What: Freedom's Frontier 2018 Interpretive Workshop
Thursday March 29, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Where: National Frontier Trails Museum, Independence, Missouri
Cost: $25; Includes a lunch.

Historic sites are among the most fundamental and common ways Americans get in touch with their history. For this reason, it is imperative that these places tell the whole story of American life over time. Too often, the stories of women at historic sites are forgotten or covered in ways that diminish their true role. The Interpreting Women’s History at Your Site Workshop helps attendees address this problem with practical guidelines and best practices for telling the stories of everyone who was at the site, uncovering the true stories of women. For historic sites, there are only advantages in telling the whole story. Sites that tell the whole story tell better history, tapping into the stories that exist at the site, and finding ways to better connect with at least half of the audience - the women and girls who visit the site.

The workshop begins with a presentation by Dr. Delia C. Gillis, Professor of History and Director of the Center of Africana Studies at the University of Central Missouri. Dr. Gillis uses local histories to find women’s history within the history we have.

An active and sought-after contributor, panelist, and critic, Gillis is the author of numerous scholarly publications including a photographic history entitled Kansas City from Arcadia Publishing's Black America Series. Gillis holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Missouri-Columbia. At UCM, she has taught courses on African American Women, Missouri History and the Social History of the Family.

Gillis has a record of professional service at the local, state and national level and has served on the UCM President's Commission on the Status of Women, the Missouri Humanities Council and the Wornall/Majors House Museums. She was most recently the UCM project director for Created Equal: America's Civil Rights Struggle, a national film project by the National Endowment for the Humanities/Gilder Lehrman Institute for American History.

The afternoon includes a PowerPoint presentation by Lori Osborne, highlighting examples of best practices for interpreting women’s history at historic sites. The focus is on practical guidelines for successful integration of women’s history into local history exhibits, interpretation and public programs. Hands-on exercises and group discussion follow, with ample time for sharing ideas on how to address challenges.

Lori Osborne is the new Director of the Frances Willard House Museum in Evanston, Illinois. Osborne is also director of the Evanston Women’s History Project and holds the position of Vice President for Operations of the National Collaborative for Women’s History Sites. In addition to her women’s history and historic sites experience, she has extensive experience in archives management, having served as Archivist at the Evanston History Center for ten years.

Osborne serves as a consultant for archival and history museum projects, including giving presentations on women’s history topics and developing archival management plans for small archives. Osborne has a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Chicago and a Master’s Degree in Public History from Loyola University Chicago.

Tentative Workshop Schedule

9:30-10 a.m.                    Check in/Coffee/Networking
10-10:30 a.m.                   Introductions
10:30-11:30 a.m.              Local Historical Context Presentation (Delia Gillis)
11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.       Lunch and Networking
12:30-3:30 p.m.                Workshop (Lori Osborne)
12:30-1:15 p.m.                Checklist review; Presentation
1:15-2 p.m.                       Small group activity
2-2:15 p.m.                       Break
2:15-3 p.m.                       Hands-on activity
3-3:30 p.m.                       Wrap up

Note: The workshop presenters have a homework assignment for you. Prior to coming to the workshop, take a picture at your site of an exhibit that needs better interpretation of women's history. Bring the picture with you to the workshop.

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