On Monday, August 17, I’ll be leading a one-day workshop on interpretive planning for history museums and historic sites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Sponsored by the American Association for State and Local History, Humanities Tennessee, and the Tennessee Association of Museums, the workshop will layout effective strategies for interpreting history and the humanities at museums and historic sites, explain how to use StEPs as a model for standards and best practices, and show how to conduct a self-evaluation of interpretation in order to prioritize activities. It’ll be hot in Middle Tennessee but the workshop will be held in the comfortable and cool visitor center at the Oaklands Museum. Registration is $75 and $15 for members (you read that correctly–$15!) and includes lunch. To register or for more details, visit AASLH.org.
Last week I led an AASLH workshop with George McDaniel on the management of historic house museums at Oaklands, a mid-nineteenth century house in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Eighteen people participated, most from Tennessee, but we had a couple from as far as Alaska! Adding to the diversity were several graduate students from Middle Tennessee State University (which has strong programs in history, public history, and historic preservation) and even though it was near the end of the semester and finals were on their minds, they helped enrich the discussions.
One of the features in the workshop is that every participant brings an issue or problem that they’d like to address. The range is wide and unpredictable, but it’s a helpful way to check the pulse on the challenges facing historic sites. In this class, these issues were:
- How to prevent staff burn-out (how to keep growing despite small staff; finding the right mix of skills for staff)
- How to fund preservation and staffing. Continue reading