Exploring Our Past to Build Our Future – Announcing the 2019 ACRA Conference

01/27/2019 9:25 PM | Kerri Barile

The 2019 ACRA Conference may be months away, but preparations are already underway for this exciting event! This year attendees will be converging on Spokane, Washington from October 24–27 to exchange ideas, meet new colleagues, and hear updates on our industry. 

This year’s theme is ACRA at 25 - Exploring Our Past to Build Our Future. Using our host city’s frontier history as our impetus, sessions and events during the conference will focus on looking into ACRA's past as we build the programs that our members need. This includes introspective sessions examining where the organization has come from and where we would like to go, as well as connections between ACRA firms and those who use the data we produce.

Registration won’t open until early April, but we need your input now—the Call for Sessions has just been posted. If you have an idea for a great conference topic, we want to hear it! The deadline for proposals is March 15, 2019. Not sure what planning a conference presentation entails? Check out our Manual for Speakers for more details.

We will be sharing details regarding sessions and special events over the next few months, including a feature on the fantastic location for the annual Awards reception in a blog post next week. In the meantime, help us build our program by letting us know in the comments what sessions you would like to see at the 2019 ACRA Conference!


  • 01/30/2019 2:30 PM | Shannon
    "Mining our past to build our future"? Eesh. Doesn't sound like preservation and conservation....This sounds more like extractive industry's jargon. This is definitely an offensive way to express the work of those that work to protect, preserve and to remain in situ, Native American Cultural Heritage.
    Link  •  Reply
    • 01/31/2019 8:20 AM | Kerri Barile
      Hey Shannon. Thanks for your comment! A bit of clarification. The title is just a bit of word play on the area's history and in no way intended to be offensive. We apologize if you felt that way. The "mining" we are focusing on will be about data. In particular, we will be looking at how others outside of CRM "mine" the data we produce, how we as an organization can "mine" our own history to improve our efficacy, and how we can broaden our applicability to "mine" relationships with all of those involved in preservation including descendant communities like Native Americans, African-Americans, and so many other groups. We encourage folks who are interested in participating to think about how mining data, our own past, and our many relationships can lead to a richer experience and assure that all aspects are involved in our industry. This will lead to a better preservation ethos. We are really looking forward to seeing the sessions that others suggest, and we're also looking to put together a workshop that can highlight these concepts too. If you have an idea, we would love to hear it! More on all of the proposed ideas will follow. Thanks again for the comment and let me know if you would like to talk more!
      Link  •  Reply
    • 02/01/2019 1:25 PM | Albert Bystander
      "We apologize if you felt that way." Classic.

      I'm positive Shannon understands how word play works. She is just expressing that the implications the word play brings to mind are not great. If my surgeon said "Let's get in there and get our hands dirty," the fact that I knew what they meant wouldn't make me any more comfortable.
      Link  •  Reply
      • 02/08/2019 2:35 PM | Kerri Barile
        I deeply apologize if the verbiage of the theme or my reply was misconstrued! I wanted to provide some of the background on how the theme was chosen as we take all comments extremely seriously. I will absolutely confer with the Board and the committee on the concerns. Thanks for the additional feedback!
        Link  •  Reply
  • 02/15/2019 10:58 AM | Kimberly Redman
    I appreciate the insights from others. When coming up with the 'theme' of this conference, we wanted to focus on looking back and using the data we already have to help us move forward. I do not think it dawned on any of us that it might sound like the opposite - that the clear 'play' on removing value from the earth was offensive in the context of archaeology (just one aspect of CRM). What was intended to be a focus on preservation (using what we had), clearly comes off the opposite way. For that, I am sorry.
    I think there is time to change the "catch-phrase", while still realizing our intended focus on utilizing the information and lessons we have already learned to move our industry forward. Anyone have any ideas?
    Link  •  Reply
  • 02/22/2019 12:41 PM | Kimberly Redman
    Based on the observations and comments, we have decided to rename the theme of the conference to better reflect our intentions. We appreciate people's willingness to let us know!
    The conference theme has always been about learning from our collective past; about reexamining and learning from the history of the CRM industry; about how we build on what came before to make a better future for the public, our businesses, and everyone's connection to the past. We thought we found the right words to express this theme and didn't recognize the removal connotation of our word choice.
    By replacing "mining" with "exploring", we hope our vision remains clear, and the title doesn't send the wrong message.
    Hope to see everyone at the conference!
    Link  •  Reply
    • 03/12/2019 5:21 PM | De Regan
      Awesome response! I was thinking exploring our past to preserve the future!
      Like minds?! :-)
      Link  •  Reply

Login for easier commenting:



ACRA Headquarters
2101 L Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20037

Local: 202-367-9094
FAX: 866-875-6492
Email: Headquarters


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software