Useable Past: Spotlighting Successful Regional Development

The “Usable Past” workshop series returns August 26 with an in-depth roundtable discussion with directors from the Alex Haley Farm, Green McAdoo Cultural Center, and the Langston Cultural Centre. This conference and workshop for tourism professionals and other interested individuals will help participants develop strategies and increase tourism opportunities with and for untapped or overlooked groups. 

You can register here:

Over 100 million visitors come to Tennessee each year, and the State typically earns over 20 billion dollars in revenue from tourists. It’s important that visitors, whether they are families, couples, or individuals seeking adventure, feel safe and represented in the places they visit and stay. Heritage Tourism is a large part of why people travel, they want to know their history, but this is a field that has struggled to be inclusive and welcoming to folks of all backgrounds. How can we, as leaders in the field of tourism in Northeast Tennessee work to set an example for other areas as an inclusive region?

The Useable Past series tackled this big question in April of 2021 with speakers from the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, Black in Appalachia, and East Tennessee State University. Useable Past is back this August with another workshop. This series seeks to showcase efforts and examples in Northeast Tennessee when it comes to inclusive tourism, difficulties faced, as well as action steps we can all take to continue to move forward as a region.

This free workshop will take place online from 9:00 am – 10:30 am on Thursday, August 26. Speakers include Kenneth Libby, Business Manager for the Children’s Defense Fund at the Alex Haley Farm, Adam Velk, Museum Director at Green McAdoo Cultural Center, and Adam Dickson, Langston Centre Director. Dr. Daryl A. Carter, Director of the Black American Studies program at East Tennessee University and Jules Corriere with the McKinney Center will moderate the Q&A session following the presentations. Participants must register in advance to receive the Zoom link.

This workshop series is a collaboration between the McKinney Center, the Heritage Alliance of Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, the Langston Centre, and the Black American Studies program at ETSU. The McKinney Center at Booker T. Washington School provides a comprehensive program through Jonesborough’s Mary B. Martin Program for the Arts which teaches various art skills to all participants through a quality program of instruction open to all segments of Jonesborough’s population. The Heritage Alliance is a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of the architectural, historical, and cultural heritage of our region and to providing educational experiences related to history and heritage for a wide range of audiences. The Langston Centre is a cultural facility that promotes multicultural awareness and workforce development through arts, education, and leadership activities. Black American Studies serves a critical role for the College of Arts & Sciences and ETSU by offering high-quality academic course offerings, superb programming, and opportunities for personal growth through service.