“An event you want to have a life beyond itself. The event is cool but how does that live to the next year, or to the next ten years, or to the next generation. What propels that forward?”
Wendy lives in rural VT and came to history as a profession later in life. Her father was the family historian, and her family is full of storytellers, so history has been in her blood since birth. Wendy is the director at The fort at no. 4 which is an independent open air museum.
The purpose of Wendy’s work is to connect with her audiences and help them to see how the past relates to our current reality. For Wendy, it’s always the small mistakes, the little things that slip through the cracks, which are the hard part of planning an event. We discuss the difference of working with volunteers vs. working with employees. Communicating with volunteers and informing them of your overall plan and how they fit into it is always a challenge.
It is a challenge for Wendy to get enough volunteers for running an event. It’s also a challenge because there is a higher rate of attrition for volunteers because of many factors. We also discuss the benefit of utilizing technology to reach and communicate with younger audiences. It is difficult to find technology that works well with the purpose of your institution or group. Marketing is also tricky as the Fort grows and becomes a larger organization.
Wendy and I discuss how studying history gives us a unique perspective on freedom and independence. Wendy loves creating a frontier fort and town because of the control they had over their futures and the consequences of their choices. We also discuss the importance of maintaining a common outreach goal for your historical group so that you have a purpose for your work and events.
“How do we enrich the lives of the individuals who are no longer connected to this. How do we tell people that the conflicts they are experiencing are the same conflicts and may actually derive from the nonsense that went on in other eras. … We try to get people to be thoughtful and reconsidering their preconceived notions and going ah-ha, then we have done what we need to do in a small way.”
Links from today’s Show
Email: info at fortat4 dot com
Address: 267 Springfield Road, Charlestown, NH 03603
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