National Archives Installation: Designing for Group Experience

National Archives Installation: Designing for Group Experience

Had the pleasure of updating one of our longstanding interactives, developed with Northern Light Productions, for the National Archives in DC this past week.  “The Constitution in Action” is an hour long simulation/game in which students in schoolgroups take on the role of researchers looking for documents to support an urgent mission from the White House Communications Director, “Bob.”  Students work in groups to find...

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The Exhibit that Made Me Cry (and I tried to hide it)

The Exhibit that Made Me Cry (and I tried to hide it)

I was reminded today by Susie Wilkening’s article on long-term memories of exhibits (in ASTC Dimensions) of an exhibit that made me cry. I tried to hide it, but there I was, huge lump in the throat, eyes saturated, ready to spill it. It was in the Center for Civil Rights and Human Rights in Atlanta (and I’m hearing a lot of other museum people describe the same thing). If you’ve been there, you know the exhibit I’m...

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AASLH 2014 Notes: Popups, Gamification, and Butter Churns

AASLH 2014 Notes: Popups, Gamification, and Butter Churns

It’s been a couple days since the energizing AASLH conference in St. Paul, and now, while I’m pulled over at a truck stop on my long drive back to the airport, seems like as good a time as any to organize my thoughts… What themes did I pick up on?  First, the rise of popup exhibits and events. Michelle Moon invited me (or maybe I invited myself?) to do a popup presentation on popup exhibits together. (Yes, “meta”)....

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Museum Puppet Throwdown: “Puppets for the Planet”

Museum Puppet Throwdown: “Puppets for the Planet”

Here’s the idea: invite people to Providence’s awesome bar/restaurant/nonprofit gallery, AS220, and give them a space to sit down, have a beer or glass of wine, and make puppets based on popular Providence museum exhibits. This year — the 2nd Annual Museum Puppet Throwdown — has a theme: “Puppets for the Planet.”  We’ll be creating spontaneous puppetshows on the theme for upload to YouTube via...

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From Popup Exhibit to YouTube Channel: Community Storytelling at Whim Museum, Virgin Islands

From Popup Exhibit to YouTube Channel: Community Storytelling at Whim Museum, Virgin Islands

As I noted in other recent blog entries, I’ve been working with Whim Museum on St. Croix, Virgin Islands, on a community storytelling project. Our goal was to build a YouTube channel together based on their central mission: preserving the stories of people who have lived and worked on the island. And I’m happy to say we’ve surpassed expectation, with dozens of stories coming online, connecting with many themes of the...

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Hanging out at a Makerspace: Artisan’s Asylum

Hanging out at a Makerspace: Artisan’s Asylum

I’ve been hanging out at Artisan’s Asylum, largest makerspace on the East Coast, off and on for the last eight months or so. 40,000 square feet of tools, studios and workshops, including woodworking, electronics, metalsmithing, 3D printing…the amazing list of upcoming classes here. I was drawn there for access to woodworking tools in my quest to create my own Shintaido boh staff. Along the way, there were some unexpected...

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