Redefining Heritage is an ongoing discussion series presented by Essex Heritage. This program invites audiences to participate in a conversation about the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Essex National Heritage Area. Heritage professionals, regional advocates, businesspeople, and other experts present new perspectives on topics that are often overlooked or seen as unchanging. Experts engage with the audience in thinking about how they can be more actively involved in areas of heritage such as conservation, arts advocacy, expanded historical awareness, and other themes relevant to a more inclusive and engaged community. In our evolving and diverse world, it is especially important for all of us to understand important issues from a variety of angles to be more informed citizens.

Date: July 21, 2021

Join Professor of Geography and Sustainability at Salem State University, Stephen Young, and Professor of Graphic and Information Design at Northeastern University, Thomas Starr, who share historical context about art in the Great Marsh, as well as insights into their own experience working on exhibits and installations focused on the negative effects of climate change on the Great Marsh.

Redefining Heritage: Interwoven Interactions

Date: June 16, 2021

Join educators and advocates Elizabeth Solomon (Massachusett) and Kristen Wyman (Nipmuc) to examine our interactions with the environment and with each other.

Redefining Heritage: Garbage to Gardens

Date: May 19, 2021

Join Jennifer Core, Director of Agriculture for The Trustees, Andrew Brousseau, Partner and Compost Manager for Black Earth Compost, Lara Lepionka, Founder and Executive Director of Backyard Growers, and Eunice “Nicie” Panetta with Mothers Out Front to learn the history of farming in Essex County, the science of soil, and how those interested in starting their own sustainable garden can begin.

Redefining Heritage: The Creative Economy and How We Value Arts and Culture

Date: December 8, 2020

Join Chief Creative Officer for Creative Collective, John Andrews, Planning Director for the City of Lawrence, Pedro Soto, and Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs at Montserrat College of Art, Nathan Lewis, to discuss how we can better integrate the arts and culture industry into our initial thinking and planning for our communities.

Redefining Heritage: The Struggle for Labor Equity in Essex County

Date: November 17, 2020

Join Salem State University Professor of History Aviva Chomsky, Ipswich Town Historian Gordon Harris, and Visitor Services Supervisor at Lawrence Heritage State Park Jim Beauchesne to discuss the history of workforce strikes and protests in Essex County and the struggle for equitable labor practices, especially in immigrant communities.

Redefining Heritage: Access to Nature and Shaping Our Environment

Date: October 13, 2020

Join Lesly Melendez, Deputy Director of Groundwork Lawrence, explained how the community of Lawrence has been instrumental in creating green spaces for the city, including the very successful Ferrous Site along the Spicket River Greenway. Rachel Schneider, Outreach Manager of Ipswich River Watershed Association, reinforced the importance of protecting and utilizing “our” environment, while conserving important natural resources.