On the east side of Saint Paul, Minnesota, at the base of an impressive bluff line, is a cave that the Dakota call Wakan Tipi and that Euro Americans have named Carver’s Cave. This cave has long held importance for both cultures, but its significance is no longer apparent to visitors.
Three of 106 Group's architectural historians attended the Society of Architectural Historians' annual conference in Saint Paul from April 18-22. Here are their thoughts and reflections on the conference as well as downloadable copies of the papers they presented.
At the heart of Saint Paul’s African American history is the Rondo neighborhood. That history is often excluded from mainstream documentation. Now, the Aurora Saint Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation is trying to change that.
Steve Boyd-Smith, Creative Director at 106 Group, is the recipient of the NAI Heartland Region’s 2018 Master Interpretive Manager Award. Steve’s decades of interpretive experience have enriched 106 Group’s work around the country. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on his long career and what interpretation might look like in the future.
In honor of World Heritage Day, Communication Associate Michael Swearingen sat down with two of our employees to talk about their favorite heritage sites and 106 Group project work.
Regine Kennedy shares her top community engagement tips after attending the Minnesota Transportation Conference. After years of experience in the fields of engagement and interpretation, Kennedy brings new light to this incredibly valuable service.
Presenters at the engagement panel shared their expertise to create meaningful conversation surrounding best practices.
Our very own Chris Evans reflects on the state of interpretation in museums. With interviews from industry leaders, Evans discusses the common practice of leaving exhibits intentionally void of interpretation, where interpretation has a foothold in the museum industry, and tips for interpreters who find themselves working with/for museums.
This past week our team led a workshop-style session at NAI’s National Conference in Corpus Christi, TX. We often work with content experts to develop exhibits. And it can be a challenge to peel away layers of complex details to get to the meaningful stuff: how to help visitors find, do, or understand what’s right in front of them. During this session, we used best practices of plain language as a guide for writing better interpretive labels. Participants learned how to organize research with a content mapping worksheet, develop story with sensory cues, and edit for clarity. Feel free to download and share our presentation slides and content mapping worksheet.
The Interpret Europe: Mechelen 2016 conference recently explored how heritage interpretation can help evolving communities approach issues such as human rights, peace, and active citizenship. Anne Ketz' paper, "Interpretive Planning Methods and Processes as an Effective Mechanism for Community Building," was presented at the conference. Through her work with historically disenfranchised groups in the United States, Anne reflects on lessons learned from the interpretive planning process. Her recommendations have worldwide applications for breaking down stereotypes, building empathy, and working toward reconciliation.
106 Group senior designer Chris Evans joined a team of panelists to present "Stronger Together: How Digital Media Adds Layers to Guided Interpretation" at the National Association for Interpretation’s 2015 Annual Workshop in Virginia Beach. This packed session generated a lively discussion among interpreters about the rising use of digital media. Our post-conference living document captures the ongoing conversation about creative uses of technology at historic sites.
How can we develop community workshops that get beyond the buzzwords and create truly meaningful collaboration with diverse audiences? Our senior exhibit developer, Maggie Schmidt, calls for building capacity—skills, knowledge, and authority—with all participants involved. Her article, "Beyond Tokenism: Working Toward Respectful Community Partnerships", appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of NAI's Legacy Magazine.
Many people have the same questions about choosing interpretive media. Which media is best for my story? What resources do I need? How do I get started? Let’s ask a few key questions, consider some details, and point you in the right direction to select media for your outdoor site.
In a rapidly changing world where local communities are becoming more diverse, and needing to be more holistic in their thinking, public engagement can get people talking, learning from each other, and working together to identify problems and create solutions. Community planners often struggle to effectively reach out and engage a broad spectrum of the community. It is important to extend beyond the typical meeting-goers. What about the young, the elderly, the new immigrants, and so many others who typically do not attend public meetings? Here are our top 10 suggestions.
We have been participating in the Great River Gathering for many years. Over this time, 106 Group has been a proud participant in dozens of successful redevelopment projects in St. Paul. From the construction of the new Wabasha Bridge to the redevelopments of Harriet Island and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. Our work includes award-winning interpretation at the restored St. Paul Municipal Grain Terminal to St Paul’s first preservation plan.
What does it mean to call a place a site of conscience? While the word conscience has associations with fairness and justice, the stories surrounding these sites most often describe situations where there was an overwhelming lack of both these things. Regine Kennedy’s presentation explores the challenges of interpreting sites of conscience through a series of project case studies.
Regine Kennedy and Chris Evans presented "Listen Up! Providing Accessible Interpretation with Audio" at the National Association for Interpretation 2012 National Workshop. Download the brochure, presentation, and paper.
Anne Ketz & Nathan Moe gave a presentation on "Leveraging Cultural Heritage for Community Identity and Economic Development" for the Regional APA Conference in September 2012.
Greg Mathis gave a presentation to the Minnesota SHPO Seminar on the 106 Group's documentation of one of the earliest sewers built in Minnesota and the first on the east side of the Mississippi River.