Conference co-hosted by Yale and Smithsonian explores issues of equity in the preservation of cultural heritage

‘Museum Communities and Equity’ is the theme of the third annual international conference of the Global Consortium for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage (GCPCH), a coalition of universities, museums, and other research institutes.

This year’s event, taking place in Washington D.C. on October 21 – 22, is co-hosted by Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution. Yale and the Smithsonian were each among the founders of the GCPCH, the creation of which was proposed at the eighth United Nations Global Colloquium of University Presidents held at Yale in 2016. Scholars attending that gathering outlined the need for the consortium in the New Haven Declaration.

Guided by an international steering committee, this year’s conference will put a special emphasis on discussion of a range of issues of interest to university and museum professionals surrounding equity in the preservation of cultural heritage. Participants will explore topics including: investigating the role of diverse communities in determining how their heritage is identified, protected, and managed; understanding the needs of the museum and cultural sectors in Africa; developing creative engagement between cultural institutions and the communities whose heritage they maintain; and educating the next generation of cultural heritage professionals.

The GCPCH enables the global university, education, and research community to make a transformative contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage, through broad educational programs, major collaborative research initiatives, and effective engagement and advocacy. The consortium serves as a catalyst for cultural preservation by making information available to its members via open databases, and by providing a forum for meetings that facilitate interchange among a diverse group of colleagues who come together across fields of study to discuss projects and explore interdisciplinary and multicultural collaborations.

The first annual GCPCH meeting was held in Milan, Italy in 2017, and in 2018 the conference was held in Mumbai, India. This year’s conference is expected to be attended by representatives from over 50 universities, museums, and other institutions, from 21 countries.

More information about joining the consortium and participation at conferences is available on the consortium’s website (https://gcpch.org/).