NPS Northeast Region Interpretive Workshop

The National Park Service Northeast Region Interpretive Workshop, “Making Connections Through Active Engagement,” for the Delaware and Lehigh National Heritage Corridor will take place on March 30-April 1, 2016. The workshop is available to all National Heritage Area, museum, education, and historic site staff, volunteers, and partners. There is no registration fee, yet there are only 80 spots available. Participants can choose one, two, or all three days, according to their schedules.

In advance of the workshop, all participants should think about the following five questions, which will be distributed at the beginning of the workshop. The presenters on the panel will also be given these questions to answer in their presentations.

  1. What is your core mission?
  2. How do you incorporate your mission into your interpretation?
  3. What are specific examples of how you do this?
  4. Name a challenge you have in articulating a consistent message through interpretation?
  5. How will you overcome this challenge?

Focus of the Day: Finding your core message and using it to engage your audience.

Day 1 Objectives:

1) Participants will gain the ability to develop and articulate a core message, based on their mission.
2) Participants will gain ideas for developing mission-based interpretation and programming.
3) Participants will learn how to train staff and volunteers to consistently convey their core message.

11 am – Noon | Participant check in at the ArtsQuest Center

Noon – 1 pm | Lunch at the ArtsQuest Center

1 pm – 3:30 pm | Panel Presentations and Discussion | Active Engagement: Challenges and Best Practices

1 pm – 1:25 pm | Allentown Art Museum
John Pepper, Adult & College Program Coordinator
1:25 pm – 1:50 pm | Historic Bethlehem Partnership
Charlene Donchez Mowers, President
1:50 pm – 2:00 pm | Break
2:00 pm – 2:25 pm | Steelworkers’ Archives
Lester O. Clore
2:25 pm – 2:50 pm | Steamtown National Historic Site
Dan Kahl, Ranger
2:50 pm – 3:15 pm | Delaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor
Dennis Scholl, D&L Director of Education and Museum Services
3:15 pm – 3:25 pm | Break
3:25 pm – 4:00 pm | Panel Discussion with All Presenters

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | Reception/Networking at the National Canal Museum in Easton, PA

 Thursday, March 31

Focus of the Day: Observe how panelists from Day 1 consistently convey their core message and promote active engagement in their interpretation or programming.

Day 2 Objectives:

1) View examples of active engagement through interpretation and programming and of how museums and sites located in the D&L National Heritage Corridor engage the local community.
2) Reflect on how some of the examples on the tour might address each participant’s challenges with maintaining a consistent core message and/or promoting active engagement in his/her National Heritage Area, museum, or historic site.

8:00 am – 9:00 am | Breakfast
9:00 am – 10:00 am | Hoover Mason Trestle Tour with Historic Bethlehem Partnership
Tour theme: A formal Bethlehem Steel tour interpreted by trained museum docents
10:00 am – 10:15 am | Break
10:15 am – 11:15 am | Hoover Mason Trestle Tour with the Steel Workers Archives
Tour theme: A Bethlehem Steel “behind the scenes” tour interpreted by former steelworkers
11:15 am – 11:30 am | Participants receive a boxed lunch and board buses
Noon – 1:30 pm | Allentown Art Museum
Tour theme: Creating engaging programming for diverse, and non-English speaking, audiences
1:30 – 2:00 pm | Transport to Bethlehem
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm | Tour the Kemerer and Moravian museums with Historic Bethlehem Partnership
Tour theme: Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts – Engaging audiences of all ages in decorative arts
Tour theme: Moravian Museum – Discovering remarkable community history through descendants of the community’s founders
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm | Reflection on Touring Day in the Moravian Church’s Old Chapel

Friday, April 1

Focus of the Day: Leave the workshop with concrete examples of how to implement and maintain a consistent core message and design programming and interpretation that actively engages your audience.

Day 3 Objectives:

1) Learn how to use technology to increase active engagement.
2) Learn how National Heritage Areas can successfully work with National Historic Parks or National Parks to create programs that promote active engagement.
3) Learn how to design exhibits that promote active engagement.

8:15 am – 9:00 am | Breakfast
9:00 am – 10:00 am | Active Engagement in the National Park Service
Scenic, Wild Delaware River Geotourism MapGuide
John Biljean, Delaware River Field Representative | National Parks Conservation Association
Schuylkill River National Heritage Area and Valley Forge National Historic Park
(to be determined)
10:00 am – 10:15 am | Break
10:15 am – 11:00 am | Updating Your Museum to Convey a Consistent Core Message and Promote Active Engagement
Dennis Van Sickle, Partner in Van Sickle/Rolleri Ltd., Kennebunkport, Maine
11:00 am – 11:45 am | Wrap-up discussion with the morning’s presenters

For more information about the workshop, including lodging options and registration forms, click here.

From: Delaware and Lehigh Heritage Corridor

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