“Critical Conversations: The State of History in the National Park Service”

Great event, free to the public. Check it out, and if you go, write us a recap for the blog! The report they’re talking about can be found here.

“Critical Conversations: The State of History in the National Park Service”

In 2012, the Organization of American Historians released a report
critically examining the state of history in the National Parks.  Imperiled
Promise: The State of History in the National Park Service reveals the
findings of four historians who embarked on the study in 2008.  The report
identifies and addresses thirteen areas of concern.  Our discussions will
focus on the History/Interpretation Divide; Partnerships for History; Fixed
and Fearful Interpretation; and Civic Engagement.

At “Critical Conversations,” NPS staff tasked with the myriad
responsibilities of engaging the public with the past at the nation’s
parks– interpreters, historians, curators, and their colleagues-will
reflect on the report and its implications, and brainstorm ways to meet
identified challenges.  What will it take for the NPS to “recommit to
history,” and where we might go from here?

Join NPS staff and the UMass Boston History Department for an afternoon of
two consecutive roundtable discussions where participants will reflect on
the major findings of the OAH report; discussion with the audience will

The roundtable discussions will be followed by a reception.

Where: Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd., Columbia Point, Boston
3rd floor, Room 315

When: Friday, November 2, 2012

Time: 1:00-6:00 pm

Free and open to the public.  Parking available.

Co-sponsored by University of Massachusetts Boston History Department, and
Boston National Historical Park

Questions:  contact Jane Becker, History Department, UMass Boston

Upcoming NEMA Workshops

There are some really great workshops coming up this spring, and if you’re a NEMA member, they’re only $40 each. Scroll down to check out a series of workshops sponsored by the NEMA Young Emerging Professionals – $15 each, 6-8pm, and focused on interviewing and building your resume.

Exhibitions & Conservators PAGs Workshop
Best Practices in Exhibit Lighting
Friday, March 4, 2011
deCordova Museum & Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA
The Exhibitions and Conservators PAGs are teaming up this year to bring you a workshop on exhibit lighting — by popular demand!
Sponsored in part by Gaylord-Your Trusted Source®

Historic Sites PAG Workshop
From Docents to Smart Phones: Creating a Compelling Interpretive Experience at Historic Sites
Friday, March 25, 2011
Gore Place, Waltham, MA
The ultimate goal of any historic site is not only to engage the visitor but to make their visit so memorable that they will return, support, and promote by word of mouth. This workshop will explore how historic sites create a compelling visitor experience.
Sponsored in part by Gaylord-Your Trusted Source®

Children’s Museums & Exhibitions PAGs Workshop
Especially for Me: Innovative Ways Museums Can Support Visitors of All Abilities
Monday, March 28, 2011
Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA
With an estimated 19% of Americans classified as disabled, how can museums be responsive to this segment of the population? Join us at Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA, as we explore innovative ways to design exhibits and programs that promote inclusion and disability awareness.

Membership, Development, PR and Marketing PAG Workshop
Best of Times, Worst of Times: Making the Most of What You Have
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Fitchburg Art Museum
This year’s workshop sessions will demonstrate strategies for getting a lot accomplished with small staffs and small budgets. Learn to effectively promote and execute fundraising events; discover ways to prosper as a development department of one; and share ways to get the best publicity possible for your institution.

New This Year!!

Learn, Laugh, Live: A New Series of Mini-Workshops with Maxi-Impact
A series of mini-workshops*
Presented by the Young and Emerging Museum Professionals (YEP) PAG
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. on March 23, April 20, May 11, 2011
Otis House, Historic New England, Boston, MA
Co-sponsored by Historic New England
LEARN — How to Interview “Big Wig” Speed Dating Style
LAUGH — How to Break into a Tricky Field in a Tough Economy
LOVE — How to Build Your Resume Through Internships, Articles, Conferences, and Presentations
* Each mini-workshop is $15 for NEMA Members, $25 for Non-Members. Members can register for all three mini-workshops for $40.

Space is limited. Please visit www.nemanet.org and sign up today!

Registration Fee (includes lunch): $50 NEMA members / $60 non-members / $40 students

Stories Behind the Paintings at the Sukiennice Museum

Krakow’s newly renovated Sukiennice Museum of 19th-century Polish art has a splashy video showing off the interactive campaign they did to publicize their 2010 reopening. In an attempt to make the art “come to life,” they recorded audio and video recreations of stories behind the artists, subjects, or patrons or a few of their most important paintings. One part of the project involved augmented reality, where visitors could view the video and painting at the same time through a smartphone app.

From this clip, it looks like the project was more about attention-getting marketing than an interpretation strategy. It’s no substitute for close observation of the paintings themselves, but it would be interesting to hear audience feedback about whether discovering the stories behind these few paintings piqued their curiosity in looking more closely at other work in the museum. Better to be drawn in by bells and whistles than not go to a museum at all?