The Intersection of Public History and Historic Preservation

I recall in 2010, my first year as coordinator of Developing History Leaders @SHA, a student showed me an email she had received. She was the director of a local historical society, and the email concerned a local historic building that was threatened with demolition. Her question for me was: should she do anything, and if so, what could she do? Her hands were already full managing the historical society, and the property developer was one of her donors.

This incident led to a new session last year, offered by Brent Leggs of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, on ways to assist grassroots preservation efforts. Members of the class made contact with Reverend Cory Grady, pastor of Bethel AME Church, which is only a block from the Indiana Historical Society where the seminar meets. Brent adapted his session to include a tour of the historic church, and a discussion with Rev. Grady about his efforts to preserve it. It was great “on the ground” learning.

The National Trust is one of our Partner organizations, and for many years has provided funds that have made this program possible. This year we are fortunate that the Trust’s annual meeting is in Indianapolis during the first week of the seminar. We are planning to have the students attend a portion of the conference to learn about preservation issues.

Also, Estevan Rael-Galvez, Senior Vice President of Historic Sites, will join the seminar faculty and lead a session on “Re-Imagining Historic House Museums,” a project funded by the Innovation Lab for Museums. The Innovation Lab is a program of the American Alliance of Museums, another one of our partners. The funding is enabling the Trust to prototype innovative approaches to historic site sustainability, stewardship, and programming.

The seminar continues to evolve in response to issues and trends facing our field. If you work in a history organization – a museum, historical society, archive, historic site, preservation organization, etc. – and you see yourself as a leader, the seminar is the best way for you to advance your knowledge, skills, and network. If you are the executive director of a history organization, consider sending one of your star performers. It’s the best investment you can make in leadership development.

Click here to get application guidelines. The deadline for submitting applications is May 13, 2013.

Posted on March 20, 2013, in Application, Change, historic preservation, Leadership, Seminar for Historical Administration, SHA and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on The Intersection of Public History and Historic Preservation.

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