Over the last several months, we've been doing a bit of reshuffling within some of our administrative staff positions. As is so often the case, it all starts with money. Last summer, when we started thinking about the budget, we started to ask some different questions. Like most organizations, personnel is the largest chunk to consider. Were we spending that money in the best, most efficient way? Were we getting the job done with the positions we had? We know we need to grow our staff (and suspect that growth is coming with our changing neighborhood), but we also know that wouldn't happen right away. But was there a way to position ourselves in such a way to make that growth smoother? We started making some decisions and plans and began to roll out the changes last fall. Ov ..
If you visited us last spring or summer, someone might have asked you to take a survey. Over 200 of you said yes! We thanked you profusely at the time, but we’re thanking you again. The results of that survey will shape Dallas Heritage Village for years to come. Last year, through a grant from the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation (http://kingfoundation.com/), we joined a group of museums nationwide that said “Yes, we really do want to know what our visitors think about us.” The American Association for State and Local History (http://www.aaslh.org/) sponsors the Visitors Count program (http://tools.aaslh.org/visitors-count/), an extensive survey that helps us learn more about ourselves, as well as how we compare to other museums nationally. ..
Lately, we’ve been thinking some mighty big thoughts at DHV. To be perfectly honest, it seems like everyone in our neighborhood is thinking big thoughts. Four Corners Brewing opened their new location on Ervay Street (one of our borders) a few weeks ago. The Ambassador Hotel is getting ready to start a major renovation. There’s even talk of the nation’s first high speed rail coming in just a few blocks from DHV. Among all of these entities, we’re like the stable grandmother. As an institution, we’ve been an anchor of the Cedars neighborhood since 1969, when Millermore opened. But our land, the first City Park in Dallas, is the reason why this neighborhood exists. In the talk of all that’s new in the Cedars, our story is somehow neglected. ..
Guest post by History Host, Aidan Wright Dallas Heritage Village has started a new activity on Saturdays: The Learning Cart. This cart will regularly be filled with items of historical interest, that the public is encouraged to explore with their eyes and their hands. Oftentimes when someone asks to see something, they don’t really mean just to stare at it, but they want to pick it up and turn it around and explore every side. At the Learning Cart a constantly changing selection of 19th century items will delight your sight and touch. The letters along the side of the Learning Cart help to round out the senses by referring to a product that appeals to the senses of taste, hearing, and smell. “Coca-Cola” loudly proclaims the cart-sides in the ..
History museums and villages sometimes have the stigma that you can only do have programs and events that fit within your time period. But that is not true. I helped present a session at last year’s Texas Association of Museums annual conference titled “Knocking Off the Dust: New Approaches to Programming at Historic House Museums” and it was mind opening and exciting to see and hear what other institutions are doing that are outside the box. It can be nerve wracking to do something different. Will people show up? Will they be upset? Will we get push back? But, you will never know if it is a smashing success unless you try. And that’s what I have been doing with our educational programming and events. Sure, some of our unique programming has ..