Heritage Foundation summer sign

The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County has recently announced two education and preservation initiatives for 2021, each making renowned local and national historic preservation leaders accessible to educators and citizens of Williamson County.  

The first Summer Educator Institute, “Finding Freedom, Building Community,” that’s being held Saturday, June 12, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., joins the fourth annual Preservation Symposium & Preservation Awards, Revitalizing Preservation: See History, See Potential,” on Saturday Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the Heritage Foundation’s preservation and education lineup for the summer of 2021. 

Summer Education Institute

The new Summer Educator Institute will be an immersive, experiential professional development program designed to provide social studies teachers an opportunity to engage with scholars in research, critical analysis, and study at the Heritage Foundation. The Preservation Symposium will bring nationally known speakers to discuss the values and future of historic preservation. 

Both events — announced during May, National Preservation Month — are an integral part of the Heritage Foundation’s mission to enhance public awareness, raise understanding of historic buildings, sites and resources, and inform teachers, students and preservation enthusiasts about the county’s collective past.  

“We are pleased to hold our first annual Summer Educator Institute at the historic Franklin Theatre,” Rachael Finch, the Heritage Foundation’s senior director of Preservation and Education, said in a press release.

“History education is missional to the Heritage Foundation, and through a grant from the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area, we are excited to bring scholars and public historians to Franklin for a one-day experiential learning event who will contextualize primary sources, model best practices for teaching American history tied to the Civil War and Reconstruction Eras, and engage educators on how to teach their students to identify human connections from the past in the present.” 

The Summer Educator Institute offers educators a content-rich program taught by nationally recognized scholars. This year’s program involves concentrated immersion in the African American experience, cemented in the Civil War and its legacies, fostering the impassioned exchange of ideas among the scholars and educators. 

Speakers confirmed for the Summer Educator Institute are Bradley Boshers, Williamson County archivist; Christy Coleman, director of the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation; Brigette Jones, curator of social history for the Tennessee State Museum; Steve T. Phan, park ranger and historian at the Civil War Defenses of Washington and Learotha Williams Jr., Ph.D., scholar of African American, Civil War and Reconstruction, and Public History at Tennessee State University.

Revitalizing Preservation

The Preservation Symposium and Preservation Awards will feature notable speakers Danielle Del Sol, executive director of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, and Brent Leggs, executive director of The National Trust’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The day will include an interactive “Ask the Experts” panel discussion/workshop where attendees are encouraged to bring questions about their own preservation projects or projects within the community that they’d like to support.

This year’s event will be an ideal networking opportunity for the community and preservation leaders in Williamson County, Middle Tennessee and across the state as the Heritage Foundation continues to revitalize preservation through the power of place and stories. 

“Our fourth annual preservation symposium will bring highly acclaimed preservationists to Franklin as well as our local experts to discuss how we can see preservation’s potential through the history and culture tied to our communities,” said Blake Wintory, the Heritage Foundation’s director of preservation and education.

“Viewing preservation as a unifying force demonstrates the power of place by preserving historic buildings, while equally demonstrating the power of the stories they carry.”

Tickets are required for admission to both events. Click here for more information on the Summer Educators Institute and to register. 

Go here for registration information on the Preservation Symposium being held at the Williamson County Enrichment Center.

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