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Iowa's statewide historic preservation summit goes virtual

Jun 3, 2020

This year's premier statewide historic preservation conference will be presented virtually to allow all participants to gather online.

Instead of gathering among the city's historic buildings and majestic riverside bluffs, participants in the 2020 Preserve Iowa Summit will connect online June 4-6 with a mix of live and pre-recorded sessions, virtual tours and an awards ceremony to celebrate outstanding preservation projects across Iowa.

"We're using new tools and technology to protect and preserve the past," said Chris Kramer, director of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. "Iowans care deeply about our history and understand how historic properties enhance our communities, so we encourage Iowans across the state to tune in, broaden their knowledge and build their skills."

The Iowa Department of Cultural of Affairs and its State Historic Preservation Office are co-presenting this year's summit with the city of Dubuque, in partnership with the Dubuque Historic Preservation Commission, Travel Dubuque, Preservation Iowa, Heritage Works, RDG Planning and Design, and the National Park Service.

During the summit, state and national experts will lead a range of sessions about historic preservation, including practical tips on restoring stained glass, repairing historic terra cotta, applying for tax incentives, and even using music history as a way to encourage preservation, as residents have done in Clear Lake. The virtual summit also will showcase Dubuque's rich history, from Steeple Square to the Central Avenue corridor to the iconic WPA stone structures at Eagle Point Park. On Saturday, sessions on a variety of museum topics will be of interest to staff and volunteers working in history museums and historical societies.

This year's keynote speaker is Carl Elefante, the former president of the American Institute of Architects, who is perhaps best known for coining the phrase "The greenest building is the one that is already built." He has dedicated his career to promoting sustainable architecture and plans to focus his address on how historic preservation can be a powerful tool in the fight against climate change, a timely topic as the world marks Earth Day's 50th anniversary.

2020 Preserve Iowa Summit
Where: Online. All registrants will receive a link to participate via Zoom.
When: June 4-6
Cost: $20
More info:

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.