Tag Archives: One Night Stand

The Makers of Menokin

I have been struggling to formulate the “official Menokin blog post” about the Menokin Sleepover Conference. We have heard from others: blog and facebook posts; tweets and instagram stories.

This morning it occurred to me that the trouble was that I was trying to write from Menokin’s perspective instead of my own. With that clarity, I decided that instead, I will share my personal journey through the process of understanding white privilege and how it led me to the truths of the weekend’s conversations.

Let me confess that until very recently, I had never really given the concept of white privilege a second thought.  How very white privileged of me! So it will not come as a surprise that it had also never occurred to me, until Michelle Obama gave vocal credit, that enslaved people had built the White House.

Duh!

Of course they did. The landed gentry of the 18th-century certainly weren’t out in the woods felling trees and turning them into construction timbers and beautifully carved panelling. They weren’t burning their hands baking bricks, or sweating over a hot fire forging nails and hinges.

Their unpaid, enslaved laborers did that work. At the White House, and in Colonial Williamsburg, and at all the grand plantation homes that are so revered as part of our national history. Including Menokin.

The evidence is everywhere. These people were makers. They made houses and bricks. They made nails and hinges. They wove fabric and spun wool. They grew crops and cooked meals for their owners while their own families often went hungry.

I am a maker. I paint and draw. I knit and needle felt. I take pictures. I cook. And I love to share my accomplishments with my friends and family. I enjoy the appreciation of the work I have created with my own hands.

So when I started to really think about the Makers of Menokin and how their voices were silenced, their children sold, their lives and work unappreciated, their history UNTOLD — I got mad.

And the more I think about it, the more I understand today’s anger. We ALL want to be proud of our accomplishments. We all want to share a very personal part of ourselves and be told how beautiful our creations are. We all want to be valued.

When I lead visitors through Menokin now, I share my white-privileged revelation with them. Many of them are guilty of the same. And together we approach the story with an amended view, by thinking and talking about the enslaved people whose hands shaped and carved and constructed an infrastructure that allowed our “little experiment in democracy” a fighting chance at success.

The Menokin Sleepover Conference provided a safe place to have a difficult conversation during a tumultuous time. Frank Vagnone and Joe McGill help lead a diverse but eager group through the landmines.

I am proud of our foundation and its good work. And I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to work in a place and with people who are committed to shining a light into the darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Menokin Sleepover Conference

Frank Vagnone (One Night Stand) &
Joseph McGill (The Slave Dwelling Project)

These two innovative and well-known historians and speakers will converge at Menokin for an extraordinary weekend of historical reflection, discourse and lessons on new ways to explore and experience historic places and the people who inhabited them.

The weekend is broken up into four sections – a walk through our historic landscape; a rustic dinner at the ruin; the sleepover itself, which involves a guided conversation through new ways of thinking about old topics; and a time of Reflection and Fellowship on Sunday morning. You are invited to select as many of the sections that you’d like to attend. Please use our registration form below to submit your information.

IMPORTANT NOTES:

If you plan to camp out overnight, you must provide all of your own camping gear, including tent, sleeping bag, flashlight, etc. These items will not be supplied for you.

If you plan to enjoy one or both of the meals planned for the weekend — or if you can’t come at all but just think this is a really great program — please consider making a donation to offset the cost of the food and supplies. There is limited space available for these events. Once the sections are full, the registration option will be taken down.

Registration form and donation link can be found here.

The program is made possible, in part, by the Signers Society of Menokin.

2017 Menokin Speaker Series – The Official Schedule

2017-speaker-series-logo

 


MARCH 16

An American Silence: Walker Evans and Edward Hopper – documentation of common people their lives and places
Speaker: Jeffrey Allison
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

The photographer Walker Evans and painter Edward Hopper were part of the generation of American artists who tore themselves away from European ideals at the start of the 20th century. Join Jeffrey Allison as he explores these artists who celebrated America without filter focusing on common people in common lives and places. Within those scenes lie a powerful silence in which directness creates a visual anxiety as we wonder what has just happened and what will happen next.


APRIL 13

Geology of Menokin and Formation of the Chesapeake Bay
Speaker: Dr. Christopher “Chuck” Bailey, W&M
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Chuck Bailey

Curiosity about the origins of the iron-infused sandstone of which Menokin is built has led Dr. Bailey on a deeper exploration of the geologic history of the Northern Neck and how it relates to the formation of the Chesapeake Bay.

 


MAY 18

Mapping the Indigenous Cultural Landscape

Speaker: Scott Strickland, St. Mary’s College, MD
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

Scott Strickland

The project was undertaken as an initiative of the National Park Service Chesapeake Bay office to identify and represent the Rappahannock Indigenous Cultural Landscape between Port Royal/Port Conway and Urbanna. It was administered by the Chesapeake Conservancy and the fieldwork undertaken and report prepared by St. Mary’s College of Maryland.


JUNE 8

The Archaeology of Menokin
Speaker: David Brown, Fairfield Foundation
4:00 – 6:00 | $10

David Brown

Dr. David Brown and his colleague, Thane Harpole, have been the archaeologists of record at Menokin for over a decade. This session will incorporate an outdoor “Adventures in Preservation” program as well as an indepth look into the past, present and future archaeology at Menokin.


JULY 18

The Virginia Signers of the Declaration of Independence
Speaker: Robert Teagle, Historic Christ Church
11:45 – 1:45 | $25*

This lecture examines the history of the Declaration of Independence and its seven Virginia signers. How did the Declaration come to be written and what ideas did it express? What Enlightenment philosophers and theories influenced Jefferson as he crafted this remarkable document? What were the differences between Jefferson’s original manuscript and the one Congress adopted? Who were the seven Virginians who signed it, and what role did they play in the creation of the new nation? And how has the meaning and commemoration of the Declaration evolved since 1776?

Robert Teagle has been the Education Director & Curator at the Foundation for Historic Christ Church since 2000. He received an M.A. in American History from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in History from William and Mary.

*This lecture will take place at Ingleside Winery in Westmoreland County. Lunch is available by reservation and is included in the cost of the ticket.


AUGUST 17

Trees Up Close: Discover the Extraordinary Secrets
of Everyday Trees*
Speaker: Nancy Ross Hugo
4:00 – 6:00 | $15

Nancy Ross Hugo

Nancy Ross Hugo describes the joy of discovering unfamiliar features of familiar trees and how carefully observing seeds, catkins, flowers, resting buds, emerging leaves, and other small phenomena of ordinary backyard and roadside trees can provide insight into tree biology and reveal a whole new universe of tree beauty. She also shares what decades planting and observing trees has taught her about which trees make the best landscape investments and the importance of planting long-lived, legacy trees.

*This lecture will take place off-site due to the Smithsonian WaterWays Exhibit in the Menokin Visitor’s Center. Location TBD. A tree walk at Menokin will take place at the conclusion of the lecture.


SEPTEMBER 23-24

Menokin Sleepover Conference
Speakers: Frank Vagnone (One Night Stand) and Joseph McGill (The Slave Dwelling Project)

These two innovative and well-known historians and speakers will converge at Menokin for an extraordinary weekend of historical reflection, discourse and lessons on new ways to explore and experience historic places and the people who inhabited them.

More details about related programming will be shared as plans are solidified.

Menokin “Sleepover Conference” features Frank Vagnone and Joseph McGill

Friday, September 22 – Sunday 24, 2017
Sleepover Conference

Education Coordinator, Alice French and Menokin Trustee, Dudley Olsson, have organized a Sleepover Conference, which will include Frank Vagnone, international thought leader in innovative and entrepreneurial non-profit management and his blog series, One Night Standand Joseph McGill, founder of the Slave Dwelling Project.

Franklin Vagnone co-wrote the book: Anarchist’s Guide to Historic House Museums. This book is a groundbreaking manifesto that calls for the establishment of a more inclusive, visitor-centered paradigm based on the shared experience of human habitation. He is the President & CEO of Old Salem as well as President of Twisted Preservation.

Bringing together these two important historians and their unique ways of exploring and interpreting American history is a huge win for Menokin. Through this collaboration, we will be able to construct and provide authentic programming experiences in line with our goal to continue to explore ways of interpreting the lives of all the people who once inhabited the site.

More details about programs will be released as they are confirmed.

#MenokinSleepoverConference  #MenokinSleepoverExperience

 

 

 

 

Joseph McGill and the Slave Dwelling Project

Now that I have the attention of the public by sleeping in extant slave dwellings, it is time to wake up and deliver the message that the people who lived in these structures were not a footnote in American history.

– Joseph McGill, Founder of the Slave Dwelling Project

joseph-mcgill


The Menokin Foundation is pleased to announce that Joseph McGill will be coming to Menokin on September 22, 2017.

Education Coordinator, Alice French, has organized a Sleepover Conference, which will also include Frank Vagnone, international thought leader in innovative and frank-vagnoneentrepreneurial non-profit management and his blog series, One Night Stand.

Make sure to follow us for details of the Sleepover Conference as programming and events are developed.

In the meantime, read about Joseph McGill’s visit to Belle Grove Plantation on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s blog.


Programs such as the Sleepover Conference are made possible, in part, by the 56 Signers Society of Menokin.