New Dates: Become a certified museum or historic house tour guide –non-credit course at BCC

Note date change:  2/12 to 4/9 are the program dates

Berkshire Community College
Workforce Development Non?credit Course
Become a Certified Museum or Historic House Guide
Saturday, February 12 to April 9, 2011 (exact dates TBA), 10 am to noon
Fee $79 (to be confirmed)
Have you always wanted to work or volunteer as a guide in a museum or historic site? Or, are you a
seasoned guide who would like to deepen your knowledge and understanding of interpretive practices?
This course is designed to develop and refine the skills you need to lead guided group tours, interpret
collections and historic sites, and offer high quality visitor experiences. Topics covered include defining
the visitor experience, customer service, knowing your audience, presentation skills, group
management, and more.

Upon the successful completion of this course, you will have the skills and confidence needed to work a
cultural organization in the Berkshires and beyond. In addition to weekly instruction, each session
includes “mini” oral presentations to build your public speaking proficiency and discussion of current
standards, research, and trends. A background in art, history, or teaching is not required, just an interest
in working with the public, an open?mind and a willingness to learn.

Session 1:  Understanding the Visitor Experience
Expectations, needs, rights, leisure preferences, definitions, research, trends, when does
the visitor experience begin, what role does the guide/interpreter play in the visitor
experience

Session 2:   What is a Guide/Interpreter? Roles and Responsibilities
Interpreter/Guide/Docent – same? different? roles and responsibilities, guided tours
defined, interpretation defined, what to expect, working with the public, attitude,
flexibility, open?mindedness, listening and speaking skills

Session 3:  Know Your Audience
Habits, needs, expectations, interests, different types of visitors and learners, teachable
moments, dealing with conflicts, difficult visitors, and “experts”, pacing/tone/language,
reading your visitor

Session 4:  Balancing Visitor Needs and Your Knowledge: The Tipping Point
Know your subject, how to avoid being overwhelmed, interpretation vs information,
reading, context, filtering, conversation and discussions vs talking head, “I don’t know” –
being a new guide

Session 5:  Storytelling & Performance – “Making it Stick”
Crafting an interesting story to tell, what visitors are interested in and remember, use of
visual aids and hands?on experiences, mixing it up – varying your presentation, filtering
content, defining your style, leading tours

Session 6:  Verbal and Non?Verbal Presentation Skills
Verbal and non verbal communication defined, voice, presentation, body language, group  management, keeping control, challenging visitors, confidence, attitude, style

Session 7:  Customer Service: What You Need to Know and Do
What is it? Why is it important? What defines excellent customer service? From theory to
practice

Session 8:   Bringing it all Together
Creating great guided visits and interpretive experiences, logistics, how to get started,
overcoming fear, how to grow and improve, developing your style, self?reflection,
questions and answers, have fun

Course Format
? Classes are 2 hours in length
? In addition to the eight sessions, there will be at least one site visit required by students to
observe specific museum/historic site operations.
? Classes will consist of instruction, focused discussions on specific topics, “mini” presentations,
group discussion based on readings and observations.

Primary Text
Falk, John H. 2009. Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast
Press. ($30.00)

Instructor:
Lise Dubé?Scherr
413?551?5115
ldube?scherr@EdithWharton.org

Lise Dubé?Scherr is currently the Deputy Director at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Estate and Gardens in
Lenox, MA. For over 17 years Lise has worked in museums and historic sites in the areas of education,
public programs, and audience development. Throughout her career she has used innovative and
progressive practices to increase public access, participation, and engagement. She has taught graduate
level courses in museum and art education at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania as well as in?depth
guide and docent training courses at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario and the Allentown
Art Museum, Allentown, Pennsylvania. Lise is currently a Peer Review Surveyor for the American
Association of Museums’ MAP Accreditation program. At The Mount, Lise oversees the daily operations
of the historic site including visitor services, the bookstore, café, year?round and seasonal staff as well as
programs, marketing, social media, the web site and other special projects. Lise holds a BA in Art History,
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta and a MA in Art Education, Concordia University, Montreal,
Quebec.

History Alliance to host two day conference

History Alliance to offer Save Your Collections,  March 2 & 9
Mark your calendars: Southern Berkshire location to be announced

Program for historical societies, small museums and related organizations

The History Alliance will host a two-day primer for small museums and local history organizations on two consecutive Wednesdays, March 2 and 9, from 9:30 to 4 p.m.

This program, developed by the New England Museum Association, was specifically designed for organizations run by volunteers or with a small number of paid staff.

The History Alliance, a project of Housatonic Heritage, was founded in early 2010 to serve as an informational and educational clearinghouse for history organizations in the Upper Housatonic Heritage area, in Northwest Connecticut and the Berkshires.  Fundraising and social media have been the subjects of recent History Alliance workshops, and these two important topics will also be covered in the Primer.  In addition, this program will address the following topics:

•Simple ways to record and organize your collection;

•Putting new life into old exhibits;

•Attracting school groups in the era of the MCAS, CMT and CAPT;

•Essential policies to preserve your collection;

•Attracting new visitors and volunteers;

•Raising money through activities, appeals and grants;

•Connecticut and Massachusetts non-profit reporting requirements;

•The basic responsibilities of the museum board.

Each participating organization receives a significant collection of articles for further reading, bibliographies of books and web sites, and sample forms and policies.

A  registration fee of $40 is required for two-day conference, which includes coffee/tea and lunch on both days.  To register or to learn more about this conference, call 413-298-3468 or e-mail: history@housatonicheritage.org

GB Historical on WSBS

Great Barrington is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year with events throughout 2011. The first event  pertains to Revolutionary War hero General Henry Knox and the Knox Trail which runs from Ticonderoga NY through Great Barrington to Boston.
As part of the event, Gary Leveille of GB Historical wrote and recorded a group of Henry Knox/Knox Trail trivia questions, which will be played twice per day on WSBS radio. A few of the multiple-choice questions are straightforward, but most have a “playful” element to them. The afternoon airing time varies, but one segment will be played each morning this week at 8:50 a.m.
You can hear him “live” each morning this week. Simply go to www.wsbs.com and click on LISTEN LIVE just before 8:50 AM any morning this week.
-Sent by Gary Leveille

See Housatonic Heritage site for Berkshire history related events

Housatonic Heritage maintains an events page on their site, which currently includes Arrowhead’s holiday candlelight tours, Mass MoCA’s Deedle Deedle Dees, the educational rock band, and other Berkshire events of interest to history lovers.   Keep us posted about your events, and we will post them there!

http://www.housatonicheritage.org

W.E.B. Dubois: A Life Examined, course offered in Gt. Barrington

W.E.B. Du Bois: A Life Examined taught by Du Bois scholar Dr. Homer (Skip) Meade is a four-part course exploring the many contributions made by this scholar, sociologist, environmentalist, human rights advocate, visionary and writer. Dr. Meade, with the assistance of the University of  Massachusetts Special Collections staff, will guide participants through a reading of literature by and about Du Bois.  He will present links between Du Bois’ early years as a chronicler of family events, and local community current events for the Springfield Republican as a fledgling but serious communicator, with his school years at Fisk, Harvard, and Berlin Universities, and beyond, to his leaderships as a national and international human rights advocate.  Du Bois’ story (born in 1868, five years after Emancipation Proclamation and dying on the eve of the March on Washington in 1963) will be linked to the experience of Afro-American and Pan-African people and to the vital role he has played, and continues to play, in American history.

W. E. B. Du Bois, Atlanta University, 1909

This course will take place on four consecutive Thursdays in February (2/3, 2/10, 2/17 and 2/24) at Monument Mountain Regional High School . There will be a snow date of Thursday, March 3 .

Class hours are 7:30 to 9 pm. For people not requiring course credit the cost is $40.00. PDP’S are available for anyone taking the course. Graduate Credit is available through MCLA for $260.00 per credit.

This course is co-sponsored by the

Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail

For more information, contact:
Ellen Broderick     ebroderick55@yahoo.com
Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed     jonessneed@yahoo.com

Free Teaching History Workshop for K-12 History Teachers

Free Workshop for K-12 History Teachers

The National History Education Clearinghouse is offering their TeachingHistory.org workshop on Saturday, January 8th at the Marriott Boston Copley Place during the American Historical Association’s Annual Conference in Boston. Register for this free workshop by emailing outreach1@teachinghistory.org. If you have any questions, please contact Jennifer Rosenfeld at jrosenf2@gmu.edu.

Scholar in Residence funding at Mass Humanites, deadline

Scholar in Residence funding

Looking for $3,000 to fund a scholar to conduct research in your organization’s collections? Need background research to better inform your programs and exhibits? Then apply for the 2011 Scholar in Residence grant! You must contact Patty Bruttomesso, Local History Coordinator atlocalhistory@masshumanities.org no later than January 1st to discuss your proposed project. Applications for the SIR will only be accepted at the February 1, 2011 deadline.

For the complete SIR guidelines and application, please visit the Mass Humanities’ Web site. http://www.masshumanities.org/?p=sir

Architectural Plans workshop in Boston

The Massachusetts Archives will be offering an Architectural Plans
workshop on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at 9:00 AM.  The workshop will
cover the depth and breadth of the Archives collection of over 60,000
architectural plans. Archives staff will discuss the types of plans
researchers are likely to find in the Archives, the kinds of information
available from the plans, as well as why the Archives has these plans.
Archives staff will also cover all aspects of requesting to view the
records and having them sent out for reproduction. A variety of plans
will be pulled from the vault and looked at during the workshop.
Pre-registration is required.  The workshop is limited to 10 people. If
the workshop fills up quickly, it will be offered again.  Please feel
free to email or call Autumn Haag, Reference Archivist, with any
questions, or if you would like to reserve a space in the workshop.

Autumn Haag, MISt
Reference Archivist
Massachusetts Archives
220 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125
617-727-2816 ext. 240

AHaag@sec.state.ma.us

Connecticut League of History Orgs: Awards of Merit

2011 Awards of Merit
Call for Applications

Do you know an organization or an individual in the
history field that deserves recognition?

Applications are now being accepted for the annual
Awards of Merit. Awards categories include:
* Project
* Publication
* Educational Program
* Individual Achievement

Deadline
All applications must be postmarked by January 15, 2011.
Any project completed within the 18 months leading up to the deadline is eligible. Awards will be announced at the CLHO Annual Conference held on Monday, June 6, 2011.

For more information contact Sandy Elgee, CLHO, 203-624-9186.

For complete application information, visit: www.clho.org/award.htm

Grant Writing workshop follow up

Web project assistance/ support and a consortium approach to working on projects are among the needs of local history related organizations, according to a survey of participants in the recent Fundraising/Effective Grant Writing workshop hosted by the History Alliance.

Of the 24 participants in the workshop, which was held at the Lee Library on Dec. 1st, 18 completed short survey forms in which they gave their preferences for future workshop and programming topics.  The group listened to speakers, who gave information about funding opportunities and grant writing tips,  and many participants  joined the discussion as well.

Other ideas from the group included:
•More fundraising workshops
•Workshops about securing and caring for collections
•Workshops about working collaboratively with teachers
•Website hosting and development
•Group purchasing
Almost all who completed the survey wanted more fundraising workshops (this was a check-off item) but many also chose the other check-off items as well: Securing the Collections and Working with Teachers.

Collaboration and consortium were words that showed up in several surveys. One person suggested a consortium for purchasing and for traveling exhibitions.

Speakers at the workshop were:  Pleun Bouricius, Assistant Director of Mass Humanities; Maeve O’Dea, Program Director at Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation; and Judith Monachina, Coordinator of the History Alliance.
The History Alliance is working on all of these ideas, and will keep you posted on future programs and projects.

If you are interested in receiving information from the History Alliance, please send an e-mail to:

History@HousatonicHeritage.org