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  • VISION: A 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & Conference

VISION: A 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & Conference

  • 22 Jun 2020
  • 2:00 PM
  • 26 Jun 2020
  • 3:00 PM
  • Online


SCREEN VISION: A 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting & Conference

Please join us for our first Virtual Annual Meeting & Conference. While there is no substitute for convening the ALHFAMily in person, we are adapting to these challenging circumstances and look forward to seeing you virtually.

  • Registration for virtual sessions and meetings is free and open to ALHFAM members only.
  • You must register by June 21 at 5pm Central.
  • Select only the sessions/meeting you want to attend.
  • The annual Business Meeting will take place on Wednesday, June 24, at 1pm. This session must be selected during registration in order to receive the session link and attend the business meeting.
  • Session links will be sent to registrants no later than two-days prior to session time. 

Registration is available for the following (at-a-glance schedule):

MONDAY, JUNE 22 (All times EDT)

10am: Atlantic Canada Regional Meeting (60 mins)

11am: Mid-Atlantic Regional Meeting (60 mins)

2pm: From A Woman’s Perspective: Preparations for a Journey to the Klondike (45 mins) 

Erin Bentley, University of Alaska (Anchorage)

It’s 1897, and gold has been discovered in the Yukon Territory of Canada. Your husband has decided to seek his fortune in the gold fields and you’re going with him, but what should you bring? This session analyzes an article from The Skaguay News in 1897 that featured a supply list for women looking to come up the Chilkoot Trail during the Gold Rush. This article was one of many that gave prospectors and their families a vision of what Alaska was like and how to prepare for the weather and landscape. The presentation unpacks how the author used language to engage her audience and how the list prepared women for the unique circumstances of Alaska that contradicted the government’s advice.

3pm: Quilting Comfort: Use of Quilted Textiles in Everyday Life (60 mins) 

Meg Furler, Costume Designer, Heritage Park Historical Village

From providing warmth to creating social opportunities, quilted textiles are an integral part of our lives. Quilts were not only necessary items for winter climates, but they also reused fabrics, displayed creativity, and engaged communities in their creation. Quilted clothing items made this warmth portable by creating fitted clothing that moved with the wearer. Quilted garments could be made at home showing the skill and patience of the creator through stitched narratives. These garments were also available ready-made in simple designs for utilitarian use. This presentation begins with the history of quilted textiles in our lives before moving into a discussion on recreating an 18th-century quilted petticoat. Participants can quilt-along at the end of the presentation to get a feel for joining layers of fabric. Items needed: Two 4” squares of fabric (preferably cotton), one 4” square of batting (any kind, or a towel, polar fleece, etc), thread, needle, scissors or snips.

5pm: Western Regional Meeting (60 mins)

7pm: Machinery Professional Interest Group (60 mins)

TUESDAY, JUNE 23 (All times EDT)

10am: Midwest/MOMCC Regional Meeting (60 mins)

11am: Keeping It Current: Updating the Historic House Furnishing Plan (60 mins)

Martha Katz-Hyman, Independent Curator

Historic building furnishing reflects a vision of the environment of a particular house or space within which people of the past lived. It is based on extensive research and has specific goals, whether it’s a space explicitly designated for living history or an historic house with antique furnishings. That vision can and should change, and so research on a structure or room should be ongoing, because the focus of room or building’s interpretation may change over time, based on changing institutional goals. Thus, revisiting a furnishing plan is crucial to keeping it current and relevant to new audiences. In this session, we’ll will review the basics of writing furnishing plans—scope, sources, funding and execution—and give some examples of how furnishings have changed as a result of new goals and new research.

12:30pm: Southeast Regional Meeting (60 mins)

2pm:   Feel Comfortable Shooting & Editing your SkillClip (60 mins) ALHFAM’s Skills Training and Preservation (STP) Committee

ALHFAM’s new Skills Training and Preservation (“STP”) initiative encourages teaching and learning skills as a way of keeping history vibrant as well as creating a resource for learning living history methods. One important aspect of keeping skills alive is recording skills used on your site or learned at another site. We have smartphones in our pockets or tablets; these mobile video cameras are perfect (and easy) for capturing the action and giving quick but effective living history lessons. This presentation discusses planning your video; shooting; basics of editing on a mobile device; point-of-view (POV) shooting; basic “tools” (tripods, other devices); and ideas for inexpensive video recording.

3:30pm: Mountain-Plains Regional Meeting (60 mins)

5pm: Western Canada Regional Meeting (60 mins)

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 24 (All times EDT)

9am: Central Canada Regional Meeting (60 mins)

10am: New England Regional Meeting (60 mins)

12PM: Collections, Preservation, and Registration (CPR) Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins) 


2pm:  He Don’t Look So Good: Assessing Animal Health on Historic Farms (60 mins) 

Barbara Corson, VMD, Retired veterinarian and historic farmer

Farm animals have been an important part of the past and will hopefully be important in the future. A big part of working successfully with livestock is recognizing when the animal is unwell or uncomfortable, and taking appropriate action. All farmers need to be able to assess the animals under their care and make decisions based on their assessments; historic farmers in particular also need to be able to explain their assessment and decision-making process to visitors, other staff members and administrators.

Assessing animal health is a skill that takes time to learn and one that should be continually honed and modified based on experience. There is no single “right” way to observe and examine livestock, but an understanding of some basic principles and a systematic approach can help develop the skills. A standardized method for health assessment can also be a big help in communications between farmers and non-farmers (e.g., visitors).

4PM:  ALHFAM from the “Age of Aquarius” to the Anthropocene (45 mins) 

Debra A. Reid, Curator of Agriculture and the Environment, The Henry Ford

ALHFAM sprang from a meeting of the Agricultural History Society at Old Sturbridge Village in 1970. Did organizers envision a grassroots movement to save the planet a la the Whole Earth Catalog, the New Alchemy Institute, or Earth Day? Or did the founders envision an ALHFAM aligned with Freeman Tilden’s advocacy of interpretation that could mobilize the general public to support national cultural and natural resources? Or did ALHFAM exist to support skills training essential to engaging with evidence of the past? Over the decades, ALHFAM members have gotten their hands dirty, taking direct action to engage the public through a combination of skills, interpretive techniques, and passion for historic context, but to what end? What role can or should ALHFAM play in this “epoch of the Anthropocene” to raise public awareness about agriculture, the environment, and public engagement and responsibility?

THURSDAY, JUNE 25 (All times EDT)

12PM: FARM Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins)

1PM: The Enduring Power of Historical Environments (60 mins) 

Donna R. Braden, Senior Curator & Curator of Public Life, The Henry Ford

Studies show that richly detailed historical environments have the power to move, inspire and connect with museum audiences. In this session, the presenter—author of the book Spaces that Tell Stories: Recreating Historical Environments (Rowman & Littlefield/AASLH, 2019)-- describes the latest scholarship and methodologies about historical environments. Topics include why these environments evoke such a strong feeling of immersion and how they enhance visitor learning and engagement, as well as tips on planning, researching, creating, interpreting and refining such environments. Strategies presented here are geared to historic sites and structures of all sizes and budgets. This session will also offer some reflection on the relevance and applicability of immersion and immersive environments in our lives and our offerings during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

3PM: First Person Interepreters (FPI) Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins)

4PM: Historic Apparel & Textiles (HATs) Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins)

5PM: Committee on Regional Networking (CORN) Meeting (60 mins)

7PM: Introduction to Dialogic Interpretation (60 mins)

Matt Villamaino, Regional Interpretive Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation

Dialogic interpretation brings interpretive experiences beyond the stereotypical "sage on the stage" of most programs. It invites visitors to engage in conversations based on their questions or a question based on a question that the interpreter poses to them. The goal of a dialogic experience is for the audience members to be co-creators with the interpreter. This program will introduce the concept of dialogic interpretation to the participants; go over some of the different approaches; the challenges of using this method; key elements in making it successful; and resources for further development.

FRIDAY, JUNE 26 (All times EDT)

12PM: Historic Foodways Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins)

1PM: Historic Trades & Skills Professional Interest Group Meeting(60 mins)

2PM: Clothes Make The Character (45 mins)

Kandie Carle, Victorian Lady and Kay Demlow, Lavender’s Green Historic Clothing

You have heard the quote “clothes make the man”, well in living history terms, Clothes Make the Character. In this session, using photos of interpreters as examples, Kandie & Kay will showcase just how important clothes are in the projection of a persona. Visitors / audiences see you long before they hear anything you say, they are already making up their minds as to who you are portraying. Are you sending the message you want or think you are sending? What you wear informs how your character moves and engages in living history activities. Clothing is one of the tools in your toolbox on the road to creating the best first-person interpretation you can. Tips will be offered on how to make your ‘look’ better without breaking the bank. 

3:30PM: Programming, Interpretation, & Education (PIE) Professional Interest Group Meeting (60 mins) 

ALHFAM • P.O. Box 16, Rochdale, MA 01542 - info@alhfam.org

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