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The Boston Architectural College Receives $489,000 Federal Grant to Strengthen Pakistani Cultural Heritage Preservation

Program promotes cultural diversity and pedagogical exchange

Eleni Glekas, second from right, speaks at October's International Conference on Archaeological Heritage of Pakistan in Lahore about the BAC's partnership with the National College of Arts

The Boston Architectural College (BAC) was awarded a two-year, $489,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State, through the American Embassy in Islamabad, to support a partnership between the BAC and Pakistan's National College of Arts (NCA) in Lahore, Pakistan. Program activities began in January 2018 and will focus on faculty training in heritage and conservation methods and curriculum development.

The BAC-NCA partnership began in 2013, when the BAC received its first State Department grant in Pakistan. Over the past four years, NCA has sent 26 students and faculty to the BAC to learn about the school's historic preservation curriculum. BAC faculty and staff have also traveled to Pakistan to conduct workshops for NCA students and faculty, as well as for students and faculty of other universities and institutions of higher education in Pakistan.

"We are honored and excited to have been selected by the American Embassy in Islamabad to receive a second grant," said Eleni Glekas, director of Historic Preservation at the BAC. "It's a testament to our strong academics and our productive relationship with NCA. We look forward to continuing to share our knowledge with our NCA colleagues, as well as other Pakistani professionals working in the field of heritage and conservation in this culturally rich country."

"The partnership between the NCA and The Boston Architectural College has already led to new and dynamic programming and instructional approaches at NCA and to collaborative studies in the field of heritage preservation," said Arlissa Reynolds, Country Cultural Affairs officer at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. "The new grant will build on the existing relationship, begun more than four years ago between these two esteemed institutions, and will result in continued joint site studies and significant changes in a strengthened curriculum in heritage preservation studies for Pakistan students and faculty, and in more substantive collaboration between Pakistani and American scholars in this sector."

The BAC faculty will train NCA faculty in technical documentation techniques, materials conservation, and course development. NCA recently created a bachelor's degree in cultural studies and will utilize the BAC expertise to help develop courses for the program.

NCA faculty and students will take online BAC courses in historic preservation and themes in architectural theory relating to contemporary architecture and public housing, as well as the use of heritage-related digital documentation programs. NCA faculty and advanced students will participate in short workshops at the Boston campus and in Pakistan to build technical skills in laser scanning, photogrammetry, and materials conservation. Pakistani participants will attend the 2018 National Trust for Historic Preservation conference in San Francisco, and will also travel to New Mexico to study interpretation techniques at multicultural living heritage sites.

NCA, like the BAC, has a mission to ensure gender parity and diversity in its student body and to recruits students from all over Pakistan. NCA Lahore began as an institution dedicated to preserving and teaching specialized local artistic methods and traditions, and has grown to include the country's leading programs in fine arts, architecture, film and television, textile design, product design, multimedia arts, and cultural studies.

Founded more than 125 years ago, The Boston Architectural College was established to make design education accessible to diverse communities. The college offers bachelors and master's degrees in architecture, interior architecture, landscape architecture, and design studies.