The theme of the 2022 AASLH Annual Conference is “Right Here, Right Now: The Power of Place.” Historic homes and sites know all about the powerful connections between the sense of place and an understanding of history.

The Annual Conference will be held in Buffalo, New York, September 14-17. If you work at a historic home or site, be sure to check out these sessions that will assist you in moving your organization forward.

Can’t make it to Buffalo? Check out the 2022 AASLH Virtual Conference, which will be held November 1-3.

Wednesday, September 14 

Creating Inclusive Sense of Place Narratives for Historic Sites
Preconference Workshop, Cost: $45
How do we tell concise stories about complex narratives? How do we connect people to places where they don’t see themselves in history there? Using the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site and surroundings as a case study, this experiential workshop will help you see with new eyes and create inclusive narratives and experiences.

Thursday, September 15 

Accessibility “Beyond the Ramp”
2 p.m.
Join staff working at a wide variety of history organizations for a lively brainstorming session that helps us collectively think about ways to move beyond accessibility 101. Presenters will share creative ideas and advice from the upcoming AASLH publication An Accessible Past: Making Historic Sites Accessible that is relevant to organizations at any place in their access journey.

Transforming Assessments into Practical Strategies and Actions
2 p.m.
How does an organization take a written preservation, archival needs, or strategic planning assessment report and transform it into prioritized goals and actions? A wide variety of cultural heritage sites discuss their unique experiences in developing consultant-identified goals into practice strategies for making successful strides in collections care and management.

Friday, September 16 

A Sense of Place: A Full Team Approach
8:30 a.m.
Tour guides and other public-facing staff are essential to the presentation of mission and collections. But what if every staff member is trained as a host? When implemented with clarity and equity, whole-team hospitality can create a collaborative sense of place, enhance staff motivation, and improve the visitor experience.

The Peril to Places: Environmental Disasters and Historic Sites
8:30 a.m.
Three museums from different regions combated environmental disasters recently. Filoli in California faced drought and wildfires; Whitney Plantation in Louisiana suffered a hurricane; and Brucemore in Iowa was devastated by a derecho. With historic sites and landscapes nationwide facing weather extremes linked to climate change, consider the lessons painfully learned.

“Ways We Couldn’t Even Imagine”: Reimagining Your Site with Artists in Residence
11 a.m.
Contemporary artists can help us look at historic sites and stories/interpretation in new ways that often relate to untold stories and social justice. Presenters will give participants a list of best practices for Artist in Residence programs and how they can enhance interpretation.

When to Begin: K-3 and Place-based History
11 a.m.
It’s never too soon to introduce an appreciation of history to students. But how you do it requires an awareness of how young people learn. We will explore how the power of place and cultural equity can be presented to young scholars with sensitivity and empathy. 

Thinking Outside the Garden Bed: Possibilities for Diverse Farm Interpretation
2:15 p.m.
How can creative ways of approaching agricultural history open up possibilities for diverse audiences and histories? During this presentation, five institutions will discuss the ways programming centering around their agricultural histories have introduced new and interdisciplinary ways of engaging audiences and will share the perspectives of vital community partners.

Saturday, September 17 

It Happened Here: Place-based History in Parks and Historic Sites
10:15 a.m.
Place-based research at parks and historic sites enables people to connect with history in tangible and memorable ways, and is foundational for site planning, preservation, and interpretation. This session will tackle how to research and write rich and rigorous place-based histories through case studies, discussion, resource sharing, and conceptual practice.