2 Volume 6, #6 Nov/Dec. 2017
The international heritage interpretation e-magazine. Here we are again – another IN issue bursting with wonderful articles. Thanks to our growing “regional editors” team for their work in contributing such super articles to this issue and all of our contributors, world-wide. Halloween candy is in the shops and Christmas decorations creeping their way into the stores too. Time does go quickly!!
JV meets Kong. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.
I’m now working on the Jan/Feb 2018 issue of InterpNEWS – so send me your articles if you have some interpretive ideas, exhibits, programs or research to share with 300K in now over 60 countries. If you would like to be part of our Regional Editor’s team let me know too. This issue has over 80 pages of “good stuff” for interpreters – more than any other interpretive publication – and you don’t have to join anything to receive it. IN is FREE. So Happy Holidays, and feel free to stay in touch. John Veverka firstname.lastname@example.org
In this issue: - Meet our Regional Editors. - Interpreting (and saving) Penguins Center for Biological Diversity. - Where Do Insects Go in the Winter? - Interpreting Fashion, Iziko Groot Constantia Heritage Day 2016 FASHION SHOW. Hayley Hayes-Roberts - Fish Hooked Again! (ouch) – Brian Westfall - Interpretation In A Digital Age: Understanding the range of technologies available to the heritage interpretation industry (new text book) - by Paul John Palmer & Neil Rathbone - An Interpretation of The Golden Christmas, Dr. Martha Benn Macdonald - Farm Magic: 5 – Animal Affection .Rod Burns - Of Post-it Notes and Talk-Back Boards: Why You Should Not Fear Visitor Response in Interpretive Exhibits. Chris Brusatte, - Museum Interpretation and Psychoanalytic Interpretation Ivan Ward - When does graffiti become art, or heritage? Dan Boys - Bobwhite Quail Habitat Restoration Partnership – Brian Westfall - Interpreting the Ripples in the sands of time. Ed Clifton - Interpreting Mexico’s Gastronomic Identity, A Misunderstood Cultural Heritage. Rocio Carvajal - Imagine… Speaking Tip 32, Ethan Rotman - Citizen Frog Watch at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Barbara Litman, - Objects are the core of the museum. Robert B. Pickering, PhD - The Increasing complexity of Heritage Performance - Jared Robert Craig Smith - So You Want To Be the Boss? Steve Madewell - The International Crane Foundation’s worldwide work preserves the charisma of cranes. Rich Beilfuss - Tackling Rules and Regulations via Interpretation. Margie B. Klein
Page 3 5 7 10 13 15 19 20 24 30 33 39 42 48 52 53 55 58
66 68 71
InterpNEWS is published six times a year as a FREE John Veverka & Associates publication and published as a service to the interpretive profession. If you would like to be added to our mailing list just send an e-mail to email@example.com and we’ll add you to our growing mailing list. Contributions of articles are welcomed. It you would like to have an article published in InterpNEWS let me know what you have in mind. Cover photo: Emperor Penguins – page 6.
Angie Albright, Director - Clinton House Museum. Angie Albright is the Director of the Clinton House Museum in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She loves books, writing, history, craft beer, and museums. Once upon a time she was an academic in the humanities. You can reach me at: Clinton House Museum: 479.444.0066, firstname.lastname@example.org. You can visit the Clinton House Museum at: http://www.clintonhousemuseum.org/
Rocio Carvajal is the editor of SABOR! This is a Mexican food magazine and producer of Pass the Chipotle Podcast. She has a degree in Communication, an MA in International Aid and studies in cultural management and medieval history. Rocio is passionate about the culture gastronomic heritage and traditions of Mexico which she explores through her projects. Contacts: email@example.com Website: www.passthechipotle.com Pass the Chipotle Podcast http://bit.ly/2wLb791 Twitter: @rocio_carvajalc
Sydney Johnson is the Curator of Exhibits at the Missouri State Museum and a scholar of Black woman’s social activism in the early 20th century. As a historian, she is interested in both the theory and praxis of community ownership as a means towards inclusive cultural spaces and transformative experiences. You can contact Sydney at: Curator of Exhibits, Missouri State Museum & Jefferson Landing SHS, 100 Jefferson Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101 573-526-5454 (P)| 573-526-2927 (F) firstname.lastname@example.org
Interested in being one of our regional or specialist editors? InterpNEWS reaches over 300K interpreters, agencies and organizations in over 60 countries. Our mission is a simple one. To find or assemble articles about the best in interpretive research, programs or related activities, and pass it on to others. InterpNEWS is sent free, as a PDF attachment, so you don’t have to join anything to receive it. Your benefits about being one of our regional or specialist editors: - No pay – just glory. But you also can market yourself through the regional editors listing in each issue of IN. - You can list your “editorship” of IN on your resume and at your web site. You can use your work for IN as a reference as well. - Your job – write or find at least one new article on any aspect of heritage interpretation for each issue of IN – 6 issues/year. - You can also use the IN Logo in correspondence or at your web site. Our Jan/Feb and Mar/April 2018 issues.
Let me know if you have any questions at all: email@example.com.
Interpreting (and saving) Penguins. Penguins Center for Biological Diversity (Found this really wonderful web site that provides information on a diversity of wildlife so wanted to share it with IN readers. Plus a cool winter issue story and information about penguins and our cover pic. JV)
The Center for Biological Diversity works through science, law and creative media to secure a future for all species, great or small, hovering on the brink of extinction. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/ EMPEROR PENGUIN } Aptenodytes forsteri FAMILY: Spheniscidae DESCRIPTION:: The largest of the worldâ€™s penguin species, the emperor penguin stands almost four feet tall and weighs 70 to 90 pounds. It has a gray back, white belly, and orange markings behind its eyes and at the top of its chest. HABITAT:: This penguin is the most ice ice-adapted adapted of any penguin species, inhabiting pack ice and surrounding marine areas. RANGE:: The emperor penguin ranges throughout coastal Antarctica and may be seen up to 56 miles inland during the breeding season. Range Map MIGRATION:: Emperor penguins make yearly travels inland to breeding sites in the early spring. Near the beginning of summer, adult penguins uins and their chicks return to the sea and spend the rest of the summer feeding there. BREEDING:: Emperor penguins begin courtship in March or April and are serially monogamous, typically taking one mate per year. The female lays one egg in May or June, tr transfers ansfers the egg to the male, and returns to sea to feed while the male incubates the egg in his brood pouch for about 65 days. After the chick hatches, the male sets the chick on his feet and covers it with his pouch, feeding it a white, milky substance produced pr by a gland in his esophagus. When the female returns from feeding, the male departs the breeding site to take his turn feeding. A few weeks later, he returns and both parents tend the chick by feeding it regurgitated food and keeping it off the ice. Offspring mortality may result from a variety of causes, including dropping the egg during the initial transfer from female to male, insufficient prey availability, and extreme weather. LIFE CYCLE:: The emperor penguin typically lives 15 to 20 years in the wild, but some records indicate a maximum lifespan of 40 years. FEEDING:: Emperor penguins primarily eat crustaceans such as krill, but they will also occasionally take small fish and squid.
FEEDING: Emperor penguins primarily eat crustaceans such as krill, but they will also occasionally take small fish and squid. THREATS: Emperor penguins are seriously threatened by global warming, which causes profound changes in the Antarctic ecosystem and impacts them in diverse ways, such as reducing populations of prey species and causing ice shelves to collapse and icebergs to calve. These penguins are also threatened by industrial fisheries, which further reduce prey availability, and human disturbance at breeding colonies. POPULATION TREND: This species has a large global population; therefore, while global population trends have not been quantified, populations generally appear to be stable. However, the emperor colony at Pointe Geologie has declined 70 percent since the 1960s, largely due to warming waters and changing currents resulting in reduced abundance of prey. SAVING PENGUINS Like the polar bear on the opposite pole, the emperor penguin endures almost unfathomable hardships to breed and nurture each new generation — fasting for months through the planet’s harshest winter weather, sustained only by stored energy from a long-ago feed from the sea. If its onshore waddle doesn’t exactly confer nobility on the emperor, its remarkable underwater grace surely does. Yet this extraordinary bird faces new and extraordinary pressures — most ominously, the rapid acceleration of global warming. And the emperor is not alone: More than half of the world’s 19 penguin species are in danger of extinction because krill, the keystone of the Antarctic marine food chain, has declined by as much 80 percent since the 1970s over large areas of the Southern Ocean. The chief culprit: global warming. Many penguin species also compete with industrial fisheries for food, and their survival and reproduction rely on a delicate balance, to which a single disruption can become catastrophic. Determined to keep global warming from finally tipping the odds too heavily against the survival of the planet’s penguins, the Center filed a scientific petition in 2006 to gain Endangered Species Act protection for 12 of the most imperiled penguin species. Four long years (and several Center lawsuits) later, the Interior Department announced the simultaneous listing of five penguins as threatened under the Endangered Species Act: the Humboldt penguin of Chile and Peru, as well as four from New Zealand — the yellow-eyed, whiteflippered, Fiordland crested and erect-crested penguins. Soon after, the African penguin was listed as endangered and the New Zealand-Australia populations of the southern rockhopper penguin were listed as threatened. And finally, after another Center petition, in 2014 the Fish and Wildlife Service announced that the emperor penguin might warrant Endangered Species Act protection. Meanwhile, the Center is also on the frontlines of the fight for sounder, saner state and national climate policy and the swift, dramatic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions necessary to curb the global warming that threatens all penguins. Here are some links for the Center for Biological Diversity: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/penguins/emperor_penguin.html http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/penguins/
Where Do Insects Go in the Winter? IN Staff
Insects have a variety of methods for surviving the coldness of winter. Migration is one strategy for escaping the killing temperatures. The Monarch Butterfly is the foremost example of this maneuver, but other insects migrate into northern areas from the southern states in the Spring. Crop pests are the most obvious of these migrants. Over wintering as Larvae. Many insects successfully pass the winter as immature larvae. The protection of heavy covers of leaf litter or similar shelters protect the woolly bear caterpillar, while other insects replace the water in their bodies with glycerol, a type of antifreeze! Some grubs simply burrow deeper into the soil to escape the cold.
Overwintering as Nymphs. Not many insects are active in the winter, but the nymphs of dragonflies, mayflies and stoneflies live in waters of ponds and streams, often beneath ice. They feed actively and grow all winter to emerge as adults in early spring.
Over wintering as Eggs. Lesser numbers of insects lay eggs which survive the winter. The most prominent insects in this category are Praying Mantids, and the destructive Corn Rootworms also engage in this strategy.
Overwintering as Pupae. Some insects overwinter in the pupal stage, then emerge as adults in the spring. Moths in the Silkworm Family, Saturniidae, may be found attached to food plant branches as pupae in the winter.
Imperial moth pupae.
Hibernation as Adults. Many insects hibernate as adults. Lady bird beetles are a well-known example, and are sometimes seen in great numbers in the fall as they congregate at high elevations.
Many large wasps seek shelter in the eaves and attics of houses or barns. Tree holes, leaf litter, and under logs and rocks are common shelters for overwintering adult insects. The Mourning Cloak Butterfly is usually the first butterfly that is noticed in the Spring, and this is because it hibernates in tree holes or other shelters during the winter. As in some insect larvae, it reduces the water content of its body, and builds up glycerol which acts as an antifreeze. Honey bees stay in hives during the winter, and form clusters when temperatures fall. They also are able to raise the temperature by vibrating wing muscles. In general, insects are able to survive cold temperatures easiest when the temperatures are stable, not fluctuating through alternate thaws and freezes. Many insects can gain shelter and nourishment through the winter in a variety of micro-habitats. Among these niches are under the soil, inside the wood of logs and trees, and even in plant galls. One kind of fly is known by fishermen to be present in certain galls in winter, and the fly larvae are consequently used as fish-bait. Blankets of snow benefit insects by insulating the ground and keeping the temperature surprisingly constant. Honeybees have been studied during the winter and are found to remain semi-active in hollow trees through the generation of body heat. The consumption of up to 30 pounds of stored honey during the winter months makes this possible. Heat energy is produced by the oxidation of the honey, and circulated throughout the hive by the wing-fanning of worker bees. Insects that are inactive during the winter months undergo a state in which their growth, development, and activities are suspended temporarily, with a metabolic rate that is high enough to keep them alive. This dormant condition is termed diapause. In comparison, vertebrates undergo hibernation, during which they have minor activity and add tissues to their bodies. Selected References: Gibo, David L. 1972. "Hibernation sites and temperature tolerance of two species of Vespula and one species of Polistes." New York Entomological Society, Volume 80: 105-108. Kelsey, Paul M. 1968. "Hibernation and winter withdrawal." The Conservationist, Oct.-Nov. Lees, A. D. 1956. "The physiology and biochemistry of diapause." Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 1: 1-16. Palmer, E. Laurence. 1957. "Insect life in winter." Nature Magazine, January. Parsons, Michael. 1973. "Insect antifreeze." Teen International Entomological Group, winter issue: 13-14.
InterpNEWS Unstitching the Past – an 18th century dialogue with Contemporary South African Fashion.
Interpreting Fashion Iziko Groot Constantia Heritage Day 2016 FASHION SHOW Iziko Museums of South Africa
Hayley Hayes-Roberts Museum & Heritage Practitioner Educational Resource Developer Iziko Museums Phd candidate in History (Design) 2017 University of the Western Cape, SA
Iziko Museums of South Africa and Groot Constantia Wine Estate collaborated with the Design Academy of Fashion and Elizabeth Galloway Academy of Fashion Design to stage the inaugural Iziko Heritage Day fashion Show ‘Unstitching the Past’ which took place on the 24th of September 2016 at the Groot Constantia upper wine cellar sundial garden. The theme was 18th century fashion with a contemporary African twist. It has been planned to explore exciting ways to grow the audience for fashion, culture and heritage in Cape Town that showcases 43 fashion design students and aims to allow diverse museum public’s access to a unique cultural event. Furthermore it proposes a modern reading of 18th century cultural, political and aesthetic qualities as reflected in clothing of the period. The worldwide rarity of surviving 18th century costumes is well known. Hayley Hayes-Roberts, Textile and Fashion historian and Iziko Groot Constantia Museum educator, has provided historical support through extensive design briefs. A special focus has been the attainment of critical conceptual and creative skills by the students drawing on historic sources such as the Iziko Social History Textile and Fashion Collections archive looking at rare fragile 18th century dresses and Cape dressmaking traditions. Studies of Neo-classical, Baroque and Rococo patterns, a visual history of Cape Slave attire, contemporary SA Fashion designers, film references with 18th century fashion, sketching and photographic documentation and the creation of an 18th century visual diary has formed part of the programme. Students were given an opportunity to give their imagination free reign and create garments infused with 18th century references while exploring Eurocentric dress forms decorating the body as a reflection of status, power and position in the context of colonisation and Cape slavery. Therefore ‘Unstitching the Past’ is sure to be an exciting opportunity to explore culture in a new light.
INSTITUTIONAL PROFILE: IZIKO MUSEUMS OF SOUTH The Southern Flagship Institution (SFI), now Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko), was formed in 1999 when five clusters of established museums in and around Cape Town merged. The amalgamation was given legal effect by the Cultural Institutions Act, 1998 (Act No. 119 of 1998) and was part of the effort by the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) to create national museum institutions aligned with the new government’s transformation imperatives. Fifteen years on, based on performance information gathered from across the departments, Iziko has emerged as a leading player in the heritage sector, and is acknowledged as a centre of excellence in museum management and operations.(See www.iziko.org.za ) Iziko operates 11 national museums, and as a national flagship, is South and southern Africa’s largest and oldest museum dedicated to the production, dissemination and diffusion of knowledge to all regardless of their age, race or social status. Our museums are a treasure trove of art, social and natural history collections, comprising of more than 2.26million items, assembled over the past 200 years. Iziko has a long tradition of scholarship, knowledge creation and mediation that translate into a vibrant and diverse offering. Our museums are not only spaces of memory that celebrate our cultural diversity, they are spaces where both knowledge and culture is generated; and an integral part of the life of communities and our country; with the potential to contribute significantly to vital processes of social and economic development. Iziko is not a static monolithic entity located on the periphery of society. We are a vital link to our heritage for communities, creating awareness of the historical, natural, social and aesthetic contexts in which we live, and providing a platform for engagement and discussion. Iziko continues to connect our audiences with the past, present and future through its rich collections and its exciting exhibition and research work, gaining recognition nationally, continentally and internationally. Iziko’s has a systematic programme of action to participate with and serve historically disadvantaged / marginalised communities, particularly youth, creating opportunities for access and active participation in the field of arts, culture and natural heritage.
All Izikoâ€™s activities are underpinned by the understanding that museums can benefit all South Africans, particularly young people, to become active and reflective participants in society and their own learning. As we transform to improve our visitor experiences and increase access to collections and our intellectual capital, we also develop education programmes and resources that contribute to improving the basic education outcomes of our country We believe our museums belong to all South Africans and that they must represent the memories, identities, culture and natural and social heritage of all South Africans and a new world view. Thus in the next five years Iziko aims to propel our museums into a new era, to ensure they serve the needs of future generations of South Africans. Hayley Hayes-Roberts Museum & Heritage Practitioner Educational Resource Developer Iziko Museums firstname.lastname@example.org,
Fish Hooked Again!
Emergency Fishhook Extraction Method Saves a Day of River Fishing, Painlessly
Brian C. Westfall Natural Resources Specialist Ouachita Project Management Office U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Vicksburg District
Treble hook embedded in thumb and index finger.
My fishing partner winced in pain! He had just landed a nice Spotted Bass on the upper Fourche Lafave River when the unexpected happened. While he attempted to remove his Rapala lure from a bass, the fish flopped, sinking a treble hook in over the barb. To make matters worse, the treble imbedded itself in the tip of his index finger and his thumb on the same hand! What a sticky situation to be in. We were miles away from the nearest medical care facility and my partnerâ€™s thumb and index finger were essentially stapled together! In most cases this predicament would have ended a great day of river fishing with a trip to the nearest emergency room! But, thankfully emergency fishhook removal has long been a staple of our longtime fishing partnership. Eventually it happens to all anglers, instead of setting the hook on a nice fish, the hook is set in you or your fishing partner. Once, a certain ending to a day on the water and a definite trip to the emergency room, the String-yank or Stream method is a quick and painless way of removing most embedded fish hooks in the field. Note: the String-Yank method is not advised if the fish hook is embedded in or near the eyes. The String-Yank method is gaining popularity in the fishing community for its pain free application. Gone are the days of running the hook through the tissue out of the skin and cutting the barb off to remove the hook. In some cases, anglers have been known to yank the hook embedded deep in the tissue out with a pair of pliers. This action usually causes dangerous tissue damage, significant bleeding, localized swelling and increased potential of infection. A trip to the emergency room follows in all but rare cases if anglers resort to this hook removal method. I first witnessed the String-Yank fish hook removal method while attending a safety meeting at DeGray Lake back in the 1990â€™s. Ranger Johnny Cantrell, now retired biologist, from the Ouachita Project Management Office, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, performed this demonstration using a plastic baby doll as the hooked victim. Ranger Cantrell used this method of fish hook removal to aid many fish hook impaled visitors during his tenure at DeGray Lake.
String looped around bend of treble hook.
Also known as the fishing line method, typically the fish hook can be removed safely using the following sequence: Put a loop of fishing line or string through the bend of fishhook so that a quick yank can be applied. The goal is to pull the hook out directly in line with the shaft of the hook. Next, holding on the shaft of the hook, push the hook gently downwards and inwards so as to disengage the barb from the tissue. Then, hold pressure constant to keep the barb disengaged. Finally, give a quick jerk on the string or fishing line and the hook will pop out with no pain. In our case, the method worked perfectly! My partner was out of action for just a few minutes. The bleeding stopped quickly and there was no swelling. He was back in the game, casting for bass after the painless hook extraction! To facilitate the String-Yank method correctly as in this case, we removed the lure by using a good wire cutter. Then, we cut the treble hook apart. This action freed up my fishing buddy’s index finger and thumb. We then applied the string method to the treble in the index finger. After removing the treble, we removed the remaining hook from his thumb.
Removing the lure is essential because any of the remaining hooks on the lure can easily impale the victim and first responder while yanking the hook free with the string or line. So, the essential items to perform the String-Yank method include a good wire cutter (multi-purpose tool), string or fishing line, a state of calmness from the angler that has been hooked and a calm, steady hand from the angler that pulls the string! Being prepared is a vital practice for all outdoor adventures. In this case, the String-Yank method saved our fishing outing. We were back in the game in a few short minutes. My fishing buddy, Tim Scott, gave me a high five and responded by saying, “good job Doctor Westfall, let’s catch some more fish!” Remember, a fish hook theand eyeBrian is aWestfall real medical Timto Scott circa 1995,emergency. Spring River An Photograph by Scott Corbitt emergency room visit for this sort of injury is a must. Additionally safe prevention measures must be employed to prevent fish hook injuries. Some good tips are: Always keep a safe distance from your partner while casting, keep a good set of wire cutters handy and stay up to date on tetanus immunizations. Finally, while using lures with multiple treble hooks such as a Rapala, always remove the hooks from the fish with a set of good pliers verses your fingers. A hooked fish almost always makes a Tim Scott and Brian Westfall circa 1995, Springfinal jump as a last attempt for freedom! River
Brian C. Westfall All photographs taken by Brian C. Westfall unless noted
Interpretation In A Digital Age: Understanding the range of technologies available to the heritage interpretation industry Paperback – 18 Jul 2017 by Paul John Palmer & Neil Rathbone
The excitement and promise of mobile digital technology hides some serious dangers for museum and heritage professionals. Media hype, supplier claims, ambiguous jargon, and a rapid pace of change and redundancy, combined with a limited understanding, can mislead the most seasoned professional to make a poor decision. Yet you don’t need to understand the technology in a technical sense in order to manage it well. This book looks at all the available and emerging mobile digital technologies that are relevant to providing today’s heritage visitor experience. It dissects them one-by-one from a management viewpoint, looking at factors such as cost, risk, and future trends. It is written in simple language by two experienced technologists, from the viewpoint of the heritage manager. Its aim is to give you the knowledge and understanding make decisions with confidence. You can order it from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1533253072 Book Review: I have had the opportunity to review this wonderful and important book – very timely as the interpretive profession media opportunities continues to evolve. It is easy to read and follow, and well written and thought out. I can fully recommend this book for any interpreters library. John Veverka Editor, InterpNEWS Assoc. Editor, the Journal of Interpretation Research.
An Interpretation of The Golden Christmas, written in 1852 by William Gilmore Simms By Dr. Martha Benn Macdonald College English instructor, published author, and performer. email@example.com
Ever wanted to offer your guests a very festive Christmas, one that may surpass Williamsburg’s Yuletide customs, even those at Winterthur or elsewhere, some site which allures you each December? Perhaps you do not celebrate Christmas, but perhaps you like to do something creative during December, when the wind is howling and snow threatens. In a way, William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) is not only the novelist, the artist, but he is also the interpreter who welcomes us as his guests to Charleston and Low-Country South Carolina. Long before Tilden ever developed his principles of interpretation, Simms seemed to draw on them, notably, he provoked, related, saw himself as an artist of interpretation, and revealed. “Dear Reader,” he often wrote, inviting us into his interpretation. It is as though we are present with him. For Simms, interpretation was an art, and he is teaching us this in The Golden Christmas (1852). This novel, like any other art form, be it painting, musical composition, drama, or sculpture, to name a few, is, indeed, teachable, as Tilden suggested in Interpreting Our Heritage. As Simms interprets, we learn not only from the plot and characters who remind us of ourselves, but also from the setting and from the cultural milieu. The plot is easy to follow. Ned Bulmer, of English ancestry, wants to marry Paula Bonneau, of French Huguenot ancestry. Nick’s father, however, Old Major Edward Bulmer who served in the “War of 1815,” according to Richard (Dick) Cooper, the narrator, lawyer, and Ned’s confidant, disapproves. Paula’s grandmother, sometimes called Dame Girardin, at others, Madame Agnes-Theresa or Mrs. Methuselah, equally dislikes Ned and his father. Dick wants to marry Beatrice Mazyck, whose pedigree is English. Old Major Bulmer has other plans. He wants his son to marry Beatrice, and he is distressed that Dick is in love with her. Because Dick is his friend, Old Major Bulmer wants to be fair, so both adapt the old notion: “All’s fair in love and war.”
Although some readers are quick to dismiss Simms, finding his “I am ultra Southron” and his approval of slavery offensive, even stylistic characteristics of his fiction, for example, his similes and transitional devices, perhaps they need to find humor in these. Some the similes are exaggerated. For instance, “the muscles of her (Dame Girardin’s) face became corrugated like those of an Egyptian mummy, who had been laid up in lavender leaves and balsams, since the time of the Ptolomies;--but, the next moment, you were confounded to see her melt into the sunshine and zephyr, as she encountered some dried-up, saffron-skinned atomy, having legibly written on her cheeks, a parchment title to have sate at the board of Methuselah.” Or “Their (these tokens) traces may be likened to the withered rose leaves in your old cabinet, that still faintly appeal to the senses, but rather recall what they cannot restore, and pain you by the contrasts they force upon you, rather than compensate you by their still lingering sweetness.” Some of the transitional devices seem equally distorted, as it were. “Tea disappeared, an interregnum followed, in which the buzz was universal,” and “Our scene now changes from town to country from St. Philip’s and St. Michael’s to St. John’s surnamed of Berkeley.” Finally, “Time, meantime, had been hobbling forward, after the usual fashion with his wonted rigidity.” Perhaps these examples only serve to illustrate an archaic nineteenth-century writing style. And yet as archaic or annoying as the similes may seem, they do bring a smile. Simms, like an effective creative writing instructor, also teaches us about characterization. The characters are portrayed through action and gestures, dialogue, description, and what other characters say about them. Major Bulmer “was large, well made, erect at sixty, with full rosy cheeks, lively blue eyes, a frosty pow, but a lofty one, and he carried himself like a mountain hunter.” Which of us has not known some older person, like Major Bulmer, who is a bit “stuffy” and stern? Which of us has not behaved as Ned did in his love for Paula Bonneau, especially when his father bitterly opposed their affection. And who has not looked with contempt upon someone who belittles another’s looks, especially when the person experiencing the criticism is a vulnerable servant. When Dick, looking at Tabitha, says in front of her, “Tabitha never was comely, even in the days of her youth. Her nose is decidedly African, pronounced, after the very worst models. Her mouth, a spacious aperture at first, has so worked upon its hinges for fifty-six years, that the lips have lost their elasticity, and the valves remain apart, open in all weathers . . . she looks like one of the ugly men-women, black and bearded, such as they collect on the heath, amidst thunder and lightning, for the encounter with Macbeth . . .,” we feel uncomfortable. Dick is bullying her. Dick is an attorney. We want him to be kinder to the one who cleans, irons, and cooks for him. Are you disappointed in his comments? Do any of Simms’ characters become dynamic? Although the change from round to dynamic may seem contrived, Major Bulmer experiences a metamorphosis. “He morphs,” as some would say. What brings about this change? Too much champagne on an empty stomach at one of the Christmas parties, he takes young Ned, who has already broken his arm from a blow his father gave him earlier, and is tipsy himself, for a carriage ride through the forest at midnight. He loses control of his horses, and the carriage turns over into the creek. Father and son fall in, and Madame Girardin, who had followed, suddenly changes her attitude.
She reveals compassion for her enemy and directs one of the servants to call for a doctor. A little later, sitting between Paula’s grandmother and Beatrice’s mother, Major Bulmer is warm and kind, friendly. Even old Mrs. Mazyck changes. Perhaps the changes lack depth, but they come about to enable something of a fairy tale ending: Ned wins his Paula, and they will live at the abandoned plantation known as Gendron, and Dick his Beatrice, and they will reside in Charleston. Simms is equally at ease interpreting setting. We travel with the characters from Charleston life, the beautiful city of churches, historic homes, the College of Charleston, and much more, to the country. When Paula and her grandmother go to Kerrison’s on King Street, still known to Charlestonians and tourists, Ned and Dick accompany them, Dick so that he can detain the old grandmother while Paula and Ned whisper sweet nothings to each other. Of the time spent in Kerrison’s, Dick tells us: “I even undertook, such was my good nature, to get the good grandmother’s orders for groceries supplies---listening patiently to a volume of instructions touching the quality of raisins, citron, almonds, and other matters, all portending cakes, pies, puddings, and other Christmas essentials and essences. . .” From there, they move on to Lambert’s and Calder’s, then onto Hayden’s for Christmas presents and to Russell’s for books and art. Paula is fascinated with a picture of chubby angels, “suspended in the air,” and equally pleased with the beautiful busts of Psyche. Her grandmother is horrified, comparing Charleston to Nineveh. Then, there is Christmas at the plantation, Major Bulmer’s beloved home where he resides with his sister, a mellower individual, a contrast to her brother. “His home was a venerable brick mansion, after the old English fashion . . . a great square fabric with wings.” Trees grace the lawn, ivy climbs the walls, gardens are alluring, and hospitality abounds. Simms takes us with him to the deer hunt . . . we hear the horn, the dogs, the shots. “I got a glimpse of the victim, a buck in full feather, i.e. with a noble pair of branches. Then there was a dead doe. After the hunt, guests arrived for dinner---the Porchers, Ravenels, Cordes, and others. Guests played whist and enjoyed an intoxicating whiskey punch long into the evening. The next day, guests arrived early for other Christmas festivities. And it is during these two weeks of celebrations at Christmastide that we especially experience the cultural milieu of plantation life, the customs, the decorations, and games. Among others, these included teas, a concert performed by the guests: piano solos, vocal solos, and violin solos. Then there was the country ball, supper, and more. There are allusions to the Wallet Club and the Strawberry Club, both hunting clubs, and the final boar hunt wherein participants called knights are garbed in full attire, as if prepared to joust. Even Dick poses as “the Knight of Keawah,--the old Indian name of the Ashley River.” Other knights include the Knight of the Bleeding Heart, the Knight of the Dragon, the Knight of the Swan, to name a few, and the dogs are Clench, Gripe, Wolf, Bull, and Belcher. As it turns out, the Knight of the Bleeding Heart has a bloody nose, and what a laugh everyone has! Other pleasures included a Christmas tree, a cedar from the forest, which was used in the Big House and would later be moved to the overseer’s house for the slaves. Decorations included holly and cedar, twined together with mistletoe to wreathe the doors, windows, fire-places, and pictures, each swag adorned with blue berries and red berries. People played whist, backgammon, or chess. The trees were decorated with candles and surprises and toys for the children and presents for the adults. At midnight, fireworks began. These included rockets, Roman candles, frogs, serpents, and transparencies. Dances which included quadrilles, country dances, and the Virginia reel, to name a few, followed long into the night. A few stayed up for rounds of egg nog.
On Christmas Day Father Chrystmasse arrived to pass out presents. Old Major Bulmer softened on Christmas Day when the children surrounded him as he dispensed tiny books of fairy tales, balls, dolls, pictures, and more. For the grand feast, the major sang the traditional English carol, “The Boar’s Head Carol,” and, indeed, the boar’s head was brought to the table, not with an apple in his mouth, but a lemon. Family and visitors enjoyed other dishes followed with assorted desserts, including pies, cakes, and puddings, to say nothing of coffee and wine. After a few games of affection such as hiding behind sofas, critical frowns by the older family members, the novel ends, each couple happily marrying, Dick and Beatrice settling in Charleston and Paula and Ned in the country. And, dear readers, you may disagree, that even as first-person narrator, Dick Cooper’s vision seems fair. He seems to represent Simms in interpreting plot, character, setting, and the cultural milieu of the ante-bellum south, a world with its graciousness and manners, to which some of us may long to return. Except for the cruelty of slavery, it was an enchanting world of beauty, grace, and pleasure. Because Simms’ home in Summerville burned and because Woodlands Plantation on the Edisto River, a gift to Simms upon his second marriage (his first wife died when their little girl was four) to Chevillette Roach who was nineteen and he was thirty, later burned, I could give this program at the site of Woodlands, but I could give this interpretation anywhere in my efforts to encourage more readers to explore the life of William Gilmore Simms and his works (poetry, essays, letters, novels, short stories, and more). He was a prolific writer whose work deserves a place in literary anthologies. Like Poe and Hawthorne, he excelled in Gothic fiction. But where do we go? What will my visitors remember from my presentation (which I certainly would not read, but, rather, give extemporaneously, being familiar with the subject. I have a theme and learning objectives. As Dr. John A. Veverka has said, “Emotional objectives are the ‘driving force’ objectives. These are the ones that help visitors remember the topic because of a strong ‘feeling’ they create in the visitor. . .they help the visitor to feel surprise, anger, sadness, guilt, acceptance, pride, and other desired emotions related to the subject matter” (Interpretive Master Planning). Perhaps my audience would read The Golden Christmas; perhaps they would read some of Simms’ fiction or poetry; perhaps they might donate to the preservation of Woodlands or to a museum where Simms collections are preserved. Even one of the popular “little libraries where you take a book, and leave a book” might work. Have a gathering, and offer your visitor foods served in the novel. What a festive gathering, especially if you decorate. Above all, celebrate with music and lemon in the boar’s mouth. If a boar is too much, make a papier-mache one. Why not? Dr. Martha Benn Macdonald College English instructor, published author, and performer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm Magic: 5 – Animal Affection Rod Burns, B.Ed. CPHI Quadra Island, British Columbia Canada email@example.com
Anyone who has had a dog or cat in their lives is able to recount the special tricks these family members use, in order to receive just a few more gentle strokes, scratches under the chin and belly rubs. The family dog or cat learns when they can curl up in a lap, climb onto the sofa or to take up ½ the bed. Parrots, have a very keen sense about humans: some humans will be screeched at, while others receive softer chirp vocalizations. Some people have Tarantula Spiders quietly walk along their arm. Others have Constrictor Snakes, which calmly slither to their human wrapping around warm shoulders. Increasing, are the numbers of people who have had life changing experiences swimming with dolphins. Millions of ecotourists travel to distant waters in search of a five (5) minute experience out of a six (6) hour tour! The oohs and ahhs could expressed watching a Black Bear eating crab along a tidal shoreline. Others might have inhaled the breath of a dolphin racing along side of their watercraft. Heritage Interpreters make possible, exceptional, tactile experiences for guests, as these feelings produce memories, which last a lifetime, far greater than endless yakking! How many of these tactile experiences are based on a shared, sentient understanding of affection? The following are some of my personal affection and tactile interactions with wild and farm animals. I am sure many of you will be able to add your own examples. In the mid-1980’s, I had the dream Naturalist-Heritage Interpreters position, being the Education Supervisor at a provincial government wildlife centre. For 3 wonderful years, every day, coming to or leaving the office, I passed the off-public animal enclosures. I made it a point, that whenever I made eye contact one of the inmates, I would say hello, good morning, good night. All manner of light chatty vocalizations became part of my greetings routine. A few days into the job, passing the otter enclosure, I noticed a lone animal curled up in the far corner of its’ enclosure. In the wild, otters are gregarious, family animals. Over a few weeks of just talking with Otter, staying about 3 feet / 1 m. from its’ enclosure, I inched closer to the fence. At the same time the otter left its’ far corner and came closer to my position. After about 6 months, I would be spending minutes per day just talking to Otter. This progressed to my fingers pushing past the fencing and giving Otter ear and body scratches. Contrary to the don’t touch advise, based on painful experiences of Animal Feed staff, not once in 3 years did the animal ever snap, bite or snarl at me.
At another enclosure, was a mature Bald Eagle. The bird never came physically close, but would vocalize with its normal high-pitched screeches. I responded in Human words over the course of a few minutes. Like my years trying to learn French, over time I did try to imitate Eagle’s vocalizations. The visual and sound exchange went on for about 2 years. Contact ended, when the Eagle received international clearance and transferred to a flight demonstration centre in Europe. A year later, as part of my vacation to Europe, I specifically arranged for a visit to the Flight Demonstration Centre. It was off-season. The eagles, falcons and owls were not performing. I was privileged to be escorted into the birds’ winter enclosure. I saw majestic Eagle and my heart skipped a few beats. . I immediately started talking to MY Eagle, as had been our daily custom for 2 years. First, I spoke in Human voice followed by my attempt at Eagle speak. Hearing me, Eagle cocked his head, fluffed himself up and screeched a string of vocalizations. We continued this sound exchange for about 5 minutes. The Head Avian Trainer had never seen such a call / response in his years working with birds. I did a few more minutes of call and response with Eagle. Other Bird Staff were called in to witness the behaviour change in Eagle, with my talking to him. I was asked if I had any other experience with other birds at the Provincial Nature Centre. I recounted a similar relocation experience I had with a Snowy Owl, the previous year. A new home was found for Snowy Owl at the Metro Toronto Zoo. It was arranged that I would escort the Snowy Owl. The flight between airports was to be about 6 hours flying time. I watched as Snowy Owl in his travel crate, was securely put in the First Class, on-board baggage locker. I continued down the aisle finding my seat in Economy Class. About an hour into the flight, the senior flight attendant, in a controlled panic over the PA system, asked if I would identify myself. Privately, I was informed that the caged bird was thrashing in its box, screeching in distress and causing the passengers untold stress. I immediately offered to go up front and assess the situation. Approaching Snowy Owl, I started to talk to him, just as I had done every day over the previous 2 years. Snowy Owl stopped thrashing. He quickly changed the screeches to very familiar calm, soft hoots and coohs. I was rewarded by being offered a seat in first-class. An astute First Class passenger offered me their seat so that Snowy Owl and I could be in visual and sound contact. The next 7 hours of the flight went very well for all passengers, crew and their memorable feathered passenger! On our small farm, for the past 22 years, I have witnessed hundreds of events, which definitely suggest an affection bond between animals, humans included. In the Spring of the year we have come to expect the ewes with their new born lambs, to bah an alert then run in some direction, away from the humans. In the Fall months, we expect the Ram to be running at the human, like a fully loaded freight train. Their head is low to the ground, ears are held back ready for a full speed collision against a human’s soft body. The reason for the intended collision is that the Fall months are rutting / mating season! The Ram is just re-affirming his dominance around the farm, in order to impress his ewe harem.
Galway, for the past 4 years has chosen to not run away. Conversely, he calmly trots and prances towards us. His head is held high, ears are perked forward, and a happy grin is on his face. A few paces from us, Galway slows to slug speed. At time of contact, he nudges you ever so gently. Galway, is our 4th ram over 20 years who has exhibited the nudging behaviour. All rams have been ever so gentle, especially when you give them deep scratches at the back of their ears. I really dig my fingers into the ear swivel point. They have all vocalized a low, rumbling Bahhhh as in “don’t stop” or “just a little bit more to the left – Just don’t stop!”
The willingness to share affections is displayed by the other farm animals. We had a large scrapping 8 lb. Rooster, which exhibited somewhat similar affection behaviours as our Ram sheep. Valdimar would allow you to grab him by a leg, to then get tucked under your arm. He would rest quietly in the arm tuck, while you walked through the garden to go sit on a deck chair. Consistently, Valdimar and other roosters sit on the humans lap, while the humans gently stroke them. They don’t try to escape, even when you do a reverse rub up the neck, turning their cape feathers upside down.
Life on the farm is not always one of cuddles and scratches. One day in June, 2017, Sam, a 16 year old guest to the farm eagerly helped me in collecting chicken eggs from the hens lay boxes. On the 2nd day, the hens calm behaviours changed to aggression. When Sam, held out his hand to reach beneath them, they gave it a very solid, somewhat painful peck. After a few painful attempts, Sam asked to be relieved of the egg collection activity. Conversely, I put my hand under the chickens, with absolutely no sign of any aggressive behaviour.
On the third day, Sam wanted to re-try the hen lifting-egg collection, event. On this attempt, the hens, were passive, no pecking. The eggs were collected. What was it in Sam’s behaviour or aura which the hens sensed ? They altered their attitudes between a calm demeanor to protective to being aggressive , then calm again? Posing the questions to Sam, he did that at the evening feeding time for Day 2, he was very exhausted from canoeing in the heat of day for 5 hours and that he let a sense of “fear” take control of him. On Day Three 3, Sam was more internally, relaxed and calm. Before the egg collecting, he had mentally strengthened his resolve to master his fears about being pecked. Did the hens pick-up on his aura of confidence and resolve over the 3 days? The small creature shown in the hand and biting the finger is a Northern Alligator Lizard. Why did it go from a calm sitting to an aggressive biting?
My Cultural Interpreter self wants to acknowledge Aboriginal Peoples around the world. Their artwork, music, dance and legends, without exception honour the animals and plants, of the land, of the water as their brother and sister! Elders are revered for their wisdom of years. The youth are given the chance to go through many coming of age ceremonies. Some humans have the sharp eyes of an eagle, others have the wisdom of an owl, the strength of an elephant, the curiosity of a Grey Jay. In closing, the following words arrived on the winds, during a Heritage Interpreter training session: With all due care, honour, respect and dignity, I Must speak on behalf of those who have no human voice! Those of the Feather, Fur, Fin and Root! Rod Burns, B.Ed. CPHI Quadra Island, British Columbia Canada firstname.lastname@example.org
Of Post-it Notes and Talk-Back Boards: Why You Should Not Fear Visitor Response in Interpretive Exhibits. Chris Brusatte, Interpretive Planner at Taylor Studios, Inc.
Photo courtesy Joel Kramer You’ve seen them in museums large and small. At visitor centers and interpretive sites. Near the front desk and even in the exhibits themselves. Over the past decade, post-it notes and talk-back boards have invaded museums and education centers. In spaces once sacrosanct – set apart for only the curator’s voice – visitors are now contributing thoughts, opinions, and insight. What exactly are “talk-back boards”? In this article, it will refer to basically any exhibit or display that invites visitor response. A simple example is the common discussion board that asks visitors a question, providing writing utensils and post-it notes for the visitors to respond. But the specific iterations are numerous, and they can be no-tech, low-tech, or even high-tech. What they all have in common is the opportunity that they give visitors to directly contribute their thoughts within the physical space of the interpretive exhibit. Despite the ubiquity of talk-back boards and their increased presence at sites large and small, many of the people who manage and run interpretive sites are still leery of their value. In fact, many in our field hold a common set of justifiable “fears” when it comes to this type of exhibit. It will be the point of this article to dispel those fears, helping prove that talk-back boards are indeed an effective and powerful way to reach your interpretive goals. Fear #1: Visitors will leave inappropriate, vulgar responses. Perhaps the most common worry is that visitors will write swear words, sexual innuendoes, or intolerant comments on the talk-back boards. Vulgar responses are indeed ugly and upsetting for other visitors and for a site’s reputation, so this fear is completely justified. However, in most instances it has been proven that only a minority of visitors leave vulgar comments, and that these can be easily removed from the exhibit with a small amount of routine check-up. When I worked for Go For Broke National Education Center in Los Angeles, we opened up a brand new exhibition in 2016 that focused heavily on visitor input, response, and participation. A large area was devoted to a talk-back station, where visitors responded to a question about “courage” with supplied pencils and notetags. While planning the exhibition, some on our staff were worried that vulgar comments would pop up routinely and harm the overall experience. When the exhibit opened, we even dedicated extra time to checking the station almost obsessively, hoping to catch all inappropriate comments and remove them.
But we were pleasantly surprised – and realized that we didn’t even need to worry! Of hundreds of visitor responses, we could literally count on a single hand the number of obscene comments. We instead found hundreds of deep, powerful, touching responses given by visitors who truly valued having a voice. The same was true at Ford’s Theatre, where I was blessed to work in 2011-2012 as the new Center for Education and Leadership opened its doors. The smallest, but final, exhibit space was dedicated to a talk-back room where visitors learned about Lincoln’s qualities of leadership and were asked to comment about these qualities in their own modern lives. Here, literally thousands of post-it notes cluttered the space within weeks of opening, and yet hardly any had vulgar or obscene responses. Inspiringly, the vast majority were personal, powerful, and well thought-out.
At Go For Broke National Education Center’s new exhibition, visitors write on “courage tags” that are then hung on the walls and ceiling. Photo courtesy of Chris Brusatte and Go For Broke National Education Center.
It appears that these two examples are the norm, rather than the exception. My colleagues in the museum and interpretation fields tell of similar exhibits and similar outcomes. It appears that the fear of vulgar and obscene comments is often overblown. Nina Simon, one of the earliest promoters of talk-back displays, often writes about the rarity of obscene comments at the numerous talkback exhibits she has created at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.1 I hear similar things from my colleagues in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and throughout the Midwest. More are experimenting with talk-back displays, and almost all are surprised at the low number of obscene comments.
Fear #2: Visitors will leave random, off-topic responses. Another fear is that visitors will leave random, off-topic responses. How often will a serious question, many wonder, lead to responses like “Mike is cool,” “I love Amy,” and – gulp – “boogers”? Again, just like with swear words, instances like this are bound to happen. But surprisingly, once again, these off-topic responses seem to be in the minority. In my personal experiences, I have found this to be the case. At both Go For Broke National Education Center and Ford’s Theatre, I was honestly astounded at the number of powerful, appropriate, on-topic answers to our difficult questions. Our visitors opened up, shared their deepest hopes and fears, and responded not only ontopic but also with incredible wisdom. For every “Steve rocks” or “school stinks” response, we had hundreds upon hundreds of well thought-out note-tags directly answering our questions. We touched upon subjects as controversial as race, religion, gender identity, war, and civil rights, and almost all of the responses were ontopic and from the heart. Once again, my personal experiences seem to be the norm. Consider: _______________________________________________________________________________________________ 1
Nina Simon, “17 Ways We Made our Exhibition Participatory,” Museum 2.0, 13 June 2012, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2012/06/17-ways-we-made-our-exhibition.html.
At Ford’s Theatre, a visitor ponders what to write. Photo courtesy of Chris Brusatte.
At the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the education staff is “frequently amazed by the thoughtfulness of the comments [visitors] share” at the talk-back boards.2 At the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh: “People take the questions seriously and write interesting, descriptive, diverse responses.”3 At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s Memory Jars talk-back exhibit: “From the beginning, we observed pretty amazing experiences…People were spending a long time working on them. Some of the stories were quickies, but others were powerful and personal… People got intimate, sharing intense stories of loss, special moments, and potent memories.”4 At the Minnesota History Center in 2016, visitors left incredibly heartfelt and meaningful on-topic sticky notes about what the musician Prince meant to them, after his untimely death.5
Perhaps we don’t give our visitors enough credit. These examples – and numerous others – prove that our visitors not only desire a voice, but will also stay on-topic and address the very questions that our sites deem appropriate. Fear #3: Visitors will want a more high-tech approach. A third common fear is that visitors will want a more high-tech approach. Many talk-back displays use simple post-it notes, note-tags, and sheets of paper, coupled with modest pens or pencils. In today’s world of million dollar exhibits, high-tech interactives, and virtual reality, won’t visitors be bored with simple paper-and-pen approaches?6 The answer, almost counterintuitively, is no. In fact, visitors today often yearn for a screen-free, hands-on approach when they’re visiting a museum or interpretive site. The common response that I hear is “we can watch TV at home, and play on our smartphones anytime that we want, so coming here to the museum we want something else.” That “something else” is often a hands-on, tech-free, social activity as simple as taking part in a talk-back exhibit with fellow visitors. There is something immediate about taking a pen or a pencil and writing what you think on a sheet of paper – and something intimate and personal as well. ____________________________________________ 2
MK Macko, “Talking Back to the Museum,” O Say Can You See? Stories From the National Museum of American History, 10 April 2013, accessed 21 June 2017, http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2013/04/talking-back-to-the-museum.html. 3 Nina Simon, “Parents Talking with Parents: A Simple, Successful Discussion Board at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh,” Museum 2.0, 20 December 2010, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2010/12/parents-talking-with-parentssimple.html. 4 Nina Simon, “Adventures in Evaluating Participatory Exhibits: An In-Depth Look at the Memory Jars Project,” Museum 2.0, 25 June 2014, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2014/06/adventures-in-evaluating-participatory.html. 5 Evan Faulkenbury, “Sticky Notes as Tools for Public History,” History at Work, National Council on Public History, 9 January 2017, accessed 21 June 2017, http://ncph.org/history-at-work/sticky-notes/.
Visitors are creating something tangible, something physical, and something as unique as their own style of handwriting, and immediately making it a part of the exhibit itself. Surprisingly – or perhaps not surprisingly – visitors seem to forget that the experience is low- or no-tech, perhaps even embracing this quality of talk-back displays. As Evan Faulkenbury writes, simple sticky notes are a “kinetic way” for visitors to attach themselves to an interpretive site and its message. “In an age of digital innovation and experimentation, something as simple as sticky notes [have] the power to invite introspection from guests – dozens of multi-colored sticky notes [dotting] a wall, each with unique hand-writing and each with personal memories.”1 Josh Howard, whose dissertation studied the effectiveness of talk-back exhibits, agrees. The no-tech nature of “each post-it note creates a moment where public sentiment becomes tangible, visible, and physical.”1 In a world full of screens and digital text, simple hand-written notes have an outsized power. Fear #4: Visitors will not like it – and we will get no responses. Finally, another overriding fear is that visitors simply won’t like a talk-back exhibit – and that the display will be blank, empty of visitor responses. What if nobody responds? What if the discussion board is empty? Certainly our exhibit will be a failure if it is simply a big blank space with nobody’s feedback – the visual embodiment of our visitors’ disinterest in our content. Once again, these fears are overblown – typical worries that in most cases never materialize. At both Go For Broke National Education Center and Ford’s Theatre, we were skeptical that visitors would respond. But they loved the talk-back displays and contributed their feedback in droves! The problem soon became how to take the notes down quickly enough and archive them, to free up the space so that more visitors could respond. We realized that our visitors loved this opportunity to voice their own thoughts, and we were inundated – in a good way – with an extraordinary number of post-it notes and note-tags.
Taylor Studios created a unique talk-back exhibit for Lincoln Heritage Museum – visitors can write their own letters to President Lincoln! Photo courtesy of Taylor Studios.
Other interpretive sites have witnessed the same degree of popularity with their own talk-back stations. At the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History, the previously mentioned Memory Jars exhibit set out to fill 400 jars with visitor responses. Halfway through the project, the staff had to do a rush order of more jars, as over 600 people eventually filled jars by the end of the exhibit’s three month run.9 And this experience was not unique for the museum. Other talk-back displays – including visitors writing feedback on walls, on cocktail napkins, and on refrigerator certificates all garnered hundreds of responses in a short amount of time.10
Conclusion: Fear not! So what does all of this mean? Put simply, talk-back stations are valuable ways to engage visitors intimately with your site. While this article has not gone into the many benefits of talk-back stations, it has instead sought to quell the most common “fears.” Not only will visitors enjoy sharing their voice, but they will do so in appropriate, on-topic responses. While a rare few will post obscenities or off-topic notes, the number will most likely be minimal and will be dwarfed by the number of legitimate – and powerful – responses. And far from disliking the no-tech or low-tech nature of most talk-back displays, there is a good chance that they will enjoy the hands-on, kinetic, personalized approach. So dispel your fears, embrace the simple power of talk-back exhibits, and invite your visitors more intimately into your interpretive experience. Try out the post-it note approach – who knows, it just might stick! __________________________________________________________________________________ 7
Loc. cit. Josh Howard, “What I’ve Been Up To: Text Mining,” J. Howard History, 15 January 2016, accessed 21 June 2017, http://jhowardhistory.com/2016/01/15/what-ive-been-up-to-text-mining/. 9 Nina Simon, “Adventures in Evaluating Participatory Exhibits: An In-Depth Look at the Memory Jars Project,” Museum 2.0, 25 June 2014, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2014/06/adventures-in-evaluating-participatory.html. 10 Nina Simon, “17 Ways We Made our Exhibition Participatory,” Museum 2.0, 13 June 2012, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2012/06/17-ways-we-made-our-exhibition.html. Nina, Simon, “A Simple A/B Test for Visitor Talkback Stations,” Museum 2.0, 5 March 2014, accessed 21 June 2017, http://museumtwo.blogspot.com/2014/03/a-simple-ab-test-for-visitor-talkback.html. 8
Chris Brusatte, Interpretive Planner at Taylor Studios, Inc email@example.com
Museum Interpretation and Psychoanalytic Interpretation Ivan Ward Deputy Director The Freud Museum
An actress playing Polly, the adult daughter of Benjamin Franklin's London landlady, guides visitors through 36 Craven Street. (Courtesy of the Benjamin Franklin House.)
(Some background information: Opened in January 2006 for the 300th anniversary, the Benjamin Franklin House is an interpretive challenge, for while it is meticulously restored, it contains no furnishings or other artifacts related specifically to Franklin. To overcome this deficiency, the house takes the approach of interpreting Franklin's London sojourn not as a historic site, but as a historical experience. It relies on an innovative mix of panel exhibits, multimedia effects, and actors in period costume to bring Franklin and the house to life. Benjamin Franklin first sought lodging with the widow Margaret Stevenson at 36 Craven Street in 1757 and stayed there until the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775. Built about 1730, the house has been designated a Grade I Listed Building by English Heritage for exceptional significance, similar to the national historic landmark designation in the United States. Recently restored with contributions from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other sources, 36 Craven Street is located a block from bustling Trafalgar Square on a quiet side street of similar, modest, Georgian-style houses. The experience begins at the nearby Players Theatre, where visitors are assembled into small groups before being led to the house and escorted immediately to the basement to view exhibit panels covering different aspects of Franklin's life. The panels include a timeline, a description of Franklin's role in the Enlightenment, and one on the occupants of 36 Craven Street. Following an introductory video on Franklin's life in London, an actress playing Polly, the landlady's adult daughter, opens the basement door and, in an otherworldly tone of voice, invites the group to visit the rest of the house and share her memories of Franklin. â€“ National Park Service) IN Editor (1) Museum Interpretation An example: Benjamin Franklin House The Benjamin Franklin House 'Historical Experience' is a 45 minute theatrical performance-tour, integrated with projections and sound effects. It is hi tec, highly choreographed, and tightly scripted. The story is narrated through the figure of Polly Hewson, daughter of Franklin's landlady Margaret Stevenson, and who, it seems, became a surrogate daughter to Franklin himself.
The voices of Franklin (Peter Coyote) and Margaret Stevenson (Imelda Staunton) emanate from loudspeakers, interacting with the live performer and adding information and theatrical colour. The script contains dialogue, letters, historical accounts and various sound effects which add colour and verisimilitude to the experience. All the interpretation is given through this performance, hence visits are regulated almost to the minute, each lasting about an hour, with a preliminary video and a visit to the small shop to finish. The presentations are scheduled at certain times, about 4 a day. The maximum number per tour is 12-15 persons. The rooms are 'empty' save for a single emblematic object – a kite, a table with pen and paper, a group of chairs. The narrative organises itself around these objects, which provide the theme for the particular room. A leaflet (the only other mode of offering 'interpretation') lists the rooms as 'scenes' and gives the theme associated with each. The leaflets are not actually used by visitors on the tour (the rooms are darkened to allow for the projections) but may be taken away for later reference. Historical information and such like is integrated with the unfolding of the (non-linear, thematic) episodes of the story. The Franklin House experience is probably the most high-tec example of its kind and truly is an 'experience'. Why then was I so disappointed? Despite the experiential aspect, it was still a historical rendering – the relevance to the here and now (or even the 'contemporary') was entirely missing because the script (written some years ago) had to float in its own time and space. No new links could be made between 'then' and 'now', no interjections of the present into the past or the past into the present, which is generally one of the great possibilities of 'live' performance. The general point might be made that any museum operates within different 'hermeneutic horizons' - the present, the past of the museum as museum, the past of the objects it contains – occupying different interpretative domains and therefore different, and possibly conflicting, interpretative strategies. The BF strategy is to make the past come alive through the performance, but the effect is only to (at its best) 'transport' one back into the past, not to promote any intellectual understanding of the connection between past and present (and hence the 'point' of the museum). Performance also constructs 'time' in a particular way – the visitor is not able to wander away from the performance and then come back to it, having had time for reflection, as one can with other forms of display. It is not capable of being 'interrupted' without destroying the magic, so that, for instance, unbidden but possibly telling thoughts are excluded from consciousness. Given certain clues in the narration, smutty minds might wonder if there was any more to the relationship (between BF and Polly) than fatherly affection. Obviously I was not one of those people. (2) Psychoanalytic interpretation It is notable that the word 'interpretation' is central to both the psychoanalytic realm and the museological one. But there are different reasons for interpretation within psychoanalysis; it is more than a way of telling a story or imparting information. Interpretations in psychoanalysis are interventions, designed to change something by intervening in the play of forces in the patient’s mind or the relationship with the analyst. Can we take some of the functions of psychoanalytic interpretation and adapt them to the museum context?
Here is a possible list that I hope will be food for thought: (1) To make connections between the past and present (2) To make connections between different kinds of knowledge (3) To uncover emotional relationships we might have with objects that may not be immediately apparent.(‘Object’ is a key term in psychoanalysis and it always implies an emotional relationship) (4) To make connections between a body of ideas and one's ‘real life’ (including family life, school life, work and play etc) (5) To draw attention to contradictions in an argument or differing points of view (6) To elicit memories (7) To provoke conversation (8) To promote self-reflection (9) 'To stimulate thought and upset prejudices' (as Freud wrote in his Introductory Lectures) ("But you must not take this warning of mine to mean that I propose to give you dogmatic lectures and to insist on your unqualified belief. Such a misunderstanding would do me a grave injustice. I do not wish to arouse conviction; I wish to stimulate thought and to upset prejudices.") (10) To provoke an interpretative engagement with the museum environment. Many museums already engage in such a variegated practice, and I think it would not be too much to say that they display a ‘psychoanalytic sensibility’ in their work! Ivan Ward Deputy Director The Freud Museum 20 Maresfield Gardens + 44 (0) 20 7435 2076 (direct line) www.freud.org.uk
When does graffiti become art…or heritage? Dan Boys Creative Director Audiotrails (UK)
Graffiti in Stavanger, Norway
From cave paintings to modern day street art, humans have been leaving their marks on walls for tens of thousands of years. But when does ‘vandalism’ become graffiti? And when does graffiti become art, or heritage? Dan Boys from Audio Trails attempts to leave his own mark on the subject. Graffiti, from the Italian word graffiare (to scratch), reflects someone’s urge to say something – to comment, to inform, entertain, persuade, offend or simply to confirm his or her own existence here on earth. The earliest examples of graffiti can be found in Burgundy, France, dating back more than 30,000 years. Within the caves of Grottes d’Arcy, simple, yet fluid drawings of mammoth can be found on cave walls. In the Roman world graffiti was used to declare an allegiance and illustrate the vicious rivalry between Roman communities. And today, political messages can be found on almost every street corner. These walls often become sites of conflict too. Mural panic The spray paint can as we know it was patented in 1949. Within 10-15 years it was being put to use on the blank canvases of urban walls in America before quickly spreading across the world. Graffiti in Stavanger, Norway Colourful murals, ‘throw-ups’ and ‘tags’ created a moral panic. To those in power it was a symbol of decay. To others it energized the world of art. It is probably these kinds of images that are conjured up in your mind when you think of the word ‘graffiti’. Today some artists are paid to paint large murals on or in buildings, and they have also been used to good effect as an interpretative tool too. At Magna Science and Adventure Centre, Audio Trails commissioned The Mural Artists to paint a room-wide mural to create a layer of interpretation when the panels and AV installations are removed for events.
Vandalism or heritage? Before spray cans and stencils, people used chalk, charcoal, or whatever else was to hand to make a statement. After a devastating street battle in Berlin the Red Army took the Reichstag and brought an end to Naziism. As the dust settled the Russians laid down their arms and some started writing on the ruined building. Were these acts of vandalism in today’s understanding of the word? The dictionary definition of vandalism is an, “action involving deliberate destruction of or damage to public or private property.” So in black and white the answer is yes, but how is this graffiti viewed today? Norman Foster, the British architect who conducted the archaeological approach to the renovation of the Reichstag stated: “I came to realise that the Reichstag’s fabric bears the imprint of time and events more powerfully than any exhibit could convey. I was convinced that it should not be sanitised. Preserving these scars allows the building to become a living museum of German history.” So does time soften our views and/or allow us to judge the significance of graffiti? How long is that gap and does it apply to all graffiti? Dr Sam Merrill, Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Sociology at Umeå University, Sweden argues that, “There are no specific rules or time duration that determines when or which graffiti becomes heritage, but some heritage practitioners argue that something must be a particular age before it can be considered heritage. Some heritage frameworks still have age cut-offs, or rely on them informally at least, but whilst these used to be longer, say at least 70-100 years, now that heritage is getting younger, perhaps a period more like 30 to 50 years is reasonable.” Clearly the context is fundamental, but what is the criteria? For example is graffiti with a date, or a statement, more important? Does graffiti linked to major world or political events carry more credence? And who gets to decide what is and what isn't heritage? Certainly art associated with prisoner-of-war camps and other places of incarceration e.g. graffiti and emblems carved by prisoners in the Tower of London, the French Napoleonic graffiti at Portchester Castle, Hampshire, and graffiti on the cell walls at Yorkshire’s Richmond Castle drawn by conscientious objectors in 1916 is viewed as signifiant heritage today. And attitudes have clearly changed. Changing attitudes In 1999 English Heritage published a technical advice note on the removal and prevention of graffiti on historic buildings and monuments. Only the last three sentences considered the possibility of graffiti being historically important. Five years later it was publishing specific guidelines on the “significance, conservation and management” of military wall art - defined as “any decoration deliberately applied to, or executed on, the surface of a building or site in the context of its military use or occupation” - reflecting the elevated attention paid to graffiti in military contexts.
As most graffiti is ephemeral, it can easily be painted over, weathered or lost as buildings are knocked down and replaced. Marks etched deeply into stone tend to last longer. In Naours, France, the names of nearly 2000 First World War soldiers are scratched on the walls of a former chalk quarry, away from any environmental factors that may erode the chalk. One of the most moving inscriptions was made by Herbert John Leach, a 25-year-old from Adelaide. His inscription reads: “HJ Leach. Merely a private. 13/7/16. SA Australia.” He was killed a month later at during the Battle of Pozieres. Graffiti left by soldiers at Naours
Brewood War Memorial
Scratched into the red brick wall of an old outbuilding in Newport Street in Brewood, Staffordshire are the names of several Great War soldiers. The earliest dated inscription is that of "J.M.," carved in 1915. A Staffordshire Knot appears below the letters “H.D.", inscribed in 1917, and this suggest the latter joined their local regiment, the South Staffordshires. Many of these names correspond with the war memorial erected in the churchyard of St. Mary the Virgin and St. Chad, just a few streets away. But some did return. Among them were “G. W”, who first made his mark in 1917 and returned in 1922. Triumphal Arch At Shugborough Hall in Staffordshire stands the Grade I Listed Triumphal Arch. It was completed in 1765 and is a copy of the ancient Hadrian's Arch in Athens. It commemorates Admiral Anson and his wife Elizabeth, whose brother inherited the estate in the 18th century. Over the years names and drawings have been scratched into the stone monument, within a zone 30-180cm above the ground. Nine names have the initials NZ or NZRB adjacent to their names and dates cover the period 1915-19. These may indicate they have a connection to New Zealand, or the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (NZRB) who made Cannock Chase their home and UK Headquarters between 1917-19. At this time Shugborough was a private estate. If these marks were made by troops were they trespassing, or were they invited? No doubt Lord Lichfield would had a dim view of these marks if he was aware of them, but today can they be viewed as heritage?
Dr Merrill suggests, “In general graffiti becomes heritage when someone values it as such and makes an argument that convinces others to value it similarly and protect it. Some street art is already listed as heritage and it’s much younger than the Triumphal Arch historical graffiti. I’d say given its age and military context (where a lot of historical graffiti or markings have been acknowledged to be culturally significant) and the fact that the arch is already listed – there is quite a strong argument for considering the NZRB graffiti as contributing to the heritage value of the arch if not constituting heritage in itself.” Youthful demographic I am are currently coordinating a HLF-funded project that celebrates the NZRB’s time on Cannock Chase a century ago, and these names give us a starting point to research who these men were. As the act of graffiti is generally associated with a youthful demographic we felt it would be pertinent to work with a couple of youth groups to record and research the graffiti and use it as a hook to engage them into the story of the troops who travelled halfway around the world to train on Cannock Chase, before they entered the theatre of war on the Western Front.
Member of the Young Archaeology Group identify and record graffiti on the Triumphal Arch.
The local Young Archaeology Group met us at Shugborough’s main car park and we walked up to the Triumphal Arch. We began the session by introducing the estate and then focusing in on the monument itself. We asked the attendees to study the graffiti and say what caught their eye and why. Everyone was asked what they thought about this graffiti and we discussed why people make marks like this and whether it was criminal damage. We looked at it from the perspective of the ‘artists’ and the landowner.
We then introduced the story of the NZRB and asked the group to identify any associated military graffiti on the arch. Our next step was to record the etchings. Photographs (square-on and with a tape measure to provide details of the size), drawings and rubbings were taken and some of the group drew plans of the arch and indicated on which faces the graffiti was located. Before we left we talked about whether the graffiti should be preserved, and how. And finally we discussed the rest of the graffiti and its importance. We then asked the group to follow up with some desktop research by providing them with a resource pack containing information about one of the soldiers, plus online links to search for further information. What did we find? Who do we think they are? Two of the names: E.Purcell and B.Bayliss appear to be from 1915. This year not only pre-dates the NZRBs arrival at Brocton Camp on the Chase, but also the Brigade’s formation. Therefore, we have surmised that this engraving may belong to Ernest Purcell who was killed in Dardelles in August 1915. Did someone else inscribe his name as a memorial? There are no soldiers with the surname Bayliss with a first name beginning with B. Could the B stand for Bill or Billy and therefore be listed as William in official records? There is a Charles and James Bayliss both with the middle name William. Both were alive in 1919 but we have found no no direct connection with them at Brocton at this time. At the other end of the timescale we have H.Beavis’s graffiti dating to 12.1.19. There were several H.Beavis listed on army records but only Harold Beavis was at Brocton Camp on this date. He sailed here on the Tofua, arriving in October 1918. A high percentage of the passengers died from the flu epidemic that took so many lives during World War One - many of the 73 New Zealanders buried in the Commonwealth War Grave on Cannock Chase are believed to have died from ‘Spanish Flu’ - so Beavis may have considered himself very lucky. And perhaps luckier still because he never saw action. What we have learnt from Beavis’s records is that he was a cabinet maker. Was he employed at Shugborough to fill the vacuum of British workers who had served on the Front Line? ‘C.Thomas 31/5/18’ probably refers to Cecil George Thomas. Like many NZRB soldiers his parents were British citizens who were incentivized to travel to New Zealand in the years before the war. NZRB soldiers H.Beavis and C.Thomas left their mark, along with many others
From his records we discover Cecil was born in 1894. He had a fair complexion, light brown hair, blue eyes and stood just 5 feet 2 inches tall. He was married with one young daughter. Before enlisting, Thomas was a tannery labourer. He initially served with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and was hospitalised with influenza in 1917, probably on his way to Brocton. He was wounded in action the following January whilst in France and returned back to Brocton in spring 1918. It was shortly afterwards that he found himself beside the Triumphal Arch with some time to spare. At the time of his discharge in 1919 his trade was given as a farm labourer. Like Beavis this gave him a potentially legitimate reason to be on the estate. Thomas died in 1962. The date for A.E.Stephens is in decipherable. He was an accountant before the war and likeThomas was married with one daughter. He joined the 5th Reserve Battalion of the NZRB in May1917 and after several months of training at Brocton Camp left for France the following October. InMarch 1918 he was recorded as “sick” in hospital and three months later “classified ‘C’ class by NZ Med[ical] Board”. According to this blog (http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/154834-fitness-classifications/ ), soldiers classified C were “Free from seriousorganic diseases, able to stand service in garrisons at home”. By the time Stephens arrived in Torquay the following month he was classified “unfit” and “embarked for NZ” from Plymouth in August 1918. His disability was cited as neurasthenia - “an illdefined medical condition characterised by lassitude, fatigue, headache, and irritability”. It was believed to be more common among the educated than the unskilled, and the cause was thought to be environmental - it was brought on by what are today regarded as stress factors such as emotional upset, bad experiences and over work. The cure was said to be rest. The year of Job Wain Frew’s graffiti is unclear, but by looking at his records we can see he arrived at Brocton on the 15th May 1918 and was in France by August of the same year. A single man of Scottish parents, he arrived in the UK on the Tofua (six months earlier than Beavis).Unlike the previous men his Conduct Sheet was not clean and Frew has several entries. He was put on detention and forfeited 12 days pay on one occasion, possibly for breaking out of camp and/ or overstaying leave during active service. He was certainly absent without leave at Brocton Camp from midnight 19/7/18 until 7pm the following day and forfeited 1 days leave. By 1919 he was declared unfit after contracting Tuberculosis on active service. It appears this was responsible for this death in 1928. Discovering the stories of these men has been an exciting journey, which has led to further stories, such as Thomas Heeney. He became a professional boxer after the war and is still the only New Zealander to have had a world title fight. Whole rather than a part There can be little doubt that graffiti is vandalism when the marks are first left, but the examples cited above illustrate that it can become an important layer of a building’s/monument’s heritage. When, and if, that happens will depend on time and what the graffiti says. But next time you see some graffiti have a think about the person that left it and why. It may have a fascinating story behind it. Dan Boys is Creative Director of Audio Trails - creators of location-based digital visitor experiences and learning programmes, for outdoor heritage and wildlife sites. audiotrails.co.uk
Bobwhite Quail Habitat Restoration Partnership Partnership formed to restore Bobwhite Quail habitat on DeGray Lake, USA Brian C. Westfall Natural Resources Specialist US Army Corps of Engineers
Northern bobwhite quail hunting was an extremely popular family hunting activity during the post-World War II era. In the 1950’s, large populations of quail were widespread throughout Arkansas and other locations in the south central U.S. Avid bird hunters built family traditions as they enjoyed quail hunting successes. There were times back in the day that Thanksgiving quail hunts rivaled college football as the number one “must do” family outing. Optimum quail habitat was the norm as vast expanses of native grasses and open woodlands were prevalent. However, quail hunting success steadily declined during the 1980’s and today quality quail hunting is more of a memory than reality. The main culprit has been habitat destruction. Wild quail are almost gone throughout the south. By the year 2000, quail numbers in Arkansas declined by almost ninety percent. During the peak quail population in the 1950’s, widespread habitat consisted of brushy edges and fence rows. In the 1970-80’s, the emergence of clean farming and clear-cut forestry practices destroyed quail habitat. Mowing and haying practices in fescue fields further destroyed the brushy edges, fence rows and ultimately the quail’s native grasses food source. Furbearer predators and other quail nemeses’ have also been targeted as factors in reducing quail populations. Coyotes, raccoons, armadillos, snakes, hawks, owls, and even fire ants have been blamed for the disappearance of bobwhite quails. This predator-prey relationship is also driven by habitat destruction. The disappearance of the brushy edges and fence rows allowed for predators to more easily locate and prey upon adult quail and their young. The result, poor hunting and frustration for quail hunters. A newly formed quail habitat restoration partnership provides hope for Arkansas bird hunters! Quail habitat partnership members include Henderson State University (HSU), the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DeGray Lake Field Office. Other target species included in the habitat enhancement project include various mammals, eastern wild turkey, mourning doves, songbirds and pollinators such as honey bees and butterflies. The partners selected an area known as the Henderson Lease Area on DeGray Lake for the quail habitat restoration project. The Simonson Biological Field Station is located within the lease and will serve as headquarters for the project.
HSUâ€™s Simonson Biological Field Station OPMO Forester Shannon Herrin Marking Timber
Approximately 200 acres of DeGray Lake project lands have been set aside for the quail habitat restoration project. "While 200 acres is a good base area, more land will need to be conducive to quail before a significant increase to the quail population will be restoredâ€?, stated Dustin Thomason, Ouachita Project Management Office, Wildlife Biologist. The restoration area has historically been utilized for timber growth only. So, currently the timber is dense, with a mixture of pine and hardwood. The partners have identified three important ingredients for enhancing quail habitat: forestry practices including timber thinning, prescribed burning and restoring native vegetation. Corps of Engineers personnel are currently marking timber within the project area for thinning. The important goal is more open woodlands. Quail habitat calls for widely spaced trees with open canopies. This encourages sufficient understory vegetation for foraging. Stands will be thinned to allow sunlight to reach the forest floor. This will allow for native grasses, forbs and legumes to emerge. A timber harvest is scheduled for the early part of FY-2018. Some of the logging slash will be placed in piles for quail cover. The rest will be burned under prescribed burning applications. Prescribed fire is an effective and low cost-efficient management tool and will be used to manipulate succession and promote grasses that are important to upland birds and a variety of other wildlife. Other prescribed burning benefits include enhanced nesting, brooding and loafing cover for quail. Invasive species such as Chinese Privet will be removed within the project boundaries to improve habitat. Disking practices will also enhance growth of wildflowers and nesting habitat.
The DeGray Lake quail management project will also serve as an educational component for public outreach. A buy-in from private landowners is essential for the program’s success. Ideally, habitat restoration efforts on private land parcels will only enhance the projects’ overall success. Thomason added, “In addition to private landowner buyin, the Corps intends to manage timber and prescribed burning on adjacent project lands in a manner to promote quail. This will expand the land base of suitable quail habitat and allow for higher success on the Henderson State University area." Quail habitat restoration is a long term process. A number of years will be necessary to create suitable habitat for quail. Yet, partnerships are the key for progress and ultimately the return of Bobwhite Quail. Did I hear a Bobwhite?
Brian C. Westfall Natural Resources Specialist Ouachita Project Management Office Brian.C.Westfall@usace.army.mil Photos by Dustin Thomason
Interpreting the Ripples in the sands of time Ed Clifton Geologist
The tour group stood before a wall of rock in the hills, debating whether the nearly parallel bands that crossed the rock surface reflected the work of early man, or even (gasp!) extraterrestrials. They turned to the geologist who was part of their group to see what she thought. “What you are seeing”, the geologist said, “are ripple marks, made 60 million years ago on a sandy floor far below the surface of an ancient sea. They were formed by undersea avalanches of sand and mud that flowed across the ancient sea floor toward the west at a speed in the range of 25 to 50 centimeters per second.” The tour group found this most amusing! How could anybody know that? Later that day they saw another rock surface with similar marks. “I suppose you are going to tell us that these things also formed on the floor of a deep sea.” one of them said. “No,” the geologist replied, “these formed where small waves crossed an emerging tide flat, 200 million years ago. The landward edge of the flat was just to the northeast, and the tide was ebbing when they formed”. The group found this preposterous. Nobody could draw that much information from these rocks! But the geologist did and she was absolutely right! She had done her homework and knew the ages of the rocks they encountered, and what she observed and interpreted from the rock were “ripple marks”, which long ago had been ripples on a bed of sand Sand ripples are distinctive features that have existed since water or wind first flowed over an accumulation of sand-sized particles on this planet. They are very common today—nearly everyone who has spent time in the outdoors has seen modern-day ripples on sandy tidal flats, in the beds of rivers, or on the surface of wind-swept sand dunes (Fig. 1). They even occur on the deep ocean floor. Ripples are prolifically recorded in sandstone of all ages, where they are called ripple marks. Preserved in the rock, these ancient ripples can provide a very useful interpretive tool for a geologist. Figure 1. Sinuous-crested ripples in wind-blown sand. (Photo: Nik Egina)
Sand ripples are small members of the family of bedforms: rhythmic features that develop where a fluid current (wind or water) encounters an exposed surface of loose particulate material, especially sand. The size of bedforms ranges from small ripples to giant sand dunes (Figs. 2, 3). Subaqueous dunes created by strong tidal flow can also be very large (Fig. 4). Some of the largest known ripples were created by catastrophic floods resulting from the failure of a large lake dammed by glacial ice (Fig. 5). In many settings ripples and dunes of various size coexist, sometimes in very complex patterns (Fig. 6)
Figure 2. Small subaqueous asymmetric ripples. Note snail in ripple trough. (Photo: Heinz-Josef LĂźcking) Figure 3. Giant sand waves (dunes), Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. (National Park Service)
Figure 4. Large tidal-generated sand-waves (dunes) on the seafloor seaward of the Golden Gate, San Francisco. (Patrick Barnard, U. S. Geological Survey) Figure 5. Huge gravel ripples near Camas Hot Springs, MT. These immense features formed when an ice-dam that contained a large glacial lake (Lake Missoula) failed, releasing a catastrophic flood. (USGS source) Figure 6. Complex sets of ripples and sand waves (small dunes) on an unnamed tidal flat. (U.S.G.S. Photo by Trevor Elliott)
Ripples take a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on nature of the current that generates them. But, as common as sand ripples are, their origin is not fully understood. They probably result from an interaction of current flow with the bed that may combine the rhythmic separation from a ripple crest with reattachment a short distance downstream (Fig. 7). Unidirectional currents of air or water typically generate asymmetric ripples in which the steeper side faces downstream (Fig. 8). Ripples produced by wave action, however, can be either asymmetric or symmetric (Fig. 9). Ripple crests can be linear and nearly parallel, or highly irregular (Fig. 10) depending on the current. The crests of wave ripples that form where the water level is falling, as on a tide flat, can be planed off by gentle movement of the water as the ripples become exposed (Fig. 11). This is what our geologist saw in the second set of ripples that day. She noted that the ripples crests, like those in the figure became progressively more flattened in one direction, indicating a declining water depth and a nearby shoreline in that direction.
Figure 7. Simplistic diagram showing sand ripple formation under a unidirectional flow. Figure 8. Asymmetric straight-crested ripples exposed on a sandy tidal flat. Water flow was to the right. (Photo: Amanda77)
Figure 9. Straight, nearly symmetric ripple crests. Probably formed by waves on a sandy flat before a falling tide exposed the surface. (Photo: Gunnar Ries Amphibol) Figure 10. Highly irregular asymmetric sand ripples. Flow was toward the top of the photo. (Photo: Reinhard Kirchner) Figure 11. Symmetric ripple marks in Permian Sandstone, Mongolia. Note that the crests of the two ripple marks on the right side of the photo are flattened, probably by small water movements in very shallow water. The lack of flattening on the two ripples suggests that they were in slightly deeper water. It was this kind of feature that allowed our geologist in the introductory paragraph to infer the water depth and direction to the shore. (Photo: Matt Affolter).
Ripples in sand are ephemeral features, easily destroyed by subsequent water flow, and their preservation in the rock record requires special circumstances. If mud accumulates atop the ripples before they are washed away, their form can be preserved. Later, when the resulting rock is exposed, the mud preferentially erodes away, exposing the underlying sand ripples on the more resistant sandstone surface (Fig. 12). Figure 12. Ripple marks preserved on the surface of a Âą 450 million-year-old sandstone. (Photo courtesy of the Arkansas Geological Survey)
But even where bedform shape is not preserved, their existence can be documented by the stratification created by their down-current migration. Sand brought by the current to a ripple crest cascades in small avalanches down its downstream side (Fig. 13), creating strata (“foresets”) that are inclined in the direction of current flow. The accumulation of foresets is commonly preserved as a sedimentary structure called “crossbedding” (Fig. 14). The thickness of cross-bedding sets ranges from a few centimeters (“ripple lamination”, Fig. 15) to, in the case of aeolian sand dunes, tens of meters (Fig. 16). The inclination direction of foresets provides a proxy for the direction of water flow at the time, a useful clue in the geological reconstruction of ancient landscapes. Ripple stratification can also indicate sediment the rate of sediment accumulation. Where that rate is high, the accumulation of sand on the bed notably increases its elevation as the ripples migrate, and the ripple lamination rises as it advances (Fig. 17). The resulting “climbing ripples” are common in flood deposits where deposition can be very rapid.
Figure 13. Cartoon showing the origin of ripple lamination as ripples migrate on a sandy bed under unidirectional flow. Figure 14. Cross-bedding formed by the migration of wave- and current- generated bedforms just offshore from a Cretaceous beach, Utah. Cross-bedding sets are on the order of 20-50 cm thick.
Figure 15. Ripple lamination in the Carmelo Formation, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, California. Figure 16. Large-scale cross-bedding formed by ancient migrating wind-generated sand dunes near Zion Canyon, Utah. (Photo: Dr. Igor Smolyar, NOAA Photo Library)
Figure 17. Climbing ripples in river deposits in the Zanskar river valley, Ladakh, NW Indian Himalaya. (Photo: Dan Hobley) Figure 18. Development of “fading climbing ripples” produced by the passage of a turbidity current.
Turbidity currents, turbulent underwater slurries of sand, mud and water that flow downslope along the sea floor, provide a common mechanism for transporting and depositing sand in deep water. As a turbidity current slows, it loses energy and begins to shed the coarsest part of its sediment load. The result is an upward-fining deposit called a graded bed or turbidite. Commonly, in the process of losing energy, turbidity currents flow temporarily over a fine sandy bed at a velocity of a few tens of centimeters/second, conditions conducive to ripple formation. As a result, ripple lamination is a common feature in the upper parts of turbidites. Ripples formed by waning currents (as in the latter phase of a turbidity current) can show another distinctive feature. The current continues to flow even as the last of the sand is deposited, and a ripple moving on the bed slowly ceases to advance. As it comes to a halt, mud accumulates on the down-current face, alternating with layers of sand, leaving the ripple “stranded” in the mud (Figs. 18, 19). This feature, plus graded bedding, alerted our geologist to the deep-water origin of the first set of sand ripples and allowed her to make her assessment of flow velocity and direction.
Figure 19. â€œFadingâ€? climbing ripples (at the top of sand layers, appearing to build upward into the gray mud) in deepwater sandstone, Point Lobos, State Natural Reserve, California.
The next time you encounter these odd rhythmic features on a rock surface, take a second look. Are they ripple marks? Symmetrical or asymmetric? What do they tell you about the rock on which they formed? If you would like to learn more about these features, the following websites provide excellent, well-illustrated summaries of bedform development and stratification: https://geo.libretexts.org/LibreTexts/UCD_GEL_109%3A_Sediments_and_Strata_(Sumner)/Lecture_Notes /04._Bedforms#title http://mygeologypage.ucdavis.edu/sumner/gel109/sedstructures/ARipples.html Edward Clifton Geologist firstname.lastname@example.org
Interpreting Mexico’s Gastronomic Identity, A Misunderstood Cultural Heritage. By Rocio Carvajal. Food researcher, cook and author. Editor of SABOR! This is Mexican Food Magazine and Producer of Pass the Chipotle podcast. www.passthechipotle.com
The Mexican culinary repertoire is a documented metaphor for the country´s rich history, diving into these dishes brings back some precious mementos of a complex history. Gastronomy as a comprehensive alimentary system of social organization, agriculture, food production, methods of preparation and the practices associated with it embodies the knowledge, experience, belief systems, values, art, craft and traditions that comprehend an essential part of the cultural identity of a community. Recognising the immense value of Mexican gastronomy is acknowledging the vast indigenous ethnic diversity of the more than 65 indigenous communities that have for centuries maintained their traditions, it is also understanding the complexity of the syncretism derived from the cultural clash that the Spanish conquest forced, and the inevitable reconciliation of cultures that though food found its most eloquent voice. In a time when many scholars still maintain a stagnated view of cultural relativism towards the study and preservation of intangible cultural heritage and gastronomy in particular, fetichizing traditional cuisines as something that should remain immovable, attacking all forms of interpretation, change and innovation misses the crucial point that it is because of a constant dynamic of adapting and transforming that such cuisines have come to exist. Traditional cuisines, such as that of Mexico face the challenge to remain authentic, preserve their cultural significance and identity in a time when a fascination for ethnic cuisines and the rise of themed global food chains threatens to detach them precisely of that and furthermore, reduce a whole national gastronomy to a minimal distorted expression that little does to represent a country’s gastronomic diversity. During a Reddit Ask Me Anything session in September 2016, Anthony Bourdain stated that Mexican food is “the most undervalued [and] underappreciated cuisine… I think we should pay more attention to it, learn more about it, and value it more”. Thanks to the growth and impact of increasingly global chain food brands, our interpretation of Mexican food has become distorted and limited in its scope. TexMex food, offered by the likes of Chipotle, Taco Bell, Chillis, Chilango, and DF/Mexico, while often tasty, is neither Mexican, nor authentic, although this is precisely the kind of food that comes to mind when we think of Mexican food.
In 2010, traditional Mexican cuisine was inscribed into UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list and, as I’m sure you can appreciate, this was not because of the growing popularity of Tex-Mex on the high street or shopping mall. Mexico’s gastronomy is vast in its richness, authenticity and diversity, and it is complex in the breadth and depth of its flavours, textures, ingredients (and how they’re farmed), and cooking methods. Its history begins thousands of years ago, during the Neolithic, when the territory known today as Mexico didn’t exist as a nation, when the native indigenous communities in the regions now comprising Mexico and Central America known as Mesoamerica, created a canvas of big agricultural regions. Collectively, they domesticated 88 different crops including herbs, chilies, beans, insects, fruits, vegetables and, of course, corn, all of which are still the central foundation of Mexican cuisine today. Mexican gastronomy, then, has had different evolutionary stages, dating back to pre-Columbian times, when Mesoamerica was home to more than 65 ethnic groups, each of whom developed their own intimate relation to the crops they produced, the food they prepared, and their identity which they created around it. Until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, “Mexican” food had changed little in centuries. After their arrival, it changed fundamentally, thanks to the introduction of many diverse ingredients and cooking methods. The colonial period brought its own economic, cultural and political dynamic that would ultimately shape and create a new national or Mexican identity that most of the mestizo (half indigenous - half Spanish) could somehow relate to. This was built on the twin foundations of the new Christian religion, which created a common culture and set of values, and a common language (Spanish), until over the centuries all types of food - the everyday, as well as feasts and ceremonial meals - began to be prepared according to a detailed code of values and symbols, which in turn helped to create a unique culinary identity. Peculiarly, at least to us, one’s culinary knowledge in “New Spain” was originally based on a specific hierarchical social organization, or caste system. This placed indigenous people at the bottom, the mestizo population (of mixed Spanish and indigenous descent) in the middle and peninsular Spaniards – those born in the motherland - at the top. This hierarchy differentiated the types of food which each caste could prepare and eat, and in so doing embedded deep racial and class divisions. However, over time, Mexican food, like other intangible cultural expressions, became a fertile ground for reconciliation and bonding, either through necessity or by will. It was, for example, the collaboration of indigenous and Spanish cooks that forged the transmission of cultural knowledge and skills that incorporated a range of cooking practices that guided future generations in maintaining Mexico’s newly born culinary identity.
As a result, food in Mexico is never seen as mere fuel and even the simplest of dishes must have a perfect balance to pleasure the senses and satisfy the stomach. For many visitors it might seem that Mexican meals are a little event in themselves; families eat together, talk and share communal dishes and the preparation tends to seem over long by contemporary standards. But that’s what food is here, a vehicle to bond. Care is manifested in the form of food and children soon learn to see their mother’s food and preferred dishes as an institution. It is true, however, that this is not an exclusive phenomenon of Mexico, matriarchal culinary cultures like those of Italy and Middle Eastern European countries share similar behaviours. In Mexico, food always accompanies every stage of a person’s life and, as such, becomes part of their personal narrative. From the delicate herbal infusions mixed with milk to feed babies, to the first pasta and vegetable soups, from the soft and tender tortillas every toddler learns to love with equal passion, to the lime and salt that are used to season it. There’s food to court, food to celebrate, to mourn, to remember, and also to forget. But it doesn’t come to us Mexicans as a given fact; it is the people we seldom think of: the cooks that for centuries have fed us, prepared our meals, shaped our social networks, and who have, of course, preserved the vast Mexican culinary heritage we enjoy today. The Mexican cookbook then, is more than a collection of representative recipes, it is an edible map of our very unique family relationships. But it also portrays our landscape, its climate and geography, and it’s even a cultural currency which has allowed us to exchange, welcome and adapt the food of our immigrants, including French, British, Lebanese, Chinese, German, Korean, and even Mennonite communities. National identities are comprised by tangible and intangible expressions of a society’s relationship with its own past, the aspects of their culture they choose to embrace, and the features that people want to be defined by, such as character, resilience and even religion, amongst many other cultural aspects. Almost every society in history has undergone repeated transformations as the result of a cultural exchange with other groups, for example trade, geographical proximity, invasions, or even disruptive events like forced migrations or displacements can have a deep impact on a society. Food in Mexico has played an important part in the shaping of these identities as the ingredients and recipes connect the food we eat to the land in a metaphorical and physical way, making them more meaningful, memorable and evocative. Under a particular set of extreme circumstances, those same symbols can become a symbol of resistance and defiance. The Mexican identity is primarily mestizo it the indigenous and Spanish heritages was and in some cases still is a source of social, political and ideological tension, in spite of this complex reality Mexicans, have a deep pride and passionate ownership of their regional food, whether it be from the semidesert, high planes or coasts, precisely because it conveys a sense of belonging and community. Through food, we have managed to negotiate a path between our native, local, regional and national traditions. Mexican food is so much more than the riot of flavours that assault our taste buds. It ranges from the ethereal - courgette broths with tender corn kernels - to the comforting - atoles which soothe our stomachs with their sweetness and velvety texture even as we drink them. And yes, while there are fiery, strong and bold dishes with menacing chilies and spices, it should be noted that we take delicate care in our desserts with subtleties such as rose petal ice cream or tres leches cake.
Mexican food, then, reflects a deep and complex national identity, partly forged in the refinerâ€™s fire of colonial oppression, but also forged by people who rose and freed themselves from their colonial shackles and then opened themselves to successive waves of migrants and their respective cultures from across the world. Above all, then, Mexican identity is one of openness - to our indigenous, mestizo, and European heritage, and now, in the 21st century, to the rest of the world. And that is really what you are eating when you sit down to a Mexican meal. About Rocio Carvajal: Her passion for using the power of storytelling to build bridges of dialogue and understanding has been a constant through her involvement in cultural projects related to the tangible and intangible heritage of Mexico. Rocio has a degree in Communication, an MA in International Aid for Development and studies in cultural management and medieval history. Sheâ€™s passionate about food studies and the gastronomic heritage and traditions of Mexico which she explores through her many projects whether they are editorial, academic, cultural or food-related. Contact Rocio at: email@example.com www.passthechipotle.com Twitter: @rocio_carvajalc & @chipotlepodcast Instagram: @rocio.pinky
InterpNEWS Imagine... Speaking Tip 32 Ethan Rotman iSpeakEasy firstname.lastname@example.org
Imagine making a presentation and everyone is rapt with attention, the audience is smiling, listening and nodding in agreement with you as you speak. You feel comfortable, confident and you know you are making your point. It is a nice dream: it is an even better reality. The word “imagine” transports your audience from where they are to anywhere you want to take them. It immediately frees their thinking, bypassing obstacles, allowing your audience to see the result you desire. It grabs their attention and helps win their support for your ideas. It is one of the most powerful words in the English language. Try opening your talk with “imagine” followed by your vision. Watch as the audience listens and creates the images you are painting in their mind. You will be able to watch them relax, their bodies sink into their chairs and the lines on their face soften. The best part is that as they are the ones creating the image, they will have buy-in to your ideas. “Imagine” allows your audience to see the result, rather than hearing the details of your product, service or idea. It focuses on the positive outcomes you are trying to achieve. If you are speaking to people who have some opposition to the methods you want to employ, they may be willing to agree with you on the goal. Using “imagine” will help you paint a picture of the end-result everyone wants. Once you are here, it is an easier task to agree on the method to accomplish the goal. It is easy to imagine a better world, a work place free of the problems we now see. You are jumping ahead and selling them on the product in a fun way. There is a reason John Lennon’s song is one of the most widely known songs in the world. Imagine a world full of great speakers…
© 2008 - This speaking tip is one in a series provided to you by iSpeakEASY. Call for information on individual coaching or group training.
Citizen Frog Watch at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. Conducted after sunset from the end of April to Mid-July. Barbara Litman,
“EW!!!! A frog!” How many folks can say they saw either a frog or a toad with-out that reaction? From young ages, many of us come under the assumption that frogs are nothing but slimy creatures. There is also the urban legend that touching either a frog or a toad will give a person warts. This myth, and others about our amphibian friends, are being debunked at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden. To gain a better understanding of the amphibian world which could be shared with park visitors, myself and another ranger participated in the Citizen Frog Watch program throughout Summer 2017. Both Ranger Elizabeth and I went to training at the Aquatic Education Center located in Anacostia Park. DC’s Department of Energy and Environment hosted it. Here, we were provided with training about the amphibian world and how to distinguish between their unique calls; manuals to take out into the fields to assist us in our observations; and a feeling of being a part of a larger mission. The Citizen Frog Watch program, established in 1998, is a part of a nationwide effort to observe the health of our local environment. Frogs are known as a key stone species; their presence or lack thereof is one way to determine the health of an ecosystem. They are critical measures of a healthy environment. After the park had been closed and the sun had set at Kenilworth my co-worker and I would set out to make our listening observations. In these observations we discovered that a wide variety of frog species call Kenilworth home. In the early evening, among crickets and cicadas, a chorus of singing frogs would begin to emerge. The Spring Peepers lasted March through the beginning of May. With them was the Southern Leopard and Pickerel Frog. Bull-frogs and Green Frogs were a constant presence, and still are even after the season is over. Both the Green and Gray Tree frogs also came out towards the end of the season. An-other constant was the presence of the American Toad. These high-pitched, shrill calls often had the both of us confused when we first set off on this venture.
Bull Frog (left photo) - The largest frog in the United States, it has maintained a constant presence throughout the frog watching. Can remain a tadpole for three years. Is native the East Coast, but has been introduced elsewhere. Southern Leopard Frog (center) - The most common frog of Florida. Adults are similar to that of it’s cousin, the Pickerel Frog. This one here is a young frog, and has more colors and variations. Came out only briefly in April, but the young ones can be found in the ponds. Pickerel Frog (right photo) -Made it’s first appearance here Mid-April and lasted through May. and although abundant, was only here for a brief period of time. Usually lasts as a tad-pole for about three months, and young Pickerel Frogs are a common site in the display ponds near the visitor center. Pickerel’s are closely related to the Southern Leopard Frog, and are the only poisonous frog native to the United States.
This training became a great tool for us. Not only did we come to appreciate and understand the health of our park ecosystem, but our knowledge was used in numerous educational programs through Spring and Summer 2017. Frog programs were extremely popular with our visiting schools and many of our visitors came out to the gardens specifically to find frogs. Throughout the season, many tadpoles and young frogs were seen during our education programs. Equipped with everything we learned from the Citizen Frog Watch coupled with independent research we are prepared even to answer the trickier questions. For example, we can even distinguish between a juvenile Southern Leopard Frog and an adult Pickerel Frog (which look nearly identical). We are especially pre-pared to debunk myths and inspire the next generation to appreciate these ‘slimy creatures’ as much as we do.
Barbara Litman email@example.com
Objects are the core of the museum. Robert B. Pickering, PhD Professor of Anthropology
The Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma is making an important part of their collections more accessible to the public through new technologies, stories and a re-imagining of what the museum experience can be. Between March 2004 and June 2016, the Kravis Discovery Center (KDC) was a model of the open storage concept that featured approximately 3,500 Native American artifacts representing 10,000 years of human habitation in the Americas. Cabinets of drawers included some of the finest examples of indigenous ingenuity, technology and artistry to be found together in one place. Opening one drawer, visitors would see 20 pairs of moccasins differing in style and design according to their tribal origins. Open a drawer on the other side of the room to see 15 finely knapped and expertly made fluted projectile points â€“ literally cutting edge technology for hunting mammoth and mastodons near the end of the Ice Age. Each object is labeled with its accession number. Visitors took this number to one of the computer kiosk in the gallery to find out more about that particular item and perhaps something about the class of objects represented. More recent installations at the National Museum of the American Indian and the Q?rius Science Education Center at the National Museum of Natural History have similar installations. Looking closely at the fine flaking of a Folsom point, the intricate quillwork of a pipe bag, or an enigmatic human figure on a conch shell drinking vessel from Spiro can be new and powerful experiences by themselves. Seeing objects nose to nose prompts visitors to think about how these items were used and who made them. The new iteration of the Kravis Discovery Center tells stories that answers some of those questions but like all good museum experiences, it encourages more exploration. In July, 2017, the Gilcrease Museum opened a newly envisioned version of the Kravis Discovery Center (KDC) that makes exploration easier and encourages people to learn more. Visitors pick up a personal tablet to start the journey. It is designed to work with school groups, families, and individuals. If a school group is the audience, the tablet asks for an identifier label for the class and grade level. It then automatically divides the class into thirds, and provides either a jaguar, spider, or bear icon for each group. These smaller groups visit each of the three new interactive theme-based pods. The themes are independent of each other, meaning it isnâ€™t necessary to go thru them in order; an important design feature for facilitating group tours. By entering the grade level of the group, students participate in short quizzes at the end of each experience that are stratified by grade level.
InterpNEWS The themes of the three pods are: 1. Living on the land, 2. Spearthrower technology, and 3. Storytelling. These three topics are not new, in fact, they are relatively common themes. However, they are new to young audiences. The international team behind the new installation has attempted to provide fresh perspectives. An interactive video map table talks about the diverse environments across the Americas, especially North America and how different cultures used these resources to fulfil their needs. Some objects displayed in the KDC also are pictured as part of the dynamic map presentation. The spear-thrower technology section integrates real objects including fluted projectile points, a bannerstone, and a replica atlatl and mammoth tooth with animated figures that demonstrate flintknapping and spear throwing. The presentation emphasizes technological ingenuity and sophistication. For each pod, the visual and verbal messages address these goals. Create historical empathy Highlight ingenuity and invention Demonstrate continuity Inspire & excite Challenge stereotypes Present diversity & sophistication Native American advisors have been involved in this project from the beginning conceptual stage to the review of final text. The traditional stories told and illustrated on screen are told by Pawnee and Cherokee storytellers and advisors. A mix of voices, young and mature, female and male, provide the narrations in all three areas. The newly opened version is a major upgrade of the former installation, but it is also a temporary testing ground. The Gilcrease Museum is embarking on a major institutional make-over which will add new spaces, and renovate and re-purpose old spaces. During the interim period (3-4 years), a phase that the Museum is calling “KDC 1.5”, the museum will ramp up its efforts to survey audiences about their current levels of knowledge, interests, wants, and expectations. When the renovation of the entire museum is complete, a new “KDC 2.0” will be there. This version will take the best advantage of the Gilcrease’s extraordinary collection, and use it to provide multiple and multi-leveled stories for the varied interests and ages of visitors. The 2.0 version will have benefitted from the audience survey work done during the KDC 1.5 stage. The Museum also is committed to working with tribes represented in the collections to present their stories and perspectives. The current renovation of the Kravis Discovery Center brought a wide range of staff, scholars and consultants together for various aspects of the project. Martin Howe, CEO of TEQ4, was the primary designer who brought an international team to the project. Virtually every member of the Gilcrease staff added their expertise and skills. Native American consultants and anthropologists enriched the planning and the content. Most directly involved among the Gilcrease staff, Laura Fry (senior curator), Laura Bryant (collections manager in anthropology), Sarah Wright (education), and Diana Folsom (digitization & metadata) contributed important ideas and long hours to the success of this project. The exhibits team under the direction of Dean Clark renovated and installed the new KDC 1.5. Bob Pickering served as curator and project manager on the project.
Now that the new KDC is open, comprehensive evaluation is the next objective. This project not only improves an already popular part of the Museum, it sets a style of innovative collaboration that can help the museum create an exciting and engaging future. This project was funded by a gift from the Raymond and Bessie Kravis Foundation. Thanks to the generosity of George Kravis and the Kravis family, the Kravis Discovery Center will continue to provide engaging educational experiences for the next generation. Robert B. Pickering, PhD Professor of Anthropology, Director, Museum Science and Management, University of Tulsa Adjunct Curator, Gilcrease Museum 800 S. Tucker Drive Tulsa, OK 74104-9700 (918) 631-2387 Office (918) 596-2770 Fax (918) 805-4780 Cell firstname.lastname@example.org
The Increasing complexity of Heritage Performance: Better Connecting Publics to Contexts. By Jared Robert Craig Smith Editors Note: in the process of creating this article from a word document to a PDF the graphs and charts would not transfer correctly. Send me an e-mail and I can send you this article as a word document so you can see the Figures correctly. email@example.com It was 0700 hours on a cool September morning and the military PT faced its last challenge: climbing the St. Dénis ravine. At its base, the soldiers learned from their leader, Captain Louis Grégoire, that this would not be the first military force to tackle this difficult climb. He elaborated that he considers the ravine to be where James Wolfe’s British force ascended Cape Diamond after more then two months of being pinned down by the French. As Captain Grégoire is a former military officer and head guide for the local museum of the Royal 22e Régiment in Québec City, the assembled NCOs paid careful attention to his words, understanding that this training was also historical. Their voiced cooperation allowed them to safely tackle the treacherously steep climb, overgrown with vegetation in the 257 years since the historic event. They continued to support each other and had almost reached the top… when they were shushed. Their mild shock turned into speechlessness when they found that the person who hushed them, dressed in a brilliantly red coat and tall black boots, seemed to be none other than James Wolfe himself. Their astonishment turned into delight as this historic figure began to berate the troops, “Hush you! We are in the middle of a delicate military operation here; we don’t want the French to realize we are here…” No, they had not stumbled into a time machine, but were witness to my heritage performance. The use of the qualifier heritage is significant here. Indeed, although there are many similarities between the terms history and heritage, they are very different. People can easily get confused about this difference as both history and heritage deal with understanding the past. It becomes necessary then to properly define each of these terms. First, the past is untouchable and objective. History and heritage both represent changing uses the past. The differences between these two methods lie in both how and why they use it. History, for example, “explores and explains pasts grown more opaque over time” in its quest for objectivity, while heritage “clarifies pasts so as to [knowingly] infuse them with present purposes.”1 A rapid glance of this differentiation may cause one to belittle heritage. Nevertheless, neither method is the past (despite history’s best intentions) and they can therefore adapt and change in support of the other. ________________________________________________ 1
D. LOWENTHAL, The heritage crusade and the spoils of history, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1998, p. xv. For example, Graeme “Davison implies [performative heritage] projects such… necessarily, and selectively, distort the past and sentimentalise history (G. DAVISON, “The use and abuse of Australian history,” in Australian historical studies, vol. 23, no. 91, 1988, p. 72, in M. EVANS, “Historical interpretation at Sovereign Hill,” in J. RICKARD & P. SPEARRITT, Packaging the Past? Public histories, Victoria, Carlton, Melbourne University Press, 1991, p. 142; S. Snow equally recognizes that this profession is looked upon as “silly” and “childish.” S.E. SNOW, Performing the Pilgrims: A Study of ethnohistorical role-playing at Plimouth Plantation, Jackson, University Press of Mississippi, 1993, p. 122; Joyce Thierer further comments that it causes some museum staff members to feel as if “they are not doing ‘real’ history.” J.M. THIERER, Telling history: A manual for performers and presenters of first-person narratives, Maryland, Altamira Press, 2010, p. 12. 2
Recently, performance has become an effective tool of heritage. Despite its various strengths in this domain, it is not some sort of perfect method to transmit a sense of the past. Some believe that its inclusion to heritage turns it into a childish, fleeting fantasy, thereby denigrating it and robbing it of the value to accurately communicate the past.1 As much as I disagree with these views, they are not entirely off the mark. This leads me to modify my idealistic vision of the future of sharing the past. Indeed, perhaps performance shall disappear entirely from the heritage scene. Yet, considering the number of benefits available to all who partake in performance, I sincerely doubt that this change will occur abruptly. This is because performance can reintroduce youth to heritage settings with relatively limited resources. Surely, there are numerous sites that face both declining visitors and funds. Therefore, performance demonstrates its potential as a solution to the present concerns of many heritage institutions. That is not to say, however, that performance is entirely harmonious with heritage. There are many aspects of it that are very contentious and controversial. I shall briefly overview one of these key complexities that demand for a new understanding of heritage. Next, in an elaboration of the practical experience leading to this essay, I shall demonstrate how heritage is communicated through “the heritage experience.” Finally, supporting this concept with a series of diagrams, I will explain my full proposal for this new understanding of heritage. This new paradigm suggests the increasing complexity of the heritage experience. Such a paradigm will provide us with another perspective on how things have occurred to better prepare us for the future. The questionable introduction of performance into heritage is concisely explained through the education/entertainment debate. Some support performance’s ability to fluidly transmit heritage, as is apparent in Scott Magelssen’s description of the Caminata Nocturna. During his experiences in this simulated illegal U.S.-Mexico border crossing, he states that, “the cowering in small spaces, the tromping through water and muck, and the blindfolding were also ways our bodies made meaning...”1 In this example, heritage workers go to new extremes to intentionally invoke feelings in their visitors (or to create meaning for them). It is important, however, to distinguish the differences between heritages that are educational from that which are blindly entertaining. Others consider that this tendency to combine education and entertainment “distorts the primary function of cultural institutions, which is the rigorous, if not scientific, transmission of heritage.”1 Despite his just assessment of scholars’ popular consideration of entertainment however, Pierre Balloffet’s observation here is seriously mistaken. Heritage institutions need to be rigorous and scientific, yes, but their goal is not the transmission of heritage. Heritage is but the tool through which history (and therein the past) is perceptible. When institutions believe they function to transmit heritage, it is then that we begin to lose the essence of the past. This is why scholars generally fear edutainment and lance out against it. They popularly criticize edutainment for not offering a critical perspective on the subject matter, and thereby not encouraging publics to ask questions.1 Research in the field proves that this is not true however. Meditation on this debate inspired the 2016 investigation to determine the just measure of performance at Artillery Park in Québec City, a part of Canada’s National Historic Site of the Fortifications of Québec. This institution, operated by Parks Canada, was a great host for this project as officials stated that their existing living history program was “basique” [basic] and they wished for it to “évolue” [evolve] with the times.1 ____________________________________________________________________________________ 3
S. MAGELSSEN, Simming: Participatory performance and the making of meaning, Ann Arbor, Michigan University Press, 2014, p. 106. P. BALLOFFET et al., “From museum to amusement park: The opportunities and risks of edutainment,” in International Journal of Arts Management, 16, 2, 2014, p. 6. 5 IBID, p. 8, 13: I use publics here in a similar way to P. Balloffet in his essay on edutainment. Here, he used the plural of the term to emphasize the fact that, like heritage professionals, visitors can have varied views. 6 C. BOUFFARD, conversation with author, 3 November 2015. 7 J. SMITH, “Résultats de l’étude sommative de l’animation costumée au Parc-de-l’Artillerie,” Artillery Park, 2016, p. 9: Especially the answers to question 14a. These findings therefore directly refute the conclusions of P. Balloffet. 4
Therefore, I renewed the concept of living history for Artillery Park by advising both the institution and the interpreters on how to progress with their program (already in place). Site-research and surveys allowed me to accomplish this task. For example, my questioning of Artillery Park’s publics revealed that captivating historical performances actually encouraged them to question more. They appreciated being asked questions about their historical knowledge, while at the same time being provided enough information to respond with questions of their own.1 Overall, however, this investigation revealed that visitors particularly valued the explanations that interpreters provided, the general fun of the experience, and the ability to ask questions. For example, one Francophone visitor responded that she loved the presentation of living history because “le programme nous a permis de s’informer tout en se divertissant.”1 This outright link between these two factors sheds light on arguments above. It affirms that current publics do appreciate heritage experiences that are entertaining as well as informative. This therefore proves not only that education can be combined with entertainment in a heritage setting, but, in a certain view, that it has to if it hopes to remain relevant. Although this statement may unsettle scholars, P. Balloffet did wonderfully specify that the addition of entertainment to heritage is not meant to replace education, but only to enhance it.1 Still, a problem remains: how to relate the recent ideals of performance, entertainment, and a focus on publics with the seemingly opposing factors of heritage and context? Only the development of a concept that incorporates the interrelations between all these complexities will truly outline the heritage experience.
Figure 1. The heritage experience The existence of a performance field in all heritage institutions between the context and the publics allows for a new understanding of the heritage experience (Figure 1). It is first necessary to define these terms. Although there can be many players in this experience, they all presuppose at least two separate factors: a context and that which seeks to understand it. The example of John Falk and Lynn Dierking is relevant here as they popularly recognized the complexity of a heritage experience through their definition of the museum experience. In the heritage institution of the museum, they attribute meaning to be filtered through multiple contexts. For example, they hold that the context represents both the socio-cultural conditions about the site as well as the spatial and temporal dimensions of the museum experience.1
Although this observation promotes the significance of context, it equally mystifies it. In their eyes, the term context has multiple connotations (time, space, etc.) and is therefore difficult to understand. Although it is recognized that there are indeed many complexities about a heritage experience, context needs to be understood as where a message originates. This message is the heritage institution’s translation of the meaning of a heritage experience. Despite the sacredness of the context, however, it is meaningless without that which seeks to understand it. Heritage institutions’ missions hence commonly recognize a need to study, but also to disseminate the context. It must be understood that this understanding of meaning is only justified however if it is by an individual that is separate and distinct to both the context and the heritage institution. It is therefore essential that heritage institutions not simply celebrate a context’s treasures but actively transmit them.1 Such is the true purpose of any heritage. The question is to whom they are conveying these riches. Previously, these individuals have been collectively labelled clients, visitors, guests, users, etc. These titles are limiting however. Certainly these individuals are diverse in their desires and requirements. The use of the term’s plural publics in this essay emphasizes this aspect of diversity.1 Whether or not it is defined as the education or diffusion of heritage’s messages, it is recognized that the communication of the context to these publics represents the true goal of heritage. Finally, Christina Kerz’s belief in the power of publics advances a cyclic nature to the heritage experience. In what I term the “Kerz effect,” the potentiality of publics offering insights to heritage institutions is greatly enhanced through their active participation in heritage experiences.1 Therefore, publics cannot be viewed as mere receptors of the context’s messages. They are active participants in the heritage experience. The existence of a performance field in all heritage institutions between the context and the publics allows for a new understanding of the heritage experience. The strength of this concept is that its very presence attributes itself to the idea of change in heritage experiences. First, an institution expresses the desire to better explain its heritage to publics. This institution is only responsible if it develops its messages from the context. The context often cannot, however, transmit itself directly to publics. Therefore, before the context’s message is transmitted to publics, it must pass through the performance field. It is in this field that all heritage professionals transform it in the hopes that the publics more easily understand it. Whether they dramatically present the context through historical performance, or spatially present it through exhibition design, publics better appreciate the context thanks to heritage’s work. The heritage cycle in the centre of the performance field represents this active conversion of the message. ______________________________________________________________ 8
S. MAGELSSEN, Simming: Participatory performance and the making of meaning, Ann Arbor, Michigan University Press, 2014, p. 106. 9 P. BALLOFFET et al., “From museum to amusement park: The opportunities and risks of edutainment,” in International Journal of Arts Management, 16, 2, 2014, p. 6. 10 IBID, p. 8, 13: I use publics here in a similar way to P. Balloffet in his essay on edutainment. Here, he used the plural of the term to emphasize the fact that, like heritage professionals, visitors can have varied views. 11 C. BOUFFARD, conversation with author, 3 November 2015. 12 J. SMITH, “Résultats de l’étude sommative de l’animation costumée au Parc-de-l’Artillerie,” Artillery Park, 2016, p. 9: Especially the answers to question 14a. These findings therefore directly refute the conclusions of P. Balloffet. 13 IBID, p. 6. 14 P. BALLOFFET et al., “From museum to amusement park,” p. 13; Any who question this would do well to consider the goals of a museum as defined in 2007 by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). This elite organization simultaneously respects that museums are for study, education, and delectation. International Council of Museums, 2007 in A. DESVALLÉES & F. MAIRESSE, Dictionnaire encyclopédique de muséologie, Armand Colin, Paris, 2011, p. 271. 15 J. FALK & L.D DIERKING suggest that the focus of museum publics “is filtered through the personal context, mediated by the sociocultural context, and embedded within the physical context.” J.H. FALK & L.D. DIERKING, The museum experience revisited, Walnut Creek, Left Coast Press, 2013, p. 30.
As a result of this translation of meaning through the performance field, publics can more fluidly connect with the context by breaking down the borders between them. On the other hand, however, critics denounce this action because the intermixing of the three distinct aspects of the heritage experience makes it so that the distinct borders between them are no longer as starkly defined. Particularly, through performing heritage, it is no longer clear where one aspect begins and the other ends. For example, when a performer explains a historical fact to publics by complaining about it… does it remain something contextual? This should not matter, however, as the ultimate purpose of heritage is fulfilled, namely, publics are put into contact with the context. If heritage performances achieve this, there is not an ethical problem. Indeed, if it aids the connection, even entertainment can be a justifiable goal of the experiences offered. The satisfaction of publics cannot however originate uniquely from their pleasure in these encounters. If it does, publics themselves risk interpreting the past inaccurately with potentially devastating results on how they understand it (and, subsequently, how they act). Still, if they do interpret the past correctly, the use of performance has become a wonderful tool for heritage. Despite these strong potentialities in either case however, the heritage experience does not have to end there. Through the Kerz effect, publics are encouraged to participate in their heritage experience thereby invoking its cyclical nature. The presence of a cycle demonstrates the non-linearity of the experience. Instead of the context’s information flowing to the publics, their reactions to their experiences circulate from the publics to the context (Figure 1). In a certain sense, the flow has reversed and publics have themselves become the context.1 Nevertheless, it could be the source of severe criticism as well. Critics might easily wonder, “What use can publics be to the context?” These critics would do well to remember, however, that all heritage institutions, even traditional museums, are public institutions. Therefore these sites (like heritage itself) are changing constantly. As such, the passing of information does not happen instantaneously, but is rather gradual like the movement of tides. Continuing this simile, it is the interpreter that turns the tide. As they helped publics to understand heritage meanings, their encouragement further aids publics to pass into the performance field. For example, whenever an interpreter asks their publics for questions, they are offering them the chance to enter the heritage experience. Although it seems conclusive that both contexts and publics have primarily affected the performance field, it does not signify the denouement of the heritage experience. This is because heritage institutions should note all of the publics’ reactions to the experiences they offer. These understandings subsequently contribute to the improvement of the passage of yet further messages from the context to the performance field. This connection of information again to the context thereby represents a true cycle in the concept of the heritage experience. A cycle is not, however, the only shape represented in this concept. The triangular form of the performance field’s diagram (Figure 1) is not an anomaly, but marks the simplification of the heritage experience through the increasing complexity of interpretive methods. The extreme top and bottom of the diagram represent the fields of the publics and the context, respectively. The triangle between them represents the performance field. It is within this space that heritage operates. At the left of the diagram there is a large separation between the context and the publics. This represents the relationship between context and publics in a traditional heritage institution. In order for the message to be relayed to the publics, it has to traverse a lot of the performance field. This represents the necessity for heritage institutions to simplify the context a great deal in order for it to be successfully transmitted to the publics. Although this is possible, it is a difficult and lengthy process. ____________________________________________________________________ 16
Peter Samis and Mimi Michaelson note one sympathetic curator of similarly stating, “If the public doesn’t engage with the holdings of a museum, what is the purpose of a museum? There’s academia, there’s safety deposit vaults in banks. I don’t think that a museum is a bank or a safety deposit box.” Unidentified museum professional in P. SAMIS and M. MICHAELSON, Creating the visitorcentered museum, New York, Routledge, 2017, p. 34. 17 This essay is not the first that has respected multiple publics. For example, it has been remarked that there is quite a diversity of publics. B. LONGHURST et al., “Audiences, museums and the English middle class,” in Museum and society, vol. 2, no. 2, 2004, p. 105; D. MacCannell, D. Barthel-Bouchier, E. Goffman also write of tourists, but we need to look past these publics and widen our view of these individuals. 18 C. KERZ, “Atmosphere, immersion, and authenticity in Colonial Williamsburg,” in S.A. LUKAS, ed., A reader in themed and immersive spaces, Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon: ETC Press, 2016, p. 200, 202.
The further that one progresses to the right of the diagram (symbolizing the progression of time), however, the need to explain the context becomes reduced. This justifies the rapprochement between context and publics in heritage experiences. Currently, for example through performance, publics are able to commune more directly with the context in an experience that is more involved than passively viewing artefacts. Publics are now invited into their heritage experiences. To reflect this, at certain points at the right of the diagram (Figure 1), the borders between the three sections even begin to disappear. This symbolizes the lack of stark boundaries between context and publics in these heritage experiences. Publics thereby get more and more direct access to contexts as a result of heritage’s innovation. What results is a simplification of the heritage experience. This is brought on, however, by the increasing complexity of heritage practices, such as performance. Performance represents the current stage in the increasing complexity of heritage practices in its institutions as it reflects aspects of all of the concept’s three major parts (namely, heritage, publics, and context). First, and most obviously, performance represents a form of heritage as it connects publics and contexts together. Next, performance involves publics, as it is clear from my evaluations that the majority of publics wished for more interaction in their heritage experiences.1 Finally, “live performance in the contemporary museum has not only dispensed of the primacy of the object, but it has become the object” (emphasis in the original).1 Therefore, in becoming the object in the museum, performance has become the context as well. As much as performance’s increasing complexity is mirrored in the diagram (Figure 1), however, it still does not succeed in its true interpretation. Actually, all it does is to literally “mirror” the actual effects, that is to say, to give an inverted view. In other words, decreasing space between context and publics in this concept may be logical for their union, but it fails to accurately represent the increasing complexity of the methods used by institutions to achieve heritage experiences. This concept needs then to be supported by another dimension of understanding. U N D E R S T A N D I N G
Figure 2. The Casey/Dubé temporal-dimension ______________________________________________________________________________________________1 This 19 This inclination toward performative experiences does not, however, imply their taste in educationally empty entertainment as it is clear from my evaluations’ qualitative and quantitative data that the large majority of publics wanted to learn more at sites following a historical performance. J. SMITH, “Résultats de l’étude sommative de l’animation costumée au Parc-de-l’Artillerie,” Artillery Park, 2016, p. 5-7: 80% of the publics that took my summative study agreed that watching a heritage performance made them want to learn more about the site (question 6). After watching a historic performance, the majority of publics were more interested in the history of the site and they had a better perception of the characters portrayed then before the performance 1 (question 7). Finally, 89.6% of publics affirmed that they were captivated by the heritage performance (question 9). V. CASEY, “Staging meaning: Performance in the modern museum,” in TDR, 49, 3, autumn 2005, p. 85.
The introduction of the Casey/Dubé temporal-dimension more agreeably notes the increasing complexity of not heritage experiences, but heritage institutions. Presenting the continuous development of these sites, this dimension also presents itself a triangle, however, there are some notable differences (Figure 2). First, it is inverted in its orientation to the original concept. Second, the empty space of the triangle both represents the number of ways to interpret the heritage (increasing complexity) and the publics’ understanding. Finally, the triangle is split into different sections to represent different epochs in the increasing complexity of heritage institution. The left of the diagram represents the traditional, legislative museum. There is a limited understanding at first, as no interpretation exists and publics are merely presented the context and are just left to understand it without any intermediary. Methods used by institutions to convey context have greatly progressed however. Heritage performance, for example, currently represents the most direct form of communication between context and publics. The intense interaction of the Caminata Nocturna illustrates this advanced form of communication that living history just does not capture. Publics are no longer just living history, but now they are invited to perform the past. Instead of a single new museology, more methods of relating the context to the publics opens both the heritage institution to them as well as the triangle’s other leg. These actions together broaden the triangle and thereby increase the possibilities for the publics’ understanding. Of course, this should be understood as the goal of heritage. Although the Casey/Dubé dimension presents a good visualisation of the progression of heritage institutions, it faces the opposite problem of the previous concept. This problem is that the increasing space between the context (object) and the publics (subject) is not logical for their rapprochement through over time. The solution lies in a compromise between these two diagrams.
More3heritage3 explana) on3 necessary3
More3heritage3 explana) on3 necessary3
J SU B
PE R 3 T C E
NC A M R
Less3heritage3 explana) on3 necessary3
More& understanding& message&
Figure 3. The increasing complexity of the heritage experience
The combination of the two triangular diagrams produces a new paradigm that accurately presents the increasing complexity of the heritage experience. In this paradigm, the Casey/Dubé temporal dimension of heritage institutions is subjacent to the heritage experience (Figure 3). This is because the increasing complexity of heritage experiences pre-exists that of heritage institutions. In fact, without the former, the latter would not exist at all. Furthermore, the greater understanding exemplified in the Casey/Dubé temporal complexity is a direct result of the decreasing need for heritage’s simplification. Heritage is not responsible for relating as much context to publics anymore as they both can interact more closely together. This is made evident with the limited distance between the two in the original explanation of the heritage experience concept. Where this lacked reference to the increasing complexity of the practice of heritage, however, it is distinctly apparent on the new paradigm. It is therefore possible to chart heritage’s increasing complexity from reading history to performing the past, which requires less and less explanation and yields more and more understanding. Despite the apparent success of this paradigm, however, its ability to contribute to a fuller understanding of heritage is its real power. The true strength of this paradigm is that it reflects the change that has occurred and that will occur in heritage. It is my hope that this paradigm may inspire others to simplify heritage experiences by making their methods more complex, thus further bringing contexts to closer communion with their publics. It is my belief that whatever the future methods of heritage, they will continue to bring the context and the publics into closer and closer interaction. Simultaneously, the increasing complexity paradigm of the heritage experience also opens to what can be further developed in other fields and specializations of heritage and museology. Like any theatrical performance, a heritage performance also needs an ensemble of actors to function. In the traditional theatre, actors would be nothing without their directors or their backstage hands. Likewise, at heritage institutions, interpreters would be nothing without their curators or exhibition designers. Although this study has focused on the interpreters’ work, performance occurs everywhere in heritage and in every step of musealization... each performance is just different. For instance, the words chosen in an exhibition’s design, or even the diverse conservation practices for artefacts are equally performative activities. Each of these performances allow for the presentation of contexts so they can invite publics to cross the threshold from the present to the past. The use of the paradigm could therefore further enlighten other fields of heritage and museology. It is only with an understanding of the ensemble that each performance can succeed. Amicalement, Jared Smith firstname.lastname@example.org The author in the role of James Wolfe – Sept 2016 (photo by "Captain Louis Grégoire").
So You Want To Be the Boss? Observations and thoughts on the transition from front line interpretation to administration. Steve Madewell Retired Parks Metro Parks Director Metro Parks of the Toledo Area (Ohio) email@example.com
Moving into a supervisory role is generally regarded as essential part of career advancement. The the transition however, from front line interpretation to an administrative or supervisory position often requires significant changes in attitude and self motivation. These shifts are necessary to accommodate changes in responsibilities. Taking the time to recognize that this is an essential process can enhance a successful transition, avoid unnecessary stress or a bad career decision. I started working for a small park system as an environmental educator and within a matter of months began supervising staff. Ultimately I became an upper level administrator and served as the executive director of several regional park districts before retiring in 2016. Through the course of my career I had several personal experiences with this regard and watched many colleagues go through this transitional process as well. On many occasions the organization or individuals involved realized this was not a good move. Some people successfully negotiated returning to a prior position but in some instances they left the agency or even left the field. Understand your motivation. Before considering a supervisory position an individual should understand not only their motivation, but also what personal rewards are essential for success. For many people in this field there are many important motivators beyond a pay raise. A successful interpreter/educator knows how incredibly rewarding it I can be to see a look of understanding come across a program participants face or the light heartedness that comes at the conclusion of a successful presentation. This gratification may not come as often for an administrator or supervisor who are often spending inordinate amounts of time resolving problems. A successful supervisor must look for other rewards to fuel their sense of accomplishment or success. Often times success for mid and upper level managers is evaluated in numbers and not nearly as much about personal interactions. It is important for a new supervisor to expand and embrace additional methods of measuring personal success and perhaps finding new methods of rewarding success. Itâ€™s lonely at the top. There is some truth that that old saying. This is especially true when an internal promotion results in the supervision of peers. Suddenly the new supervisor is no longer a true peer and as such there maybe a host of issues to work through. This may include resentment or jealousy, favoritism, recognizing or failing to recognize new responsibilities, accountability and authority. Old relationship maybe strained or may create undue stress. Consequently it is helpful to identify new parallel management peers either within the agency and with similar positions in other organizations. It is also very important to look for new mentors who can share insight and motivation especially in challenging times.
Generally speaking, I have found that there are many people involved with conservation, education and interpretation who are much more cause driven than ego driven. It is ok to want personal success but in the long run many of us are promoting ideas and values for issues and beliefs that much greater than any individual agenda. Before becoming consumed with “climbing the ladder” and pursuing a supervisory position, ask yourself if you are good at what you do, are you happy with what you are doing and finally if you are committed so deeply to what you are doing to leave the present behind in order to promote this cause from a position that may take you away from doing what you love. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Stephen W. Madewell has an extensive back ground with outdoor education and recreation. He has served as Executive Director for three Ohio park districts: Metroparks of the Toledo Area, Lake Metroparks and Geauga Park District. He has managed design and development for several environmental education and interpretive visitor centers, web based communication systems as well as way-finding and interpretive sign systems. Mr. Madewell’s involvement with conservation-based initiatives has included policy development, operations, natural resource stewardship, land acquisition, grant development and advocacy. He has written and recorded two conservation-themed musical CD’s: Arrow Creek and Rivers and Trails. firstname.lastname@example.org madewellmusic.com
The International Crane Foundation’s worldwide work preserves the charisma of cranes By Rich Beilfuss, President and CEO of the International Crane Foundation
When I first came to the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo close to 30 years ago as an intern, the amazing charisma of cranes captured my imagination. I was fascinated by the rich cultural tapestry of people and cranes, found in the lessons of Buddha, the folklore of Africa and the wedding kimonos of Japan. Over time, I was drawn into the magnificent places where cranes occur, the remarkable diversity of life that shares these landscapes, and the intricate ways in which the fates of cranes and people are intertwined. I began to understand that cranes, beloved by so many, could help us save some of the most important places on earth. Today, everywhere we work the International Crane Foundation is connecting passionate people – teachers, students, governments, scientists, community members – to chart a different future for cranes and ourselves. I’d like to highlight our work in seven river basins around the world, where we bring vision, science and action to secure a future for cranes, a rich diversity of other wildlife, and the wetlands, grasslands and agricultural landscapes that they depend on. Zambezi River Basin The Zambezi River is the lifeline of southern Africa and sustains some of Africa’s largest wildlife concentrations. The International Crane Foundation, together with the World Wildlife Fund and other partners, is engaging dam managers and government decision-makers in a pioneering project that is incorporating “environmental flows” into the design and operation of large hydropower dams to restore downstream floodplains for people and wildlife, including most of the world’s Wattled Cranes. World-renowned wetlands like the Kafue Flats, the Liuwa Plain and the Zambezi Delta are sustained by these vital flows, as are hundreds of thousands of farmers, fishers and cattle grazers. Amur-Heilong River Basin In the Amur-Heilong River Basin includes breathtaking places such as as Zhalong, Momoge, Xianghai, and Dalai Lake National Nature Reserves in China; Muraviovka Park and Daurski Nature Reserve in Russia; and Daguurun Nature Reserve in Mongolia. These wetlands provide the core breeding grounds for the Endangered Red-crowned and White-naped Cranes, and vital migration stopover areas for Critically Endangered Siberian and Hooded Cranes. The International Crane Foundation is working with local managers to implement water management plans that address the greatest threat to these wetlands – water shortages caused by the diversion of river inflows to thirsty cities, the conversion of floodplains to agriculture and other developments.
Yangtze River Basin Since 1985, the International Crane Foundation has been committed to the future of Poyang Lake, the largest lake in the Yangtze River Basin and most important wetland in East Asia. Poyang Lake is the winter home to almost all of the world’s Siberian Cranes and more than 400,000 water birds. Poyang Lake is threatened by hydrologic changes brought by a multitude of dams and water diversions. Declining water quality is reducing the aquatic food plants on which the cranes and other species depend.
The International Crane Foundation is collaborating with Poyang Lake Nature Reserve to study the links between cranes, aquatic plants and water quality, and use this information to guide management and development of the lake in ways that will maintain its rich biodiversity. Han River Basin The Han River flows from the south-central mountains of the Korean peninsula, through Seoul. It then marks the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea before emptying into the Yellow Sea. The estuary of the Han is guarded by tall chain link fences topped with rolls of razor wire that separate 23 million people in the greater metropolitan area of Seoul from the extraordinary mudflats and meadows that are home for the Endangered Black-billed Spoonbill and many other breeding water birds of international concern. This area provides critical wintering habit for White-naped Cranes and Swan Geese. Although the Korean peninsula is deeply divided today, the International Crane Foundation is working with Korean colleagues toward a different future—a reunited Korea in which the (former) DMZ becomes an international Peace Park that permanently secures these lands for biodiversity conservation and world heritage. Upper Ganges River Basin Called the “Last Living River in India,” the Chambal River forms important headwaters of the Ganges, the Holy River of India. Despite being one of the most intensively farmed and populated areas in the world, this landscape supports most of world’s tallest flying bird–the Sarus Crane—and more than 400 bird species, the rare Gharial crocodile and the Ganges River dolphin. The International Crane Foundation’s work in this “SarusScape” region brings new attention to this flourishing agricultural landscape -- our efforts focus on retaining the multiple benefits that the region provides, including food and water for millions of people, while maintaining such a rich biodiversity. Guadalupe River Basin The entire naturally-occurring flock of Endangered Whooping Cranes, the tallest and rarest bird in North America, winters on the coastal marshes of Texas near Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Whooping Cranes require large tracks of healthy coastal wetland habitat and freshwater inflows from the Guadalupe River to maintain their main food source, blue crabs. These wetlands are now threatened water diversions for upland use, and large-scale industrial and residential development of the Texas coastline.
The International Crane Foundation works with diverse partners in Texas, including coastal municipalities, businesses and community groups, to protect the fragile gulf ecosystem, its precious wildlife and the vital coastal economy. Together with our partners we are identifying and protecting critical habitat areas for Whooping Cranes under current and projected sea level conditions. Mekong River Basin The Mekong River Basin of Southeast Asia is home to millions of people, including some of Asia’s poorest. It is a critical landscape for Eastern Sarus Cranes and is a globally-significant biodiversity hotspot. For more than 25 years, the International Crane Foundation has been deeply involved in the establishment and management of Tram Chim National Park, the largest wetland conservation area in the Mekong Delta, and Phu My Provincial Reserve, site of our award-winning community conservation project that has greatly improved local livelihoods and increased crane numbers. The International Crane Foundation also provides wetland training for wetland management and decision-makers across a network of 18 universities in six countries. Since our inception in 1973, the International Crane Foundation has dramatically grown in reach and impact, while steadily developing our capacity to address the health of the landscapes that sustain cranes and also people and a wealth of biological diversity. More information about the International Crane Foundation is available online at www.savingcranes.com. Editor’s note: The International Crane Foundation, a non-profit organization with headquarters in Baraboo, WI, USA, is the only place in the world to see all 15 species of cranes. The site serves as the gateway to the foundation’s mission, working worldwide to conserve cranes and the ecosystems, watersheds and flyways on which they depend.
Tackling Rules and Regulations via Interpretation The “Get Legit” program at Red Rock Canyon By Margie B. Klein Interpretation that includes the topic of rules & regulations can serve as an important factor in changing visitor behavior. Identifying the problem Nevada is a state with about 80 % of its area held as public land, managed by the federal agencies. Las Vegas, the largest city with over 2 million people, is in the southern half of the state, and every year draws 40 million visitors from around the world, looking for entertainment. Many (over 2 million per year) find their way to a natural wonder called Red Rock Canyon (RRC), just outside of the city, without really knowing what the attraction is or how to prepare for the visit. Managing the visitorship to this Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site gets more complicated all the time. Since it is a National Conservation Area, the goals are to protect and improve the significant landscape of the area, while following the BLM policy of multiple use, which provides recreational opportunities, protection for cultural sites, and the management of natural resources, including wildlife. The rules and regulations at Red Rock Canyon are the written notification of how those goals are to be accomplished. The BLM informs the public of these rules by providing signage and publications, while staff and volunteers are present to clarify any questions the visitors may have. But at what point does a land management agency decide that aberrant visitor behavior is a problem? When does it become important to include laws and regulations as part of an outreach program? While interpreters may cringe at the thought of handling the topic, there are ways to do it that are both technically accurate and well-accepted by the public. The goal is to actually make visitors think about the consequences of their behavior, because many just don’t get it, or else societal barriers prevent their exposure to the issues (inexperience, cultural norms, harried lifestyle, inaccurate beliefs). Addressing the problem The “Get Legit” interpretive program at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (RRCNCA) outside of Las Vegas, Nevada covers most laws and regulations applicable at this BLM - managed public lands site. In addition to enumerating the rules, it discusses outdoor etiquette, because many behavioral issues are considered common knowledge to practiced recreationists, but are glossed over by inexperienced visitors. The program was decided on by naturalists with the Southern Nevada Conservancy, which is a nonprofit organization that partners with federal agencies and provides interpretive programming at public lands sites. Frustration with overcrowding and an increase in irresponsible behavior led to the question, “Why don’t we tell visitors what is expected of them?” To do this would mean taking on the legal issues at the site – a difficult task indeed. But it was quickly acknowledged that it was not the naturalists’ task to interpret the law, only inform about it and present user-friendly examples of desired vs inappropriate behavior. Actual punitive actions are not discussed. Rather, they whole topic is treated as a part of outdoor etiquette.
The title, “Get Legit at Red Rock Canyon,” is a play on words, using a pop culture phrase to build a bridge to natural resource management and behavior. Often we hear young people saying, “That’s legit!” to describe something real that’s deserving of their respect. The title might be translated by youth as something like, “For real, this is what you have to do at this place.” Tread Lightly (TL) and Leave No Trace (LNT) are highlighted. Red Rock Canyon has their own publication addressing the LNT principles at this specific site. In addition, LNT/TL have focused publications for the treatment of land areas that are encountered in the Conservation Area, namely, deserts, canyons, etc., and the specific recreational uses allowed. It is especially important to include interpretation of this topic for children. “Go Lightly” is a squirrel cartoon character that enlists kids’ help in keeping our environment in good shape. His effectiveness approaches that of Smokey the Bear or Woodsy Owl.
Table-Top display called “Get Legit at Red Rock Canyon” interprets rules and regulations. Here’s what’s included at the Get Legit display: -
Interpretive sign labeling the table o What “legit” means Informative stand-up mini posters: (bullet points) o “Did you know” – what a conservation area is o What’s legal o What’s prohibited o Outdoor etiquette
Handouts / brochures: o RRCNCA regulations o Antiquities Act o LNT basic principles (hang tags) & for specific areas (brochures – desert & canyon wildlands, frontcountry, Red Rock Canyon) o TL basic principles for special uses (hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing) o Archaeological Protection on Public Lands Props: o Deer antler, bighorn sheep horn (things not to collect, serves dual purpose of educating on what animals are here) o Model of a desert horned lizard, in a mini cage with a sign saying, “Please don’t collect me.” o Pail full of interesting rocks from the area (for sparking interest and conveying conservation message) o A sandstone slab with fake “rock art” (for discussion of petroglyphs vs graffiti – a big problem in RRC) o Miniature park ranger figure Attention-grabbing signs: o Don’t bust the crust o Leave the flowers o Don’t feed wildlife o Control your pet For the kids: o “Lightfoot” TL activity book o Tread Lightly pledge Other giveaways: o Litter bags w/ message o Doggie pick-up bags
Clarifying the difference between graffiti and rock art.
Free litter bags encourage visitors to pick up after themselves
Planning for the program included discussions with BLM personnel (outdoor recreation planner, field manager, and rangers). Interpretive principles were applied to the topic so that a soft rather than hard approach was utilized, except, of course, in the incidences of health and human safety and criminal offenses. Over several iterations of the program, the material and props have changed slightly. There was more information to be added, as well as better props. Children’s activities were refined to better align with goals.
Here’s how the table-top presentation works: The audience is usually drawn in by the props, then they see the signs, and I begin to offer interpretation: animal facts, why’s and wherefores of a conservation area, etc. Many visitors come in for a closer view at the materials, to learn things they may never have known about the site. Sometimes folks who see or hear the words “legal” or “prohibited” will widen their eyes, showing acknowledgement that the information is something they need to be aware of if they don’t want to get in trouble with the park rangers. Efficacy of the tabletop program can be judged in one way by children who ask, “Can I do this?” after hearing about desired behavior in the conservation area. If I don’t have answers to specific questions, I call a ranger over for expert guidance. In addition, BLM volunteers have shown great interest in and approval of this program, and come by to learn more and give advice.
Visitors to the National Conservation Area learn about prohibited and allowed activities.
Evaluation The ultimate test of interpretive effectiveness here would need to be an analysis of whether or not visitor behavior has changed. This would be difficult to measure as a direct result of the Get Legit program. However, one possible method of approaching a measurement would be a visitor survey upon leaving the area. The amount of change in behavior given would, of course, be on the honor system. The number of offenses recorded by law enforcement in a certain time period may also give an indication of program success. However, many important behaviors would not be measured in this approach. Many interpretive values in general are esoteric in character, and oftentimes have to be assumed or deduced in different ways, such as decrease in litter, etc. Still, the BLM is “all in” for the beneficial effects our organization’s interpretation programs have on visitors to this important site. It’s a great example of how partnered programming can make a difference in visitor behavior for the better. The BLM believes that partnerships are vital to managing sustainable, working public lands. Margie Klein is an interpretive naturalist / interpretive writer, for Southern Nevada Conservancy, working at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. www.redrockcanyonlv.org 702-515-5367
InterpNEWS Marketplace. Interpretive exhibit evaluation (pre and post testing) â€“ Kirby Science Center, John Veverka & Associates. email@example.com
InterpNEWS now offers advertising for interpretive services and media. If you'd like to advertise with InterpNEWS you too can reach our 300,000 IN recipients in 60 countries. http://heritageinterp.com/interpnews_advertising_details.html
Advertisers in this issue: Creative Edge Master Shop International Crane Foundation iZone Imaging Greenfire Creative (new book) Heritage Interpretation International Group Guide (Formally Studio Graphique) Audio Trails UK Kaser Design Interpretive Writing Plus
New Interpretive Writing Book coming soon.
Our official release date is November 14, 2017, to coincide with the first day of the 2017 NAI conference in Spokane, though with a little luck, I will have books in hand before that. On-line pre-sales will be available soon, tooâ€”I will let you know as soon as all of those details are sorted out and ready. E-mail me to be added to my contact list for ordering details and costs.
Judy Fort Brenneman Greenfire Creative, LLC *we help you tell the story* greenfire-creative.com
Judy Fort Brenneman 2160 Ryeland Lane Fort Collins, CO 80526 970-416-6353 (office) 970-215-6102 (cell, text) firstname.lastname@example.org
Working to help forge the future of Heritage Interpretation:
* John Veverka & Associates. * InterpNEWS - the International Heritage Interpretation e-Magazine. (Reaching 300,000 in 60 countries) * The Center for Interpretive Planning Excellence and Advancement. * Interpretive Evaluation, Visitor Studies and Site Assessment Center. * The Heritage Interpretation Training Center (teaching 37 college level courses in heritage interpretation). www.herigateinterp.com
www.heritageinterp.com/interpretive_training_ center_course_catalogue_.html Want to be part of our future? Let's chat. email@example.com
Interpretive Writing Plus Contract interpretive writing services.
Do you need an interpretive writer? While we teach two interpretive writing courses through our Heritage Interpretation Training Center (http://www.heritageinterp.com/interpretive_writing_course.html) we’ve had several exhibit and other consulting firms ask us if we could do interpretive writing services for them – they didn’t have the time to do a course – just needed superior interpretive writing for museum and visitor center exhibits, outdoor interpretive panels, trail guides or other projects. So now we offer contract interpretive writing services for your projects, or can offer on-site interpretive writing training workshops. What makes writing copy for exhibits, panels and other interpretive media “interpretive” vs. just “informational”? Our interpretive writing: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
Is based on accomplishing the interpretive objectives for the media. Is based on using Tilden’s Interpretive Principles (provoke, relate, reveal) in the text development. Works to help illustrate a main interpretive theme for the exhibition or site. Uses tangibles and intangibles in the text development (to relate to the reader). Considers the audience in creating analogies, metaphors and active language. Is short – 50 – 100 words. Supports or reveals the photographs or graphics in the exhibit or panels meaning. Can be easily pre-tested with visitors to make sure the objectives are accomplished.
Want to learn more about our contract interpretive writing services? Check out our web site page that also illustrates some writing examples. If you have any questions, feel free to ask.
John Veverka Editor, InterpNEWS Director, Heritage Interpretation Training Center Assoc. Editor, The NAI Journal of Interpretation Research Author of “The Interpretive Writers Guidebook”. firstname.lastname@example.org
Heritage Interpretation e-magazine