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Historic Preservation - Local History Annual Conference | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Local History - Historic Preservation Conference

2020 Annual Conference

Historic Preservation - Local History Annual Conference | Wisconsin Historical Society
Local History & Historic Preservation Conference, this year at home!

Register now for the 2020 Local History and Historic Preservation Conference online from October 21 through 23!

Register and pay your conference registration fee at Your registration fee includes all live plenary events, sessions, and networking events on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as well as access to recordings of all sessions and plenary events for one month following the conference. 

Registration is $50 for all attendees. Members of the Wisconsin Historical Society are eligible for a 10% discount. Become a member today!

This year's conference is presented in partnership with the Wisconsin Council for Local History, the Wisconsin Association of Historic Preservation Commissions, and the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board.

Local History & Preservation Conference Brochure for download as PDF

Learn More About the Conference

Explore the speakers, events, and schedule in this comprehensive brochure.

Download the Brochure!

Schedule At A Glance

Wednesday Thursday Friday

Wednesday, October 21

12 - 12:30 pm

Online Conference Orientation Optional

1 - 2 pm

Opening Plenary

Welcome message from Christian Øverland
The Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO, Wisconsin Historical Society

2020: Challenges and Opportunities
A panel discussion featuring historical society directors from across the country

2:15 - 2:45 pm

Wisconsin Historical Society Press Author Spotlight: Jerry Apps

Jerry Apps will read from and share a few highlights from his most recent book, When the White Pine was King: A History of Lumberjacks, Log Drives, and Sawdust Cities in Wisconsin.

Sessions 3 - 4 pm

Mothballing Historic Buildings: Continuing Constant Maintenance on Unoccupied Buildings

Daniel Stephans
AIA, Architect / DJ Stephans AIA Architect

Arlan Kay
FAIA, Architect

Historic Preservation Advocacy

Renee Kuhlman
Senior Director of Outreach and Support, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Digital Storytelling: Engaging Next-Gen Audiences

Panel discussion led by Angela Titus
Assistant Deputy Director and Chief Program Officer, Wisconsin Historical Society

Developing a Collections Management Policy: Start Yours Here!

Danielle Benden
Owner, Driftless Pathways LLC

4:30 - 5:30 pm

Networking Events and Zoom Happy Hour

Join affinity groups for networking and conversation.

Thursday, October 22

Sessions 9 – 10 am

Doing Fieldwork in Underrepresented Communities

Arijit Sen
Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Why Old is Green: Sustainability in Older Homes

Natalie Heneghan
Education Manager, Rethos: Places Reimagined

Successful Fundraising Strategies for Uncertain Times

Kristin Borst
Development Director, Wisconsin Historical Foundation

Sean Lynch
Strategic Partnership Officer, Wisconsin Historical Foundation

Collection Development Basics: How to Responsibly Build a Historical Archive

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board

Simone Munson
Collection Development Coordinator, Wisconsin Historical Society

SESSIONS 10:30 – 11:30 am

Mounds, Markers, and Monuments in Wisconsin’s Landscape

Amy Rosebrough, PhD 
Archaeologist, Wisconsin Historical Society

Daina Penkiunas, PhD
State Historic Preservation Officer, Wisconsin Historical Society

Fitzie Heimdahl
State Historical Markers Program Coordinator, Wisconsin Historical Society

Decision Making Processes for Historic Preservation Commissions

Heather Bailey, PhD
Preservation Planner, City of Madison

Tim Acklin
AICP, Senior Planner, City of La Crosse

Historical Trauma in Native American Communities

Liz Arbuckle Wabindato, PhD
Education Outreach Specialist, Wisconsin Historical Society

Strengthen Your Membership Program

Hannah Hankins
Annual Giving Manager, Wisconsin Historical Foundation

12 – 1 pm

Plenary Keynote

Dr. Turkiya Lowe, Chief Historian, National Park Service

Women's Voting at 100 Years: A Historical Perspective Amidst Today's Challenges and Opportunities

A presentation on how gender, race, and class have structured Women's voting rights struggles from the very beginnings of the United States' founding to the present.  Learn more about the National Park Service's efforts to research and interpret the history of women's suffrage, the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, and the far-reaching legacies that impact women's equality today.

SESSIONS 1:30 – 2:30 pm

The Legacy of 150 Years of Logging and Its Effect on Wild Rice

Cindi Stiles
Archaeologist and Historic Preservation Consultant

Joe Graveen
Wild Rice Technician, Wild Rice Cultural Enhancement Program Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Greg "Biskakone" Johnson
Teacher, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians

Grants Available from the National Park Service

Megan Brown
Chief State, Tribal, Local, Plans & Grants, National Park Service

Clio: Bringing Local History Home

Catherine Arnott Smith
Professor, The Information School, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Making Sense of Archival Collections

Sponsored by the Wisconsin Historical Records Advisory Board

Emil Hoelter
Processing Archivist, Wisconsin Historical Society

Sessions 3 – 4 pm

Researching the Social History of Historic Properties

Neil Prendergast
Associate Professor of History, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Financing Rehabilitation Projects

Bob Klebba
historic building owner

Tom Landgraf
of Tom Landgraf Consulting, LLC and Dimension Development, LLC

Creativity: An Essential Human Need

Mike Hollander
Museum Deputy Director, Wisconsin Historical Museum

Nick Hoffman
Administrator of Historic Sites and Museums, Wisconsin Historical Society

Hmong in Wisconsin: 45th Anniversary of the Hmong Diaspora

Mai Zong Vue
Author and Advocate


Friday, October 23

8 - 8:45 am

Coffee and Conversation

Join topic-based groups hosted by Wisconsin Historical Society specialists ready to answer questions.

Sessions 9:00 – 10:00 am

Uncovering Relevant Stories for Modern Audiences

Bethany Brander
Wisconsin Historical Society

Susan Caya-Slusser
Pendarvis Historic Site, Wisconsin Historical Society

Additions to Public Buildings

Jen Davel
Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer, Wisconsin Historical Society

The Lands We Share Traveling Exhibition and Community Conversation Tour: A Panel Discussion About Community Collaboration Successes and Challenges

James Levy
Director, Lands We Share Project / Associate Professor, Dept of History, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Stephen Kercher
Co-Director, Lands We Share / Professor, Dept of History, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

21st Century Artifact Collecting

Estella Chung
Chief Curator, Wisconsin Historical Society

Joe Kapler
Lead Curator, Wisconsin Historical Society

Dave Driscoll
Curator of Economic History, Wisconsin Historical Society

Tamara Funk
Curator, Wisconsin Historical Society

Alan Hanson
Curatorial Assistant, Wisconsin Historical Society

Sessions 10:30 – 11:30 am

The Legacy of the Public Works Era in Wisconsin

Daina Penkiunas
State Historic Preservation Officer, Wisconsin Historical Society

A Public-Private Partnership: Putting Shaw Point on the National Register

Charlene Roise
Historian, Hess, Roise and Company, Inc.

David J. Cooper
Archeologist, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

Unvarnished: Restoring the Erased History of Exclusion

Dr. Sabrina W. Robins
Board Member, African Heritage, Inc.

Donna K. Sack
Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Naper Settlement

Nicholas Hoffman
Administrator of Museums and Historic Sites, Wisconsin Historical Society

Maximizing Mission Effectiveness Through Strategic Partnerships

Wes Mosman Block
Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer, WHS

Mame McCully
President and Executive Director, Milwaukee County Historical Society

12:00 – 1:00 pm

Closing Plenary Keynote

Aaron Bird Bear (Mandan, Hidatsa, and Diné, enrolled Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold Indian Reservation), Tribal Relations Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Settler Colonialism and the Objects Around Us

Twelve American Indian nations speaking six languages from three language families reside within Wisconsin’s borders, making Wisconsin the most culturally and linguistically diverse state east of the Mississippi River—yet many of the historical narratives we share begin with European or European American settlement. Join Aaron Bird Bear, Tribal Relations Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, for a discussion of how the monuments, markers, and other objects in the landscape only tell a fraction of the more than 12,000-year human story of the place we now call Wisconsin. 

Wisconsin Historical Society’s 2020 Board of Curators Awards

Closing remarks from Christian Øverland, The Ruth and Hartley Barker Director & CEO, Wisconsin Historical Society



October 22 - 23, 2021, at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley in Appleton
October 13 - 15, 2022, at the Central Wisconsin Convention & Expo Center in Rothschild
October 19 - 21, 2023, at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse

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