Michigan Historic Preservation Network


Call for Abstracts

2024 MHPN Annual Statewide Preservation Conference


Wednesday, May 8 – Saturday, May 11, 2024

Kalamazoo, Michigan


Deadline: Sunday, September 24, 2023, 11:59 PM

Email Abstract to: conference@mhpn.org

About Our Theme: “The Collaborative Spirit

From the very start, Michigan citizens have spoken up when important historic properties faced threats. Homeowners would organize to protect a neighborhood. Others raised their voices to save an iconic city hall. Business owners fought to keep a traditional downtown from being emptied by urban sprawl.

Greater legitimacy was given these citizen voices with the 1966 passage of the National Historic Preservation Act. In Michigan, the country’s Bicentennial in 1976 brought forth a decade’s-long outpouring of local histories, photo-inventories of historic buildings, and historic designations in every corner of the state. Celebrating Michigan’s cultural distinction came to a crescendo with Michigan’s own Sesquicentennial in 1987.

Michiganders involved in historic preservation could now see there were others ready to collaborate. Fast forward half-a century! Interested individuals are now joined by trained practitioners in the field–historians and preservationists, architects and engineers, anthropologists and archaeologists. Craftspeople and tradespeople with traditional skills make the work possible. Ancillary expertise has grown up among attorneys, accountants, realtors, and others.

What this year’s conference celebrates is the “collaborative spirit” that distinguishes the field of historic preservation. You may be working for a living in the preservation trades or professions, but you regularly work side-by-side with those who are self-taught, students, and those embarking on second careers. Few other fields accommodate such a mixture.

Now in its 44th year, the MHPN conference welcomes a wide variety of participants, each returning to their community with new contacts and fresh inspiration. How fitting that we’re in Kalamazoo! Through the collaboration of many, the City has raised preservation from an interesting possibility to a necessary consideration.

Join us in Kalamazoo!

2023 MHPN Annual Statewide Preservation Conference


How Heritage Tourism Balances Profitability and Authenticity

Conference runs May 11-13, 2023

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Did you attend the 2023 Conference? If you have photos you would like to share, please upload them to our secure server accessed from the link above. To get proper credit for the images, please be sure to either name the files with your full name, or create a folder with your name for the individual images.

Continuing Education Credits

After this CM-approved activity, you will need to log in your credits online. Use the following link for submitting them:


The Michigan Historic Preservation Network’s conference works well for MCP Credits.

For 2023, participants should use the following link for submitting their MCP Credits:



Kara Kelly

Program Coordinator

Great Lakes Leadership Academy

Michigan State University

Justin S Morrill Hall of Agriculture

446 W Circle Drive – Room 11

East Lansing, MI   48824

The 43rd Annual Statewide Preservation Conference is underwritten through the generous support of

MEDC - Primary_Narrow - 2022-cropped
State Historic Preservation Office - 2020

Dear Friend of Michigan Preservation:

The Michigan Historic Preservation Network is reaching out across the state in search of great items for the silent auction that is a highlight of our statewide preservation conference. This year, we’re on Mackinac Island at Mission Point Resort from May 11-13. The theme for this 43rd annual gathering is, “A Fragile Balance: How Heritage Tourism Balances Profitability and Authenticity.” Whether you’ve provided an auction item in the past or would consider doing so for the first time, we welcome your contribution! Please note that the deadline for items is Friday, April 28. 

Because we’re on Mackinac Island, everything must be transported via ferry or sent ahead. So we’re looking for items that are light/flat/rollable/foldable, can be emailed or mailed to us in Lansing to take to the Island, and then are easily carried back to the mainland by the winners.

When we made this same request during the pandemic for our virtual auction, we KNOW how much creativity you mustered. We again seek donations of all types, in all price ranges, to offer something for everyone. Popular light/flat/rollable/foldable ideas include tours of historic places, overnight stays in historic hotels and B&B’s, tickets for both high-brow and low-brow entertainment, and gift certificates of all kinds. In addition to individual items, we’re always looking for creative theme packages that you pull together or that we can create from your items.

As an auction item donor, you’ll receive recognition on the item’s bid sheet and in the MHPN’s annual report. Your donation may be tax deductible because the MHPN is a 501(c)3 organization. We’ve enclosed a donation form in case you’d like to help! Feel free to contact the MHPN office with any questions.

The MHPN is THE membership organization in Michigan dedicated to recognizing and preserving the state’s architectural and cultural heritage. Your item, when auctioned, provides financial assistance for our statewide efforts. 

Many thanks for your support of historic preservation in Michigan!


2023 Conference Auction Chair

2022-06-07 - Message from Gary Wilson about the 2022 conference in Holly, Michigan
Vendor Showcase and Market Place, Holland, 2019
VIP Reception, Holland, 2019
VIP Reception, Lansing, 2018
Tour, East Lansing, 2018

Conference Brochures

Mackinac Island, 2023
Holly, 2022
Held Virtually in May, 2021
2020 Conference Brochure - Preservation on the Frontline_Page_01
Held Virtually in September 2020
Holland, 2019
East Lansing, 2018
Emmet County, 2017
Detroit, 2016
Midland, 2015
Jackson, 2014

MHPN Conference History