I’ve heard it said, when you stop learning you stop growing. With summer vacation just on the horizon, it’s easy to remember those days in school when I just wanted to put the books away and not think about learning. Kudos to my parents whose summer vacations usually balanced visits to some historic sites, museums or other cultural destination with the requisite amusement parks and beach visits. That subliminal education must have worked, given my chosen profession.
Everyone knows, education is extremely important. For Preservation Massachusetts, it is one of our two mission pillars, along with advocacy. Through our daily work, programs and outreach we know that education is a constant need throughout the preservation community. There is a constant need to educate elected officials, commission members, volunteers, preservationists and the general public. Whether that education is a letter, a meeting or a full blown presentation, we have an obligation to our mission to educate about preservation.
One form that takes is by offering educational forums, like conferences and workshops. Since 2015 we have taken the lead role in organizing the biennial Massachusetts Historic Preservation Conference which is extremely important for the preservation community and a great chance to learn and network (look ahead to 2019!). But being able to offer more targeted, regional and needs based educational opportunities has been a challenge for us. Enter our Special Projects Manager Stacia Caplanson.
Stacia, who is also our Central and Western Massachusetts Circuit Rider, took the opportunity to replicate an Historic Windows Presentation she had previously helped coordinate with the Western Massachusetts Historic Commissions Coalition. With the MassHist ListServe abuzz with concerns about historic windows being lost to the replacement industry, she arranged to bring the presentation to Worcester, co-sponsoring with Preservation Worcester and the City of Worcester. The 2-hour meeting on May 22 attracted over 30 people for great case studies, info and Q&A with professionals.
Stacia is currently working on bringing the same window presentation to the Salem area and on track to replicate it on Cape Cod in early fall. She also was able to organize a hands-on window-restoration workshop, facilitated by Jade Mortimer of Heartwood Window Restoration in Charlemont for this Saturday, June 2.
With just one issue, Stacia has put PM on track to offer 3 presentations and a DIY opportunity that filled up to max capacity. This just proves how important and how needed preservation education is for everyone, from homeowners to committee members to concerned citizens. To be able to offer these presentations, in-collaboration with local and statewide partners, is a critical part of who Preservation Massachusetts is and should be.
Preservation Massachusetts certainly is not alone in our constant quest to educate, empower and expand our preservation community. We regularly update our Community Calendar with workshops, seminars and other offerings from our partners statewide. Be sure to check it out; there’s a lot going on this June! We know the issues go beyond just windows and look to you for input on what educational offerings do you need in your community? As we look to grow our “stable” of offerings, hearing what you need is critical.
Watch some highlights of our Worcester window presentation on May 22.
Having the staff that can focus on organizing and creating these opportunities is hugely important. From Stacia’s expanded role with our organization to our Eastern Massachusetts Circuit Rider Jeff Gonyeau, they work to bring preservation education resources to all parts of our Commonwealth. Your membership dollars allow us to bring these presentations on the road and create new ones to meet your needs. Join as a member today and help us educate the Commonwealth about the benefits of preservation!