National conference coming to Nevada and Virginia Cities in 2013

Nevada and Virginia Cities will play host to a national convention of living history and museum experts in 2013.

The Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums will hold their 2013 tri-lateral conference in the historic Montana communities for the first time ever, said Dan Thyer, living history curator at Nevada City.

Thyer submitted the conference proposal this past year and found out the towns were awarded the conference in September.

The ALHFAM is the main sanctioning body for living history museums, like Nevada City, Thyer said. Their willingness to come to Madison County speaks volumes for the importance of the cultural resources found in both Nevada and Virginia Cities.

Thyer expects the conference to draw up to 120 attendees from three ALHFAM regions that cover an area from Ohio to the Pacific Coast and western Canada.

“This is a chance for a little bit of national exposure for the Gulch,” he said. “This is a chance to really showcase the Nevada City Living History Museum.”

The conference will be held Sept. 19 – 22 of 2013, but the preparations for the conference will begin well in advance of the event, he said. Thyer is planning to organize a steering committee to help with the conference planning.

Typical ALHFAM conferences include workshops, lectures, tours and various presentations. About a year prior to the event, Thyer will put out a call for research papers to be presented at the conference.

But one thing is certain, some of the top professionals in the living history field will be in attendance, he said.
The Nevada City Living History Museum is owned and operated by the Montana Heritage Commission. Winning the conference is important to the heritage commission as well.

“The Commission is thrilled over this conference coming in 2013 and kudos to Dan and his living history volunteers,” said Marilyn Ross, acting executive director for Montana Heritage Commission.

The conference will also provide an opportunity to incorporate Virginia City’s 150th birthday, Ross said.

For more information on the conference, call Thyer at 843-5247.

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