Meet at the Visitor Center Auditorium.
How do local historical organizations build bridges to their communities, and within those communities’ different groups? How can they contribute so that they are seen not as just a nicety, but as a necessity? What obstacles and opportunities do they face? Dr. George McDaniel will draw upon his decades of experience with local history organizations to address such questions, and will deal with issues such as education, race relations, historic preservation, site interpretation, and leadership.
George W. McDaniel has devoted his professional life to historic preservation and education. Currently, he is president of McDaniel Consulting, LLC, after having retired after 25 years as executive director of Drayton Hall in Charleston, S.C., a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. A native of Atlanta, he earned a B.A. in history from Sewanee, a Masters of Arts in Teaching (History) from Brown University, and a Ph.D. in American History from Duke University. However, it was Southern Maryland that served as his training ground, for he was a graduate intern at St. Mary’s City in 1974. That experience introduced him to a career in museums and historic preservation. From 1975 to 1977, he worked as a historic sites surveyor for the Maryland Historical Trust, documenting historical African American communities, photographing houses and buildings, and recording oral histories, all of which resulted in his book, Hearth and Home: Preserving a People’s Culture, which won an Honor Award from the National Trust, one of the few times a book has been so honored. Drawing from his experience in Southern Maryland, he continued to survey African American communities in Montgomery County in 1978-79. One product of his work there has been the selection of a house built in 1874 by an African American landowning family, which is now on exhibit in the National Museum of African American History and Culture as the “Freedom House.”