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Interpreting Immigration at Museums and Historic Sites (eBook)

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  • 48,998 Words
  • 140 Pages

Interpreting Immigration at Museums and Historic Sites draws from the collective learning of the forty museums and historic sites that make up the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Members of the Network have developed interpretive approaches that tap the power of place and history to open new dialogue on difficult subjects in a wide variety of contexts.

The title considers the questions: How can museums use their collections and key stories as starting points for audience engagement around immigration past and present? How can museums move beyond the "we are a nation of immigrants" narrative - a narrative that does not resonate for all audiences? How can museums make opportunities for safe, open dialogue on immigration accessible to all stakeholders including both new immigrants and receiving communities?

Interpreting Immigration includes strategies for the design, implementation, marketing and sustaining of programs that help visitors use the lens of history to address contemporary immigration issues and provides:

  • Case studies from eight regionally diverse institutions including ethnic identity museums, immigration museums and local history sites
  • Piloted and evaluated immigration program designs including models for exhibit development, art-based interpretation, school programs, adult programs and neighborhood walking tours
  • Audience building strategies
  • A tested evaluation toolkit for measuring institutional success
  • Lessons learned through the National Dialogues on Immigration Project, a cross-regional series of public programs designed to spark a national conversation on critical immigration topics like citizenship, American identity, border control, freedom of movement, and civil liberties.

Interpreting Immigration at Museums and Historic Sites draws from the collective learning of the forty museums and historic sites that make up the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Members of the Network have developed interpretive approaches that tap the power of place and history to open new dialogue on difficult subjects in a wide variety of contexts.

The title considers the questions: How can museums use their collections and key stories as starting points for audience engagement around immigration past and present? How can museums move beyond the "we are a nation of immigrants" narrative - a narrative that does not resonate for all audiences? How can museums make opportunities for safe, open dialogue on immigration accessible to all stakeholders including both new immigrants and receiving communities?

Interpreting Immigration includes strategies for the design, implementation, marketing and sustaining of programs that help visitors use the lens of history to address contemporary immigration issues and provides:

  • Case studies from eight regionally diverse institutions including ethnic identity museums, immigration museums and local history sites
  • Piloted and evaluated immigration program designs including models for exhibit development, art-based interpretation, school programs, adult programs and neighborhood walking tours
  • Audience building strategies
  • A tested evaluation toolkit for measuring institutional success
  • Lessons learned through the National Dialogues on Immigration Project, a cross-regional series of public programs designed to spark a national conversation on critical immigration topics like citizenship, American identity, border control, freedom of movement, and civil liberties.


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