Historic Preservation - Local History Annual Conference | Wisconsin Historical Society

Local History & Historic Preservation Conference

2024 18th Annual Local History and Historic Preservation Conference. History in Action for Thriving Communities. Oct 16-18 at Hilton Appleton Paper Valley.

About the Conference

The 2024 Local History and Historic Preservation Conference will be held at the Hilton Appleton Paper Valley

October 16-18

Conference information will be updated on this website as it becomes available.

Keynote Speakers

Vince Michael, Ph.D.

Executive Director
San Antonio Conservation Society
Photograph of Vince Michael, an smiling, older gentleman with greying hair in a black suit with blue shirt and tie

Vincent L. Michael, Ph.D. has spent over four decades as a heritage manager, advocate, consultant, and thought leader. He is Executive Director of the San Antonio Conservation Society in San Antonio, Texas. Previously he was Executive Director of the Global Heritage Fund (GHF) in Palo Alto, California, from 2012 to 2015, helping preserve World Heritage Sites through community development. As Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (2006-2015) he served as Chair of the Historic Sites Fund Subcommittee and Vice Chair of the Diversity Task Force. He is also on the Board of the National Preservation Partners Network, where he was Co-Chair of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Racial Justice Working Group from 2020-22. He recently completed his third term on the Board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy.

Michael received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and received a Trustee’s Award from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts to complete his doctorate in architectural history at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has worked in the field of heritage development, tourism planning, community planning, historic architecture, education, and design in a wide variety of capacities and is a sought-after lecturer, tour guide, and expert.

In his keynote, Michael will explore the conservation of our historic built environment as a process where community participation is at the center. Historic preservation is not a set of rules but a process of identifying, evaluating, registering, and treating historic sites, structures, landscape, and traditions. Each historic site has its own individual qualities and treatments, and preservation ensures that the essential qualities of people and their places are conserved in a manner appropriate to the individual site.

Caroline Klibanoff

Executive Director
Made By Us
Photograph of Caroline Klibanoff, a smiling, young blond woman in a blue lace top

Caroline Klibanoff is the Executive Director of Made By Us, a New America US250 Fellow, and a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution. Under her direction, since its launch in 2019, Made By Us has grown into a nationwide network of 400 historic sites and museums joining forces to engage young adults — the “founders” of tomorrow — with credible, multi-perspective history and civics information, informing and inspiring millions. Through award-winning content, programs, youth leadership, and an annual “Civic Season” held from Juneteenth to July 4th since 2021, Made By Us cultivates Gen Z’s belonging and connection to U.S. history and historic sites.

Klibanoff has worked for cultural and civic organizations including the MIT Museum, Bridge Alliance, Cambridge History, Frameworks Institute, and Pew Research Center. She holds a BA in American Studies from Georgetown University and an MA in Public History and Digital Humanities from Northeastern University. She is a 2023 recipient of the Northeastern University Women Who Empower Innovator Award, an MIT Solve semifinalist, and a member of the national Civic Collaboratory.

In her keynote, Klibanoff will explore how history institutions can serve Gen Z for the 250th anniversary of the Nation - and beyond. As the United States prepares to mark its 250th anniversary, the largest youth generation yet, Gen Z, is stepping into adulthood. Young adults are seeking to understand “how we got here” to inform their passions, pursuits, and civic participation. Historic sites and museums are uniquely positioned to inform and inspire young adults, but reaching this group requires creativity, innovation, and capacity. The good news is, small shifts can unleash museums’ capacity to serve. In this presentation, you’ll gain a portrait of Gen Z’s defining features, beliefs, and habits, as well as key signals to watch, tools to access, and examples to emulate.

Hotel Information

A block of hotel rooms has been organized at the Hilton Appleton Paper Valley with special rates for conference attendees. Reservations are available by calling (920) 733-8000 or by clicking the booking link below. The group code is WHS.

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2024 Conference Partners

The Wisconsin Historical Society appreciates the support of our 2024 partners: