Are you all signed up for the Listen Up! Historic Preservation Conference in Tupelo? An all-star cast of Mississippi’s most creative and innovative preservationists will share their extensive knowledge about how to make projects come alive in your neck of the woods.
Sunday, June 8
Come early to catch the Elvis Gospel Brunch that morning and tour Highland Circle with Bruce Smith that afternoon. Cool down after your jaunt with a cocktail in Doyce and Bill Deas’ lovely garden and catch up with your fellow preservationists at the Welcome Party and MHT Annual Meeting.
Monday, June 9
After a warm welcome to lovely historic Tupelo by Mayor Jason Shelton, Ernesto Caldeira of Woodville will spin a colorful yarn about his efforts to ensure that Woodville is a place that “gets it” when it comes to historic preservation. Next up, noted preservation architect Belinda Stewart will help participants learn to “read” a historic building, from clues to its original design to later changes and their significance. Belinda will also share some stories about her extensive work in historic preservation around Mississippi. Thanks to AIA Mississippi, this session qualifies for one hour of CEU credit.
Over lunch, developers Chris Chain, John McClure andDeborah Midanekwill share insights about their approach to making preservation projects happen, answering that age-old preservation question, “how did they pull that one off?”. We will leave a little time for exploration, as we learn about the exciting future of the J.J. Rogers Building, an amazingly cool historic cotton mill.
After lunch, Chelius Carter and Jodi Skipper with Preserve Marshall County & Holly Springs will fill us in on what it has taken to launch the highly successful Behind the Big House tour program, which expanded the Holly Springs Pilgrimage to new audiences. Robert Saarnio, Director of the University Museum and Historic Houses, will then weave a tale about the key role of preservation in building a successful heritage tourism program. We will end our day of learning on a positive note as Ken P’Pool with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History shares his considerable insight on how communities can use historic preservation to recover their sense of identity after a disaster.
Monday afternoon, eat, drink and visit with our wonderfully talented exhibitors while putting the finishing touches on your preservation journal before heading over to the Tupelo Shindig-Powered by Pecha Kucha. Admission is free, with a suggested $25 donation that will go to helping the historic Joyner neighborhood in its recovery from the recent tornado. Tap your toes to the soulful harmonica blues of the Blues Doctors and sip a Yalobusha beer while enjoying the lavish Bo-Saam spread prepared by the talented folks at the Neon Pig before the main event-Pecha Kucha. Our amazing line-up of speakers will make you laugh, make you cry, probably make you shake your fist a few times. You do not want to miss hearing these folks discourse on what the preservation of Mississippi’s historic places means to them:
Jennifer Baughn, Jackson
Dan Camp, Starkvile
Steve Holland, Tupelo
Tom Howorth, Oxford
Stella Gray Bryant Sykes, Jackson
Malcolm White, Jackson
Tuesday, June 10
Tuesday morning, have a field day enjoying all the intriguing historic places in and around Tupelo. Or just take some time to shop and eat a cupcake or two-supporting local, downtown business is important preservation work! Tours include Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church and Cemetery with the Reverend Gary Long, Sr., Tupelo’s Historic Downtown (recently nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places) with Boyd Yarborough, and driving tours exploring Native American History with Councilman Buddy Palmer and Civil War History with Dick Hill and New Deal History with Fred Smith.
Next up, celebrate Mississippi’s many preservation success stories during the Heritage Awards Luncheon at the J.J. Rogers Building. The Mississippi Heritage Trust will honor 49 individuals, businesses and organizations for their hard work and dedication to making sure that Mississippi’s historic places can tell their stories for generations to come. Applause, applause!