This year’s Longwood Graduate Program Symposium will examine that issue with a top-notch series of nationally-recognized speakers on Friday, March 4, 2016 at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. They’ve laid out a challenging agenda for dealing with topics such as environmental action, civic responsibility, and the evolution of public gardens as community assets. Here’s their description:
Public gardens and cultural institutions are centers of community, science, and art. Today’s society is often overwhelmed with debates in all of these areas. In a world where misspoken words amplify in a matter of minutes, how can institutions tactfully open discussion on today’s difficult topics? When and where do they provide research, resources, and opportunities to interact with new or contested ideas?
- Social Relevance Or Social Suicide? Should Public Gardens Engage In Today’s Tough Topics? by Dr. Paul Smith, Secretary General, Botanic Gardens Conservation International
- The Operative Word is Plantation by Mr. Joseph McGill, Jr., History Consultant, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens; Founder, The Slave Dwelling Project, Inc. (and my former colleague at the National Trust for Historic Preservation)
- Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About by Ms. Sarah Pharaon, Senior Director of Methodology and Practice, International Coalition of Sites of Conscience (and on Council with AASLH)
- Creative Public Engagement As Conversation by Ms. Linda Norris, Idea Generator, The Uncatalogued Museum and Ms. Rainey Tisdale, Independent Curator (always impressed by their work)
Registration is $99 but even better is that you can attend via a live-streaming webinar for $35 (but that means you’ll miss out on lunch served on the Patio of Oranges).