By Susan Glimcher, Director, Communications, Education and Outreach, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and Susan West Montgomery, Vice President, National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP).

PastForward, the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual conference (November 3-6, 2015) in Washington, DC ( marks a kickoff of Preservation50, the nationwide celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), on October 15, 2016. To close out the conference on November 6, the NTHP will host a lunch highlighting the celebration of the NHPA and an address by U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Attendees at the Trust’s annual conference will learn from the experiences that have shaped the movement during the past 50 years, and acquire tools and resources to meet the challenges ahead. Come to explore new ideas and find inspiration as we envision the next 50 years of preservation. For more about the 50th Anniversary of the NHPA, click here.

P50 house

The Opening Plenary – preserveFUTURE on Wednesday, November 4, at 5 p.m. – will focus on a prime purpose of the Conference: to begin planning for the next 50 years of preservation, including how to make preservation more widely relevant, who preservationists can partner with, how to scale preservation efforts for greater impact, and how preservation, as a movement, can change, adapt and grow. preserveFUTURE also serves as the Trust’s annual membership meeting and as a venue for presentation of the Louise du Pont Crowninshield Award, Driehaus Preservation Awards, and the President’s Award for National Leadership in Historic Preservation.

Attendees interested in the future of historic preservation should also participate in the Learning Lab The Future Becomes You the morning of Thursday, Nov. 5, and the Power Session on Preservation50 at noon the same day.

Additionally, the Conference will focus on diversifying the movement. For decades, certain voices have not been well represented within historic preservation, and important stories from America’s past have been neglected. Many Conference offerings reflect the importance of this effort:

  • Latinos in Heritage Conservation
  • Emerging Young Professionals in Preservation
  • African American Preservationists
  • Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation
  • Native Americans in Historic Preservation
  • Rainbow Heritage Network

If you can’t make it to D.C., you can still participate in this year’s conference as a virtual attendee. Live streaming of PastForward is free and will focus on urban strategies including Main Street approaches to saving historic places, federal innovation and excellence in historic preservation, telling a more inclusive story of preservation by featuring multiple voices and experiences, and launching a rich and engaging discussion about the future as we approach the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act. The panel discussion during the inaugural Diversity Summit will also be live streamed.

To plan your attendance at the sessions, please visit To learn what else Preservation50 offers during this exciting and historic anniversary year, please visit

As the conference opens, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) begins its fall business meeting in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 3-4. The meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building and is open to the public. As part of the ACHP’s Nov. 4 agenda, members will discuss current and future priority preservation needs and possible changes that might improve implementation of the National Historic Preservation Act. For more information on the upcoming ACHP business meeting, click here (