[slides] Risky Business: Living History Events in Traditional Museums, panel

Despite being known for traditional educational programming like lectures, walking and house tours, and exhibitions, we recently collaborated to present successful site-specific, first-person immersive living history programs. The Newport Historical Society (NHS) used the city itself as the backdrop and setting for the Stamp Act Protest commemorating the 1765 Stamp Act riots in that town. In Providence, the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) presented its third annual What Cheer Day with costumed interpreters occupying the John Brown House Museum as Brown family members and servants, bringing to life a Saturday in 1800.  We’ll walk through our preparation for these programs, the risks and rewards, and what we learned along the way.  We’ll also discuss other things we’re doing and things you might consider doing to present living history programs in traditional museum settings.

Presenters: Elizabeth Sulock, Manager of Public Outreach and Living History at the Newport Historical Society, and Kirsten Hammerstrom, Director of Collections at the Rhode Island Historical Society.


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