by Wren Smith and Whitney Wurzel, workshop co-chairs
Registration is open for the 2017 Sunny Southeast Workshop!
On behalf of the workshop planning committee and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, we invite you to visit the workshop page to review the workshop schedule, registration fees, lodging information, and more. Options to register online and by mail are available, but everyone is encouraged to download the registration form for full details.
The Paroquet Springs Conference Centre in Shepherdsville, KY, the site for most workshop events, is a convenient 25-minute drive from Louisville and less than a 10-minute commute to Bernheim. Workshop participants will have ample opportunities to socialize and optimize in the spirit of camaraderie that always prevails when interpreters congregate to share ideas, research, and interpretive tips.
We are thrilled to offer a terrific line-up of special guests, concurrent sessions, and field trip options. Among them is Keynote Speaker Martha Barnette, a Kentucky-native turned nationally-acclaimed writer, radio host, and word-origin enthusiast. As Wren describes:
Martha’s love of wild lands and language, and her passion for word roots and all things etymological fits well with our workshop theme: Rooted in the Land. I got to know Martha over two decades ago when she was researching her book, A Garden of Words; now I often listen to her NPR program, A Way with Words, on my drive to work each Saturday morning. Each episode leaves me with a deeper understanding of where and how our language moves, evolves, and reflects our changing times.
In my last Legacy article, Observations Ecology (March/ April 2016) I wrote, “Most interpreters have a world view shaped in part by the vocabulary or the language of the places we love. This place-enriched language forms a positive feedback loop that helps us experience details and underlying processes that we might otherwise miss.” I also ponder what happens when our observable world is reduced to a flat screen and devoid of sensory rich encounters and the words that root or etch those places in our hearts. The words we use are chocked full of history, linage, stories and interpretive potential.
In addition to her keynote address, Martha has also generously agreed to lead a concurrent session on using improv as an interpretive tool. Details regarding this and other sessions will soon be added to the regional website. In the meantime, we can confirm over 30 engaging sessions, lead by a variety of skilled presenters from across the Sunny Southeast and beyond, including NAI Deputy Director Paul Caputo.
While the workshop kicks-off Tuesday, March 7 with an evening reception at Bernheim* and continues through mid-day on Friday, March 10, participants are welcome to arrive early or stay late to explore the Bluegrass State. If your travel plans won’t allow for that, no worries; the workshop includes six unique and affordable field trips. Participants should register early, though, as spaces are limited for many excursions.
Mark your calendar, make your plans, and register soon! We can’t wait to see you in March.
*Whitney notes: Our opening speaker is the Sunny Southeast’s own award-winning and nationally-celebrated Wren Smith. Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind address, set at the LEED Platinum Bernheim Visitor Center during the twilight hours. Paired with local food, Kentucky spirits, a bonfire, and interpretive programming, it will be a night to remember.