It’s a new year, and with the new year often we make resolutions to be better or more engaged with a cause. It can be hard to find tips on how to be a better preservationist or historian – like many things in life it is something you learn best by doing instead of reading about it – but we have found three guides to help you become an expert and speak more eloquently and authoritatively on issues you care about.
1. On Becoming a Local Go-To Person
Last year, Gracen Johnson shared her experiences about becoming a go-to person for interviews concerning local development issues. She lists five things which propelled her into being a go-to person in her community. There are no real shortcuts but to put in the time and research and networking, plus have a dash of luck on your side, but if you too see a vacuum, face your fears and start by writing that op ed piece or volunteering for a board position or committee. You never know what may come of it.
2. Applying What You Know: Reading the Built Environment
Have you ever wondered how some architectural historians just seem to “know” about when some change might have been made to a building? It can seem like magic the first time you see this in action, but it is really just a skill that comes from reading the environment and knowing the broad context of architectural movements. Kaitlin O’Shea walks you through her thought process in reading the environment in an unfamiliar city in this blog post. See if you can pick up any tips from her for your own built environment expeditions.
3. “Addressing the Threat to the Federal Historic Tax Credit and Setting the Preservation Policy Agenda for the 115th Congress.”
Here is one issue that comes up quite often for preservationists – what is happening on a national level that could affect local preservation issues? The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a free webinar to help you get caught up on the latest challenges facing the federal historic tax credit. On Thursday, January 19, 2:00–3:00 p.m. ET, join preservation partners and National Trust President and CEO, Stephanie Meeks, for a presentation of the most pressing policy issues facing the preservation community in the months ahead. You may also want to check out their archive to review past webinars on preservation issues, heritage tourism, grants, and more.