How do serve your mission, your visitors and keep the lights on? That’s a question that nonprofit leaders in the cultural and museum fields ask themselves every day and is all in a day’s work for Colleen Dilenschneider, today’s guest on PreserveCast. Colleen provides data and analysis to inform the evolution of visitor-serving organizations so that they may optimize mission execution and financial sustainability. I’ve been following Colleen’s blog for many years – and have always found her analysis to be some of the very best out there for visitor serving organizations – a voice I knew I wanted to bring to our growing PreserveCast audience.
Preservation requires a solid and significant understanding of our past – and on this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking with Jason Church, a National Park Service preservationist who is leading an effort to expertly document the powerfully important physical vestiges of slavery and tenant farming. As these humble and simple structures fade away, work like this takes on a new level of importance and significance.
All across America, the physical evidence of slavery is being lost to the ravages of time and indifference. Without expert documentation – there’s a real chance we could lose all memory and understanding of these important buildings. That’s why Preservation Maryland is partnering with the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to laser scan structures on Maryland’s eastern shore as a part of a broader national effort – a topic we knew we had to bring to our listeners.
This week’s guest is unique; we’re bringing back Bonnie McDonald to talk about the work of her organization, Landmarks Illinois, as they celebrate their 50th anniversary and look forward to the next 50 years of saving places and making preservation relevant in a rapidly changing world.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’ll explore the intersection between heritage, education and entertainment with Nigel Hetherington, the founder of Past Preservers. With a global reach, Past Preservers serves as a creative hub between the media and heritage worlds. The heart of the operation lies in their expert database which currently contains over 1,400 professionals from over twenty countries and includes archaeologists, historians, Egyptologists, classicists, conservationists, forensic biologists, anthropologists, authors, and heritage consultants.
With every year that passes, the D-Day landings move further and further from memory to history – and how we protect, remember and honor those bloody beaches becomes a conflict between tourism and respect. Today’s guests are part of a Normandy based preservation organization opposed to the creation of a D-Day land – a cross between heritage and entertainment that has riled up the normally quiet bocage country.
Connecting place to story to digital resources is a challenge confronting communities across the globe. That’s why when I learned about nashvillesites.org, I knew we had a winner for PreserveCast. Not only is Nashville an amazing town – but this story holds many lessons for countless other places looking to bring their history to life.
There are over 150 metro markers, over 50 more state and nationally designated and recognized historic markers, sites, buildings, and districts in Metro Nashville. NashvilleSites.org augments Nashville’s unique history with multimedia information and dynamic online resources.
What we preserve tells as much about us as it does about the history itself. Preservation is a movement with a history unto itself – but all too often that story is overlooked in favor of the history of the sites that are preserved. Whitney Martinko, an associate professor of History at Villanova University, is tackling that story and recently published Historic Real Estate: Market Morality and the Politics of Preservation in the Early United States, an in-depth look at why and what we preserve and how interconnected our preservation landscape is to our market driven economy. On this week’s PreserveCast we’re talking about the impulse to preserve and what it says about us, the preservers.
Few names in American history inspire as much controversy, admiration, and consternation. He was a controversial figure in his own time and remains so today. No matter your opinion, Brown’s legacy is critically important and must be explored and remembered.
Today’s guest, Martha Swan, is the founder and Executive Director of John Brown Lives!, an organization dedicated to preserving Brown’s farm in upstate New York and using his legacy to inspire future generations.
On this week’s PreserveCast, we’re talking about John Brown, memory and how to use the past to engage the present.
Olivia Williams of McLeod Plantation: Fighting Racism & Building Empathy through Honest Educational Interpretation
Today’s guest is a part of a powerful movement to share the authentic, painful and real history of slavery at some of America’s most visited plantation sites.
Olivia Williams is a cultural history interpreter at McLeod Plantation Historic Site in Charleston, South Carolina. She’s been featured in the BBC, CBS News and the New York Times for her work and for shining a light on the awkward and uncomfortable questions posed by many visitors which underscore the lack of understanding of America’s slaveholding past.
This week on PreserveCast, we’ll discuss this critical work with a master of the trade.