“Knowing the material you are talking about at a really great depth and then being able to use that to be able to put these connections together and to place things that might seem unplaceable to others.”
Our Guest today is Gavin Kleespies. He has been working in public history for the past 25 years. Gavin has worked for six different organizations over the years and served as the executive director of two of them. He enjoys finding new ways to connect people to the history around them. In that time he has worked in local historical societies diving deep into the unique stories of the area. He now works at The Massachusetts Historical Society (The MHS), and there tackles approximately 50 events per year of various sizes.
Gavin and I talk about the challenges of working in history and striving to present a depth of knowledge in a manner that the public can understand easily and quickly. We discuss the similarities of history and economics and how the two studies overlap quite often. Sometimes it can be hard to get people interested in different topics in history, especially when they have a preconceived notion of what to expect.
As with any historical entity Gavin wears multiple hats at The MHS, he organizes events for members and anyone who wishes to attend, he works on planning new exhibits, and he works to reach out to different organizations and colleges in the local area. Gavin and his team work to develop new events that explore new topics; these events often become more involved with outside people and elaborate ideas. For Gavin the logistics side of events is time-consuming but simple, it’s the idea generation side of his work that is more challenging.
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