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Executive Director’s Report

By Kristine McCusker

            This has been a trying few months for everyone, and we hope you are all staying safe. As we have been hunkered down and working remotely, the Executive Office and the Council have found new ways to serve our membership while at the same time gathering information and building new foundations that will stabilize us in difficult times.

            We have conducted or co-conducted two webinars, for example. Thanks again to our friends at the Baylor Institute for Oral History for our co-sponsored and quite timely webinar on remote oral interviewing in early April. Thanks, as well, to our friends at the American Folklore Society for our co-sponsored webinar on Fieldwork and Digital Audio Technology held on May 1. Remember that webinars are always free for our members and can be accessed behind the paywall. We also hope you will sign up for future “check-ins,” as some did with OHA President Allison Tracy-Taylor in April.

            In the meantime, Kris and Louis, the organization’s co-directors, have been gathering information from sources such as the American Council of Learned Societies and other professional, nonprofit societies to make sure we move forward with the least amount of disruption.

            We have consulted the ACLS attorney to make sure that the organization is protected legally and financially. This has helped us generate both a risk assessment for the organization as well as a long-term disaster plan that will account not only for pandemics, but for labor strikes, weather disasters and other disruptive activities that could do us harm.

            We also have applied for money from humanities organizations, the CARES act and other governmental sources to make sure that any financial hits we take will be weathered by these other sources of aid. 

            As always, please let us know if there is anything the Executive Office can do to help.

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