Insights – Interpretation & Exhibit Design

106 Group Elevates Leadership with Series of Management Promotions

106 Group, a leading cultural heritage company, is excited to announce a strategic series of promotions across various management roles.

Historic Airports Q&A

Terminal expansions, runway repairs, hangar upgrades. These are just some of the many airport improvement projects that 106 Group historians and archaeologists contribute to at dozens of airports throughout the region.

Truth & Responsibility in Heritage Planning

CEO Anne Ketz introduces a framework for how to tell truthful stories in interpretive exhibits and heritage planning. She draws directly from the four notions of truth developed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission during the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa. This post is adapted from Anne’s virtual presentation for the 2023 ICOMOS Conference, held in Sydney, Australia.

Talking Tourism in Indian Country

Last month, Anne Ketz, the CEO of 106 Group, had the distinct honor of addressing an audience at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe. IAIA, an esteemed institution, stands as a beacon of progress in the ongoing empowerment of Native communities. Through its commitment to education, financial support, and the cultivation of self-sufficiency, IAIA exemplifies the transformation that is unfolding within Native communities nationwide.

Introducing: The 106 Group DEI Initiative

106 Group has long worked to identify, document, and support the voices, histories, and priorities of historically underrepresented communities. In an effort to further that work, we have spent the last year developing a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiative, which is being led by a DEI Working Group.

Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte Exhibition

106 Group is thrilled to share that we have been chosen to design a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Susan La Flesche Picotte, a member of the Omaha Tribe. Dr. Susan was the first Native American doctor. Born shortly after the Civil War, she dedicated her life to public health and land rights for her Omaha people.

Maggie Schmidt Rejoins 106 Group

Maggie Schmidt has rejoined 106 Group as Interpretation & Design Manager. In her new role, Maggie will lead our team in interpretive planning and exhibit development projects for cultural sites, parks, and museums.

How to Create Accessible Wayside Exhibits

How do you ensure that you are providing visitors with inclusive and accessible experiences? Where do you start when planning for interpretive waysides that are accessible to all?

What Does It Take To Plan And Design An Exhibit?

The creation of a long-term exhibit is a multi-step process. Take advantage of these steps to maximize opportunities for discovery that lead to brilliant, unique experiences for your visitors.

A Hybrid Model to Exhibit Design/Build

Working with the designers, fabricators, media companies, and artists in a single contract can be both efficient and creatively fruitful.

Exhibit Process Models: Considerations and Tips

So, you want to create an exhibit. How should you structure your planning process and contract? Here are some things you should know about Design versus Design/Build process (even if your contracting office doesn’t give you a choice).

Interpretation at Castillo de San Marcos National Monument

How do you interpret the history of a place older than the U.S.? Listen to our team’s conversation with the National Park Service at the 2020 National Association for Interpretation National Conference.

When is Historic Preservation Radical?

History is radical when it gives voice to a people whose history has been erased from the texts of human memory. This inspiring and provocative discussion was framed by the work and visions of Poindexter Village in Columbus, Ohio and the Alabama African-American Civil Rights Heritage Sites Consortium.

Tips to Ease Overcrowding at Parks and Sites

National, state, and regional parks have seen overwhelming numbers of visitors amid the pandemic. A dream on paper, this has a downside. Interpretation can be a part of the solution. Consider these strategies used by parks to protect the resources and keep visitors safe.

Flying Cloud Drive Project Wins Environmental Excellence Award

Award from the National Association of Environmental Professionals for NEPA and Planning Integration.

AASLH Presents Award of Excellence to 106 Group

We are honored to have been a contributor to the Saint Paul African American Historic and Cultural Context. The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) recently recognized this document with an Award of Excellence.

Poplar Forest: Truth and Reconciliation at Thomas Jefferson’s Retreat Home

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission that emerged during the dismantling of South Africa’s apartheid system acknowledged four kinds of truth as part of a societal healing process. See how these truths are reflected in recent interpretive planning at Thomas Jefferson’s retreat home, Poplar Forest.

Julie Davis Joins 106 Group

Julie Davis, PhD, has joined 106 Group as a Senior Interpretive Planner. In her new role, Julie will lead interpretive planning and exhibit development projects for cultural sites and museums.

National Park Week

Our interpretive planners and designers share some sights from their recent trip to Joshua Tree National Park, where we are developing new wayside exhibits.

Reclamation through Interpretation: One Community’s Path to Healing

Our historian follows one community’s path to healing in the wake of destruction by transportation infrastructure.

Arlington House: Telling a Wider Story at a Historic Site

Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial is a place of study and contemplation of some of the most difficult aspects of American history, including military service; sacrifice; citizenship; duty; loyalty; slavery, and freedom. New interpretative exhibits provide a more complex view of the historic site.

Accessibility in Design: A Journey through a Visitor’s Senses

What is accessibility and why is it so important? Through the lens of human senses, explore how you can be more effective at making exhibits for everyone.

St Paul African American Context: A Case Study

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.

Top Tips for Community Engagement

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.

Interpretation in Museums

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.

Translating “–ologist” into Great Interpretive Writing

This past week our team led a workshop-style session at NAI’s National Conference in Corpus Christi, TX.

Finding Common Ground

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.

Keep the Conversation Flowing

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.

How to Choose Interpretive Media for Your Outdoor Site

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.

Great River Gathering in St. Paul

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.

Interpreting Sites of Conscience

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.