Demystifying Data Collection: CT League of History Organizations

You are invited to the following CLHO program:

Demystifying Data Collection: How to Ask for Demographic Information from Visitors, Board, and Staff

When: Thursday, July 14, 2022 12:00 PM, EDT
Where: Zoom

Will you be attending?





Demystifying Data Collection: How to Ask for Demographic Information from Visitors, Board, and Staff


Join Susie Wilkening of Wilkening Consulting, in partnership with CT Humanities and the CT League of History Organizations to bring you a virtual info session to help you navigate best practices with data collection. The session will take place via Zoom and is free to all to register.

Asking your visitors, board, or staff to provide demographic information can feel awkward. Yet this information is critical for understanding audiences and representation. We’ll share best practices for ethically asking these questions, provide templates, and talk through scenarios you may encounter. We’ll also allow plenty of time for any questions you have. 


  Susie Wilkening
Principal, Wilkening Consulting

Susie Wilkening is the principal of Wilkening Consulting, a museum audience research firm based in Seattle, WA. She is working closely with Connecticut Humanities to gather data on the cultural sector in Connecticut, and was the analytical might behind the 2021 Nonprofit Connecticut Cultural Census. Wilkening Consulting also partners with the American Alliance of Museums to field the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers, is currently working on a census of academic museums and galleries, and fields comprehensive research for individual museums. She is the author of Audiences and Inclusion: A Primer for Cultivating More Inclusive Attitudes Among the Public. You can find much of her research at stories.html.

Bidwell House Museum opening

Coming up this weekend, the Museum’s 2022 season will begin.  Diane Taraz will give her first in-person concert at the Museum since 2019. On Monday, May 30, they will be offering guided tours of the house, by appointment. For information on booking a tour, click HERE.

The first talk takes place next weekend.  Click HERE to see the list of upcoming programs through mid-July.

CT Humanities and CT Summer at the Museum Grants

CT Humanities Now Accepting Applications for CT Summer at the Museum Grants

CT Humanities is honored to partner with the CT Office of the Arts again to administer the CT Summer at the Museum Initiative in 2022.

The Department of Economic and Community Development, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, Connecticut State Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood and Connecticut Humanities, is delivering these financially accessible summer enrichment opportunities to families and children of all ages using funding provided through ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act). 

These grants are being made available to CT Museums to facilitate free admission for all CT children aged 18 and under and one adult caregiver between July 1, 2022 and September 5, 2022. The intent is to help provide unencumbered access to museums for families across the state, regardless of income.

Applications are due before 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Award Amounts

In summer 2021, award amounts ranged from $1,000 to $550,000. In summer 2022, we are anticipating that award decisions will be calculated based on your summer 2021 revenue from admissions for CT visitors under 18, a percentage of summer 2021 revenue from admissions for CT visitors over 18, and a base award determined by your operating expenses in 2021 and previous years. “Summer 2021” is defined as July 1 – September 6, 2021. All eligible organizations will receive a minimum award of $1,000. Organizations that do not charge admission will receive funding (to be determined based on the number of applicants) to help cover expenses related to increased visitation.

Where to Apply

All 501(c)(3) non-profit museums should apply through CT Humanities. For-profit museums should complete an application with the CT Office of the Arts (coming soon).

Already Free?

Are you interested in participating in this free admission initiative but don’t want to apply for funding? You are invited to join the listing of organizations with free admission by registering here.

More Information

Visit the CT Humanities website for more information, including eligibility guidelines, important dates, FAQs, and a link to apply. 

Want to know more? CLHO is hosting a virtual information session on May 24 at 11 a.m. The session will be recorded for those unable to attend live.

Questions? Email

Visit the CT Summer at the Museum Grants Page
RSVP for the Info Session

Mass History Alliance Annual Meeting

Image: Photograph of bridge collapse, Mark Dewey Research Center, Sheffield Historical Society.

It’s time to register for the Mass History Conference

A conference for Massachusetts history organizations and people

June 6, 2022 (in person) & June 7, 2022 (online)

Join colleagues from across the Commonwealth as we prepare to embrace the new or unexpected.

Take a peek at the program and learn more about registration options.
(Don’t miss the early bird discount!)

Register today!

This conference is presented by the Mass History Alliance and made possible thanks to the generous support of our sponsors:

Mass Humanities, Premier Conference Partner
State Historical Records Advisory Board (MA-SHRAB), Conference Partner
Historic Beverly, Conference Host

Mass History Conference registration open for in person and virtual

Registration is OPEN!

The Massachusetts History Alliance invites you to the 2022 Mass History Conference: Embracing the New or Unexpected, to be held June 6 and 7, 2022.In the spirit of this year’s conference theme, we’ll be trying something new. We’ll gather Monday, June 6 at Historic Beverly’s Hale Farm and Tuesday, June 7 online for two days of sessions, workshops, networking opportunities, and a keynote address by Kyera Singleton, Executive Director of the Royall House and Slave Quarters.Join us to hear what’s happening across the field, learn new skills to bring back to your work, and connect with your colleagues either in person, virtually, or both. Learn more at and register today to get the Early Bird discount!

Mass State Historical Advisory Board grants for archival supplies

The Massachusetts State Historical Records Advisory Board (MA SHRAB) is excited to announce, through funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), that a second round of  grants up to $500 are now available to cultural institutions in Massachusetts for the purchase of archival supplies. Any institution or organization that maintains archival collections may apply, and preference will be given to those who have already received a Roving Archivist assessment and to those with collections spanning 500 linear feet or less (to learn more about the Roving Archivist program, please visit the SHRAB website). Funds may also cover supplies that are necessary to maintain research and reading room safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. A small cost share of 25% is required from applicants, which can be covered through matching funds or in-kind services. For more information and to apply, please review the SHRAB Institutional Application for Regrants or email SH…

The deadline for applications is April 7, 2022.

Community History: What is it, and what can it do for you?

Conversations on the Commons invites youFebruary 3, 2022, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.

With Lee Blake, President of the New Bedford Historical Society and Penni Martorell, curator of collections at Wistariahurst Museum and Holyoke’s City HistorianWhat is Community History? What formats does it take? What is the difference between local history and community history? How can we embrace both? How does community history practice require historical organizations to change their understanding of history? What are the challenges and rewards? Has your organization participated in projects that gather and share history from the local community? Are you interested in doing so?REGISTER HERE or visit the Mass History Commons to learn more.This event will be livestreamed. We will do our best to monitor questions and comments during the livestream. A recording will be publicly available in the Conversations on the Commons Archive.

Questions? Be in touch with Caroline Littlewood:

Conversations on the Commons

Where people from Massachusetts history organizations get to vent, empathize, laugh, complain, think, collaborate, brainstorm, plan, and in general be up to no good.

Suggest a Conversation topic or volunteer as a peer panelist or moderator.

What is community history

Loom Brook Trail opening at Bidwell House

Unveil the Trail!
November 20, 10 am.

Come join Board Members Rob Hoogs and Tom Ryan, along with Elia Del Molino of the Greenagers, as we unveil the new “Loom Brook Trail” on the museum property. About two miles of new trails were built by the Greenagers during 2021 with a grant from MassTrails.

The new trails connect to the property’s existing 4 miles of trails, creating the opportunity for several new loops of one to two miles. On Saturday, November 20 (rain date Sunday Nov. 21) we will guide you along some of the new and old trails starting from the museum parking lot at 10:00 a.m. The guided walk will cover about two miles and will take about two hours. We’ll stop at a few locations to talk about some of the history and natural features of the property.

Please wear good hiking shoes; wear clothing layers to adjust to conditions; bring water and a snack if you want; and bring trekking poles if you use them.

This walk is free, but attendance is limited so pre-registration HERE is required.

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Planning and getting started on your oral history project
…or, picking up a paused project

November/December 2021 Workshop Series:
From planning, to interview, to archive:
An informal series to get you started or re-started


Session 1, November 16, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Plan your oral history project:  We will walk through the early planning to help you create a doable and sustainable oral history project.  We will talk about your concept (why, for whom), and logistics (how), and consider ethical questions. We will talk about safe backup and storage.

The Archive: Where will your project be safely stored and made available to others?   So often people skip this part, with all good intentions. In the end, it is the part of an oral history project  least likely to be completed. Yet it is necessary if your oral history interviews will be heard in the future, or even in the present.



(Photo:  Margaret Cherin, archivist, helping us to understand the order of things: It is a best practice, she told us, to plan safe storage and archiving right at the beginning of the oral history project.  A first step.  She directed a project at Bard College at Simon’s Rock. Here she is showing a transcript from the collection of Simon’s Rock founder Elizabeth “Betty” Blodgett Hall )

Session 2, November 30, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
The Interview:  We will help you plot out logistics of your first interview, whether virtual or in-person.  We will discuss release forms/deeds of gift and other related project materials.

Session 3, December 14, 3:30-4:30 p.m
Brainstorm, Drop-in:   A drop-in session on zoom. We talk about your projects as they progress, and we will brainstorm your roadblocks and questions together.


All Fall Workshops will be virtual, on Zoom, free of charge.    Registration is required.    To register, write to Judith Monachina:


Winter chats with professionals
Dates/times to be announced in December


•Oral history as community-based theater•

•Oral history in podcasts•

•Oral history as exhibit•