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Moving Historical Interpretation Forward–The International Conference on Heritage Interpretation

by Margo Carlock, Executive Director, National Association for Interpretation on

Interpretation should always aim to have something important to say. Interpreters seek to capture visitors’ attention, to reveal new meanings about our people, our places, objects, cultures and living things. Historical interpretation is more than a profession – it is a passion, and its practitioners are always seeking new ways of presenting our stories and making them meaningful to visitors.

Conferences are all about sharing new ideas, techniques and technologies. Conference sessions present new approaches to working with local communities, maintaining the integrity of place and people in an ever-changing world. The sharing of knowledge and experience and the discussions that take place at various convenings of interpreters helps to move the field of history and museum interpretation forward.

One such conference being planned is the International Conference on Heritage Interpretation, which will be held in Wellington, New Zealand April 3-7, 2016. This conference, being co-sponsored by the National Association for Interpretation and the Interpretation Network of New Zealand, will draw those interested in heritage interpretation from around the world. The truly great thing about a conference that taps the passion of interpreters from many cultures is the way those different experiences enlighten and energize. There will be “a-aha moments” that will be unforeseen and unforgettable. There will be the chance to learn from our hosts who have perfected the embracing of cultural diversity and the integration of cross-cultural communication.

In the local traditions of Aotearoa New Zealand’s indigenous people – Māori –

‘Tihei Mauri Ora’ is a claim to the right to speak. It is used to emphasize the importance of what is about to be said, and has been selected as the theme for the conference. In addition to the conference theme, seven tracks or streams have been identified to help both presenters and attendees find an area of interest or focus: Exploring Emerging Trends and Technology; Illuminating Research; Powerful Partnerships and Collaborations; Cultivating Leadership and Development; Nurturing Guardianship; Engaging Living Collections; and Embracing Culture.

Wellington is home to the world-renowned Museum of New Zealand – Te Papa Tongarewa, and numerous other museums, parks, islands, historical sites, and cultural organizations of all types. Offsite study tours are being planned at interpretive sites throughout New Zealand. For more information or to submit a session proposal, go to NAI’s website www.interpnet.com/ic. Deadline for session proposals is September 15, 2015.

‘Tihei Mauri Ora’ – the story begins….

Conference Dates:

Sunday April 3 thru Thursday April 7, 2016

Location:

Amora Hotel and Conference Center

Wellington, Aotearoa New Zealand

wellington-city-at-dawn-panorama

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