Reimagining the Historic House Museum (June 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: Thursday, June 22, 2023

LOCATION: Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, 145 E. Main Street, Lancaster, Ohio 43130

COST: $200 AASLH Members / $325 Nonmembers 

EARLYBIRD RATE: $150 AASLH Members / $275 Nonmembers; Must register by April 24, 2023 to receive the Early-Bird rate. 

OPEN REGISTRATION: October 10, 2022 - May 22, 2023; 35 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


Agenda and Logistical Information
Reimagining the Historic House Museum
06/22/2023 at 8:30 AM (EDT)   |  9 hours  |  Attendance Required
06/22/2023 at 8:30 AM (EDT)   |  9 hours  |  Attendance Required
Reinventing the Historic House Museum - Handout - Agenda
Open to download resource.
Open to download resource.
Workshop Materials
Hand Outs 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. 

Food and Drink

Food and drink are allowed in the classroom area. 

AASLH will provide lunch and an AASLH staff member will be in contact closer to the event date.


Accessible parking and entrance are located off Bank Alley on the Northeast corner of the property. 


All floors accessible by elevator. If you have accessibility needs, please contact Matt Arthur, AASLH's Professional Development Manager, at

Safety and Cleaning Protocols

  • If you are experiencing signs of illness, cough, difficulty breathing, fever etc, or have had contact with a person with Covid-19, please do not enter the Museum at this time.
  • Face masks are welcomed during your visit to the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio. Single use masks are available free of charge inside the lobby. Thank you for helping protect our visitors, volunteers, and staff! 
  • If there are guests in the lobby, please wait outside before entering.
  • Number of guests inside the Museum, at any one time, is limited. You may be asked to wait before entering the lobby.
  • We ask that you observe social distancing (six feet apart) while in the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout the Museum.
  • The Museum has updated cleaning protocols and upgraded our HVAC system. 

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