A Welcome Message from our State Historic Preservation Officer, Kathryn Leonard

Kathryn Leonard

Kathryn Leonard, State Historic Preservation Officer

Dear Fellow Preservationist:

On behalf of the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, Arizona State Parks and Trails and the conference planning committee, I am delighted to invite you to join us at our Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference, which will be held at the iconic Valley Ho Resort in Scottsdale, June 6th-8th, 2018. For the past fifteen years, this conference has brought together preservationists from around the State to exchange ideas and success stories, to share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues, and to foster cooperation between Arizona’s diverse preservation community. This year, we are expanding programming to bring in budding preservationists and members of the community who are interested in the numerous ways that preservation contributes to quality of life in Arizona.

The theme of this year’s conference, “Design in the Desert,” is intended to focus our attention on the adaptations which enabled prehistoric inhabitants, indigenous tribes, Euro-American settlers and all of their descendants to make a living in the Arizona Deserts. From the construction of Hohokam pithouses and canals to contemporary passive solar residences and water harvesting technology, the desire to live comfortably and sustainably in the desert has informed and shaped the built environment of our state. Our beautiful deserts and our rich indigenous heritage are what makes Arizona unique, and it is my hope that the sessions and speakers at this conference will inspire us to celebrate the human ingenuity that has shaped our desert oasis.

For our friends in the fields of archaeology and cultural resources management, I hope the Design in the Desert theme will inspire discussions of creative approaches to sampling and research, as well as best practices for conserving prehistoric rock art. As always, I am also hoping that we can collaborate to create programming that honors the primacy of indigenous perspectives and approaches to documenting and conserving the heritage resources that are sacred to our tribal partners.

This focus on design, coupled with the spectacular Hotel Valley Ho conference venue, also allows us to take a deeper dive into the wonderful mid-century modern resources of our host community, the City of Scottsdale, and through our partners, provide for sessions and off site tours that highlight the City’s nationally recognized midcentury architecture. We’ll be sharing additional information about such programming as we progress in our conference planning.

And as always, I’m hoping that you will all join us for our Preservation Honor Awards Ceremony on Thursday, June 7th. The 37th Annual Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Awards, presented by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Arizona Preservation Foundation, recognizes people, organizations, and projects that represent outstanding achievements in preserving Arizona’s prehistoric and historic resources. The 31st Annual Governor’s Awards in Public Archaeology, selected by the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission, recognize excellence in archaeological awareness, conservation and education.

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all who have sponsored or participated in our conference over the years; your dedication has certainly contributed to our reputation as the “hottest” preservation conference in the nation. I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in Scottsdale this June!

Kathryn Leonard
State Historic Preservation Officer