Hello ACRA Community!
I want to express my profound gratitude and excitement to serve as the new president of the American Cultural Resources Association. It is both an honor and a responsibility to be at the helm of this remarkable association. Your trust inspires me, and I am deeply committed to upholding the ideals, values, and purpose of ACRA. To kick off my term, I’d like to express my gratitude to Dan Cassedy, my predecessor and mentor in the role. Dan has served four years, two as President elect and two as President, and he has provided thoughtful and steady guidance to the organization as it has grown in number and national prominence under his tenure. Thanks, Dan, and good luck in the new role!
Our September conference was nothing short of exceptional. With attendees from all corners of the country, it was truly inspiring to see our community come together in person to exchange insights, foster connections, and celebrate our shared passion for cultural resources. Thank you to all of you who took the time (and spent the money) to attend in person. We all owe enormous thanks to the conference committee, especially Bonnie Gibson and Amanda Stratton, for their advance planning work and for their tireless work behind the scenes to ensure the conference’s success. Your feedback, ideas, and enthusiasm have laid the groundwork for many more collaborative initiatives in the near future, as well as for next year’s conference in Albuquerque. I would also like to thank all of our presenters. The topics were wonderful and varied and the content at the conference was outstanding!
In terms of the state of our industry, it is evident that the demand for cultural resource management is strong and continues to grow, driven by increased awareness and appreciation of our cultural and historic assets and the accelerated spending on infrastructure. We all seem to be very busy! Although our industry has faced challenges in recent years, including shifts in policy and economic fluctuations, we have remained resilient, adaptable, and determined. Our commitment to excellence and collaboration has not only kept us afloat but has also solidified our reputation as key contributors to the preservation and understanding of cultural heritage. I was encouraged to hear many conversations about teaming among ACRA members!
I am immensely optimistic about the future. With the dedication and ingenuity that I’ve seen in this community, there’s no doubt that our individual firms and our association will continue to flourish. I’m confident that together we’ll continue to shape a future where cultural resources are recognized, preserved, and celebrated. Here’s to our collective continued success and a bright future for ACRA!
Cinder Miller, President, American Cultural Resources Association
For those of you wondering why half of this inaugural message is in blue, I am happy to share that this statement is a true reflection of the value of the ACRA conference. Text in black is provided by ChatGPT4, an OpenAI tool we all learned about at the conference. In addition to learning in sessions at the conference, I spent some time networking. I relied on Heather Stettler of my network to help put this together. If you are curious, the prompts into Open AI’s Chat GPT4 were: Write a statement by the president of the American Cultural Resources Association for the association’s newsletter. Use a business casual tone. Include a paragraph about how excited I am to be the new president. Include a paragraph about the excellent conference we just had in September. Discuss the state of the industry. Conclude with a paragraph describing my optimism for the future.
I could not agree more with the prompts selected and I look forward to learning something new from another ACRA member next month to highlight in the next newsletter!