What are AASLH Workshops?

AASLH Workshops are one- or two-day intensive, in-person trainings. Subject experts from the field teach a curriculum that offers participants a chance to engage in intensive learning and discussion with faculty and classmates about key subject areas important to history practitioners. In partnership with local host organizations, AASLH offers between 10-12 workshops each year in various locations around the country.

Workshop Catalog

Connecting Your Collections to Teachers and Students

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

Through a combination of presentations, discussion, hands-on activities, and take-home materials, this workshop addresses the elements of museum educational and programming  needed to create engaging, educational, and successful collections-based programming. Learn how to craft programming that is meaningful to the education community.

Topics include learning styles, presentation strategies, audience types, planning strategies, program assessment, research, and staff training.

This workshop is presented in partnership with the Creative Learning Factory at the Ohio History Connection.

Details

COST: $230 AASLH members/$345 nonmembers

LENGTH: Two days

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, directors, tour guides or volunteer managers and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

Instructors

Stacia Kuceyeski is the Director of Outreach at the Ohio History Connection. Stacia provides high quality professional development for cultural heritage professionals as well as a K-16 audience in a variety of humanities content areas and learning theories. She has presented and published for a number of organizations including the American Association of State and Local History, the Midwest Archives Conference and the Teaching American History Project Directors’ Conference. Stacia also has extensive grant writing experience and has received funding from a variety of national, state and local foundations and granting agencies. Luckily, her grant writing abilities far surpass her singing, drawing and poetry writing skills. When not making professional development magic happen, Stacia enjoys the Golden Girls, sassy earrings and an unnatural affection for our 27th president, William Howard Taft. Stacia earned her B.A. in History and her M.A. in Cultural Policy and Arts Administration, both from The Ohio State University.

Megan Wood is the Director of Museum and Library Services at the Ohio History Connection. Megan has over a decade of experience in museums and public history. She has a MA in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program and a BA in Public History from Western Michigan University.

Collections Management and Practices

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management. Through lively group discussions and hands-on activities, you will become familiar with current issues and trends to better understand how collections fit within the context of history organizations. The workshop will also explore the role of collections in exhibition and interpretation, the basic steps of collections management from acquisition to disposal, professional standards and ethics, conservation on a shoe-string budget, and the many resources available for collections preservation.

Details

COST: $230 AASLH members/$345 nonmembers

LENGTH: Two days

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is targeted to new professionals and dedicated volunteers with responsibility for collections.

Instructors

Samantha Forsko is a Preservation Specialist at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.

John E. Simmons runs Museologica (a museum consulting service); teaches museum studies for Kent State University,  the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and Museum Study LLC; and serves as Adjunct Curator of Collections at the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery at Penn State University. He is currently working on a second edition of Things Great and Small: Collections Management Policies (expected fall 2017).

Collections Camp: Military Collections

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

Do you have military artifacts in your museum collection? This two-and-a-half-day workshop will focus on the care, conservation, and exhibition of military artifacts in museum collections. Spend time working with conservators and curators to learn how to be better stewards of your military history collection.

As a result of this workshop, participants should:

  • Have a general knowledge of the basic types of military artifacts common in American museum collections;
  • Have a general knowledge of the particular needs of military collections including proper identification, handling, and basic conservation;
  • Be familiar with some of the current issues and trends in the preservation of military artifact collections;
  • Be able to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and artifacts when exhibiting or storing military items;
  • Explore the variety of issues related to exhibiting and storing military history collections;
  • Be familiar with simple conservation procedures that are safe to perform on their military history collections;
  • Be aware of when they should call a professional conservator for problems with their military history collections;
  • Recognize the importance of military collections in American museums.

Details

COST: $260 AASLH members/$300 nonmembers

LENGTH: Three days

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is intended for museum staff and volunteers who work in any type of museum that holds collections of a military nature.

Instructors

Gordon Blaker is the Director of the US Army Artillery Museum in Fort Sill, OK.

Myers Brown is an Archivist in the Archives Development Program at the Tennessee State Library and Archives in Nashville, TN.

Exhibit Makeovers

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

Interpretive exhibits bring objects, images, and ideas to life for visitors through storytelling, diverse presentation media, and learning opportunities that engage multiple types of intelligence.

In this workshop, you’ll learn the basics of exhibit planning, organization, text writing, and design. Drawing on resources of the host institution, working hands-on in small groups, you’ll experiment with ways to make exhibit content meaningful and memorable for visitors.

Details

COST: $230 AASLH members/$345 nonmembers

LENGTH: Two days

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is intended for museum staff and volunteers who want to create more engaging and effective exhibits. It’s also an opportunity for managers and board members to gain insight into the processes of exhibit development and design. A supportive, team-based environment will build skills, confidence, and a network of colleagues.

Instructors

Alice Parman has spent a lifetime in museum. After earning a Ph.D. in Education (University of Chicago), Alice joined the education staff at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. There she worked to help teachers use the museum’s resources more effectively, then chaired the Department of Education from 1973–1978 (as the Field’s first woman manager). From 1978–1982 she was director of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History; from 1982–1988 she served as director of WISTEC (now The Science Factory), also in Eugene. In 1989, Alice joined Formations Inc., a Portland-based exhibit design/build firm with a national clientele. After 14 years as Senior Planner/Writer for Formations, she launched her own consulting business in September 2003. She is co-author, with Ann Craig, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis, of Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Ann Craig (BA, History and Asian Studies, 2000, University of Oregon; MA, Arts Management, Museum Studies, 2006, University of Oregon) is the Director of Public Programs at The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon. Ann has been with the museum since 2005, where she oversees educational programming and exhibitions for all audiences. She is a board member with the Oregon Museum Association, chair of the Museums of Springfield and Eugene (MUSE) and a member of the Lane County Cultural Coalition.She is co-author, with Alice Parman, Lyle Murphy, Liz White, and Lauren Willis, of Exhibit Makeovers: A Do-It-Yourself Workbook for Small Museums, Second Edition (Rowman & Littlefield, 2017).

Participant Feedback

“I really enjoyed all aspects [of the workshop]. I enjoyed working with others and hearing their ideas. Alice was a great facilitator of thought and discussion.”

“The group size worked well to build a sort of camaraderie feeling and the info was fantastic and immediately put into use.”

“Great vocab, take home information, comfortable friendly, enjoyable, thought provoking.”

“The activities that supplemented each lecture help to see these concepts in practice.”

Focusing on Visitors: Public Programming and Exhibits at History Institutions

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

This workshop provides a broad overview of public programming and exhibits with a focus on active learning. Seasoned educators will direct conversations about museum education and the role of museum educators.

Participants will leave the workshop with information and materials they can take back to their organizations to adapt and apply.Through interactive activities and case studies, participants will gain knowledge and tools for a wide range of relevant topics, including audience types, volunteer management and training, tour techniques, active learning with people of all ages, developing exhibits with visitors in mind, technology, evaluations, planning, and working with others to build programs.

The themes of this workshop are based on the publication The Museum Educator’s Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques, coauthored by one of the workshop instructors.

Details

COST: $230 AASLH Members/$345 Nonmembers

LENGTH: Two days

Who Should Attend This Workshop

This workshop is ideally suited for staff (first-time museum educators, tour guides, volunteer managers, and mid-career professionals), museum studies students, or dedicated volunteers working in all types of museums who are given the responsibility of education and public programming.

Instructors

Tim Grove is the Chief of Museum Learning for the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and co-author of The Museum Educator’s Manual: Educators Share Successful Techniques. The 2nd edition of the book was recently published.

Alexandra Rasic is the Director of Public Programs for the Homestead Museum in City of Industry, CA.

Reinventing the Historic House Museum

An AASLH Workshop

Workshop Description

The one-day workshop, Reinventing the Historic House Museum includes an analysis of the most important opportunities and threats facing historic sites in America based on the latest social and economic research, with a discussion on how they may relate to the participants’ house museum. We share a series of field-tested tools and techniques drawn from such wide-ranging sources as non-profit management, business strategy, and software development. Drawing from innovative organizations, we profile historic sites that are using new models to engage with their communities to become more relevant, are adopting creative forms of interpretation and programming, and earning income to become more financially sustainable. A key component of the workshop is a facilitated brainstorming session to reinvent an event or program. Working with an actual house museum not only puts theory into practice but demonstrates the value of multiple perspectives for analysis.

Why should I attend?

Historic house museums face a wide range of challenges in today’s continually changing environment. Traditional methods no longer seem to be as successful but new approaches seem uncertain or risky.  By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to analyze their operations, programs, and events to make better informed decisions, learn how to use a variety of tools and techniques that can be applied to a wide range of activities at museums big and small, identify ways to make their house museum more distinctive and relevant, and feel more confident to try new and different approaches.

Indeed, the workshops have been incredibly helpful to the host sites, who serve as the case study for the brainstorming session:

“Reinventing the Historic House Museum sparked many great ideas on how we can use our historic homes in dynamic, innovative ways. Since attending the workshop, we have implemented many changes, including a new self-guided tour with interactive elements that have increased our attendance and engaged the public in brand new ways.”

Sarah Bader-King, Director of Public Programming & Events,
Wornall/Majors House Museums, Kansas City, Missouri

Reinventing the Historic House Museum helped us visualize how the Margaret Mitchell House could connect with the community around us. While the site was very popular with tourists, we were hidden in plain sight from our own community. Our goal was to discuss the challenges we faced and to pursue practical solutions. The workshop allowed us to collaborate with area professionals and hear from colleagues facing similar challenges. We left the workshop with good ideas and a commitment to reimagine our site. As a result of that work we have increased visibility in the community, created programming relevant to the neighborhood, and are partnering with area organizations to become a community resource and connector.”

Jessica Van Landuyt, Director of 20th Century Houses,
Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Georgia

Topics include:

  • Recognizing the Myriad Challenges Facing House Museums Today
  • Conducting a Holistic Assessment of Your House Museum’s Public Programs
  • Analyzing the Five Forces that Affect Public Programs and Events
  • House Museums That Are Successfully Reinventing Themselves
  • Discovering Your House Museum’s Unique Value and Distinctiveness

Details

LENGTH: One day (8:30 am – 5:00 pm)

COST: Varies. Please check current event listings in the AASLH Calendar for per-workshop pricing information.

Who Should Attend This Workshop

Boardmembers, staff, and volunteers who manage house museums and historic sites or who develop public programs and events. This workshop is designed for organizations large and small who are seeking to increase the impact and sustainability of their house museum, as well as for paid or volunteer staff who want to expand their professional skills.

Instructors

Max A. van Balgooy is president of Engaging Places LLC, a design and strategy firm that connects people and historic places.  He has worked with a wide range of historic sites on interpretive planning and business strategy, including James Madison’s Montpelier and Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage. He is an assistant professor in the Museum Studies Program at George Washington University, directs the History Leadership Institute (formerly known as the Seminar for Historical Administration), serves on the editorial board of Curator, the Museum Journal, and regularly leads workshops at regional and national museum conferences. He is a frequent contributor to professional journals and books, and with Ken Turino of Historic New England, he is preparing an anthology on reinventing the historic house museum for publication by Rowman and Littlefield in early 2019. These experiences provide a rich source of ideas for EngagingPlaces.net, where he blogs regularly about the opportunities and challenges facing historic sites and house museums.

 

Kenneth Turino is Manger of Community Engagement and Exhibitions at Historic New England, the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the country. Ken oversees community engagement projects throughout the six New England states and is responsible for the exhibitions program. Prior to coming to Historic New England, Ken was Executive Director of the Lynn Museum, an active local history museum in Lynn, Massachusetts. He has worked at a number of historic houses including the Paul Revere House in Boston and is a Trustee of the House of Seven Gables in Salem. He frequently consults on interpretive planning and community engagement projects at historic sites. These include Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Nashville, Tennessee,  James Madison’s Montpellier, Orange, Virginia, Connecticut Landmarks, on the Palmer Warner House in East Haddam, Conneticut and with Donna Harris the Charnley-Norwood House in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Ken is on the faculty of Tufts University in the Museum Studies Department where he teaches a course, Revitalizing Historic House Museums.

Registration

Visit the AASLH Resource Center to register for upcoming AASLH Workshops.

Upcoming Workshops