Partly Cloudy: Museum Success Stories

The black clouds are all around us, and sometimes it seems that the history museum world is doomed. Historic house museums are dying. Major debt looms. Buildings are crumbling. Audiences are aging. Staff are running away as fast as they can. Government support is yanked. And here I sit, just over 2 years into leadingContinue reading “Partly Cloudy: Museum Success Stories”

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”

Inside Out

Often, when a new director begins, change becomes the word of the day.  When I assumed the title in March 2014, our external world was changing rapidly.  Much of my time and energy was spent in keeping up with real estate transactions and learning how to speak developer.  That’s not to say I didn’t knowContinue reading “Inside Out”

Notes to Self

Just returned from Louisville, where I was attending the annual meeting of the American Association for State and Local History.  And before I get back involved with the day to day of running Dallas Heritage Village, here are a few notes to myself I’d like to make for next year’s conference in Detroit. Don’t agreeContinue reading “Notes to Self”

Where I’ve Been and Where I’ll Be

This has been another summer of travel, mostly museum related, and there’s more travel ahead.  Part of me has grand dreams of writing some thoughtful posts about some of these trips, but the practical side of me is starting to dump items off of the to do list.  It seems like my only hope ofContinue reading “Where I’ve Been and Where I’ll Be”

Wardrobe Conundrums

Back in grad school, I talked myself into buying a totally useless (but very pretty!) dress by telling myself “But I might need a fancy dress like this for exhibit openings or fundraisers.”  Even though I had never previously worked at a museum that had lots of fancy dress occasions, I just assumed that myContinue reading “Wardrobe Conundrums”

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”