Adventures in Preservation (AiP)

Adventures in Preservation (AiP) envisions a world where people use, understand, and appreciate historic buildings that are vital to economic and environmental sustainability and preserve cultural identity. AiP organizes international volunteer-based projects which provide educational training in preservation issues and technical skills, preserve and restore heritage sites essential to cultural identity, and support sustainable economic development through heritage tourism and job creation. Adventures in Preservation's mission: Connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs that safeguard heritage and foster community sustainability.
Aug 1, 2013

Skenduli Hands-On Learning Open to All

AiP volunteer from Australia learning plaster prep
AiP volunteer from Australia learning plaster prep

The Skenduli House repair and restoration project in Gjirokastra is moving forward thanks to your continuing support. In September, architecture and preservation students from around the Balkans will once again come for two weeks of learning and working at the site as preservation continues.

What you may not know is that ANYONE is welcome to join this hands-on learning experience.  If experiential travel is something you love, this opportunity will offer you a memorable way to be involved and help the community.

In 2014, two sessions are open, one in April and one in September. For each two-week session, we hope to have ten volunteers, also known as citizen preservationists, join students and professionals from around the world. Teams of 8 will work with a craftsperson, receiving a great deal of individual instruction to learn the historic arts of lime plastering, wood preservation, and other work that may be on tap during your session.

We would like everyone, regardless of your experience with historic preservation, to know you are welcome to come and learn new skills, enjoy excellent Albanian cuisine, and explore the culture all in the company of other dedicated volunteers. It's remarkable that such an amazing experience for you will at the same time greatly support efforts to move Gjirokastra toward a sustainable economy for its citizens.

Your donation can go even further in person, as you extend the impact by contributing to the actual preservation efforts at the Skenduli House!

Drawing class at Skenduli option for volunteers
Drawing class at Skenduli option for volunteers

Links:

May 8, 2013

Re-introducing Traditional Skills to Save Gjirokastra

Traditional method used to repair stone roof
Traditional method used to repair stone roof

As we’ve discussed before in our reports about rebuilding Gjirokastra, Albania, the community’s effort to develop a sustainable economy is dependent on their amazing built heritage. So what happens when local craftsmen and contractors no longer have the skills and knowledge needed to maintain the large stone tower houses?

This question is answered regularly with the collapse of another historic building. Each loss makes the move toward a sustainable economy, largely based on heritage tourism, harder to achieve.

Fortunately for the people of Gjirokastra, the knowledge of traditional building skills still remains with a few builders in the area and in other parts of the Balkans. Adventures in Preservation, together with Cultural Heritage without Borders, is taking advantage of this good fortune.

With the help of your donations, craftspeople from the Balkans are earning a salary teaching traditional building skills to students and professionals attending AiP and CHwB’s hands-on projects at the Skenduli house in Gjirokastra.

These budding architecture, city planning and preservation professionals will be able to share their expertise during productive careers.

They will become a new source of old knowledge, once again giving property owners the ability to regularly maintain their buildings and at the same time contribute to the economic growth of their community. Thanks for working with us to support this transition.

Roof repair made with plastic leads to collapse
Roof repair made with plastic leads to collapse

Links:

Feb 13, 2013

Value of Community Partnerships

Albert Kasi sharing time & skills with volunteers
Albert Kasi sharing time & skills with volunteers

Our Adventures in Preservation project in the World Heritage Site of Gjirokastra is greatly enhanced by the constant support of our partners. Some come from the local community and some are from the regional community. All are totally committed to using Gjirokastra’s built heritage to fortify the future.

One of our strongest allies is Albert Kasi, a lifelong resident of the city. Mr. Kasi is one of Albania’s leading sculptors with art displayed in the National Art Gallery. He is equally passionate about the economic growth of his city. He believes that saving the spectacular historic architecture is a great means to improve his neighbors’ standard of living by supporting heritage tourism, creating jobs and improving living spaces.

Another strong local partner is GCDO – the Gjirokastra Conservation and Development Organization. Started by motivated community members, their first meeting in 2001 brought 200 people to discuss how they felt about their community and its value as a cultural site. Now, working from a historic building in the heart of the old bazaar, this group fosters sustainable economic development by advancing the regions cultural life.

Our partner most active in hands-on training at our project site is Cultural Heritage without Borders. CHwB is a Balkan-based relief organization working to promote peace, recovery and development through the preservation of cultural heritage. With this great concept, they take students and professionals to historic sites throughout the Balkans to save a variety of heritages important to each project community.

All of our partners support AiP in demonstrating that through building conservation, we can create a greener more sustainable world.

CHwB craftsman teaches wood conservation skills
CHwB craftsman teaches wood conservation skills
Albert ready to role up sleeves and start working
Albert ready to role up sleeves and start working

Links:

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