Top Five Conference Sessions of 2018!

After attending a myriad of conferences this year I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the sessions that made the most impact. Check out my top five conference sessions of 2018 below (in no specific order). Want to learn a bit more about the conferences I attended? Check out my blog Which Conference Is For You?

Preservation Philosophy- Looking Back and Looking Forward

Where: Association for Preservation Technology

Who: David Payne, Ilene Tyler, Stephanie Hoagland, and Mary Kay Jude

0TJsHbh2SUefZAOkB1cG%Q.jpg

Why: The APT conference is set-up to have tracks of four 20-minute sessions that are grouped with similar sessions and a moderator is on hand to ensure the group stays on track in the 1.5hours. Each presenter in this track delved into preservation philosophy and topics not typically discussed at preservation conferences. The highlight for me was Stephanie Hoagland’s  “Art or Awful: The Preservation and Conservation of Graffiti.” She discussed why individuals may construe nudity in fine art as “art” and why in graffiti it is construed as “lewd.” Her presentation showed examples of historic graffiti and contemporary graffiti being preserved and presented on conservation strategies. She posed the question of the ethics surrounding the preservation of art that was meant to be impermanent. I am still thinking months later about if/when graffiti should be preserved and best methodology. 


The Archaeology of Imbibing

Where: Preserving Historic Places, Indiana’s Statewide Preservation Conference

Who: Nicolas Laracuente, Cassie Medeiros

IMG_1442.JPG

Why: This session combined a few of my favorite things: food, discovering lost history, and finding ways to use preservation to connect the two. Laracuente, the bourbon archeologist, and Medeiros, the moonshine girl, edified the crowd on strategies to locate old distilleries/ stills and methodology to preserve the history. In Kentucky, Laracuente led the discovery of Buffalo Trace Distillery’s earliest fermentation tanks from the 1800s (click here to learn more). He was able to advocate for the preservation of these below ground resources and now the distillery (a National Historic Landmark) has turned the archeology find into a heritage tourism opportunity. Medeiros documented moonshine stills in Alabama, while pursuing her graduate degree. Her research was able to identify the location of stills in an effort to pursue historic designation for these archeological sites. What is particularly intriguing is her research led to an understanding that a community historically tied to alternative or illegal economies is more likely to be a contemporary community that is tied to alternative or illegal economies. With archeology typically perceived as the discovery of items from hundreds of years ago, this session put a twist on what the field is/does. 

Communicating in Crisis

Where: Heritage Ohio Annual Conference

Who: Mary Glauser

Why: Is your organization prepared for a crisis? What would your organization do if someone fell on a tour and was hospitalized? What would your organization do if someone chose to drink and drive after your annual fundraiser? These were a couple questions posed during Communicating in a Crisis. Glauser delved into strategies for an organization to prevent crisis (ex: background check volunteers prior to accepting their donated services), how to plan for crisis, and how to handle crisis in the aftermath. Her tips and strategies will be considered as I manage organizations and create events. I highly encourage you to consider creating a crisis plan/toolkit for your organization and to reach out to Glauser when you choose to prepare yourself for any situation. 


Creating Vibrant and Healthy Cities For All 

 Accessible art is can improve quality of life in a community.

Accessible art is can improve quality of life in a community.

Where: Main Street Now

Who: Gil Penalosa

Why: Penalosa is the founder and chair of “8 80 Cities,” an internationally recognized nonprofit that works to make cities a dynamic place to live whether you are 8 or 80. His fast paced presentation format delved into tactics that add energy to a community, strategies to encourage multi-modal transit, and the importance of age diversity to the health of a community. Honestly, the best way to describe the presentation is to encourage you to visit the nonprofit’s website and watch their videos. You will fall in love with this creative urban planning organization. 

Allyship in Preservation

Where: PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation annual conference

Who: Lauren Hood, Mia Nakano

 A historic poster on display at the GLBT Museum in San Francisco.

A historic poster on display at the GLBT Museum in San Francisco.

Why: This 1.5hour long session could (should) have lasted all day. Hood and Nakano thoughtfully delved into how underrepresented communities could best be supported by the preservation community. Historic preservation is interwoven with social justice/equity and activism. To be a successful historic preservationists we need to be good listeners and to know when to step back and empower instead of taking the lead. Nakano presented the concept of “protectively open source,” which in a nutshell means: the ability to consider what content is accessible online and how it pertains to an invidual’s personal well being and/or safety. For example: Your organization has oral history videos and transcripts online. If an individual at any time no longer feels comfortable having that information online, your organization would be willing to remove it from public access. The presentation concluded with work groups to consider what we can do better in our communities.

Which Conference Is For You?

In 2018, I had the ability to attend eight (!!) conferences. With the unique opportunity to attend four national preservation conferences in one year, I wanted to delve into mini reviews on each conference with recommendations.* Want to know what speakers left the most food for thought? Read my blog, Top Five Conference Sessions Of 2018!

Main Street Now

 Main Street Now offers a virtual competition for conference attendees. These lovely ladies posed with Tiny Jane Jacobs to get points for the game!

Main Street Now offers a virtual competition for conference attendees. These lovely ladies posed with Tiny Jane Jacobs to get points for the game!

  • Location: Kansas City, Missouri

  • Was There: Main Street Managers, Government Employees, Preservation Consultants, Planning Consultants

  • Exhibition Area: The exhibition area featured a large variety of vendors ranging from custom ornaments of historic homes to planters to consultants and more! This was the largest exhibitor hall of the conferences I attended this year and visitation was encouraged with a happy hour. 

  • Next Conference: March 25-27, 2019; Seattle, Washington

  • Recommended if you are… working to revitalize a neighborhood, Main Street, or urban area! Whether you are looking to learn placemaking initiatives, ways to transform vacant storefronts into activated spaces, or engage community members this is a great conference for you. 

Forum: National Alliance for Preservation Commissions

 Forum attendees had the opportunity to take a bike tour of downtown Des Moines to learn about the city’s architecture and urban planning history.

Forum attendees had the opportunity to take a bike tour of downtown Des Moines to learn about the city’s architecture and urban planning history.

  • Location: Des Moines, Iowa 

  • Who Was There: Government Employees, Architectural Review Board Members, Preservation Consultants

  • Exhibition Area: There was a very small exhibition area compared to the other national conferences.

  • Next Conference: July 22-26, 2020; Tacoma, Washington

  • Recommended if you are… working in any capacity with or for the government! Consultants who work on design guidelines, city planning, and other aspects of local government would also benefit from attending. 

Association for Preservation Technology

 The conference after parties are an important part of the event! Network with your peers and build meaningful relationships. Attendees enjoyed Buffalo’s Founding Fathers dive bar during the Association for Preservation Technology conference.

The conference after parties are an important part of the event! Network with your peers and build meaningful relationships. Attendees enjoyed Buffalo’s Founding Fathers dive bar during the Association for Preservation Technology conference.

  • Location: Buffalo, New York

  • Who Was There: Architects, Conservators, Preservation Consultants, Students

  • Exhibition Area: Very nice exhibition area for building materials and architectural conservation firms. There was a wonderful selection of physical examples of contemporary materials to replace historic building fabric. 

  • Next Conference: November 19-23, 2019; Miami, Florida

  • Recommended if you are…working to restore buildings! Whether you are physically doing the restoration work, writing historic tax credit applications, or an architect reimagining older buildings, you will find something to enhance your toolkit. This conference will have you thinking through conservation vs restoration and best strategies to physically maintain heritage. 

PastForward: National Trust for Historic Preservation**

 Make sure to schedule time for yourself during a conference. You never know what you may find within a few blocks of the conference venue! In San Francisco, PastForward attendees could easily walk to this Frank Lloyd Wright designed commercial space.

Make sure to schedule time for yourself during a conference. You never know what you may find within a few blocks of the conference venue! In San Francisco, PastForward attendees could easily walk to this Frank Lloyd Wright designed commercial space.

  • Location: San Francisco, California 

  • Who Was There: Preservation Consultants, Architects, Nonprofit Employees, Students

  • Exhibition Area: The exhibition area was smaller than previous PastForward conferences, but vendors had a very good location for engaging attendees. Vendors were located directly outside the main ballroom where attendees flowed in and out at least once a day for for a presentation in the ballroom. 

  • Next Conference: October 10-12, 2019; Denver, Colorado

  • Recommended if you are…interested in expanding your preservation perspective! PastForward presents a large volume of thought provoking sessions and delves into a myriad of practical sessions as well. This conference should appeal to a variety of preservation professionals. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has their “TrustLive” sessions online for you to view if you are curious to know more. 

Statewide Historic Preservation Conferences

Every statewide historic preservation conference has a different emphasis based on the focus of the hosting organization. While I am not going to individually review the statewide conferences I attended this year, I will encourage you to consider attending other statewide conferences in your region. You do not have to attend all of them annually, but consider mixing things up periodically and learning from your nearby peers. 

My conference travel bud for three conferences this year was Lindsay Jones of Blind Eye Restoration. Check out her conference perspective over here.

Which Conference(s) will I Choose to Attend in the Future?

When looking toward the future of my continuing education, I consider a number of factors. 

1- Cost (Check out my blog Buying Down Conference Costs)

2- Time, does the conference align with my schedule

3-Educational value for me at this stage in my career. This is the most important factor when determining the benefits of a conference. I attend conferences for the educational value, the opportunity to network, and the ability to learn more about the work of my peers. 

2019

In 2019, I am currently scheduled to attend the Colorado Saving Places Conference, the Preservation New York State Conference, and Toolkits and Wheelhouses: Michigan Historic Preservation Network Annual Conference. I am also planning to attend the annual Heritage Ohio Conference dependent on the dates. Statewide conferences are incredibly valuable to attend, because each state operates with different rules, regulations, financial incentives etc. Attending statewide conferences easily allow you to learn new strategies and toolkits that you can bring back home. 

The only national preservation conference I am currently considering attending in 2019 is PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference. At this time I find this conference to be the best at discussing diversity and inclusion issues in the field and hosting presentations that delve into the preservation of lesser known histories. These presentations always leave me with food for thought and new ideas. 

While Modern Phoenix Week is not technically a conference, I am also looking forward to attending this annual event. The structure of the week allows you to select individual lectures, tours, workshops, or other events based on your interest. Advocating for the preservation of mid century modern assets is growing in importance in the historic preservation field and attending this week will strengthen my modernism advocacy toolkit. 

2020 and Beyond

I plan to develop a strategy on how frequently I should attend the National Alliance for Preservation Commissions, Association for Preservation Technology, and Main Street conferences. By periodically attending each of these conferences I will ensure my knowledge of their focusses: local design review, restoration/conservation and materials, and community revitalization, stays current and ensures I can be the strong historic preservation advocate and educator. 

In addition to these conferences that I have previously attended, I keep a list of conferences I would like to attend in the future. This list includes: American Association of State and Local History, Roadside Architecture, and other statewide conferences. I’m also interested in attending international historic preservation conferences to gain a greater understanding of the field overseas or to our north at the National Trust for Canada Conference. 

What About You?

Consider your continuing education goals and determine whether a conference, workshop, webinar, or courses at a college are right for you. There are benefits to each learning strategy depending on your time, budget, and ability to travel. I’d also strongly encourage you to try new conferences that you have not previously attended or have not attended for a number of years. You may be surprised what they are offering. 

Do not hesitate to reach out via me@sarahmarsom.com if you have any questions regarding my conference experiences this year. 

*By participating as a speaker or in another capacity at these conferences I was able to substantially reduce my conference registration fees to allow attendance. 

**PastForward is the only national historic preservation conference I have attended prior to this year

Recommended Reading Round Up - November 2018

Every Friday, the Tiny Activist Project recommends a book on our social media accounts. Enjoy our monthly roundup of the recommendations! Check the book out from your local library (request it if they do not have a copy as a part of their collection) or buy a personal copy to read and share with friends. 

IMG_5782.JPG
  1. Published in 2017, What’s Worth Preserving by the Design Museum of Chicago instantly became my favorite preservation book. This beautifully designed book was published thanks to the support of a successful Kickstarter campaign and includes hand written letters from 50 individuals from diverse backgrounds (including Jane Goodall) who answered “What’s Worth Preserving?” Their responses range from the intangible to edible to the built environment. Historic preservation is diverse and this book is a reminder that preservation can be defined in a myriad of ways.

2. No book tells the story of a structure’s decline and revitalization better than The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. The story is amplified with vivid illustrations that will surely capture a kid’s attention and turn them into the youngest preservationists. You can also pair the book with the Disney short film inspired by the book with animation art by Mary Blair on youtube.

IMG_6178.JPG

3. Whether you are a child or an adult we highly recommend Walking in the City with Jane by Susan Hughes. The beautiful illustrations by Valerie Boivin bring Jane’s adventures from childhood through adulthood to life. This book helps develop urban appreciation and inspires challenging the system/being an advocate.

4. It is commonly said that behind every great man is a great woman. Women and the Making of the Modern House by Alice Friedman thoughtfully illustrates that point in regards to modern architecture. Each chapter delves into a notable modern home - the Farnsworth House, Hollyhock, etc. and how a woman shaped the design. These women may not have been the architect, but they sure as heck pushed the architects to give them what they desired in a modern home.

Recommended Reading Round Up - October 2018

 Every Friday, the Tiny Activist Project recommends a book on our social media accounts. Enjoy our monthly roundup of the recommendations! Check the book out from your local library (request it if they do not have a copy as a part of their collection) or buy a personal copy to read and share with friends. 

IMG_5455.JPG

1. Why Old Places Matter by Thompson Mayes is a brand new release that should not be missed. Mayes’ format makes it an easy read. The chapters can be read as stand alone essays and are full of lovely color images of historic places. Why Old Places Matter delves into individual identity, sustainability, ancestors, and more. This is not your typical book about saving places... it is more about the heart of places, written from Tom’s thoughtful perspective. 
We highly recommend checking out this book! 

 

2. If you want a book for a baby urbanist, Tiny Town by Suzy Ultman is the perfect choice! This board book will have next generation of tiny activists flipping through different shops that make a Tiny Town a healthy walkable community for all.

IMG_5657.JPG

 

3. We have been Alexandra Lange fans for years. Would even go as far as to say she is this generation’s Ada Louise Huxtable. Lange’s architecture/design/urbanism criticism pieces are thoughtful and we were very excited when her book The Design of Childhood was released earlier this year.

Cities and structures should be welcoming to people of all ages. Lange’s book delves into the history of design for youth and you will conclude with a strong understanding of what urbanists (planners/architects/community leaders) should be striving for. 

 

4. Create an urbanist by showing off a bit of Main Street Magic.Use this book to help connect children to historic downtowns! Main Street Magic by Ingela P. Arrhenius will brighten up story-time. Every page takes you on an adventure to discover the hidden stories of local shops. Lift the cleverly designed flaps and you never know what you will find! Our personal favorite pages are about a museum! You will be shocked to find what is hiding inside an Egyptian sarcophagus. 

Recommended Reading Round Up- September 2018

 Every Friday, the Tiny Activist Project recommends a book on our social media accounts. We will do a roundup of the recommendations on the blog each month. Check the book out from your local library (request it if they do not have a copy as a part of their collection) or buy a personal copy to read and share with friends. 

IMG_4712.JPG

 1.    Susan B. Anthony Slept Here: A Guide to American Women’s Landmarks by Lynn Sheer is a 500+ page book that tells mini stories of historic sites, statues, paintings, and more tied to important women of the past. Chapters are split up by state, so it can also serve as a handy travel guide 

You will love learning about women you have never heard about before. Whether it is finding out about Agnus Freeman’s life as a pioneer mother in Nebraska or Hawaii’s High Chieftess Kapiolani’s hike up a volcano and descent into the crater to defy the wrath of Pele (goddess of fire), you will find out stories that encompass a broad spectrum of the United States of America’s female history. 

 2.    We all know Jane Jacobs loved to ride her bike. You & A Bike & A Road by Eleanor Davis delves into the physical and emotional adventure one goes on while cycling across America. If you are interested in learning more about road issues for cyclists, how to plan a long distance bikepacking trip, or you like lovely illustrations this graphic novel is for you.

HRfRvUjSRnSz6TZ2RBuLJw.jpg

 3.    I was a contributor to the recently released 3rd edition of Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice by Ilene Tyler, Norm Tyler, and Ted Ligibel. Are you looking for a better understanding of what types of historic preservation exist, the legalities behind it all, technology, historic districts, funding, and more? This book is the perfect intro guide for someone interested in historic preservation! This edition received a thorough rewrite with new case studies, chapters, and more! 

 4.    Activity books count ... right? Are you looking for a city your Tiny Jane can rule over or your Tiny Activist can design? Check out Make It By Hans Papercraft: Paper Town. You get to colour, cut out, and construct20 buildings! This is a perfect book to help encourage a future urbanist or provide fun decorations for your office. 

Break The Echo Chamber

With all of the historic preservation conferences offered, how does one determine what conference will most benefit his/her historic preservation career? Every year I look at the growing list of historic preservation specialized conferences and try to determine, which can fit into my budget and will benefit my continuing education. With the different specializations in historic preservation (surveying, trades, advocacy, etc.,) it would make sense to go to the conference with a focus that pairs with one’s specialty, but I propose that it may be hindrance to professional growth.

Read More

Meet The 2017 Tiny Jane Scholarship Recipients

The Young Ohio Preservationists are committed to broadening the awareness of historic preservation and supporting emerging professionals in the field. In 2017, YOP partnered with the Tiny Jane Project (my passion project) and members of the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists to launch the first Tiny Jane Scholarship.

Read More

SEW YOUR OWN TINY JANE

 

Are you a crafty preservationist? We wanted to teach you how to sew your own Tiny Jane Jacobs!*  You should able to sew Tiny Jane in an afternoon.  Have fun creating your own Tiny Jane and do not forget to share her adventures on social media with #tinyjanejacobs.

Step 1- Cut and pin the pattern.  

Cut your Tiny Jane doll along the dotted line. Once you have cut the pattern, pin the front and back of Tiny Jane together. Make sure to have the printed side facing inward. You can pin in the center of the doll or along the edges, depending on your preference.

Step 2- Start sewing!

Sew by hand or with a machine, in a well lit area to see the printed image through the fabric. Sew along Jane’s perimeter or just inside to avoid white showing once you turn her right-side-out. Make sure to leave a gap along her side that is at least 1.5 inches for flipping

Step 3- Flip her inside out!

Before you flip Tiny Jane, cut at the base of her neck, armpits, to either side of her legs and around her curved elements (head, hands, feet). These “notches” will help with flipping, and help her retain curves.

Flipping Tiny Jane right-side-out requires patience and chopsticks, so order some take out. We recommend doing a variation of this youtube tutorial. Put one chopstick inside of Tiny Jane’s appendage, and use the second chopstick to flip the fabric.

Step 4- Fill her with stuffing!

Each sew your own kit comes with stuffing, but you can get creative!  Fill Tiny Jane with beans if you want added weight. Fill her with dried lavender if you want a smell good Tiny Jane. If you want her to be bendy, you could create a wire skeleton.  Stuff her as much or as little as you would like.

Step 5- Finish sewing Tiny Jane.

You can quickly sew her shut with a blue thread that matches her dress using an exterior stitch or you can use the hidden stitch to hide your work. We think both options look great!  Once you are done sewing, take your Tiny Jane on an adventure.

 

If you have any questions about sewing your Tiny Jane, email me@sarahmarsom.com.

*Tiny Jane Jacobs was illustrated by Shannon May.

LOCAL DESIGNATION: MCCLURE-NESBITT MOTOR COMPANY

The growth of the car industry was reflected in the city of Columbus’s growth.Following World War I, the city boomed and new automobile-dependent areas of the city were built in Clintonville, Old Beechwold, Linden, and Westgate, while the suburban communities of Grandview, Upper Arlington and Bexley also thrived.  The Ohio State University saw growth in enrollment, and constructed a large football stadium; the Ohio Theater became a downtown cultural institution; and the Leveque Tower was constructed and became the fifth tallest building in the world at that time. The expanding footprint of the metropolitan area and new car-dependent suburbs led to the formation of car dealerships downtown and along the city’s neighborhood commercial corridors. 

Read More