John Veverka & Associates

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Exhibit Rehab 4-Week Course

Heritage Interpretation Training Center

Exhibit rehab - breathing new life into old, outdated,
and just plain boring exhibits and exhibit galleries
with a limited budget.

A 4 Week Intensive Course

28th of February - 25th of March 2022

Course Tuition $200.00

Course rehap project - Wheeler Wildlife Refuge (Interpretive Services Course)

I know it's hard to admit but sometime you just have to go to rehab! No, not you, your exhibits or exhibit room or exhibit gallery may be the ones that need help. This is the case of the touch table that no one really wants to touch or a glass display case with dead bugs collecting at the bottom. Maybe its label copy done on a "typewriter" that you can't read, or photos that are turning red with dog eared corners. Or exhibits randomly placed that lost their link to your theme or main messages. Yikes! Ready for rehab!

The problem is costs - exhibits are very expensive so re-doing everything may be cost prohibited for many nature centers, historical society museums and other smaller visitor centers. So this course is designed to help you do a critical analysis of the value and contributions of each exhibit and think about simple and creative ways to do a successful and cost effective exhibit rehab - often with things you can simply do in-house.

Each unit works as a college lecture, with instruction and homework assignments. Support materials for the course include

1. Interpretive Planning e-Textbook
2. YouTube Video discussion from the instructor.
3. Related handout materials sent as PDFs.
4. Homework assignments to be send to the instructor.
5. The opportunity to talk with the course instructor via phone, SKYPE or e-mail chat.

Here are the course units.

Week One

Unit One - the need for intervention. This unit is a discussion of why you think you're ready for exhibit rehabs - a walk-through observation of what you see as the heart of the problems creating a lack of effectively communication your story and mission to visitors interacting with the exhibits or exhibit gallery as a "whole" experience. What is it you want/expect and exhibition rehab to accomplish?

Unit Two - Back to basics of themes and objectives. This unit asks you to review your site, park or historic sites interpretive plan. What is the theme and objectives that your "total site interpretation", both for outside exhibits, trails or related experience, and your exhibit room or gallery, were to accomplish? Are your current exhibits illustrating your total site theme?

Unit Three - Let there be themes and objectives that match your story and mission.
So what if your site doesn't have an interpretive plan, theme and objectives for your total interpretive media presentation? Did your theme and objectives are outdated or changed over time? Unit three asks you to develop or update your total site interpretive theme and objectives that your exhibits, as part of your total interpretive media/services mix now need to illustrate.

Week Two

Unit Four - individual exhibit interpretive analysis - from top to bottom. Using our Interpretive Center and Exhibit Critique and Analysis forms, developed for use by the US Army Corps of Engineers Visitor Centers, this unit is an activity for you/your team to do an analysis of each exhibit in your exhibit room. The analysis is both for physical issues as well as interpretive content and presentation issues. This analysis will get you ready to do Unit Five.

Unit Five - Some in and Some Out! Based on your analysis of each exhibit, make a list that identifies:

1. Exhibits that do illustrate your current theme and accomplishes your objectives.
2. Exhibits that somewhat illustrates your theme and objectives, but will need rehab to make them more effective.
3. Exhibits that do not have anything to do with illustrating your theme and objectives. These exhibits can be planned for removal or, if in cases, re-developed for content.
4. New exhibits that will be needed to fill in the holes in your storyline presentation and better illustrate your current/new theme and total site objectives.

Week Three

Unit 6 - Planning for your rehab - Exhibit planning forms for each exhibit to be rehabbed. Using our Interpretive Exhibit Planning Forms, complete an analysis of just what you would like to do to update, edit or re-design each individual exhibit. This will include:

1. The sub-theme (from your interpretive plan) the exhibit will illustrate.
2. The objectives the rehabbed exhibit will be able to accomplish.
3. What it is you plan to do for the rehab (new photos, new text, create an interactive experience, add an audio device, etc.) keeping in mind what you can do in-house and at low cost.

Week Four

Unit 7- Planning and developing your new exhibit room/individual exhibit Implementation and Phasing Matrix/strategy, with cost estimates. Sample Implementation and Phasing Matrices will be provided as examples. Which exhibits do you want to work on first or put the most time, effort and limited budget into?

Unit 8 - The Exhibit Rehab Interpretive Exhibit Plan Document. In this last unit you combine all of the information from the previous units into one document that can be shared with others, used to find exhibit sponsors or used to write for grants to update your exhibits.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

John Veverka
Director, HITC

Course tuition and registration payment:

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