Sheryl Davis has been described as a "rising star,” “mover and shaker” and “innovator” in the historic preservation field through her efforts to create a new specialization focusing on the architectural legacy of American popular music. She has been recognized for her work as a recipient of multiple awards as well as ambassadorship and publication opportunities in the US and abroad.
When beginning her formal journey in historic preservation and towards establishing the role of music landmarks specialist, Sheryl began with an internship at the National Trust for Historic Preservation office in San Francisco and then attended the Poplar Forest Architectural Restoration Field School in Forest, Virginia. Following these experiences she pursued a Master of Arts in Historic Preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design’s School of Building Arts, which, wherever possible, contained self-designed/motivated coursework and research projects focused on place-based music history and heritage.
Sheryl’s M.A. final project, State of Rock: A Current Look at the Built Heritage of 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll in America, was the first-known national historic resources inventory and preservation activity survey of 100 buildings significant to early rock and roll and its roots genres, a watershed in the beginnings of defining a national landscape for the study and preservation of rock 'n' roll's built heritage and more broadly, that of US popular music. In the over 10 years since, this initial research project has expanded into an ever-growing and evolving national inventory that features a wide range of musical genres, architectural styles, geographies and walks of life that reflect defining eras in the diverse and complex American story. The inventory is filled with case studies including projects that demonstrate Sheryl’s impassioned dedication to documenting, preserving and interpreting US music landmarks.
With over ten years of professional practice and continued research as a music landmarks specialist, Sheryl has launched the American Music Landmarks Project as a national platform to share her unique knowledge and experience in cultivating public awareness, appreciation and support for the places that shaped our collective music history - one of the United States' greatest contributions to world culture! When thoughtfully preserved and activated as civic storytelling mediums, Sheryl believes that these cultural embassies provide the public with the most authentic, immersive, multi-sensory experience of an unmatched closeness with our musical past, introducing the public to new and exciting possibilities for economic, cultural and environmental sustainability.
Sheryl’s twin sister Sherry leverages a lifelong passion for the musical past and a vitae of interdisciplinary education and experience to inform her work as a music preservationist.
She enjoys operating in the field as a scholar-practitioner where her work has a direct impact on the relationship between music history and heritage and the general public.
Through writing and research, film, music landmark initiatives, exhibits, events, concerts and more, she creates accessibility, excitement and relevance in order to reach broader audiences and sustain their commitment as consumers, patrons, investors and volunteers.
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