The American Association for State and Local History offers a wide range of educational workshops and professional training that is particularly helpful for staff and volunteers for work at historic sites and house museums–if you know where to look. I’ve previously mentioned the sessions during its annual meeting but people often forget that it also has half-day and day-long workshops before and after the annual meeting to explore topics in depth. What most people don’t know is that you can register for just these workshops; you don’t have to attend the annual meeting–a great advantage for local folks!
This year, AASLH is offering 14 workshops, including:
- Best Practices for Slavery Interpretation led by Kristin Gallas of the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery with Patricia Brooks, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; Conny Graft, Conny Graft Research and Evaluation; and Dr. Julia Rose, West Baton Rouge Museum. Full day for $75.
- The Rembrandt Rule Workshop led by Joanna Arrieta of the Atlanta History Center and Michelle Zupan at Hickory Hill. Full day for $75. For background, read “Rethinking the Rembrandt Rule” by Jim Vaughan (Museum, 2008)
- Connecting Visitors to your Site through Inspired Front-Line Staff led by Tanya Brock at Minnetrista. Half day at $45.
- Connecting Visitors with Inspired Staff: Training Front-Line Staff and Volunteers led by Rebecca Martin of the National Archives and Records Administration. Half day at $45. Note: this workshop is incorrectly listed for Saturday; it occurs on Wednesday after the other “Connecting Visitors” workshop.
Other workshops have a broader appeal and tackle topics such as project management, encouraging boards to raise funds, community engagement, and emergency planning (one of AAM’s five core documents). I don’t know all the speakers for the workshops, but those I do know are tops in their field so this training is a bargain.