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Estrella Warbirds Museum Curator Jill Thayer gives keynote address 

Jill Thayer and Paso Robles Historical Society President Grace Pucci. Courtesy photo.

Jill Thayer and Paso Robles Historical Society President Grace Pucci. Courtesy photo.

– Estrella Warbirds Museum Curator Jill Thayer delivered the keynote address, “Connecting Historical Narratives Today,” at the General Meeting for El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society at the Paso Robles Golf Club. Thayer discussed the importance of preserving history and the relevance of historical societies in contemporary culture noting, “Oral history is an important part of preserving and perpetuating the legacy of people and community.”

Her message stressed the vital role of stewardship and legacy on a local and national level. “Connecting past to present– this is our quintessential role as purveyors of history,” she said. In her address, Thayer suggested ways that historical societies can connect with multi-generational audiences through community outreach, interactive events, digital media technologies, and social media integration.

She cited “The Future of Local Historical Societies,” by Debbie Ann Doyle from The American Historical Association’s “Perspectives on History,” on the state of the discipline: “Many local historical societies serve communities that are rapidly changing due to immigration and changes in the local economy. These trends have produced intense self reflection in the field, leading to a number of initiatives to help local historical societies become more relevant to their communities and develop a sustainable model for the future.”

Thayer is the curator for Estrella Warbirds Museum, consulting in curatorial management for the collection. She is an artist, marketing strategist, and part-time professor teaching onsite and online curricula regionally and nationally in art history, global visual culture, and marketing management at institutions including: Allan Hancock College, Santa Monica College, National University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Post University Malcolm Baldrige School of Business and Management MBA Program.

In 2011, she received her doctorate at Claremont Graduate University in cultural studies/museum studies with trans-disciplinary study in global strategy and trade at St. Peter’s College, University of Oxford, through Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. Her post-doctoral series, “In Their Own Words: Oral Histories of CGU Art,” is included in Archives of American Art at The Smithsonian Institution. Thayer owned a design firm for 25 years and gallery for 15 years in Bakersfield prior to relocating to the Central Coast in 2014.

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