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Historic Preservation - Local History Annual Conference | Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Local History - Historic Preservation Conference

2021 Annual Conference

Historic Preservation - Local History Annual Conference | Wisconsin Historical Society
2021 Local History Conference Banner

Conference Registration is Open!

The registration fee is $50 and includes access to our plenary sessions, six workshops, and 24 sessions. Members of the Wisconsin Historical Society are eligible for a 10% discount. If you are not yet a member, you may join at Attendees will also receive access to recordings of all conference events for a limited time after the event to view sessions that you missed or revisit topics that you enjoyed. For any registration questions, contact us at or 608-264-6579

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Learn More About the Conference

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

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Keynote Speakers

Photographs of B.J. Hollars, Angela Fitzgerald, Emily Graslie

We are thrilled to host three keynote speakers who will bring attendees new perspectives on storytelling and connecting with your community: B.J. Hollars, Angela Fitzgerald, and Emily Graslie.

B.J. Hollars

Hope is the Thing: Wisconsinites on Perseverance in a Pandemic

In March 2020, as a pandemic began to ravage our world, writer and professor B. J. Hollars started a collaborative writing project to bridge the emotional challenges created by our physical distancing. Drawing upon Emily Dickinson's famous poem "'Hope' is the thing with feathers," Hollars called on Wisconsinites to reflect on their own glimpses of hope in the era of COVID-19. The result is an exploration of the depth and range of hope experienced in times of crisis, as well as an important record of what Wisconsinites were facing and feeling through these historic times.

Join B.J. Hollars for an engaging overview of the book's essays and poems that demonstrates hope comes in many forms: a dad dance, a birth plan, an unblemished banana, a visit from a neighborhood dog, the revival of an old tradition, empathy. Contributors Jim Alf, Dr. Margaret Rozga, and Curt Meine will join the discussion to share their contributions to Hope is the Thing and their experiences of joining this statewide collaborative effort.

Angela Fitzgerald

Wisconsin Life: Sharing Stories From Our State

Angela Fitzgerald will delve into her journey to share stories highlighting the diverse array of experiences and people found throughout our state.

Angela Fitzgerald is the host of Wisconsin Life on PBS Wisconsin. In addition to her work hosting the television series, Angela is the creator, producer, and host of Why Race Matters, a digital series on PBS Wisconsin. She has dedicated her extensive education and career to leadership, community engagement, and creating opportunities for others. Angela is currently the Director of Family, Youth & Community Engagement for the Madison Metropolitan School District. She is also pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is studying the intersection between education, organizing, and research as it relates to improving outcomes for historically marginalized groups.

Emily Graslie

The Power of Curiosity

Join science communicator, video host, and educational media producer Emily Graslie for a presentation that will inspire innovative ideas to engage with audiences and spark our curiosity for learning.

Following her curiosity has taken Emily Graslie everywhere from deep into the bat caves of Kenya to exploring the wonder within our own backyards. She will share her journey as a science communicator on YouTube and how that experience led her to becoming a trailblazer for PBS on Prehistoric Road Trip.

From 2013 to 2020, Graslie worked as the first-ever Chief Curiosity Correspondent for the Field Museum in Chicago, creating more than 200 episodes for The Brain Scoop, a natural history-themed YouTube channel whose videos have been viewed tens of millions of times. Her media productions and storytelling adventures have taken her and her viewers through both space and time, from deep into the bat caves of Kenya to the remote Peruvian Amazon jungle — and from the Cambrian through the Cretaceous by means of geologic and fossil formations across the United States. In 2020, she made her broadcast television debut on PBS in "Prehistoric Road Trip," an original three-part series exploring the paleontology and natural history of the Dakotas, Montana, and Wyoming.

AIA Wisconsin Continuing Education Credits

AIA Wisconsin is a Registered Provider for the AIA Continuing Education System (CES). AIA members can earn AIA/CES learning unit hours by participating in the designated sessions. AIA member attendance will be live tracked by the event website and reported to AIA/CES. Participants must attend full live session to receive AIA/CES credit.

  • Historic Preservation Solutions (1 LU/HSW) by Shaw Sprague, National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Innovative Design Solutions for Tax Credit Projects (1 LU/HSW) by Jen Davel, Midwest Regional Director, Heritage Consulting Group and Ted Matkom, Wisconsin Market President, Gorman & Company
  • Pendarvis Historic Structure Report (1 LU/HSW) by Charles Quagliana, Charles Quagliana Architects
  • Accessibility and Additions in Historic Rehabilitation Projects (1 LU/HSW) by Liz Petrella, Architectural Historian, National Park Service
  • Tax Credits for Historic Building Rehabilitation (1 LU) by Claire Bushemi and Paul Porter, Tax Credit Reviewers, Wisconsin State Historic Preservation Office
  • Doing LGBTQ+ History in Small City Wisconsin (1 LU) by Ariel Beaujot and Víctor Macías-González, University of Wisconsin–La Crosse
  • Historic Preservation and Downtown Preservation Efforts (1 LU) by Jason Scott, Regional Economic Development Director, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation 

2021 Conference Partners

The Local History and Historic Preservation Conference appreciates the support of our 2021 partners.

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