Cultural Heritage Workshop

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Aurora Cultural Heritage Workshop


Assisting local communities in developing cultural heritage initiatives that foster community and economic development, develop a sense of place and instill community pride.

The workshop is FREE and includes lunch! RSVP is required.

In this one-day workshop, participants will learn how culture, heritage, and the arts can be an addition to and diversification of traditional community and economic development practices and how projects and initiatives with this focus can favorably impact local and regional economies.

Participants will engage in experiential learning with leading edge thinkers providing practical application on this topic: Strategies for community and economic development in the 21st century as applied to rural communities.

This workshop will provide tools to help community members evaluate their cultural, historic and artistic assets and determine how to utilize those assets to promote local community and economic development. In this educational workshop participants will learn:

  • How a community’s culture, history and creative population can be a cornerstone for community and economic development with examples from communities across Missouri and the nation.

  • How to assess if cultural heritage tourism is a fit for your community or region.

  • How to plan for, develop, implement, and evaluate cultural heritage and arts-based initiatives, events and projects from a community standpoint.

  • How initiatives focused on culture, history or the arts can contribute to community pride, stability, growth, preservation and protection of resources, and economic development in a community or region.

Who should attend?

  • Those who deal specifically with culture, history, community or economic development, tourism, or the arts. Those involved in community decision making, such as: tourism directors, city managers, chamber of commerce directors, librarians, educators, theatre directors, parks and recreation directors or cultural affair directors. Also, those working in conservation and natural resource departments, Main Street organizations, and community betterment groups. Artisans, crafts-people, historians, architects, community activity coordinators and agri-business entrepreneurs would also benefit.

Workshop Facilitator

Dr. Lee Ann Woolery is currently the Community Arts Specialist for University of Missouri Extension where she developed a state-wide program working with small towns and rural communities to create art-based community and economic development initiatives. She leads educational workshops on cultural heritage tourism and arts-based community and economic development. Lee Ann worked with Lexington, MU Extension’s pilot project community to develop a cultural heritage tourism initiative and product—the Audio Tour-a walking/driving tour of the history and architecture of Lexington. In her 30-year career as an arts administrator, educator and community artist, Lee Ann has worked with communities in Arizona, Chicago, Missouri, and Washington. She has designed artist-in-residence programs working with indigenous artists from the Pacific Northwest; and co-led the purchase of an artist-owned warehouse in Tucson, AZ providing artist studios, gallery, educational programming, and a for-profit art business.

Workshop Presenter

Dr. Milbre Burch, Storyteller, Folklorist, Playwright, and Dramaturg. Milbre Burch holds a doctorate in theatre from the University of Missouri. Milbre is an internationally known solo performer, a produced playwright, a published writer, a GRAMMY-nominated recording artist, a storytelling studies archivist and scholar and a college educator, she is a storyteller in every sense of the word.

For more information contact Dr. Lee Ann Woolery at

This workshop is co-sponsored by Missouri Humanities Council, MU Extension, Youth Empowerment
Project, Aurora High School, Drury University, and the PDEV Citizenship and Leadership Class.

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