It’s been a while since I have blogged, but that’s because a lot has been happening. Deciding what to blog about can be a bit overwhelming. Right now the priority seems to be increasing communication about the exciting professional support available for living history interpretation. I’ve taken the initiative, as ALHFAM president, to launch a “share the wealth” initiative that emphasizes a few basic goals that should be easy to accomplished if we communicate. ALHFAM’s E-Update (and this blog) will help convey the good news from different organization working toward a common purpose – supporting living history interpretation. The stakes are high during this era of budget shortfalls and concern about the credibility of formal and informal education. After a few phone calls and some emails I am pleased to announce “Share Living History Interpretation,” and its five goals:
- facilitate mutually beneficial communication among like-minded organizations that support living history interpretation
- increase awareness of the resources that exist to serve under-resourced interpretive staff in history/heritage institutions;
- emphasize the professional nature of living history interpretation in its myriad forms
- raise the visibility of living history interpreters so they do not become the first to go when historical organizations face budget shortfalls, etc.
- promote high quality training that enhances the educational value of living history interpretation.
I believe these last four goals will flow naturally from steps taken to accomplish the first. We should make this as easy as possible because none of use have a lot of time, and it won’t cost much, either, to Share Living History Interpretation. How can you get involved? Share! Send information to ALHFAM’s editors for ALHFAM’s E-Update. The “News from Other Pastures” allows other organizations to share information at no cost to them (and that ALHFAM can do likewise in their venues). In the future you might read about things that ALHFAM’s FPIPN (First Person Interpretation Professional Network) has to offer in other venues (i.e., AASLH, IMTAL, NAI and its Council for Interpretation and Living History). The critical mass can help us all justify and sustain the special interpretive tool that is living history. Don’t be silent – SHARE.