This Annual Meeting is the BEST for Historic House Museums

by Michelle Zupan, Curator & Director at Hickory Hill, AASLH Historic House Committee Chair on

This Annual Meeting is the BEST for Historic House Museums!

Admittedly, I may be a little biased because I am the Chair of the AASLH Historic House Affinity Committee and I run a large historic site. But out of all of the conferences I have attended since I started my museum career more than 20 years ago AASLH has never failed to deliver the most useful and creative ideas. Sure, it’s a networking opportunity, but there are creative people who are doing amazing things around the country and they are sharing those ideas with all of us. It’s a license to steal an idea and run with it! Here are some of the fantastic opportunities awaiting Historic House/Historic Site people in Detroit this September:

We will kick off the Annual Meeting bright and early on Thursday for the Historic House Affinity Group Breakfast… yes there’s food. Nancy Finegood from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network will talk about their historic building trades program, recapturing the lost arts that created so many of our historic structures.


Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI

Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester, MI

Worried about tornadoes at your site? How about slips, trips, and falls?  Never thought about it? Then you NEED to attend Risk Management for Historic Homes and Properties. Join Samantha Forsko and I on Thursday as we regale you with the finer points of planning for those things we don’t like to think about in this totally depressing session (kidding) that will help you save on your insurance premiums and may save your site!

On Friday don’t miss From Farm to Fork: Narratives that Connect. Folks from the Henry Ford will explore how our rusty agricultural implements and tired farm buildings can aid us in tapping into the “locavore/foodie” movement with inspiring interpretation. I doubt they will bring food, but there might be animals!  I’ll be there! (This session is also being live broadcast as one of six Online Conference sessions, so you can participate from home!)


The Whaley House in Flint, MI

The Whaley House in Flint, MI

Saturday starts off with Historic House Museums and Interpreting for People with Disabilities.Who doesn’t need to be more engaging for our visitors with challenges? Laura Minzes from the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites wants you to bring your questions and challenges to this session that promises to provide guidance and feedback.

Wow! All of that and I’ve only scratched the surface. There are so many more sessions directed at historic sites this year I can’t cover them all. Even if you can’t attend the conference in Detroit you can attend the Online Conference.


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