Day 1, Thursday, October 13
What does it really mean to share inclusive history? Institutions provide leadership in developing healthy, engaged, thriving communities through diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just storytelling.
The activity of stewarding sacred places has anchored New England communities for centuries. How are religious institutions innovating in their work and renewing their physical space to ensure relevance to communities in the 21st century?
Experts discuss the evolving practice of collecting material culture and new efforts to create more inclusive, accessible, and engaging collections as a tool for community engagement and social justice.
Pervasive technological advances coupled with the reality of global engagement creates unprecedented challenges and opportunities for creating, preserving, and experiencing cultural touchstones in the 21st century.
Return from lunch to a performance by Mechanics Hall Principal Organist Peter Krasinski, who will play a chronological tapestry of music from the mid-19th century through today, featuring pieces that those in the hall would have heard through the decades.
Nationally recognized for its historic significance and as a premier 21st-century century performance venue, Mechanics Hall represents the critical role of historic and cultural spaces in sustaining vibrant communities.
Top design firms reveal their concepts for a vibrant center for collections management, curatorial excellence, and preservation leadership in the Queen Slipper City. Presentations are followed by a moderated Q&A session.
Factories, mills and other large-scale buildings were once the lifeblood of New England communities, but many outlived their original use. How can these facilities provide the inspiration and the opportunity for today’s community revitalization?
How are the world’s foremost museum collections transforming into more open, accessible, inclusive spaces of community engagement that highlight the relevance of archived materials to the present and future? Presenters discuss new forms of archiving and collections care that challenge the traditional concepts of ownership and curation using new technology and creative, participatory structures.
Day 2, Friday, October 14
Explore the theory and conceptual approach to revitalizing the oldest home in Boston’s West End as a center for community activity and a gateway to Historic New England.
After six decades or more, is the preservation movement facing an identity crisis? Retaining sense of place and preserving cultural heritage are important goals, but affordable housing shortages, equity movements, and climate change challenge the preservation movement to become more inclusive, innovative, and sustainable. How is preservation of the past shaping the future of cities?
Examining the role of heritage preservation and cultural arts in building a resilient future in the face of impending climate change impacts to New England’s cultural, natural, ecological, and economic sectors.
What are the implications of net-zero planning and related policies for communities with many old buildings? How can sustainability be achieved without sacrificing built heritage?
Leaders from two of the foremost educational institutions for traditional trades discuss the challenges and opportunities for their network and why traditional trades are essential to community resiliency in the 21st century.
With resurging interest in craft brewing, farm-to-table restaurants, and community agriculture, communities are realizing the growing benefits of getting in touch with their roots.
An underutilized tool for developing strong partnerships and meaningful preservation strategies, preservation easements offer the opportunity to protect the rich cultural value of places that is contained inside their walls.
As classrooms become the frontline for polarized debates about historical accuracy, cultural awareness, and critical reflection, educators are engaged in dynamic discussions about the goals of history education, not just with their students, but throughout their wider communities. Discussion includes audience Q&A.
New England is rich with longstanding arts festivals that celebrate the history of creative expression across the region in state-of-the-art sheds, beautiful cultural landscapes, and historic performance halls. How do these venues inform the artistic process? How do New England’s arts festivals transcend the stage to bridge cultures, classes, and generations? What are these institutions doing to evolve to new audiences, new priorities, and new challenges, while sustaining their missions and their communities?
The Summit closes with a performance by world-class pianist Dr. Melvin Chen, Deputy Dean at Yale School of Music and Director of Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, in the stunning, 19th-century Great Hall at Mechanics Hall. The piece was chosen because it is a beautiful work, full of passion, pathos, and joy. Moreover, Dvorak was very instrumental in the development of music in the United States and encouraged Americans to try and find their “national” music.
Melvin Chen, Piano
Evan Johanson, Violin
Cheng “Allen” Liang, Cello