By Beth Weinhardt, Coordinator, Anti-Saloon League Museum, Westerville
It is the time of year when the Ohio Local History Alliance Annual Meeting and Conference brochure ands in local history organization mailboxes across the state. In our organization, the brochure is passed back and forth as we discuss which sessions are musts, who is going to what, and how we can maximize the potential for our organization with the offerings. The annual meeting and conference is anticipated because it is a chance to see old friends, make new friends, and to learn from others who love local history and want to see it thrive. This year, new opportunities are going to be provided for attendees of the meeting. We are pleased to announce that the Alliance and the Society of Ohio Archivists (SOA) are teaming up on Friday to offer more session choices and opportunities to connect. So please join us on Friday, October 5th and Saturday, October 6th as we delve into the conference theme “Inspire or Expire: How to Remain Relevant in the 21st Century.” This year’s meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn in Worthington, Ohio, site of the 2011 meeting. The keynote address will be of great value to all of us as we attempt to find new ways to attract an audience to our site/museum and our community. Dan Shilling, author of Civic Tourism: The Poetry and Politics of Place will inspire us to find ways to connect to the public, share our stories, and add economic value to our community. We are very fortunate to have Dan join us again on Saturday for a workshop to explore these themes in more depth.
Other highlights include:
- The Tech Café, back by popular demand, bringing more low-cost and simple technology ideas
- An in-depth look at the security issues confronting sites/museums and some tools to combat theft and vandalism
- As we continue with the Civil War 150th, sessions will be offered on the Underground Railroad in Ohio and Ohio Women and the Civil War Home Front
- SOA is providing a workshop on paper conservation and a forum that allows attendees to ask questions of experts on topics related to archives. Check the brochure for their other Friday offerings
- Workshops on the new grant opportunities from the History Fund, tourism grants from the Ohio Humanities Council, and a roundtable 2012 Alliance Annual Meeting by Todd Kleismit, Director of Community & Government Relations, Ohio Historical Society, to share fundraising ideas will all help locate funding sources
- An extended workshop that looks at all aspects of oral history projects
- Sessions on field trips and education collections to aid groups in outreach to educators and students
- How-to sessions on creating a first person character, using collaborations, finding period clothing and artifacts, recruiting and keeping volunteers of all ages… and much more
The Friday night reception should be a real treat for all who attend. The Worthington Masonic Temple, one of the oldest Masonic Temples west of the Allegheny Mountains, is going to be open to reception attendees to tour. Light hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served at the nearby Old Rectory, which will also be open for touring. At 6:00pm living historian Sandra Quick will portray Phyllis Wheatly, an early African-American poet, at the Masonic Temple. You can complete your evening by strolling through historic Worthington and dining at a restaurant of your choosing. (List will be provided.)
On Saturday morning, the Ohio Local History Alliance annual business meeting will take place before the day’s sessions begin. Alliance President Christie Weininger will bring attendees up to date on the latest Alliance news and preside over the election of officers. You can also enter your name in a drawing for a special prize.
Join your fellow local historians to renew acquaintances, learn new skills, network with other organizations, browse the marketplace, and see what organizations are accomplishing at the Saturday awards luncheon. We are looking forward to seeing you in October at the Alliance annual meeting. Come and be inspired!