Cracking Character – The Fun of Being Historical-ish

What happens when living history interpreters allow the lines between the past and present to blur a little? When they don’t break character, but they definitely crack it? I’m always a bit skeptical of living history and (re)enactment experiences. I don’t dislike them by default, but growing up between the Revolutionary War reenactment-happy towns of Lexington…

Creative Processes

The more ways I involve myself in creative projects, the more how see how much of the creative process is the same, regardless of your final products and goals. This video about Dustin Lance Black’s storytelling process focuses on screenwriting, but it could just as well be about how we tell tales in museums. “Figuring out why. Not…

Quick and Dirty Labeling

When it comes to writing labels, I like to take my time. I’ve been in the meetings where it takes hours (not recommended, btw) to decide on border color and font size. I’ve worked for days and (sometimes) weeks, revising and refining language to write the perfect paragraph. But I’ve also printed out slapdash signs…

Starting With Storytelling

Whenever I work on exhibit development projects, the same question occurs: What comes first, the objects or the stories? While it’s rarely a linear, either-or situation, and both approaches fold backwards and forwards onto one another, I’m firmly Team Story (it’s like being Team Edward, but with less sparkles). The stories are what matter, the…

Emotional Safety in Museums

Museums should become safe spaces for unsafe ideas* *Often credited to Elaine Heumann Gurian, but she says it didn’t come from her. Either way, it deserves to be said often. I love the idea that museums can (and should) be safe spaces, but until recently I always thought about that concept in terms of the…