Gloria Mata Pennington, a community leader and preservationist, has been awarded the 2020 Recipient of the Katharine Drake Hart History Preservation Award. The announcement and award presentation were made today at the AHCA's 2021 Annual Meeting.
Pennington was a long-time employee of the City of Austin’s Parks and Recreation Department, authoring A Living Legacy: Honoring Our Past, Celebrating Our Present and Creating Our Future: Austin Parks and Recreation Department 1928-2003. In addition, she has been instrumental in recognizing and preserving the history of the Hispanic Community in Austin.
AHCA President Lee Cooke, who presided over the Annual Meeting, said Pennington was selected to receive the award over other nominees "because she so perfectly expresses the goals of the Austin History Center Association to promote the telling of the story of Austin’s history.”
A panel of five judges reviewed the nominations and deliberated to decide the winner. The five judges were: Dr. John Butler, Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza, Roxanne Evans, Lori Martin and Martha Ann Hartzog.
Charles Peveto, chair of the AHCA Katherine Drake Hart Award Committee, said the history preservation award is named for the founder of what was originally called the Austin-Travis County Collection, the historical repository of archives documenting Austin and Travis County history, which later became the Austin History Center.
The actual Katherine Drake Hart Award is a small version of “Pop the Whip,” a sculpture by Austin architect and founding member of the AHCA, Bob Coffee. The piece expresses the energy created when citizens are working together for a common goal.