May is dedicated as National Preservation Month. Also known as Historic Preservation Month, in May we celebrate the nation’s heritage through historic places. Organizations, such as National Main Street and our network of programs across the country, promote a variety of activities on the local, state, and national levels.
Not only are the places worth preserving -- the stories behind them are, too! Whether a story is found in archives or attics, or passed down from generation to generation, peeling back the layers of time helps us understand the past. Recording stories help to provide a rich and lively history of the people who lived and worked in a place. We can better imagine their hardships, what they overcame, and the difficult decisions they made in the face of adversity. All of that contributes to placemaking -- creating a sense of place.
Whether you're interested in touring historical sites, helping to preserve the history in your backyard (think Montpelier, James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, Orange County Historical Society, Orange County African American Historical Society, LOVEOrangeVirginia or the upcoming Sesquicentennial of the Town of Orange) there is something for everyone, and stories to share!
At ODA/LOVe, we're particularly excited about what May brings in terms of honoring preservation efforts. The Main Street movement is the leading voice for preservation-based economic development and community revitalization across the country, and we officially, will receive our 2022 Main Street accreditation in May! In fact, we'll be able to celebrate this important achievement with about 1,800 "Main Streeters" from all across the country at the National conference in Richmond.
Obtaining this certification is the work of many, many people in our community -- our Board and Committee members, our volunteer corps, our business and property owners, our residents, our partner organizations (governmental and nonprofit) -- and our visitors who have made Orange and our Main Street district a desired destination. Thank you, all!
I hope you'll take some time this May to explore a historic place you've never visited. Or, talk to a family member, friend, neighbor or business associate about their favorite historical place or person. Or, share pictures and stories with your children about an ancestor. Or, volunteer with a preservation-based organization (hint, hint). Here's a small list of groups to consider:
· National Trust For Historic Preservation
· State Historic Preservation Office
· National Register of Historic Places
· National Park Service
· Preservation Action
· National Alliance of Preservation Commissions
· National Main Street Center -- Local Main Street program
· Daughters of the American Revolution
· Sons of the American Revolution
· Local and State Museums
· Local and State Historical Societies
So, here's a "high-five" to everyone doing the great work of saving places, sharing stories and inspiring others to do the same!
Charlotte Cole, Executive Director
What: Orange Uncorked Wine Festival
When: May 7 - 8, 2022
Where: Across from the Market at Grelen/Grelen Nursery, Jacksontown Road, Somerset, VA
Why: Because it's Spring and we honor our amazing viticulture, of course! Brought to you by the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. Buy your tickets here
National Small Business Week
Building a Better America through Entrepreneurship
National Small Business Week, sponsored by the Small Business Administration, runs May 1 - 7, and celebrates the resiliency and tenacity of America’s entrepreneurs who are doing their part to power the nation’s historic economic comeback. America runs on small! Learn more about the power of entrepreneurship.
Register to participate in the NSBW Virtual Summit, May 2 - 5. It's FREE! You'll be happy you did!
The Arts Flourish in Orange --
Check out these great programs
HISTORICAL REFERENCES-- The Arts Center in Orange is seeking original artworks inspired by our presidential past as part of the Town of Orange's Sesquicentennial celebration! In partnership with the James Madison Museum of Orange County Heritage, this exhibition is an opportunity for artists to share their unique interpretations of local history. Artists are encouraged to submit up to three artworks for consideration. Only one artwork by each artist will be selected. Each artist whose work is selected for exhibition will receive an honorarium of $150. To learn more and enter, click here.
BRIDGEVIEW ART CAMP -- John and Lena Murray are noted artists who brought their art camp curricula to Orange when they relocated from Washington, DC. Since then, they have provided expert instruction to dozens and dozens of aspiring artists from all over the world. Their next intensive camp runs form May 13 - 15 and features outings to Mayhurst Estate, Grelen, Shenandoah National Park, Barboursville Ruins, and Montpelier.
You can learn more here.