National Preservation Conference: Thoughts from November 1

By Priya Chhaya posted 11-02-2012 09:51

What do you get when you put together a large group of preservationists a series of education sessions and opportunities to network? That's right. Day 2 of the National Preservation Conference.

Sign at the Bing Crosby Theater, site of the Conversation Starters.

The day kicked off with the first Conversation Starter which looked at the intersections of Wilderness and Historic Preservation. The session provided the opportunity for robust conversation on a subject that is near and dear to many a preservationist's heart. We posted this quick summary of the session.

While the issues covered in the education sessions were varied, and a few attendees provided reactions. Colleen French, a panelist on the "Interpreting the History of the Atomic Age" session admitted that she was not a historian or a preservationist, but rather "I am just a girl who fell in love with a reactor." Raina Regan, an architectural historian from Indianapolis, IN, stated (via Twitter) that it was a "Great session! I was a supporter of the MP park before, but now I feel like I should go write a letter of support!"

Kayla Jonas Galvin, of the Heritage Resources Centre in Hamilton, Ontario, attended "Connecting Cultures: Fresh Perspectives from Young Voices," and sent me this:

The Fresh Perspectives session had high school students talk about their experience with preservation through their involvement in the recent Youth Summit in Washington State that focused on Hispanic heritage. During the session they were asked what they thought of preservation prior to the program, they responded, “ I didn’t know, and I didn’t care” and “I thought it had to do with ancient Egypt.” However, it was clear that the summit changed their perspective. The students acted as consultants, and provided partner organizations with recommendations on making their programs more inclusive, including adding QR codes to apples that would link to workers' history and adding additional languages to park signage.

The students then went on to do some on the fly consultation during the session, giving audience members insight into how to improve their programs. For instance, for naming your volunteer project, “comprehensive historic resource inventory research” is not appealing to youth; putting a more treasure hunt slant on it would be better. In short, think about your volunteer job titles. For a hands-on workday, consider adding music and brining food. Make it into more something more fun, a party. To encourage work, consider adding a gaming element for students to track hours. They suggested Edmodo, which allows student to collect badges based on completing activities.

The day ended with the usual Candlelight House Tour but with one added bonus, the National Preservation Conference had its first Powwow. It was a pretty incredible experience.

Like yesterday there was a fairly robust conversation on Twitter. We've put together a few of those tweets for you here. 

So What Should You Expect From November 2?

  • Great sessions all day long, including a mock commission meeting, how to green your guidelines, and cultural diversity.
  • Last day to purchase books from the bookstore! Members get 10% off.
  • Exhibit Hall Opens at Noon. Make sure to check out the local booths (including some amazing peanut brittle) and native cultural crafts.
  • Today's Power Sessions (30 minute fun and interactive sessions): Picking the Big Apples, Deconstruting Detroit: Partnerships in Reuse and Renewal, Don't Give Up!, Preserving California's Japantowns, Our Legacy Initiatives, A Publication's Role in Rebuilding. Preservation Action Silent Auction Closing and Reception in the Exhibit Hall.
  • The 2012 Richard Driehaus National Preservation Awards (at The Fox!).
  • Live Auction and Party for Preservation at the Spokane Masonic Center.

Priya Chhaya is an associate manager for online content in the Preservation Resources department at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Follow her on twitter @priyastoric.

#Wilderness #PastForward #Spokane2012 #PublicLands #historictaxcredit

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