Forum Connect

Audience Engagement at Historic Sites

  • 1.  Audience Engagement at Historic Sites

    Posted 12-09-2019 13:40

    Hi Folks –

    I work at the National Trust with our collection of historic sites on marketing and partnership opportunities. I'm always impressed with the creative ways historic sites are engaging with their visitors and surrounding communities, finding ways to keep people coming back to these important places. For example, Woodlawn  just announced details for the 2020 Needlework Show and Sale, one of the site's longest-running and unique events, which honors the legacy of Eleanor "Nelly" Custis, one of America's foremost needle workers.  Or the Glass House, which had an exhibit this past season called "Gay Gatherings: Philip Johnson, David Whitney, and the Modern Arts", which explored interaction at the Glass House among 8 gay men who profoundly shaped 20th century artistic culture.  

    If you work at a historic site, what are creative ways you engage with your audience – events, exhibits, tours, or something else?  Are you doing anything specific in the Holiday season? Looking forward to hearing your ideas!


    Grant Stevens

  • 2.  RE: Audience Engagement at Historic Sites

    Posted 12-11-2019 10:12
    Love this, Grant. I especially like visiting historic sites during the holiday season to see what displays they have or how they talk about their history during the holidays.
    I don't work at a historic site (obviously!) but visited several and really really quite enjoy the Vintage Game Night at the Woodrow Wilson House here in DC (if you're in the area it's worth a visit). As the name suggests, they have old games spread throughout the house and you can wander and play games. It's a $15 ticketed entrance w. drink tickets. I played one game there, Pit, that I wound up seeking the current day version of the game to bring to a family visit.
    AND, one of our colleague's in our government relations department actually got engaged recently at a Vintage Game night, as that was one of their first dates!
    Looking forward to see what other ways people engage attendees at other sites!

    Colleen Danz
    Forum Marketing Manager
    National Trust for Historic Preservation
    Washington DC

  • 3.  RE: Audience Engagement at Historic Sites

    Posted 12-13-2019 21:42
    Grant, The Sitka Maritime Heritage Society in Sitka, Alaska, which is restoring a WWII-era boat house, recently hosted a toy boat building workshop for kids at the boat house. Volunteers pre-cut the pieces and the kids did the assembly and painting. It was the second year for the event  and is a great way to bring people together for the holidays. And it makes for some great photo ops. James
    toy boat building at Sitka Maritime Heritage Society. (Photo James Poulson)

    James Poulson
    Sitka AK

  • 4.  RE: Audience Engagement at Historic Sites

    Posted 12-16-2019 12:19
    Very cool James!  I love the hands-on element (it reminds me of my days as Cub Scout and making Pinewood Derby cars) and the great photo opportunities. Keep us posted on the Boat House!

    Grant Stevens