Historic preservation in Oklahoma is having its silver anniversary.
“Our Sense of Place: Oklahoma's 25th Annual Statewide Preservation Conference” will be June 5-7 in downtown Perry.
The conference is presented by the State Historic Preservation Office of the Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma Main Street Center of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, Preservation Oklahoma Inc., Main Street of Perry, Cherokee Strip Museum, the city of Perry and Civic Organization Cooperative Effort.
Three concurrent sessions will run Wednesday through Friday that week.
• “Homes and Hometowns” will feature the neighborhoods, individual houses, commercial buildings, sacred places and other properties that define the character of communities.
• “Technologies and Techniques” will explore how preservationists use technology and preservation techniques to share information, adapt historic buildings for new uses and protect properties for future generations.
• “Landmarks and Landscapes” will examine the vernacular and designed landscapes and the icons that connect Oklahomans to the places they call home.
The general session the afternoon of June 7 will feature two speakers who will discuss people's sense of place from a favorite downtown business to the rural landscape and how personal connections fuel passion for historic preservation.
• “The Coffee Shop and the Corner Store: Sociological Perspectives on Place” will be presented by Robyn Ryle, associate professor of sociology at Hanover College in Hanover, Ind. In addition to teaching, Ryle writes about knitting, fiddling, cooking, gardening and the stories of small-town life, from a 170-year-old house in Madison, Ind.
“As a sociologist, I'm interested in how places shape social life. So, I ask questions about how places shape our social interactions and the kind of communities in which we live,” Ryle said.
• “Genealogical Tourism: Connecting Family History to the Oklahoma Landscape” will be presented by Jennifer Kalkman, director of digital marketing for the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. She oversees development and content for the award-winning TravelOK.com.
Kalkman's presentation will focus on a new feature of the website, “Genealogical Tourism in Oklahoma,” which helps visitors explore their family tree and connections to Oklahoma people, places and landscapes.
Other conference programs will include:
“Transfusions R Us: Recruiting New Blood onto Boards and Committees,” on June 6, and “Recruiting and Involving Youth in Community Service,” on June 7, will be presented by Ken Culp III, principal specialist for volunteerism in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and adjunct associate professor in the Department of Family Sciences at the University of Kentucky.
Events include the opening reception on the Noble County Courthouse square, tours, Dutch-treat lunches for architects and architectural historians, the State Historic Preservation Office's annual awards banquet, Preservation Oklahoma Inc.'s mixer, annual meeting and luncheon.
Full conference details are available at okhistory.org/shpo/conference.htm and online registration is open at shop.perrymainstreet.com.
The conference blog is online at okpreservationconference.wordpress.com. The deadline for registration for $40 is May 29; the cost will be $50 after the deadline or at the door. Optional ticketed events require additional fees.