Registration Live – 2015 PastForward Conference

By Colleen Danz posted 07-10-2015 18:30


PF2015_300x250_PHASE2Registration is now open for this year’s national preservation conference, PastForward, Nov. 3-6, Washington, D.C. Registration and complete conference details are online at

This year PastForward kicks off a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act with educational opportunities, Field Studies and networking events that celebrate a half century of success, acknowledge challenges, uncover opportunities and look forward to the next 50 years. PastForward will convene the full, diverse and expansive constituency of preservation players in the nation’s capital—from individuals to elected officials, federal agencies to architects, scholars to activists.

Core conference programming provides focused education and new ideas in order for attendees to elevate the role and expand the meaning of their preservation work within their communities. Programming this year emphasizes urban strategies, federal innovation and excellence, and telling a more inclusive story by featuring multiple voices and experiences. Finally, we will launch a rich and engaging discussion about the future as we approach the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act.

Groundbreaking Discussions at TrustLives

Back again this year are the four marquee PastForward presentations, TrustLive. Launched at last year’s conference in Savannah, not only did the TrustLive presentations draw record numbers (including overflow seating in an additional theater for the first TrustLive), but more than 800 virtual sites tuned in live from around the world to participate. Viewing parties with more than 30 attendees participated virtually and joined the discussion on Twitter, expanding these discussions to reach a much broader and more diverse audience. Virtual attendance during the TrustLive presentations is free and open to the public, and registration is available at

The four TrustLive topics this year will queue up the discussions in Learning Labs, Power Sessions and Field Studies, building off of each session to lead to a broader, more expansive discussion on the pressing topics for the preservation movement. For example, the first TrustLive, preservationFUTURE, looks ahead to the next 50 years, including how we can adapt and grow to respond to the ever-changing landscape of the movement. While this session celebrates the past 50 years of the National Historic Preservation Act, it also looks firmly to the future. Companion Learning Labs include a discussion on the creative ways to foster ongoing traditions, engage student voices and use living heritage to tell the story of preservation.

At preservationVOICES, sponsored by the National Park Service, you will hear from those using place to seek justice, foster inclusivity and tell the full American story. Through the preservationVOICES sessions, the National Park Service and the National Trust are determined to find ways to confront the challenges and eliminate the barriers that undermine our ability to create an inclusive narrative and a fully representative movement, telling the stories of multiple voices, places and experiences. Accompanying Learning Labs seek to expand the interpretation of diverse historic places, look for new ways to engage diverse communities, and examine how our existing programs and policies recognize a diverse preservation population.

Sponsored by the 1772 Foundation, preservationURBAN explores the tools and solutions to take preservation to scale in our downtown communities, with particular focus on property redevelopment, creative financing and Main Street approaches. Following this TrustLive, Learning Labs focus on redevelopment financing tools such as revolving funds, the funder's perspective on successful projects, new technologies and urban entrepreneurship.

Finally, the last TrustLive, preservationINNOVATION, brings the work of federal agencies into the spotlight. These agencies play a critical role in the stewardship of our nation’s heritage and are often on the front lines of innovation. We will explore recent groundbreaking efforts to make historic buildings energy efficient and prepared for climate change. Through partnerships and collaborations the Feds show how we can tackle challenges that lie ahead and seek out opportunities to enhance the preservation movement. Learning Labs to follow address innovative approaches, such as using eco-districts as a tool for regeneration, alternative mitigation methodologies for successful preservation outcomes, the green building industry, and creative flood and storm management on the nation’s front yard—the National Mall in D.C.

Explore DC, Maryland and Virginia

Executive Director of Baltimore Heritage, Johns Hopkins during the dry run of a field study session in Baltimore. | Credit: Byrd Wood

Executive Director of Baltimore Heritage Inc., Johns Hopkins during the dry run of "Graffiti, Tattoos, and Antique Tower Clocks: Arts and Preservation Team Up in Baltimore." | Credit: Byrd Wood

In addition to TrustLives and Learning Labs, Field Studies highlight preservation in the host city, sending attendees into the field to explore local preservation projects and connect with the people who are defining preservation within the local community. Since we’re in Washington, D.C., this year, attendees are afforded the opportunity to explore the entire D.C. Metro area, including Virginia and Maryland through these half-day and day-long activities. For more information on Field Studies, visit the Preservation Leadership Forum blog post highlighting the field study test runs, including visits to Montpelier, Annapolis, Rosenwald schools in Maryland, Old Town Alexandria, and D.C. area cemeteries.

Intensive Training

In addition to core conference programming, PastForward offers attendees a focused look at key preservation issues through Preservation Leadership Training® (PLT) Intensives and special convenings. The day-long PLT Intensives offer a way to add skill-building opportunities to a conference experience. Held on Wednesday, this year’s PLTs will be devoted to advocacy (with a trip to Capitol Hill), preservation law, and real estate training. And what better place than the nation’s capital to offer a primer on the role of the federal government in preservation and the ways you can partner with agencies to achieve preservation objectives.

Let’s Talk: A Discussion about Diversity

The conference also offers an ideal setting to bring various stakeholders to participate in facilitated conversations and exercises. In Indiana, participants took part in a charette to consider redevelopment options for Indianapolis’ Old City Hall, and in Savannah, representatives from some of our nation’s most beloved historic cities examined the impacts of tourism on historic resources and discussed best practices in tourism management. This year, leaders from preservation and national organizations serving multicultural constituencies will convene to consider how national and local entities can work together to engage diverse audiences and preserve places that tell the full American story. Summit attendees will learn from organizational leaders how to forge new partnerships to collaboratively identify, document and steward diverse places over the next 50 years.

Make Your Voices Heard on Capitol Hill

Credit: Architect of the Capitol
Credit: Architect of the Capitol

The Preservation Advocacy Day (typically held in the spring) gets a sequel during this year’s PastForward. The PastForward Advocacy Day events offer attendees the opportunity to reach out to their legislative representatives and speak in support of local and national preservation issues. Because of the conference setting in our nation’s capital, PastForward attendees can meet directly with decision makers and their staff to discuss ways they may better support preservation efforts at home. Additionally, attendees are invited to a Tuesday evening Congressional Reception and Awards Presentation on Capitol Hill. Hosted by the National Trust and the National Trust Community Investment Corporation, the reception will serve as the first networking convening of the conference. The reception will be of particular interest to those attendees interested in preservation advocacy and those who plan to join advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill. In addition, the evening will acknowledge exceptional preservation efforts by announcing several of this year’s award winners, including the John H. Chafee Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy and the Tony Goldman for Historic Preservation Awards. The reception will be well attended, so be sure to register early.

Celebration and Inspiration at the National Cathedral

PastForward isn’t all about education and training—networking is a key component to the conference, and the number one networking event is the Opening Reception. Not only does the reception follow the first TrustLive, preservationFUTURE, but it serves as the venue to celebrate the National Historic Preservation Act and the Historic Tax Credit. This year, the Opening Plenary and Reception take place at D.C.’s beloved treasure, the Washington National Cathedral. This is a special experience for attendees to spend time in a spectacular historic treasure, not just to the city of D.C. but the entire nation.

Register today for the premier educational and networking event for those in the business of saving places. Rates increase after the early-bird deadline of July 31.

PastForward 2015 is brought to you by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Sponsors include The 1772 Foundation (TrustLive preservationURBAN, including sponsor of the preservationURBAN Learning Labs and the Revolving Fund convening); National Park Service (preservationVOICES, including sponsor of preservationVOICES Learning Labs, the Diversity Summit and the Diversity Scholars program); American Express (Closing Luncheon); Marvin Windows and Doors (US Capitol Level Sponsor); Indow Window (Lanyard Sponsor); Keast & Hood Structural Engineers (Conference Bag Insert Sponsor); and SCAD: Savannah College of Art and Design (Final Program advertisement sponsor). More details on sponsors can be found online.

#DC2015 #PastForward

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