I don’t know where to start

  When people ask me: “What’s going on at DHV?” my standard reply has become: “Where do you want me to start?” It’s partly a joke, and partly a way to gauge what they’re actually interested in (or if they’re just being polite) and partly the honest truth: I just don’t know where to start.Continue reading “I don’t know where to start”

Variations on a Theme: African American History at 3 Museums

About 30 minutes into the tour, my parents started giving me the side eye. That look that says “Why on earth did you think this would be a good idea?” and “How much longer must we suffer?” I avoided their gaze. I wasn’t too thrilled either. We were at the Whitney Plantation, just outside ofContinue reading “Variations on a Theme: African American History at 3 Museums”

The Long Game: Early Childhood Learning at Museums

Sometimes, we forget that museum education is a long game. Next month, I’ll celebrate my 13th anniversary at DHV–and I’m still working on something that I first thought about on Day 2. When I started in March 2004, I was able to shadow my predecessor for a few days. I remember asking her “Have youContinue reading “The Long Game: Early Childhood Learning at Museums”

Afterglow: Reflections on Candlelight

Any time you welcome thousands of people to your museum over the course of 2 days, there will be stories. Candlelight is our biggest event of the year–and our longest running. This year, we celebrated its 45th anniversary–and it was my 13th as a staff member. At the end of each night, staff gather andContinue reading “Afterglow: Reflections on Candlelight”

Teamwork for the Exhibit Win

Last month, I headed to Detroit for the American Association for State and Local History‘s annual meeting. It’s always an inspiring few days, but sometimes that inspiration comes from rather surprising places. As a general rule, I don’t love art museums. As someone who doesn’t know much about art, I want to learn about artContinue reading “Teamwork for the Exhibit Win”

New England Travels

Generally speaking, August in Texas is a terrible, terrible thing. So I planned a trip to escape to New England and catch up with a few friends, visit a few museums, and drink a few beers. Ironically, the temps in New England were about the same as they were in Texas, but it will stillContinue reading “New England Travels”

A Historic House Museum Doing Everything Right

We all have our museum bucket lists–places that we desperately want to visit.  Sometimes, it’s because of an admiration for whoever’s home it was. (See Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House). Sometimes it’s due to its place in a favorite book (See Green Gables). Sometimes it’s because you admire the work that they’re doing (See theContinue reading “A Historic House Museum Doing Everything Right”

Milestones: The Consequences of a Successful Junior Historian Program

On this rainy Friday before a holiday weekend, I’m wrapping up one of my favorite annual tasks: creating a photo collage of our graduating Junior Historians.  For many years, figuring out a way to honor graduating Seniors wasn’t an issue, because the kids never stuck around that long.  But now, it’s an absolutely wonderful problemContinue reading “Milestones: The Consequences of a Successful Junior Historian Program”

Partly Cloudy: Museum Success Stories

The black clouds are all around us, and sometimes it seems that the history museum world is doomed. Historic house museums are dying. Major debt looms. Buildings are crumbling. Audiences are aging. Staff are running away as fast as they can. Government support is yanked. And here I sit, just over 2 years into leadingContinue reading “Partly Cloudy: Museum Success Stories”