Regional Meetings off to a Great Start: Regions 5 & 7 Report

Region 5 Meeting Held in Massillon
By Kate Smith

Region 5 meeting attendees
Region 5 meeting attendees

Carroll, Columbiana, Harrison, Holmes, Jefferson, Stark, Tuscarawas, and Wayne counties

Museum staff, trustees and volunteers kicked off their 2014 season with the Alliance Region 5 meeting in Massillon on Saturday, March 15, hosted by the Perry Township History Club. The Club, in the midst of a year of events to celebrate Perry Township’s bicentennial, did a fabulous job organizing the host location, Trinity United Methodist Church, as well as the meeting lunch, speakers and more.

Three great presentations were given to help empower attendees and provide resources for our sites. Tuscarawas County Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Tourism Manager gave tips for creating experiential tours at our sites. In the afternoon, the group split into two sessions: “Engaging Students without Field Trips” and “Social Media Trends.”

Kate Smith, Director of Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon, was reelected to her second term as Regional Representative. Cristina Savu-Teeters, Registrar at the Massillon Museum, will serve as co-representative. The new AmeriCorps volunteer, Morgan Zollars, was also introduced at the meeting.

Ohio Historical Society’s Executive Director & CEO, Burt Logan, gave an update on big news and changes that have taken place at OHS and what we can look forward to in the future. (Stay tuned for announcements.)

The day concluded with sharing time. To our surprise, Region 5 was busy 200 years ago and many sites have just recently, are currently or will soon be celebrating their bicentennial. The Perry Township History Club provided us with a photographic tour of their one-room school house. Damage to the roof kept us from touring the building, but the Club is busy raising funds for the repairs so it can be reopened soon.

A special thank you to all of the afternoon panelists: Kathy Fernandez (Alliance Treasurer and North Canton Heritage Society Director), Becka Lash (Zoar Village Assistant Site Manager), Wendy Zucal (Alliance Trustee at Large and Dennison Railroad Depot Director), Jacob Masters (Dennison Railroad Depot Museum), Amy Rohmiller (OHS Program Coordinator) and Mandy Altimus Pond (Massillon Museum Archivist).

Region 7 Meeting Held at the Heritage Center of Clark County
By Kasey Eichensehr

Region 7 meeting session: How to Mount a Great Exhibit
Region 7 meeting session: How to Mount a Great Exhibit with Jim Oda

Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Shelby counties

The Region 7 meeting was held Saturday, March 15 in Springfield, Ohio.  The meeting was hosted by the Clark County Historical Society at the Heritage Center of Clark County, and was attended by over 46 Alliance members and visitors. Attendees were welcomed by the Historical Society’s CEO Roger Sherrock, and Springfield’s Mayor Dr. Warren Copeland.

The meeting featured concurrent sessions in the morning and afternoon. In the morning, attendees chose between two panels devoted to expanding audiences and developing new lines of communication. “Engaging the Community through Local Partnerships” brought together some of Springfield’s non-profit leaders to discuss how collaboration has strengthened their organizations and allowed them to reach new segments of the community. In “Getting Started in Social Media: The Whys and Whats,” expert panelists offered ideas and tips, addressed issues and gave attendees an overview of how to use the main social media networks and determine the best fits for their organization.

The afternoon was dedicated to workshops on interpretation and education.  Jim Oda’s presentation on “Great Exhibits” was upbeat and informative and provided lots of practical ideas for exhibits large and small. He encouraged attendees to reimagine their approach to showcasing collections as a way to refresh old exhibits and show visitors something new and different. Regional representative Chris Burton stepped in to deliver Brandi Picek’s workshop on “Connecting Local History to Curriculum.”  While the session itself provided suggestions for how programs can fulfill the Ohio Academic Content Standards social studies curriculum, the discussion focused on who to contact at the schools and how to demonstrate that local history content meets their needs.

During the Region 7 business meeting, attendees were introduced to Mark Sundlov, the new head of the OHS Local History Office. Andy Verhoff spoke about the Ohio History Fund grant and upcoming meetings and workshops, and Region 7 Representative Chris Burton was elected to his second term.

Region 7 attendees tour Clark County Historical Society's collections area
Region 7 attendees tour Clark County Historical Society’s collections area

The meeting ended with a round-robin session in which attendees had the chance to share the best idea they heard during the day. OHS Executive Director & CEO Burt Logan made several exciting announcements about the future of the Ohio Historical Society. (Stay tuned for announcements.)

At the end of the day attendees had an opportunity to tour the galleries of the Heritage Center and the Historical Society’s collections storage area, where a cataloging project funded by the Ohio History Fund is currently underway.

Kate Smith is a Region 5 representative of the Ohio Local History Alliance and Executive Director of Spring Hill Historic Home in Massillon, Ohio.

Kasey Eichensehr is a Region 7 representative of the Ohio Local History Alliance and Curator of the Clark County Historical Society in Springfield, Ohio.

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