The Seminar for Historical Administration (SHA) takes over Indianapolis every November as staff from historic sites and history museums gather to discuss and resolve the big issues, such as:
- Why is it that so many Americans find history, for the most part, boring and irrelevant?
- How can we be more creative in using authentic objects to involve people in exploring the past?
- Should we focus our interpretation on the past, or should we find ways to make history useful to present-day concerns?
- What roles should do museums and sites play in our communities?
They’ll be exploring these topics through readings, field trips, and lectures from national leaders, and a revised curriculum that increasingly focused on leadership not just management. The participants often come out transformed by the experience and the effects last throughout their careers, with such positive results that some organizations are using it as mid-career training for their staff members (a pat on the back to the Homestead Museum and Indiana Historical Society!). John Durel coordinates the program and will be regularly writing about their experiences on the Developing History Leaders at SHA blog.