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WMA to host Regional Heritage Stewardship Program workshop

Matt Boster

Viewed: 817

Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Jun 01 2017 7:35 AM

DOTHAN, Ala. - June 1, 2017- The Wiregrass Museum of Art (WMA) is pleased to announce it will be a host site for a Regional Heritage Stewardship Program workshop organized by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (CCAHA) on June 19 and 20, 2017. The goal of the workshop is to provide collections care and preservation training to museums and other collecting institutions in underserved areas of the Eastern Gulf Coast, including Alabama, the Florida panhandle, and Mississippi. Funding for the program was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

CCAHA identified underserved areas in the Southeast - defined as places with limited access to conservators or other preservation expertise - in consultation with the American Association for State and Local History and regional partners including the Alabama Department of Archives and History, the Florida Association of Museums, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Southeast Museums Conference.

The two-day workshop will cover a broad range of topics including best practices for preservation and collections care, how to conduct a preservation needs assessment, fundraising for collections care, and artifacts handling and housing for both flat and three-dimensional objects.

"WMA was fortunate to first work with CCAHA in the fall of 2015 through a grant opportunity to perform a collections-based risk assessment and help the museum establish emergency policies and disaster preparedness procedures," said Dana-Marie Lemmer, WMA Director and Curator. "We are looking forward to participating in their upcoming Regional Heritage Stewardship Program, as well as acting as the host site for the program. I have no doubt they will provide invaluable expertise to any collecting institution that attends."

Adapted from a model program CCAHA developed in Philadelphia, the Regional Heritage Stewardship Program will also offer webinars, on-site and phone consultations, grant opportunities, and a final conference held in the fall of 2018 intended to encourage networking and the establishment of a regional community infrastructure that will provide support for participating institutions. The regional programs will serve to connect preservation partners in the underserved areas confronted with similar challenges and establish a long-term network for on-the-ground support. CCAHA will work with the regional partners to ensure a similar range of programming can be maintained at the end of a two-year period.

"For me, it is really important to bring preservation ideas and principles to the more rural areas of the South because I know there is a treasure trove of cultural materials that should be cared for there. But that area of the country does not seem to get as much attention as places like Philadelphia, New York, or D.C., or even big Southern cities like New Orleans or Miami," said Samantha Forsko, CCAHA Preservation Specialist. "I want to equip people with the skills and resources to ensure that these collections are properly cared for so that future generations can appreciate and learn from them."

A second workshop series will be held for the Eastern Gulf Coast region at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi, on June 22 and 23. In-person workshops will also be held for the Appalachia region in Athens, Ohio, and Hazard, Kentucky, for institutions in eastern Kentucky, southeastern Ohio, and West Virginia. Workshops in both regions will serve as pilots for the Regional Heritage Stewardship Program.

The workshops held at the Wiregrass Museum of Art on June 19 and 20 will run from 9:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. both days. The cost is $30 per day or $50 for both days. Participants should register online at CCAHA's website:  

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