Sustainability, Relevance and the Future - Day 2 / Panel 4 - How Can Telling Everyone’s Story Help My Site Be More Relevant? - Summit Recording
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Since 2007, much of the historic house museum field has embraced broader interpretation of their sites. Curators and interpreters are digging deep in their archives and site histories to include the stories of the enslaved, paid domestic workers, and people whose stories were repressed or ignored because it involved something controversial such as mental illness or LGBTQ+ relationships. This session will highlight sites that have changed their interpretation to be more inclusive and how it has impacted their organization’s ability to connect to audiences in and out of their local community.
Director of Equitable Partnerships Belle Meade Historic Site and Winery, Nashville, TN
Brigette Jones is currently the Curator of Social History for the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville. Tennessee. Her work includes the preservation and interpretation of the vast social histories of the many diverse cultures that inhabit the state of Tennessee, including but not limited to, African American history, Latino history, and Middle Eastern history. Ms. Jones is a Memphis native and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the historically Black, Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2019, she gained certification through the National Association of Interpretation and the Smithsonian Institute: National Museum of African American History and Culture to become an official interpreter of the African American experience. Most recently, she served as Director of African American Studies for the Belle Meade Plantation Museum in Nashville, where her academic focus was primarily on the lasting legacy of American chattel enslavement on Tennesseans and surrounding areas.
As of 2019, Ms. Jones has established Bridge Builders Historical Consulting, LLC, where she provides genealogical research and interpretive design for museum sectors, as well as conducting public speaking engagements and serving as keynote speaker on the history and legacy of Southern race relations. The final component of her work is in the realm of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion where she offers training for various companies such as Tennessee Department of Transportation, Reebok Inc. and Tommy Hilfiger Inc. to improve cultural competency and social awareness within the workplace. Her trainings focus on addressing implicit and unconscious bias from a historical perspective in efforts of allowing trainee(s) to understand the root of community bias and how it has been fostered, with specific focus on the American South.
Her work has been recognized by the Smithsonian Institute, NPR, The Tennessean, Nashville Scene, The Commercial Appeal, and Garden and Gun Magazine where she was named one of the 2019 “30 Southern Heroes”. To follow Ms. Jones and learn more about her work, her LinkedIn profile can be accessed here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brigette-janea-jones-2a139490/ .
Ahmad Ward (Moderator)
Executive Director, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, Hilton Head, SC
South District Visitor Services Supervisor, George Washington Memorial Parkway, McLean, VA
Brahnam Family Descendant
Arlington House, Arlington, VA
Emily Dickinson House, Amherst, MA
Gray Family Descendant, Arlington House, Arlington, VA
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