Exploring History and Historic Sites in Monterey in March 2014

Historic downtown Monterey with the Cooper-Molera Adobe in the background.

Historic downtown Monterey with the Cooper-Molera Adobe in the background.

The National Council on Public History will hold its annual conference in Monterey, California from March 19-22, 2014.  It will be the first time I’ve attended a NCPH conference and I’m thrilled–the schedule is packed with a variety of sessions that will appeal to those who are working on the cutting edge of historic sites and house museums, including:

  • Educational sessions on co-created exhibits, tribal partnerships, preserving LGBT sites, interpreting slavery, the history of museums, stewardship of archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, and the sustainability of museums. 
  • THATCamp NCPH” is an afternoon learning laboratory on digital projects that emphasizes collegial work and strengthening IT skills.
  • Poster sessions on tour operations at Frank Lloyd Wright sites, architectural interpretation, and community history.
  • Tours of historic homes, lighthouses, and cemeteries and excursions out to the National Steinbeck Center and Cannery Row.  

If you think that this conference isn’t for house museums and historic sites, a quick scan of the program shows that the conference has attracted speakers from the Peabody Essex Museum, Museum of History and Art Santa Cruz, African American Museum in Philadelphia, Brea Museum and Heritage Center, Barnum Museum, Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, Levine Museum of the New South, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Mystic Seaport, Monticello, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Oakland Museum of California, National Museum of American History, National Park Service, Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Washington State Historical Society, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.   Wow!

I’ll be participating in a few sessions, including, “Situation Normal? Ways Past Sequestrations, Shutdowns, and Budgetary Woes,” “The History Relevance Campaign: a National Branding Strategy for History,” and “Living Landscapes: Environmental Memory, Cultural Landscapes, and Sustainability in Cultural Heritage Tourism.”  Monterey is a wonderful historic town on the ocean that was once the capital of California and has preserved a walkable downtown with many historic buildings (including lots of adobes and the first brick building in California!).  

Until February 12, registration is $192 ($162 for members) and then rises to $215 ($187 for members).  A preliminary program is available and you can find more information at NCPH.org.  Hope to see you there!

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