For Historic and Environmental Interpreters

Black is also a dedicated student of American History who seems determined to single-handedly overhaul the subjects dusty reputation.”            Johnson City Press

Historic and environmental interpretation has been the mission of our National Parks Service and museums throughout the land. Judith’s history stories and workshop programs for these populations help to provide and promote interpreters skills at communicating the wealth of material they have been entrusted with.   The stories they will hear and create draw guests into the heart, and head, and soul of their site or museum.

Workshops for Historic and Environmental Interpreter

The objective of both of these workshops is to help interpreters raise the level of personal investment, involvement, and knowledge that visitors will attain as guests at their sites.

Running River

A Palette of Possibilities

This workshop strives to open up the gates of new interpretive possibilities that could be accessed by staff from a broad range of backgrounds. The focal question is: How can you shape your tours so that your visitors have a personal relationship with the characters, episodes, artifacts, and environment that you are sharing?

-Warm-up Exercise: Activate the body, mind, and imagination

  1. Creating an Investment: Participants will learn to pose questions to visitors of various backgrounds and interests that will enable them to draw upon their own experiences in relating to the history and environment of the park site.
  2. Guided Imagery: Drawing visitors into the world of your site via sensory and emotional identification, participants will experience the power and possibilities of guided imagery. This technique can waken peoples’ hearts and imaginations to places and issues that only their intellects had previously contemplated.
  3. Enlivening Artifacts: There are two ways to approach an artifact or natural resident of an environment. You can tell the story of where it came from and how it got to be ‘here.’ These are often quite interesting, tracing the roots of people, movements, and our natural resources. There is another possibility. You can imagine telling an objects story from it’s vantage point! (3-4 hours)

Creating Original Tales

Historic Societypg
Creating original stories based on authentic fact allows the interpreter to integrate their knowledge and objectives into an ancient art form that speaks to the hearts and minds of visitors. History books tell us the ‘who’ ‘what’ ‘where’ and ‘when’ of an event, place, or era. They often venture a political, economic, social, or philosophical answer to the question ‘why.’ What they almost never include are the details that makes a piece of history into a story. That is the human ‘why’ and the idiosyncratic human details that elevate an episode from text into the imagination. In this workshop participants will learn how to use historic episodes, era information, characters, and natural environments to weave vital human stories.

I can model this with brevity. (2 hours)

Creating a model stories from your site. (3 hours)

Interpreters culling and creating original tales for their sites. (1-2 days)

Judith Teaches Two Classes Annually:

Making Stories From Your Life, the first weekend in February:

Making Stories From Your Life

Telling Stories to Children, the last week in June:

Come and See a Performance