Unite to Save

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Currently, there is very little understanding of what attributes contribute to the successful protection of cultural heritage in emergency situations and what risk factors are associated with negative outcomes. Anecdotal evidence abounds, but there is a lack of systematic investigation with empirical rigor, which is sorely needed. In October 2015, this two-day conference aimed to answer these important questions. Funding was generously provided by the John and Carolyn Peterson Family Fund via the Smithsonian Grand Challenges Consortia and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The loss of cultural heritage can have damaging effects on local economic development, tourism, and commerce, as well as a community’s shared knowledge, creativity, resilience, and identity. 


Download the Conference Program

Agenda

Day 1: Wednesday, October 7

1:30-4:50 Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History

Welcome Address

1:30    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

Panel 1: Risk Reduction

1:40    IntroducerBen Jeffs (Program Director, World Monuments Institute, World Monuments Fund): How are risks defined? By what process are they identified? How successful has risk reduction been as a strategy to protect cultural heritage?

1:55    PresenterTerry Cannon (Senior Research Fellow in Climate Change and Development, Institute of Development Studies): Understanding Culture to Protect Heritage: What Can and Cannot Be Done, and Who Should Do It?

2:15    DiscussantStefan Simon (Director of the Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University)

2:25    Audience Discussion

2:45-2:55  BREAK

2:55    PresenterLori Foley (Administrator, Heritage Emergency National Task Force, Federal Emergency Management Agency/Smithsonian): Alliance for Response: The Power of Partnerships

3:15    DiscussantDiana Baird N’Diaye (Cultural Specialist/Curator, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian)

3:25    Audience Discussion

3:45-3:55  BREAK

3:55    PresenterAparna Tandon (Coordinator, International Programme on Disaster Risk Management; Project Specialist, ICCROM): Build Back Better with Culture: Why and How?

4:15    DiscussantKatharyn Hanson (Fellow, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum)

4:25    Audience Discussion

4:45    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

4:50-5:00  BREAK

5:00-6:30 Warner Bros. Theater

Haiti Cultural Recovery Project: Five Years Later and Beyond

Remarks: Secretary David Skorton (Secretary, Smithsonian); introduced by Susan Fruchter (Deputy Director, National Museum of American History)

Panel Discussion: Presentations by Olsen Jean-Julien (Former Minister of Culture, Haiti) and Richard Kurin (Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian), followed by panelists Stephanie Hornbeck (Director of Conservation, Caryatid Conservation Services), Evi Oehler (Project Manager and Architect, Office of Planning and Project Management, Office of Facilities Engineering and Operation, Smithsonian), and Rosemary Fallon (Paper Conservator, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian)

Moderated by Corine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

6:30-8:00    Reception, LeRoy Neiman Jazz Café


Day 2: Thursday, October 8

8:30-9:00    Breakfast, Presidential Reception Suite, National Museum of American History

9:00-12:15 Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History

Panel 2: Building the Capacity for Resilience

9:00    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

9:05    IntroducerSusan Wolfinbarger (Director, Geospatial Technologies Project, Scientific Responsibility, Human Rights and Law Program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science): What planning assists in the resilience of cultural heritage during a crisis? What outcomes can be demonstrably linked to prior planning?

9:20    PresenterDeidre McCarthy (Chief, Cultural Resources GIS Facility, National Park Service): Integrating Spatial Technologies and Cultural Resources to Improve Disaster Preparedness and Safeguard our Heritage

9:40    DiscussantJohn Ketchum (Federal Preservation Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Homeland Security)

9:50    Audience Discussion

10:10-10:20 BREAK

10:20  PresenterStephanie Hornbeck (Director of Conservation, Caryatid Conservation Services): Developing an Infrastructure for Conservation and Training in Haiti after the 2010 Earthquake

10:40  DiscussantEric Pourchot (Institutional Advancement Director, Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation)

10:50  Audience Discussion

11:10-11:20 BREAK

11:20  PresenterQiaoyun Zhang (Co-Chair, Risk and Disaster Topic Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology; Production Assistant, American Routes; Undergraduate Instructor, Tulane University): Cultural Heritage Protection after Disasters: Principles and Practices of the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction of the Chinese Ethnic Qiang Communities

11:40  DiscussantAndrew Hare (Supervisory East Asian Painting Conservator, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian)

11:50  Audience Discussion

12:10  ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

12:15-2:00   LUNCH

Panel 3: Local Leadership during Crises

2:00    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

2:05    Introducer: Ky Luu (Executive Director and Clinical Associate Professor, Tulane University Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy): What is the role of local leadership during a crisis? Under what conditions do these leaders emerge? What actions are they able to take?

2:20    PresenterKomal Aryal (Volunteer, Kathamndu Valley Earthquake Response): Locally-Led First Aid to Cultural Heritage Prevention: A Case Study from Nepal

2:40    DiscussantGail Joice (Museum Collections Manager, National Museum of the American Indian)

2:50    Audience Discussion

3:10-3:20    BREAK

3:20    PresenterIhor Poshyvalio (Deputy Director General, Ivan Honchar Museum, National Centre of Folk Culture, Kiev, Ukraine): Battle for Future: Armed Conflict and Heritage in Ukraine

3:40    DiscussantKirk Cordell (Executive Director, National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, National Park Service)

3:50    Audience Discussion

4:10-4:20    BREAK

4:20    PresenterSalam al Kuntar (Visiting Fellow, University of Pennsylvania Museum): The Role of Local Leadership among Syrian Heritage Professionals in Protecting Key Cultural Heritage Collections during Syria’s Civil War

4:40    DiscussantCarrie Hritz (Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Directorate for Geosciences, Office of the Assistant Director, American Association for the Advancement of Science)

4:50    Audience Discussion

5:10    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)


Day 3: Friday, October 9

8:30-9:00    Breakfast, Presidential Reception Suite, National Museum of American History

9:00-12:30 Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History

Panel 4: Negotiations and Collaborations during and after a Crisis

9:00    ModeratorCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian)

9:05    IntroducerDebra Ford (Leadership Program Director, University of Kansas School of Nursing): What issues must be overcome for a successful cultural preservation project during an emergency? How were these issues addressed? What successful collaborations resulted? What kind of support would be needed from the heritage community in emergencies to support collaboration?

9:20    PresenterFahim Rahimi (Chief Curator, National Museum of Afghanistan): National Museum of Afghanistan Collections: Preservation, Looting, and Post-Civil War Recovery

9:40    DiscussantLaura Tedesco (U.S. Department of State)

9:50    Audience Discussion

10:10-10:20  Break

10:20  PresenterJessica Johnson (Head of Conservation, Museum Conservation Institute, Smithsonian): The Iraqi Institute: A Case Study in Negotiation and Collaboration for Project Success

10:40  DiscussantKym Rice (Director, Museum Studies Program, George Washington University)

10:50  Audience Discussion

11:10-11:20  Break

11:20  PresenterRichard Kurin (Under Secretary for History, Art, and Culture, Smithsonian): A Case Study of Organizing Help in a Crisis: The Haiti Cultural Recovery Project

11:40  DiscussantRichard Leventhal (Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania; Curator, American Section, Penn Museum)

11:50  Audience Discussion

Closing Remarks

12:10  SpeakersCorine Wegener (Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer, Smithsonian) and Brian I. Daniels (Director of Research and Programs, Penn Cultural Heritage Center, University of Pennsylvania Museum)


Contributors

Funding for the Uniting to Save World Cultures conference has been generously provided by the John and Carolyn Peterson Family Fund via the Smithsonian Grand Challenges Consortia and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Smithsonian Co-Principal Investigators:

External Co-Principal Investigators:

Staff