Article for ALHFAM Proceedings

In May 2021, we spoke at the annual Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museum (ALHFAM)’s conference, which was virtual this year. Our topic was “Operational Sustainability: How Innovative Programming Can Strengthen and Sustain Historic Sites.”  Our presentation along with Heidi Schlag who represented the C &O Canal Trust, one of the case studies in the second edition of New Solutions for House Museums, gave an overview of three historic sites that had reprogrammed their site for mission-based uses. While our presentation was recorded for later use on the ALHFAM web site, we were also asked to prepare our presentation for inclusion in the organization’s long-standing Proceedings publication, due out in December 2021. Below is the blurb about our presentation and publication.

Can your site develop new innovative operating models to move towards sustainability? Learn from three innovative examples from the new second edition of New Solutions for House Museums (by Donna Ann Harris) that illustrate how reprogramming for mission-based uses can strengthen a site’s operational and financial sustainability and add vitality to community life. We can find clues in the successful experiences of the Alice Paul Institute serving as a leadership center for women and girls, the Canal Quarters Program offering immersive overnight experiences, and the Nantucket Historical Association rehabilitating a house for use as a workshop space for decorative arts and crafts.