Can You Tackle Today’s Tough Topics in a Garden?

200731_Longwood_Graduate_Program_Symposium_Fochs_Mackenzie-2_0This 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?

Sessions include:

  • 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).