At the annual AASLH workshop on historic house museum management, we always start by asking participants about the biggest or most important challenge they are facing at their historic site. For the participants, the exercise allows them to get to know each other beyond a name by recognizing the issues they may have in common. As the instructors, It’s an opportunity for George McDaniel and me to ensure we address their concerns. For AASLH, it’s a way of keeping a finger on the pulse on what’s happening in the field. At the end of the workshop, we review the list and provide some time for participants to develop a plan to address their issue. As a reminder, they also fill out self-addressed postcards with a message to themselves, which I’ll mail to them in six months.
So that you can keep your finger on the pulse of the field, here’s the list of issues and challenges from the Cedar Rapids workshop at Brucemore, which included participants from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Illinois: Continue reading