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Historic New England Brings Together Largest Group of Multi-Disciplinary Preservation Experts

from Around the Country for First-Ever Historic New England Summit, October 13-14, at Worcester's Mechanics Hall


Sixty speakers explore how 21st-century issues are transforming historic preservation, architecture, urban planning, education, agricultural conservation, sustainability, material culture, and public history

Summit Sessions, also Livestreamed, Focus on Building Resilient and Livable Communities



Historic New England, www.historicnewengland.org, the country's largest, oldest, and most comprehensive independent preservation organization, is convening a major multi-disciplinary conference of professionals, volunteers, philanthropists, thought leaders, students, and individuals interested in preservation issues to explore how 21st-century challenges and opportunities are being collectively addressed to create livable, resilient communities. The first-ever, two-day Historic New England Summit was announced today by Vin Cipolla, President and CEO of Historic New England.

The Summit will be held October 13 and 14 and also offered livestream from historic Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts, considered by architectural historians to be one of the nation's finest pre-Civil War concert halls and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Leading voices from across the country and abroad will explore significant preservation issues in the context of today's world, including Climate Change Impact, Remaking Cities in Post-industrial New England, Sharing Inclusive Histories, Technology and Globalizing Cultural Heritage, Culture as Catalyst, Agricultural Preservation, Collections Management, and Inherited Bias.

"We designed the Summit to bring together outstanding, innovative thinkers to encourage non-traditional, yet practical ideas about what sustainability could look like in the future," said Cipolla. "At this critical time, Historic New England is committed to using the power and knowledge learned from our shared history to grapple with the challenges of ensuring vibrant, vital communities—economically, environmentally, culturally, and socially. As a long-time leader in the preservation field, we also hope that the Summit will result in partnerships and initiatives that will help strengthen livability and resilience for our region and beyond."

The Summit will facilitate inclusive, diverse, and wide-ranging conversations among experts, professionals, students, and interested members of the public, both in person and virtually, from the fields of historic preservation, architecture, urban planning, agricultural conservation, government, arts and culture, museum studies, collections management, public history, education, and related areas. Summit ticket prices are designed to encourage the broadest possible participation. It also is hoped that tangible, public-private and cross-disciplinary partnerships will emerge from the two-day event.

Five prestigious awards and grants recognizing exceptional preservation work across the region will be presented during the Summit:

  • The Historic New England Preservation Leadership Award

  • The Historic New England Book Prize

  • The Historic New England Prize for Collecting Works on Paper

  • The Herbert and Louise Whitney Fund Community Preservation Grants

  • The Edward F. Gerber Urban Preservation Grant

Education will play a significant role at the Summit, with scholarships to the conference being offered to undergraduate, graduate, and trades students chosen from all six New England states. Additionally, Historic New England has solicited poster presentations from New England undergraduate and graduate students who are currently or were recently enrolled in academic programs in historic preservation, architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, real estate development, art conservation, collections management, or a closely related field.

Information on the Summit is available at Summit.HistoricNewEngland.org, and includes:

  • Summit program themes

  • Student scholarships

  • Partners and sponsorship opportunities

  • Registration

About Historic New England Historic New England, founded as the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1910, is the largest and most comprehensive independent preservation organization in the United States, and welcomes the public to 38 exceptional museums and landscapes, including several coastal farms. The organization operates a major collections and archives center in Haverhill, Massachusetts, and has the world's largest collection of New England artifacts, comprising more than 123,000 decorative arts and objects, and 1.5 million archival documents including photographs, architectural drawings, manuscripts, and ephemera. Engaging education programs for youth, adults, and preservation professionals, and award-winning exhibitions and publications are offered in person and virtually. The Historic New England Preservation Easement program is a national leader and protects 118 privately owned historic properties throughout the region.

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