Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Citizen's Forum of the 1860s, 2019

We changed our theme this year to reflect the shift that we as organizers felt in planning. With a new site comes an entirely new set of expectations. Refashioning one thing for another use was quite a common practice in the 19th century too!

One of the buildings we will use this year!

This year's lineup includes an amazing cast of speakers, presenters, and vendors. And while we are still working through a new site with all of its newness, we want to make sure people know how awesome it will be!

Main seminars are available attendees on Saturday. Topics are centered around our theme. Seminars are approximately 45 minutes long, held in the historic church.

What You Have, Where You Are: Planning Civilian Events 
~Betsy Connolly Watkins
Civilian-centric events are a wonderful way to interpret and explore the lives on those at home during
the Civil War era. Yet so many would-be event organizers run into difficulties, especially around the
resources on hand to plan local events. In this session we will explore ways to cultivate local resources
and how to find those untapped treasures necessary for planning a civilian event. We will discuss how to gain inspiration for events, how to work within the possible limitations presented to you, and why it is important to plan events locally – where you are, with what you have.

A Story in the Thread: The Clothing of Enslaved Women in the Antebellum South
~Cheyney McKnight
What is the difference between the clothing of enslaved black women and free white women during the Antebellum period? Discover what enslaved women were wearing and how their culture, circumstances, and creativity impacted their clothing. Find out the how the clues they left behind can help us to understand what they were wearing.

Second-Hand Plumage: Used Clothing Trades in Mid-Century America
~Elizabeth Stewart Clark
We are not the first to recycle or upcycle! We'll take a look at the vast system of used clothing and related trades at mid-century, including the people involved, and how re-used or upcycled clothing might affect your household, your impression, and your interpretive work. We'll focus on the expanding United States, and viewing our own wardrobe arrangements within a wider national and global context. This fast-paced overview is rich in inspiration for adapting and creating new impressions in multiple settings. Where do you fit in the grand life-cycle of a garment, both then and now?

Workshops are available all weekend. Some require a kit fee, while others are included with conference registration. Seats are limited in a few of these classes!

Interpreting and Reenacting Slavery 

~Cheyney McKnight
Would you like to address enslavement in your interpretation, but are intimidated by the prospect of speaking to the public about slavery? This workshop will provide you with the tools to get started interpreting slavery in a museum or living history environments. Participants will be provided with steps, common problems, solutions and scenarios that will provide them with the confidence to educate the public about slavery

1860’s Ladies Basic Cuff Workshop: A Basic Set for Coat Sleeves 
~Sara Gonzalez
Brief overview of period ladies cuffs and undersleeves, followed by a basic cuff workshop. Learn how to create a set of basic cuffs for a dress with coat sleeves! Complete Ensembles of the Past cuff kit is included in your price for this workshop, as well as information on other cuff and undersleeve styles!

Youth Participation Seminar
~Kristen Mrozek
Have you noticed dwindling participation with your organization? Are you looking for ideas to getting youth involved at your site? Spend an hour with Kristen Mrozek discussing different techniques that will increase participation of young people with your group or historic site. You will have the opportunity to speak one on one with group members, workshopping solutions to fit your needs. “One size fits all” does not fit here; we will try to tailor our discussion to help your site specifically.
Our goal by the end of the workshop is for each person to leave with at least an outlined plan for how to attract young people to their organization.

Youth Discussion Seminar
~Kristen Mrozek
Hey young person! This seminar is just for you! Kristen Mrozek will lead a discussion that will help guide youth in pursuing their historical interests. Topics include favorite event activities, opportunities for leadership, and how to fine tune a presentation. Children will receive a surprise gift to help further their interests in history. Parents and other adults are invited to listen or take notes. However, we ask that they hold off participation in the discussion until the end of the workshop.

Up Close and Personal Clothing
~Glenna Jo Christen
Using provided survey forms for dresses and wrappers, participants will get a detailed, inside and out “guided tour” of at least two garments they choose from a selection of original women’s dresses and wrappers. They will learn about typical dress and wrapper construction features and fabrics and the differences between them, along with common variations and some unique features. Everyone will get
their own Dress and a Wrapper Survey Forms to use to collect information when they have the opportunity to examine other garments.

Ladies Basic Collar Workshop
~Sara Gonzalez
This is a brief overview of period ladies collars, followed by a basic collar workshop. Learn how to adapt a collar pattern to fit you and your gown, and make it up by hand in this workshop! Complete Ensembles of the Past collar kit is included in your price for this workshop!

Franken-Corset: Remodel Your Foundation
~Elizabeth Stewart Clark
Corsets need to change as your body changes! Particularly of use to those dressing teens, or those experiencing figure changes of any kind. If you're in flux, not ready to commit to a new corset entirely, but need some alterations now, come and learn how to take a corset in to better fit your needs, or set in a gusset to add room! Take-home illustrated workbook included.

Tiny Tidy Things
~Elizabeth Stewart Clark
Explore a nifty facet of mid-century publications: a range of small, useful projects to be made with commonly-found household materials, with only a small expected influx of readily-available purchased supplies. Get familiar with mid-19th-century "Pinterest", and make something of your own! Participants receive a short list of stash items to bring along for their projects or to swap with others; a Common Findings table with findings and materials is also open for use, and the workshop includes an illustrated take-home workbook with templates and instructions for each project. All projects are drawn from US publications 1859-1865.

Mend, Remake, Remodel
~Elizabeth Stewart Clark
Learn some great period mending techniques to extend the useful life of your clothing, ways to remodel your existing garments for new uses, and how you can use these historical ideas to enhance your living history work. Rips, holes, strains? Gaping necklines? Pinchy armpits? It's all fixable in a period-appropriate way! Participants bring a garment or two of their own and basic sewing supplies to practice the techniques and get advice on re-fitting garments and extending the useful life of quality historical clothing. Take-home illustrated workbook included.

Decorated Hairnets
~Betsy Watkins Connelly
As demonstrated in countless original images, hairnets (both decorated and undecorated) were one of the most popular accessories for women of all ages in the mid-19th century. These functional bits of frippery kept the hair neat and tidy while also accessorizing the ensemble. In this workshop, we will
discuss hairnets and look at different examples of hairnets. Participants will have the chance to try their
hand at creating a decorated hairnet using ribbons, beads, and tassels. Basic hand sewing skills are
necessary to complete this workshop.

Make Your Own Hardback Blank Book
~Bob Sullivan
In this workshop you will be taught elements of book-binding and will make your own blank book.
You will learn proper sewing techniques for binding a stack of paper as a book, how to create a cover, attaching endpapers, and finalizing the book. The workshop includes a kit with all the materials necessary to make 1 blank book with 50 sheets of blank paper covered in marble paper and half-bound in cloth. Book covers made in this way can also be used as covers for phones, tablets, and other modern devices that find their way into camp.

Hair Flower Workshop
~Lucy Cadwallader
Step Back into the Victorian Era and Create your Own Hair Flower! Each participant will be shown how to construct their own hair flower using the "gimp" technique. All the necessary items will be available to complete a flower. If you elect to bring your own swatch of hair, it must be at least 10 inches in length and the diameter of a pencil-place in a ziplock bag (human hair or horsehair works best). You may opt to make your hair flower into a pin or display it in a glass paper weight, a glass dome or wooden box (available to purchase). Lucy will also be bringing a variety of original hair art as well as projects she has made from hair. Start your family heirloom today!
Ghost Tour (Friday Night)

1860’s Fabrics 101: Training the Period Eye
~Sara Gonzalez
Have you ever wondered how to know if a fabric is period correct? Is it possible to go to a fabric store and just know if that cotton print is appropriate for the Civil War years or to throw it out the window with the rest? How do you determine these questions if it doesn’t say “reproduction?” What type of fabrics did they actually have and use frequently in the 1860’s, and have those terms changed? Get the answer to these questions and more in this brief lecture class by fabric enthusiast Sara Gonzalez, all while you pour over images of original textiles and discover their uses!

A Brief Overview: Original Punch Paper Collection
~Kristen Mrozek
Perforated paper items were a popular project during the 19th century. From bookmarks to memorial pieces, this needle work displayed the fine skills of a lady from the time. Join Kristen as she displays parts of her original perforated paper collection and brainstorm ideas for your own project.

FAQ About the Changes

Why did we move?
Due to construction at Monroe County Community College, we spent months searching for the perfect location for the 2019 conference. We require so many moving parts that it seemed impossible to find just the right spot. Luckily, we found the Maumee Valley Historical Society, and their Wolcott Heritage Center Complex.

What is different about the space?
The Wolcott Heritage Center Complex includes seven different historic buildings. We will be working in and around a historic site for the weekend. This presents an amazing opportunity to learn in buildings that speak to the history of the 19th century. Of course we will still include modern conveniences like hot coffee, bathrooms, and wifi!

How will the schedule look?
Here is one of the biggest changes. While Friday and Sunday will include only workshops, the Saturday conference day will include both workshops and seminars. The soiree will still be held on Friday, and will be held in the early 19th century Wolcott House.

Why did you add workshops to the seminar schedule on Saturday?
A seminar is a chunk set aside for a main speaker. These are topics that typically broad enough to pertain to most history lovers, regardless of their specific study focus. However, the long hours seated can be difficult for many.

Instead, we have included three seminars during the day, with workshops woven in to allow attendees to stand up and move around. A break for hands on activities can be crucial to the learning process. Also, people can schedule their own breaks to meet with friends or vendors throughout the day.

Will food still be included?
Food will be available throughout the day. We will have stations with food where you can grab a snack any time in the weekend. Coffee and drinks will be available as well.

Since we lack a large cafeteria space, meals will look different. We will have designated areas where you can eat (including outdoor, weather permitting) with a larger time frame to eat. The group will not be able to eat together as a large group, which will give everyone time to take the workshops/visit vendors/chat with friends.

What should I wear?
Modern clothing, all weekend if you'd like! On Friday night we will hold a soiree in the Wolcott House, where period clothing WILL be appropriate. But don't feel pressured!

I'm really new to this. Should I still come?
DEFINITELY! We love seeing new faces. We all started somewhere. Bring your questions, make new friends, and gawk at 19th century clothing and accessories. Enjoying history is a universal experience!

Space is VERY limited compared to our previous conference. If you are interested in attending, I highly recommend registering early. Registration is not complete until we receive payment. Let us know if you have any questions about this process on the website.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us or comment below. We love to help, and we're so excited to share another conference with everyone!


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