Lessons from Fair Park

It seems everyone in Dallas is talking about Fair Park right now. And it’s not just the usual fried food anticipation that comes with every State Fair season. A few weeks ago, an old friend asked me on Facebook “Will you explain the Fair Park issue to me like I’m five years old? I don’tContinue reading “Lessons from Fair Park”

When History Comes Home: Aftermath of Dallas Shootings

All of Friday, I continued to be stunned–not just to the events of Thursday night, but to the response of what I considered to be an obvious and far too small gesture. . . . But I am here to say this to the museum field: how sad is it that people are surprised when a history museum responds to current events? Isn’t that part of our job?

Milestones: The Consequences of a Successful Junior Historian Program

On this rainy Friday before a holiday weekend, I’m wrapping up one of my favorite annual tasks: creating a photo collage of our graduating Junior Historians.  For many years, figuring out a way to honor graduating Seniors wasn’t an issue, because the kids never stuck around that long.  But now, it’s an absolutely wonderful problemContinue reading “Milestones: The Consequences of a Successful Junior Historian Program”

More Answers

You would think after two+ years, the questions would have stopped. “Why are you being so nice to Vogel Alcove?” “Where’s the money in community involvement?” “Why do you go to so many neighborhood meetings?’ There are a lot of very good answers to these questions, some of which I’ve addressed in previous blog posts.Continue reading “More Answers”

Thoughts on being a park

When I joined the staff here in 2004, our name was Old City Park. Consequently, I spent a lot of time on the phone explaining to people the following: No, you can’t bring your frisbee. No, we don’t have a swimming pool available for your birthday party. Yes, you do have to pay admission evenContinue reading “Thoughts on being a park”

It was just a simple question. . .

Dallas Heritage Village closes two months–January and August–every year.  As much as I love our visitors, it can be really, really nice to be closed.  This time gives us time to plan, work on some more involved projects and catch up on a few things–both at work and at home.  This January, I was lookingContinue reading “It was just a simple question. . .”

Other duties as assigned

Last week, I had a lengthy interview with a local reporter about the homeless encampment just on the other side of DHV’s fence.  Since July 2014, we’ve had a steady stream of individuals that have chosen to live next to the I-30 access road, behind our Farmstead. About halfway through that interview, I said toContinue reading “Other duties as assigned”

Armchair Leadership

For the past year, change has been brewing at Fair Park, located just a few miles from Dallas Heritage Village.  This remarkable spot in Dallas is home to the largest collection of Art Deco structures in the nation, the State Fair of Texas, and many museums and cultural organizations.  But many people think it’s completelyContinue reading “Armchair Leadership”

Mapping the future

Highway design usually isn’t a thing that museum directors have to think about, but when your northern border is an interstate, it comes up.  In my very first post here, I talked a bit about my surprising meeting with TXDoT officials as part of the CityMAP project.  Since that meeting back in July, there haveContinue reading “Mapping the future”

A different kind of community anchor

A couple of years ago, I was sitting in a professional development workshop, taking a quiz about how connected we were with the community.  The quiz deeply frustrated me—Dallas Heritage Village is located in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country.  Major institutions in the city routinely have close to a million annualContinue reading “A different kind of community anchor”