and involvement in the democratic process.
Program Success Monitoring Each year program success is monitored not only by the number of students participating at Manatee County History Fair, but also by the number of Manatee County teachers who use the program in their classroom. Success is also measured by the number of students who arrive at Manatee County History Fair with projects that will be competitive at the state level, and by how many projects from Manatee County are selected to represent the State of Florida at the National History Day competition in College Park, Maryland.
Program Success Examples Many past participants of Manatee County History Fair have recounted how the skills they learned through participation in the program, such as how to research, take notes, organize their findings, and write a bibliography have given them an advantage during their first semester at college. We have often heard how they have excelled over class mates having had extensive experience with these concepts. Many past participants also relate how the interview and oral communications skills they practiced, as well as the self-esteem and confidence they developed as part of the program were invaluable as they began to search for employment.
Description Spirit Voices from Old Manatee is an original living history program. For three weekends in October, volunteer actors in period dress personify Manatee’s early pioneers. Their graveside dialogs are based on factual, historical records and local legends. They convey tales of triumphs, tragedies, humorous anecdotes and common humanity. The program is an experience like no other, unfolding at the Old Settler’s House at Manatee Village Historical Park with a Victorian wake and continuing by torch-light, as the sun sets at the 1850 Manatee Burying Grounds. Financial support is essential to present an entertaining show, support crowd control volunteers and committed volunteer actors, and to provide for guest safety and comfort. Sponsorships further the impact of funds raised through ticket sales for this program. Funds which are raised through Spirit Voices from Old Manatee support free community educational programming and preservation activities at Manatee Village.
Budget $4,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served General/Unspecified Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Short Term Success Spirit Voices from Old Manatee aims to educate the public about the lives of early Southwest Florida pioneers. It is designed to make local history accessible and engaging – even for those who may not consider themselves “history buffs.” Many visitors have left the show deeply moved, with a new appreciation for the differences and similarities they discover between themselves and the characters they come to know through the program.
Long Term Success This program allows us to broaden the reach of our mission to include new audiences and to encourage the appreciation and preservation of our rich local heritage.Funds raised through ticket sales also help to support our mission through community educational programming and preservation projects.The Manatee County Historical Commission believes that history lays the groundwork for strong, resilient communities. Understanding who we are, where we came from, and why is vital to developing a sense of place, which connects people to each other and to their community.
Program Success Monitoring Program success is monitored by the number of tickets sold, and the number of shows necessary to accommodate demand. Sell-out performances each season continue to demonstrate program success. In addition to ticket sales, sponsorship retention and cultivation also helps to monitor success of the program, as does the resulting impact of the funds raised through the program each year, such as program enhancements afforded to the production and support generated for educational and restoration programs.
Program Success Examples With the financial boost from community supporters, we have grown program impact exponentially. As an example, funds raised through this program have made it possible to continuously fund the upcoming production season and, this year, enabled funding to complete the Steeple Restoration project at the 1887 Old Meeting House Church.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Phaedra Carter
CEO Term Start Jan 2011
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Christine Brown Special Events & Marketing Coordinator
Patrick Files Maintenance Technician
Melissa Porter Education & Volunteer Coordinator
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 100
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 130
Management Reports to Board N/A
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation N/A

The Manatee County Historical Commission collaborates with the Manatee County Clerk of Ciruit Court & Comptroller for administrative functions. The Historical Commission is considered a government appointed advisory board. New board memebrs nominated by a vote of the current board, then are appointed by the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners. This process is established by County Ordinance. The Ordinance provides that the Manatee County Clerk of Court will serve on this board as an ex-officio member, and as such has the ability to provide staff to tend to the business of the Manatee County Historical Commission. The Manatee County Historical Commission is a partner in maintaining Manatee Village Historical Park along with the Manatee County Clerk of Court’s Department of Historical Resources, due to this arrangement. The Clerk of Court’s office also provides an operating budget which covers utilities, office supplies, telecommunications systems, minor maintenance, some volunteer education and recognition needs, some school programming, and the salaries of Manatee Village Historical Park staff. Staff facilitates the meetings & business of the Historical Commission, & maintain its records and finances. 

External Assessments and Accreditations
National Register of Historic Places - Listed Property1976
Awards & Recognition
Florida Preservation Award - Meritorious Achievement in Rehabilitaition of Non-Residential StrucutreFlorida Trust for Historic Preservation1991
Risk Management Provisions
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 15
Strategic Plan Adopted May 2011
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization We have a unique situation, as our staff is not provided by the non-profit, but rather by the Clerk of Court (the employer). This explains why the Staff Evaluations are "N/A."
Other Documents
Other Document 2
MCHC Whistleblower Policy
Board Chair
Board Chair Hinning Bolanos
Company Affiliation Perfect Aide for Seniors
Board Term Jan 2016 to Dec 2016
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
C. Joan Baldy Community Volunteer
Pam Blalock Community Volunteer
Hinning Bolanos Perfect Aide for Seniors, LLC
Elizabeth J. Boling Community Volunteer
Anne Castellina USF Cullinary Innovation Lab
Angelina "Angel" M. Colonneso Manatee County Clerk of Circuit Court & Comptroller
Ed Faraone Global Federation for Sustainable Development
Catherine Ferrer Realize Bradenton
Wylene Graham Retired
Jan Greene Community Volunteer
Bridgette Halliburton Community Volunteer
Norma Kennedy Parrish Civic Association
John Nash Manatee County Rural Health Services, Inc.
Jim Reger Retired
Mimi Tran Community Volunteer
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 4
Female 11
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 4
Board Term Limits 0
Board Orientation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Board Meeting Attendance % 69
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 53
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Board Governance
Fiscal Affairs
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2015
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $38,900.00
Projected Expenses $33,400.00
Organization has Endowment Yes
Endowment Value $104,305.00
Endowment Spending Policy Income Only
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose The goal of this project is to improve walkways and increase accessibility to historic structures throughout Manatee Village. The cost of the entire project - including Phases I, II, and III - is estimated at $36,000.
Campaign Goal $36,000.00
Campaign Dates Dec 2014 to 0
Amount Raised To Date 24100 as of July 2016
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$90,755$26,017$20,518
Administration Expense$19,707$17,961$12,159
Fundraising Expense$0$0$593
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.742.442.20
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%59%62%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%1%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$643,690$678,412$620,515
Current Assets$201,403$231,139$212,206
Long-Term Liabilities$87,641$94,680$96,907
Current Liabilities$1,456$53$3,132
Total Net Assets$554,583$583,679$520,476
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $48,942Contributions, gifts, grants $80,765Contributions, gifts, grants $52,293
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $19,472Fundraising $11,540Fundraising $9,550
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFacility Rental $6,998Facility Rental $8,554Facility Rental $7,125
CEO/Executive Director Compensation
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities138.334361.1167.75
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets14%14%16%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Foundation Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990.  Financial figures were taken solely from the IRS Form 990s.
Nonprofit Manatee County Historical Commission Inc
Address 1404 Manatee Ave E
Bradenton, FL
Phone 941 741-4075