Can this sign be saved?

This article is an excerpt from the course Interpretive Signs: Attractive, Brief, Clear. I’m offering the course online starting May 4, 2021. Check it out here. What this sign does well This interpretive sign connects people to place; it interprets the scene in front of the visitor and refers directly to features that the visitor can see. That might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s […]

Continue reading

Taking It All Online

One Year Into the Pandemic It’s hard to believe we are now a year into this COVID-19 world. We got ourselves past the initial panic and have now settled into this ever-shifting new normal. For those of us in the cultural/natural heritage sectors, it has been a rough ride. One of the hardest aspects of it was the panicked call to action from our superiors: […]

Continue reading
The streets of Montevideo

Do your staff represent your community?

What are some common barriers to staff diversity in the heritage sector? “We only hire the most qualified people, and they just aren’t coming from those communities.” This is probably the most common copout, er, response from museum leadership: we only hire the best, regardless of what their background is, and the best just happen to come from white, wealthy backgrounds. Cast the recruitment net […]

Continue reading

A Community Advisory Group

It is becoming a well-known—dare I say best—practice in the heritage sector for each organization to assemble a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) advisory group. If you haven’t done so yet, you might really give it some serious thought. Who are these people? A DEIA Advisory Circle (or whatever they choose to name themselves) is a group of community members who are external to […]

Continue reading

It’s time to silence the cannons

Historic weapons demonstrations are popular; I get that. Big old guns are cool, and special events where visitors can not only hear them go boom but wear the uniforms and light the fuses sounds like a great time. But something has been bothering me about these programs for a while now, and the further I delve into the work of truth and reconciliation, the more […]

Continue reading

Staring down the rabbit hole of change

I am an interpretive planner and visitor experience advisor. I work with museums, historic sites, zoos, aquariums, and parks helping them evaluate and improve their relevance, revenue, and attendance. In other words, you call someone like me when things aren’t going as well as they used to—or when you have a vision of how much better things could be. You call me when your visitation […]

Continue reading
Clipboard and pens

Evaluation: The Fuzzy Side

Qualitative or Subjective Evaluation In my previous post, I outlined some quantitative or data-based criteria for evaluating interpretive products. Many of us, though, are just getting started in gathering statistics and evaluations. If you’re weak in the data department, or your boss/client would like their team to weigh in with their judgment on the performance of their products, this article is for you… with a […]

Continue reading

Evaluating Your Products

When it comes to measuring your success, you can take a numbers-based or a more subjective approach. We’re going to look at doing both, starting with the quantitative. I have written a bit over the last while about program evaluation. You might want to get an intro to my way of thinking by looking at a past post here: For this exercise today, I’m going […]

Continue reading