Creating Artist-in-Residence Programs to Enliven your Historic Site (April 2023) - Recorded Webinar

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Webinar Description 

Historic sites are looking for new and creative strategies to engage with their audiences and build relevance with their communities. Contemporary artists (authors, musicians, visual artists, etc.) can help reimagine historic sites, narratives, and interpretations that engage and broaden audiences.  This session will discuss best practices, share agreements and process documents, and successful examples of Artist-in-Residence programs that address social issues.

Learning Outcomes

This session will allow attendees to:

1. Understand how their site can use strategically designed Artist-in-Residence programs to increase community engagement, tell untold stories, draw new audiences, and create/strengthen relationships with artists and other organizations. 

2. Learn how to develop an AiR program. Review best practices for creating a program including setting goals, expectations, budgeting, and involving boards, staff, and volunteers throughout the process.  

3. Examine mini case studies including one AiR program that addressed race by telling the untold history of a site through the words of the artist (Richard Haynes) and one of the program administrators (Ken Turino) in order to consider how other sites might employ similar strategies to tell diverse stories at your site. 

There will be sample contracts available as a handout but do not have time to go into these in detail.

Target Audience

This session and research shows that historic sites of all sizes and budgets can take on an AiR program. These presentations should appeal to site administrators, curators, and those staff responsible for interpretation and community engagement.

Suggested Reading

Attendees may benefit from reading Technical Leaflet #229: “Creating Artist-in-Residence Programs at Historic Sites” before the webinar.

Connecting the Content 

This 60-minute webinar is open to anyone but will especially help organizations enrolled in STEPS address Audience (Aud) 1 (The institution identifies current and potential audiences it serves, and makes appropriate decisions in how it serves them), 3 (The institution demonstrates a commitment to providing the public with physical and intellectual access to the institution and its resources) and 5 (The institution is committed to providing a high level of basic visitor services and makes continued improvements in the delivery of those services).

The Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations (STEPS) is a self-study, self-paced assessment tool designed specifically for small- to mid-sized history organizations, including volunteer-run institutions. Through a workbook, online resources, and an online community, organizations enrolled in STEPS review their policies and practices and benchmark themselves against national standards.



COST: $5 - Members/$15 - Non-members

ACCESS: You will be provided with instructions on how to access the live event upon registration.

Recording and Captioning

This is a recorded event. Captioning, provided by the Zoom client, are included in the recording.

How to Register

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event. 

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. 

Rebecca Beit-Aharon

Graduate Student at UMass Boston

Rebecca Beit-Aharon is a graduate student at University of Massachusetts Boston pursuing a Master’s in History (Public History Track). Currently, she served as Ken Turino’s research intern and as a graduate assistant with Professor Jane Becker. Her other experience includes two years as an editorial assistant for the New England Quarterly, interning with the National Park Service at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site in fall 2019, and working as an educator at the Old North Church in summers 2019 and 2021. In May 2020, she graduated summa cum laude from UMass Boston, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History. Rebecca has earned three awards for her research, including the Kingston-Mann Achievement Award for Excellence in Diversity/Inclusion Scholarship in January 2020.


As the research intern for Artist in Residence: Contemporary Art and Interpretation at Historic Sites, Rebecca has been working with Ken since August 2020. She researched existing artist-in-residence programs and other uses of contemporary art in the public history world and beyond. She also developed and conducted interviews of both site administrators and artists.

Click here for instructions on how to register yourself or another user for this event. 

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Cancellation/Refunds 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.

Cancellations/Refunds for online professional development (webinars and online courses) 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 start date for the online course or the day of the webinar will be given a full refund. No refund will be given after the start date for the online course or on/after the day of the webinar. Registrants may transfer their registration to another person. Registrations cannot be transferred between courses or course sessions. AASLH is not responsible for cancellations that were mailed or emailed but never received.

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