Thursday, February 17, 2011

Southeast Regional Conservation Association

Introducing, the Southeast Regional Conservation Association! David Goist, Conservator of Paintings (FAIC) and past President of SERCA was kind enough to offer us a glimpse into this fascinating guild:

The major focus of Southeastern Regional Conservation Association, Inc. (SERCA) is to educate caretakers of cultural property and their communities about preservation as an ongoing responsibility, as well as raising an awareness and support for conservation. SERCA will focus on providing conservation professionals with opportunities for collegial exchange at an annual meeting. SERCA hopes to improve access to conservation expertise through outreach activities to cultural repositories--particularly to areas which have had only limited exposure to professional conservation. One of SERCA's chief interests is to assist caretakers of cultural property in effectively responding to disasters. SERCA's ultimate goal is for each collecting institution in the Southeast to have a realistic emergency preparedness plan.

1. What region do you cover?

SERCA covers the states regarded as the southeast region of the United States. Because of overlap from other regional organizations most of its members live and work in Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.

2. When and how was the association founded?

SERCA was founded in 1998 by conservators working in the area of Atlanta, Georgia. By-Laws provide for the governance of the Organization, a non-profit organization as defined under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which is established pursuant to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code to: bring together those individuals in the Southeastern United States primarily involved in the preservation of historic and artistic works and to promote education, collegiality, outreach, and the exchange of ideas on a professional level to advance such preservation of cultural property.

The Organization shall maintain a registered office and shall have a registered agent whose business office is identical with such registered office. The registered agent must be a Georgia resident. The Organization may have offices at such place or places as the Board of Directors may from time to time designate.

3. How many members does the association have?

Membership ranges from 40 - 50 individuals each year.

4. Are there any restrictions on membership?

There are no restrictions to being a member of SERCA. Non-members are welcome to attend our annual meeting and workshop for a higher registration fee. We have had attendees from states beyond the southeast and from other countries.

5. What is the cost of membership and what does that fee cover?

The annual membership fee is $20 running from May 1 to April 30 of the following year. The fee covers the cost of mailings and other organizational costs.

Chris Stavroudis preparing materials for his Modular Cleaning Program workshop

6. What kinds of events do you hold and how often?

SERCA holds one annual meeting with a workshop lasting 3-4 days, usually in the Spring of the year. Every other year the annual meeting is held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Some years ago, the organization shifted from a format where members presented talks to a workshop event where members could expand their skills and knowledge at a cost often less than those held at the annual AIC meeting or at other regional sites. A short business meeting is held during the workshop for members to elect new officers and vote on organization activities.

Future and past workshops:

2011- March 18-20, “Integrated Pest Management and Identification” presented by Patrick Kelley, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

2010- “Modular Cleaning Program” presented by Chris Stavroudis, West Palm Beach, FL

2009- “Environmental Monitoring and Control for Small Institutions: Innovative Approaches and Practical Solutions” presented by Steven Weintraub, Atlanta, GA

2008- “Introduction to Photoshop and Photoshop for Digital Photography,” Raleigh, NC

2007- “Enzymes and Their Targets for Conservators” presented by Hal Erickson, Atlanta, GA

2006- “Recovery of Wet Materials Following a Disaster” presented by Barbara Moore and M. J. Davis, Charleston, SC

In past years the President and Vice-President met with other regional group officers and AIC staff/officers for a breakfast and the annual AIC meeting to discuss common goals and challenges. SERCA has received a number of grants from FAIC in past years to defray the cost of annual workshops.

7. Do you have a website?

SERCA does not have a website at this time. SERCA is a Regional Affinity Group of the Southeastern Museums Conference. See:

8. What, would you say, is the most special thing about SERCA?

In my opinion, I most appreciate the relaxed environment in which our workshops take place. We have a pleasant time learning new skills and sharing knowledge

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