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Webinar: History Relevance Coffee Break with Ford’s Theatre

December 13, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 3:30 pm EST

Against a black background sit, from left to write, a white microphone icon, white text reading"History Relevance Coffee Break," and the logo of the Ford's Theatre, a tall cream rectangle with red text and imagery. From top to bottom, the logo read's "Ford's," a profile of Abraham Lincoln, then "Theatre" in tall skinny font.

Been noodling on a sticky problem without a clear solution? Ford’s Theatre staff have long been batting around ideas on how to make history more relevant to the 235,000 students who visit the site every year. Working with strategist/evaluator Kate Haley Goldman, Ford’s Theatre did a series of six week-long sprints to build rough prototypes of some of these ideas and test them with actual students on-site. Join Associate Director for Interpretive Resources David McKenzie in a focused discussion with History Relevance initiative standing committee member Conny Graft to learn about the successes and lessons learned in this exhausting, but exhilarating, exercise in human-centered design.

This webinar is part of the History Relevance Coffee Break webinar series. Each webinar in this short-form series showcases projects by history organizations that are making history relevant to their communities in meaningful, measurable, and replicable ways. Webinar participants will glean practical tips for how organizations can connect issues of the past to issues of the present and meet their relevance goals.


DATE: Thursday, December 13, 2018

TIME: 3:00 – 3:30 pm EASTERN (Remember to adjust for your time zone!)

COST: $Free Members / $5 Non-members

Closed captioning available upon advanced notice. Please contact learn@aaslh.org for more information.


Description and Outcomes:

Interview Questions:

  • Tell us about how you connected issues of the past with issues of the present?
  • What were some of the challenges you faced in implementing this project?
  • What did you learn from the evaluation of your project?
  • Based on your experience making history relevant through this project, what are the three most important suggestions you have for others working to make history relevant at their institutions?

Participant Outcomes:

  • Learn how Ford’s Theatre makes history relevant in measurable and replicable ways
  • Feel inspired by the featured organization to endorse the Value of History Statement
  • Feel inspired to employ formal survey and evaluation techniques when evaluating the success of their projects
  • Feel motivated to think creatively about how they can make history relevant through projects at their own institution
  • Learn practical tips for how organizations can connect issues of the past to issues of the presents


  • Conny Graft, Steering Committee Member, History Relevance Initiative
  • David McKenzie, Associate Director for Interpretive Resources, Ford’s Theatre