Since 1970, the NCTA has had a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service to help plan new parks, conduct ethnographic studies, organize crafts and museum exhibits, develop traditional music presentations, train park personnel in cultural presentation techniques, and assist local non-profit groups with organizing cultural events in national parks.
NCTA has been involved in the cultural planning of such parks as:
• Jean Lafitte National Historical Park in Louisiana, which developed a series of cultural centers to present Cajun, Isleño, African-American and Native American cultural traditions;
• Blue Ridge Parkway, where the $14 million Blue Ridge Music Center dedicated to Appalachian music has recently been completed. In addition to live music programs, the facility houses the Roots of American Music interactive museum that traces the origins of this music to the meeting of the African banjo and European fiddle in colonial times;
• Lowell National Historical Park (Lowell, MA), an urban park that interprets the American Industrial Revolution and the ethnic groups that were its foot soldiers;
• Chamizal National Monument (El Paso, TX) a bi-cultural performing arts park situated along the Rio Grande on the Texas-Mexican border;
• Nicodemus (KS) National Historical Park, where the NCTA has assisted in collecting oral histories and materials concerned with Nicodemus, Kansas, the oldest black community west of the Mississippi River. Ex-slaves from Kentucky homesteaded this tiny town after the Civil War;
• New Orleans Jazz Historical Park, where the NCTA assisted the park with the creation of an educational set of compact disc recordings that focused on the history and development of jazz in New Orleans;
• The National Mall, where the NCTA assisted the park in producing the annual American Roots 4th of July concert and national radio broadcast live from the grounds of the Washington Monument;
• New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, which interprets the diversity of cultures associated with the city’s whaling industry and maritime history;
• Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site, a working cattle ranch that preserves these symbols and commemorates the role of cattlemen in American history, and
• Richmond National Battlefield Park, which encompasses Civil War battlefield sites and visitor centers in the City of Richmond, and Henrico, Hanover and Chesterfield counties.