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Preservation Symposium



The Heritage Foundation of Williamson County’s annual preservation symposium brings nationally known speakers to discuss the values and future of historic preservation. Our 4th annual preservation symposium, Revitalizing Preservation: See History, See Potential, will bring together preservation organizations, community leaders, residents, museum professionals, educators, students, architects and developers to explore revitalizing preservation. Attendees will discover how we see and influence history while learning to recognize our full potential to revitalize preservation through education, advocacy and engaging storytelling.

This one-day symposium will feature notable speakers and a roundtable discussion about how preservation is relevant in our communities. How do we talk about our work as preservationists, advocates, and volunteer board members in a way that connects with people from all walks of life? How may history-based and preservation advocacy organizations promote relevancy by preserving places, spaces, and stories? During this session, we will share from a variety of perspectives (preservation, advocacy, research, community engagement) and will talk with each other, and you, about the challenges of communicating our relevance as we all work to learn more about seeing history’s potential in preservation. No fancy PowerPoints or pictures, just a conversation to shift the narrative to reflect a positive impact of preservation of all communities.

All attendees will receive a light breakfast and catered boxed lunches.

Sponsored by The Harpeth Hotel & Twine.


Limited spaces are available. Click to secure your General Admission tickets today!


Members of the Heritage Foundation, Franklin Theatre, or Downtown Franklin Association get your tickets here.


Educators and students get your tickets here.

Featured Speakers

Danielle Del Sol - Executive Director Preservation Center of New Orleans

Del Sol is the executive director of the Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans. She was named executive director in February 2018 after the PRC’s board undertook an extensive national search; she is only the fourth director in the organization’s 44-year history. She served for seven years before that as editor of Preservation in Print, the monthly magazine of the PRC, taking the publication’s design and content to new levels of sophistication, winning several prestigious awards along the way. She also simultaneously served as the PRC’s communications director.

She is an adjunct lecturer in the Master of Preservation Studies program at Tulane University, of which she is also an alumna. Del Sol serves on the City of New Orleans’ Central Business District Historic District Landmarks Commission, among other volunteer roles. She was a Diversity Scholar with the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2012. She is a native of Miami, Florida and has degrees from Tulane University and Hendrix College. She lives in Uptown New Orleans with her husband and two daughters in a c. 1905 camelback shotgun that the couple restored in 2015.

Brent Leggs - Executive Director African American Cultural Heritage Fund

Leggs is the executive director of the African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Envisioned as a social movement for justice, equity, and reconciliation, the Action Fund is promoting the role of cultural preservation in telling the nation’s full history, while also empowering activists, entrepreneurs, artists, and civic leaders to advocate on behalf of African American historic places.

A Harvard University Loeb Fellow and author of Preserving African American Historic Places, which is considered the “seminal publication on preserving African American historic sites” by the Smithsonian Institution, Leggs is a national leader in the U.S. preservation movement and the 2018 recipient of the Robert G. Stanton National Preservation Award. His passion for elevating the significance of black culture in American history is visible through his work, which elevates the remarkable stories and places that evoke centuries of black activism, achievement, and community.

Over the past decade, he has developed the Northeast African American Historic Places Outreach Program, and its theme, the Business of Preservation, to build a regional movement of preservation leaders saving important landmarks in African American history. As the project manager for several National Treasure campaigns across the country, he led efforts to create the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in Alabama, which President Barack Obama designated in January 2017. Other campaign successes include the perpetual protection of cultural monuments like Villa Lewaro, the estate of Madam C. J. Walker in Irvington, New York; Joe Frazier’s Gym in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Hinchliffe Stadium in Paterson, New Jersey; A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham; Nina Simone’s Birthplace in Tryon, North Carolina; John and Alice Coltrane’s home in Huntington, New York; and more.

Leggs has taught at Harvard University, Boston Architectural College, and the University of Maryland. He is a Senior Advisor and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for the Preservation of Civil Rights Sites (CPCRS) and is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s graduate program in Historic Preservation.

Event Schedule

8:30 AM

Registration, Coffee/Light Breakfast

9:00 – 9:15 AM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Bari Beasley, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County

9:15 – 10:30 AM

Building An Inclusive National Identity

Brent Leggs, African American Heritage Cultural Fund

10:30 – 10:45 AM


10:45 AM – 11:45 AM

Relevancy Roundtable - Preservation As Community

Senior Director of Preservation and Education, Rachael Finch (moderator); Director of Preservation, Blake Wintory, PhD; Architectural Conservator and Historian, Grace Abernethy; Director of Advocacy and Government Relations, Jill Burgin; Commissioner and Preservation Advocate, Brentwood Historical Commission, Inetta Gaines

11:45 AM – 12:30 PM


catered by Merridee's Bakery

12:30 PM – 1:15 PM

Reviving Relevance: Improving Historic Preservation's Impact On Our Communities

Danielle De Sol, Executive Director, Preservation Resource Center, New Orleans

1:15 PM – 1:45 PM

Heritage Foundation Preservation Awards

Rachael Finch & Blake Wintory, PhD., Heritage Foundation

1:45 PM – 2:00 PM

Closing Remarks

Bari Beasley, Chief Executive Officer, Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN