On October 23-24, WKU’s Kentucky Folklife Program and Kentucky Museum Director Brent Björkman will speak at Building Bridges: A Symposium on Global Cultural Heritage Preservation about the community engagement work he has been involved with, centering on the Bosnian Oral History Project and current exhibit, A Culture Carried: Bosnians in Bowling Green. This symposium, coordinated by the Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee (CHCC), and taking place at the Smithsonian Castle Commons in Washington DC, is dedicated to exploring how the United States might better help protect and preserve cultures around the world by cultivating an open dialogue about cultural heritage preservation between government and non-government organizations, the private sector, and university and research communities.
“I am honored to be asked to share and discuss the Kentucky Folklife Program’s ongoing Bowling Green Bosnian Oral History Project and the Kentucky Museum-based exhibit born from this research with so many national voices next week.” Björkman shared, “Although much of the symposium is internationally-focused, I have been asked to speak about our WKU-based project as a strong example of applied public folklore research that focuses on the human and intangible side of heritage among displaced peoples and communities.”
Building Bridges will take place October 23–24 with a series of presentations, lightning talks, moderated panels, breakout discussions, and Q&A sessions. The symposium will provide a platform to learn more and engage in conversations to facilitate and bridge collaboration across agencies and organizations. At the close of the two days, a panel discussion open to the general public will discuss U.S. foreign policy and interagency collaboration efforts in cultural heritage protection and preservation.
Organized by the CHCC Public Awareness and Partnerships Working Group and hosted by the Smithsonian Institution, the forum will address issues of public awareness, crisis response, cultural heritage trafficking, funding, international preservation efforts, and interagency cooperation.
The Cultural Heritage Coordinating Committee (CHCC) is an interagency committee dedicated to coordinating U.S. government efforts to protect and preserve cultural heritage at risk from political instability, armed conflict, or natural disasters. Chaired by the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, the CHCC was established in 2016 under the Protect and Preserve International Cultural Property Act (read the full text of the legislation regarding the Committee here).
CHCC member agencies include: Department of State, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Department of Justice, Department of the Treasury, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Smithsonian Institution, and U.S. Agency for International Development.