Interpreting Immigration at Museums and Historic Sites draws from the collective learning of the forty museums and historic sites that make up the Immigration and Civil Rights Network of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. Members of the Network have developed interpretive approaches that tap the power of place and history to open new dialogue on difficult subjects in a wide variety of contexts.
The title considers the questions: How can museums use their collections and key stories as starting points for audience engagement around immigration past and present? How can museums move beyond the "we are a nation of immigrants" narrative - a narrative that does not resonate for all audiences? How can museums make opportunities for safe, open dialogue on immigration accessible to all stakeholders including both new immigrants and receiving communities?
Interpreting Immigration includes strategies for the design, implementation, marketing and sustaining of programs that help visitors use the lens of history to address contemporary immigration issues and provides:
*Case studies from eight regionally diverse institutions including ethnic identity museums, immigration museums and local history sites
*Piloted and evaluated immigration program designs including models for exhibit development, art-based interpretation, school programs, adult programs and neighborhood walking tours
*Audience building strategies
*A tested evaluation toolkit for measuring institutional success
*Lessons learned through the National Dialogues on Immigration Project, a cross-regional series of public programs designed to spark a national conversation on critical immigration topics like citizenship, American identity, border control, freedom of movement, and civil liberties.
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages: 150
Weight: 531 g
Dimensions: 262 x 187 x 15 mm
Interpreting Immigration is a thoughtful look at some of the many ways the public history field is grappling with this challenging topic. Filled with solid program examples that can be replicated at sites large or small, this book will be a valuable resource for any site that interprets immigration. -- Tim Grove, co-author of the Museum Educator's Manual
This book is refreshing look at the narrative of immigration. Bailey and her contributors shift the perspective on immigration from the traditional narrative of progress to one that paints a more realistic picture of the struggles that immigrant groups continue to face. It also provides a model for history workers to truly present a collaborative narrative by balancing the power relationship between museums and their constituencies. -- Chris Taylor, chief inclusion officer, Minnesota Historical Society
Interpreting Immigration at Museums and Historic Sites is a useful guide for museum professionals in these challenging times. The case studies featured provide practical ideas for how museums and historic sites can use our nation's immigration stories to engage in meaningful dialogue about the complex issues that surround modern day immigration. This is a must read for those looking for inspiration on how to build inclusive museums with dynamic and relevant programming. -- Kate Whitman, VP of Public Programs, Atlanta History Center