Warehouse in Buenos Aires

We don’t need to endorse in order to interpret.

Over the course of my forty-year career (yikes!) I have made a long shift from natural history to cultural history interpretation. The transition has been… interesting. See, when you interpret birds or rocks or stars, you generally don’t argue for those things’ moral goodness or purity. Yes, you might defend their place within their ecosystem …

trilingual interpretive sign

Is it a language or a dialect? It’s… political.

As an interpretive writer doing a lot of cultural interpretation lately, I find I am writing a lot about language. Indigenous languages, to be specific. I am working with Indigenous clients and partners to help communicate how language is fundamental to understanding culture, landscape, and life… and how so many Indigenous languages around the world …

spider

Marketing: An Interpretive Approach

As a visitor experience advisor, I find that a lot of my work revolves around helping parks, historic sites, and museums do a better job of communicating who they are in an inspiring way. Naturally, as a life-long interpreter, I am a huge believer in the content-based approach. I’m not alone in this; content marketing …

a group of men in the street dressed mostly alike

Understanding Audiences: The Downside of “Falk Types”

About twenty years ago, Dr. John Falk and Dr. Lynn Dierking did a body of research on why people visit museums and other informal learning institutions. It’s fascinating and valuable stuff, and if you get a chance to read their work, you really should. They discovered that, broadly speaking, people have a handful of different …

man paddling a half barrel

Bang for the Interpretive Buck

What happens when you have more ideas than you can handle? I just completed a really productive ideation (brainstorming) session with a client. It’s for a new major exhibit we’re planning. It was a ton of fun—we opened the workshop with a presentation of all the different kinds of interpretive media that could possibly go …

It’s time to give the objects back.

Virtually all arguments against repatriating Indigenous objects are rooted in white supremacy. Hey reader, did you ever have your bike stolen? I have more than once, and while I have never been successful in getting my bike back (thousands of them are stolen weekly in most cities, apparently), I’d like to take you through a …