I’m delighted and excited to introduce Untold Stories, a project aimed at pursuing an art conservation profession that represents and preserves a fuller spectrum of human cultural heritage. With generous funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Untold Stories’ mission is “to expand the existing ethical framework for art conservation by engaging new voices and hearing new stories that transform our understanding of the preservation of cultural heritage. We seek to recognize and conserve a broader range of cultural heritages; embrace a more diverse set of conservation practices and practitioners; and affirm the deep emotional connection between objects and sites of cultural heritage and the communities that claim them.”
Untold Stories will pursue this mission by engaging the voices of visionary leaders and thinkers within the arts, cultural heritage and allied fields whose work offers transformative approaches to storytelling, representation and preservation. Between 2018 and 2020, Untold Stories will hold public events at each of the next three annual meetings of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works featuring thought-provoking conversations with artists, arts administrators, activists, poets and scholars. All events will be professionally videographed and made available on the project site soon after they take place.
The 2018 AIC meeting in Houston will feature a panel discussion on “storytelling as preservation” with Deana Haggag, President and CEO of United States Artists, MacArthur award winning artist Rick Lowe, and queer migrant poet and cultural organizer and activist Sonia Guiñansaca. This event is free and will be held on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018, from 4:30 to 6pm at the conference hotel. (For more information, please visit https://www.untoldstories.live/houston-2018/). This event is also now listed in the AIC Program.
Another key component of Untold Stories is to create paid opportunities for emerging professionals to assume leadership roles in the development and implementation of the project’s programming. The project is currently seeking two assistants for 2018. Any interested conservation students or recent graduates of a program are invited to apply. The deadline for applications is January 20th.
Thank you all for your support, and see you in Houston!
Project Director, Untold Stories