Reimagining the Historic House Museum (April 2023) - Onsite Workshop

  • Registration Closed


The one-day workshop, Reimagining the Historic House Museum includes an analysis of the most important opportunities and threats facing historic sites in America based on the latest social and economic research, with a discussion on how they may relate to the participants’ house museum. We share a series of field-tested tools and techniques drawn from such wide-ranging sources as non-profit management, business strategy, and software development. Drawing from innovative organizations, we profile historic sites that are using new models to engage with their communities to become more relevant, are adopting creative forms of interpretation and programming, and earning income to become more financially sustainable. A key component of the workshop is a facilitated brainstorming session to reinvent an event or program. Working with an actual house museum not only puts theory into practice but demonstrates the value of multiple perspectives for analysis.

Why should I attend?

Historic house museums face a wide range of challenges in today’s continually changing environment. Traditional methods no longer seem to be as successful but new approaches seem uncertain or risky.  By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to analyze their operations, programs, and events to make better informed decisions, learn how to use a variety of tools and techniques that can be applied to a wide range of activities at museums big and small, identify ways to make their house museum more distinctive and relevant, and feel more confident to try new and different approaches.

Topics include:

  • Recognizing the Myriad Challenges Facing House Museums Today
  • Conducting a Holistic Assessment of Your House Museum’s Public Programs
  • Analyzing the Five Forces that Affect Public Programs and Events
  • House Museums That Are Successfully Reinventing Themselves
  • Discovering Your House Museum’s Unique Value and Distinctiveness


SESSION DATE: Saturday, April 1, 2023

LOCATION: The Gamble House, 4 Westmoreland Pl, Pasadena, CA 91103

COST: $200 AASLH Members / $325 Nonmembers 

EARLYBIRD RATE: $150 AASLH Members / $275 Nonmembers; Must register by February 1, 2023 to receive the Early-Bird rate. 

OPEN REGISTRATION: October 1, 2022 - March 1, 2023; 25 participant limit. Workshops typically fill up before the registration deadline, so register early.


FORMAT: In-person, group workshop

LENGTH: One day (8:30 am - 5:00 pm)

MATERIALS: Workshop materials will be provided upon registration and in-person at the event.

CREDIT: Registrants that attend and participate in the full day of the workshop will earn a Certificate of Completion from AASLH.

Who Should Attend This Workshop

Board members, staff, and volunteers who manage house museums and historic sites or who develop public programs and events. This workshop is designed for organizations large and small who are seeking to increase the impact and sustainability of their house museum, as well as for paid or volunteer staff who want to expand their professional skills.

Participant Feedback

This workshop has been incredibly helpful to the host sites, who serve as the case study for the brainstorming session:

“Reinventing the Historic House Museum sparked many great ideas on how we can use our historic homes in dynamic, innovative ways. Since attending the workshop, we have implemented many changes, including a new self-guided tour with interactive elements that have increased our attendance and engaged the public in brand new ways.”

Sarah Bader-King, Director of Public Programming & Events,
Wornall/Majors House Museums, Kansas City, Missouri

Reinventing the Historic House Museum helped us visualize how the Margaret Mitchell House could connect with the community around us. While the site was very popular with tourists, we were hidden in plain sight from our own community. Our goal was to discuss the challenges we faced and to pursue practical solutions. The workshop allowed us to collaborate with area professionals and hear from colleagues facing similar challenges. We left the workshop with good ideas and a commitment to reimagine our site. As a result of that work we have increased visibility in the community, created programming relevant to the neighborhood, and are partnering with area organizations to become a community resource and connector.”

Jessica Van Landuyt, Director of 20th Century Houses,
Atlanta History Center, Atlanta, Georgia

Ken Turino

Manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development, Historic New England

Ken Turino is Manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development at Historic New England and on the faculty of Tufts University in the Museum Studies Department where he teaches courses on Exhibition Planning and Historic House Museums. Ken is a curator, educator, director, producer, and author. His films were shown on PBS including the prize winning, “Back to School: Lessons from Norwich's (VT) One-Room Schoolhouses.” Ken numerous public history articles include many with a focus on interpreting historic sites and on LGBTQ+ history. Ken’s most recent publication’s include “Creating Artist-in-Residence Programs at Historic Sites”  AASLH Technical Leaflet #299 with Rebecca Beit-Aharon published in 2022 and with Max van Balgooy,  Reinventing the Historic House Museum, New Approaches and Proven Solutions, editors, for Rowman & Littlefield in 2019. With Max van Balgooy he is currently working on a book on Interpreting Christmas and winter holidays at historic sites and museums.

For AASLH, Ken and Max van Balgooy teach a workshop “Reinventing the Historic House Museum.” Ken frequently consults on interpretive planning and community engagement projects at historic sites. These include Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee, James Madison’s Montpelier in Orange, Virginia, and Trent House in Trenton, New Jersey. Ken holds an MAT from George Washington University. He was awarded an Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from Salem State University in 2008. Currently, Ken is President of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association in Salem, Massachusetts. 

Max A. van Balgooy


Engaging Places LLC

Max A. van Balgooy is co-editor of Reimagining Historic House Museums: New Approaches and Proven Solutions, a new anthology of two dozen essays by leaders in the field, and director of the History Leadership Institute, which provides professional development for mid-career and advanced professionals working in history organizations. These experiences provide a rich source of ideas for Engaging Places LLC, where he blogs occasionally about the opportunities and challenges facing historic sites and house museums. 


Agenda and Logistical Information
Reimagining the Historic House Museum
04/01/2023 at 8:30 AM (PDT)   |  9 hours  |  Attendance Required
04/01/2023 at 8:30 AM (PDT)   |  9 hours  |  Attendance Required
Reinventing the Historic House Museum - Handout - Agenda
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Workshop Materials
Handouts for the Workshop
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.

If you have any questions, please contact AASLH Professional Development staff at or 615-320-3203.

Onsite Workshop Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellations for onsite workshops must be submitted in writing via email to or mail to 2021 21st Ave S., Suite 320 Nashville, TN 37212. Cancellations made prior to the early-bird registration deadline date will receive a full refund. Cancellations made between the early-bird deadline date and eight days prior to the workshop will be subject to a $55 processing/materials charge. No refunds will be given within seven days of the workshop date. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

This excludes HLI Programs.