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Place Matters: Site-Specific Interpretation

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Site-specific interpretation provides an authentic experience of place and creates a powerful lens into the legacy of an individual or cultural group. Providing visitors with a contextual experience is accomplished through methods tailored to each site’s unique characteristics. This session explores this idea in detail through four locations: the Basque Block Museum and Cultural Center, James Castle House, Hemingway House and Preserve, and the Suquamish Cultural District.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Place Matters: Site-Specific Interpretation

  1. 1. Place Matters: Site Based Interpretation WMA Annual Meeting 10-05-19
  2. 2. Introductions: Presenters: —— Kristen Hill-Cultural Sites Program Coordinator at the James Castle House —— —— Meggan Laxalt Mackey-Basque Cultural Studies Educator —— —— Mary Tyson-Director of Regional History/ The Community Library and Caretaker of —— The Mary and Ernest Hemingway House and Preserve —— —— Robin Little Wing Sigo-Director of Research & Strategic Development, Suquamish Tribe Moderator: —— —— Dakota Keene-Principal/Landscape Architect Mithun —— —— Special Thank You to Karen Bubb, Cultural Planner with the Boise City Department of Arts and History
  3. 3. National Nordic Museum
  4. 4. National Nordic Museum
  5. 5. Wanapum Heritage Center
  6. 6. Wanapum Heritage Center
  7. 7. Place Matters: Site Based Interpretation Site-Specific Interpretation-History and Living Culture as experienced in situ —— —— Cultural Equity-Intersections between four different institutions —— —— Shared Experience-Northwest Cultural Institutions and Districts
  8. 8. PLACE —— —— What is different for a visitor experiencing an institution located near or on the land upon which the subject matter occurred? —— —— Near or on the land where the people and culture being ‘interpreted’ lived and/or are still living? —— —— —— ——
  9. 9. DIALOGUE —— How can difficult events or current issues and experiences be more powerful when visitors are engaged with the physical location where those events occurred or are occurring? —— —— What is the responsibility of the museum to create comfort or allow discomfort around those topics? —— —— How is dialogue sparked? —— —— How can the conversation continue after the visit?
  10. 10. ENGAGE —— —— How can institutions that are not located near the locations related to their collection or visitor experience, engage and root that experience in place? —— ——
  11. 11. —— Kristen Hill —— —— Cultural Sites Program Coordinator at the James Castle House —— ——
  12. 12. —— Meggan Laxalt Mackey —— —— Basque Cultural Studies Educator
  13. 13. z LEKU ZENTZUA SENSE OF PLACE THE BASQUES IN BOISE, IDAHO
  14. 14. z EUSKAL HERRIA THE BASQUE COUNTRY ZAZPIAK BAT: THE SEVEN ARE ONE
  15. 15. z EUSKALDUNAK ANCIENT PEOPLE FROM AN ANCIENT PLACE Basque Country baserri. Photo courtesy University of Nevada, Reno, Douglass Center for Basque Studies library. ¥ ÒThose who speak BasqueÓ ¥ Language isolate ¥ Prehistoric evidence
  16. 16. z § Unknown origins § Unique blood types § Located along trade routes - survived Romans, Visigoths, Franks § Pyrenees and Bay of Biscay § Autonomous and communal § Women can inherit property, run businesses, and govern § Attempts at cultural repression and genocide throughout history HASERIAK “MYSTERY PEOPLE”z § Unknown origins § Unique blood types § Located along trade routes - survived Romans, Visigoths, Franks § Pyrenees and Bay of Biscay § Autonomous and communal § Women can inherit property, run businesses, and govern § Attempts at cultural repression and genocide throughout history HASERIAK “MYSTERY PEOPLE”
  17. 17. z ETXEA OLD WORLD PLACES: HOME AND COMMUNITY
  18. 18. z AMERIKANUAK MIGRATION TO THE AMERICAN WEST Opportunity for a better life
  19. 19. z ARDIAK ETA ETXEAK SHEEPCAMPS AND BOARDINGHOUSES A difficult immigrant life in a new country
  20. 20. z KULTURA TRANSFERRING CULTURE: THERE TO HERE Boardinghouses; Basque Center; Frontons; Basque Church Mateo and Adriana Arregui at their Modern Rooming House at 613.5 Idaho Street. Photo courtesy Basque Museum & Cultural Center, Boise, Idaho.
  21. 21. z PLACE MATTERS ¥ In Situ ¥ Cultural Preservation ¥ History and Culture ¥ Communal ¥ Educational ¥ Experiential BOISE, IDAHO TODAY: PRESERVING BASQUE CULTURE
  22. 22. z LEKUAK BOISE’S BASQUE PLACES Unique Visitor Experiences
  23. 23. z ¡ Boardinghouses, late1800s -1970s (52 in Boise) Cyrus Jacobs-Uberuaga House, 1864 (Jacobs not Basque) Bicandi, Galdos, Uberuaga, 1910 ¡ Morris Hill Cemetery, St. John’s Section, early 1900s ¡ Frontons (Basque handball courts) 1910-1914 ¡ Church of the Good Shepherd, 1919 ¡ Basque Center, 1949-1950 ¡ Basque Museum & Cultural Center, 1985 ¡ Boiseko Ikastola Preschool, 1998 ¡ Basque Block and Basque Mural, 2000 ¡ Basque Market, Bar Gernika, Leku Ona, Epi’s, Txikiteo (2000 - today) ¡ Festivals – San Inazio, Jaialdi, Basque Soccer Fest, Annual Picnics, San Juan Eguna, Diaspora Eguna, Euskara Eguna, Running of the Bars, Basque WineFest, Txakoli on the Block (1940s-today) LEKUAK PLACE MATTERS: EVOLUTION OF PLACE
  24. 24. z § Communal experiences § “Outsiders” welcomed § Local, accessible, safe KOMUNITATEA COMMUNITY MATTERS: THE BASQUE BLOCK
  25. 25. z “CELEBRATE + EDUCATE = PERPETUATE” OSPATU CELEBRATIONS MATTER: THE BASQUES
  26. 26. z IKASI EDUCATION MATTERS: CULTURAL LEARNING BASQUE MUSEUM & CULTURAL CENTER Museum, Uberuaga Boardinghouse, Ikastola Preschool - Library/Archives - Exhibits/Traveling displays - Student programs - Cultural events - Tours (Groups/Schools) - Website, virtual tour - Language classes - Education trunks - Teacher education - Off-site presentations - Music and dance - Gift shop
  27. 27. z IKUR ¥ Integral to visitor experience ¥ Visible cultural heritage ¥ Choosing to display ethnicity SYMBOLS MATTER: ETHNIC INTERPRETATION
  28. 28. z JANARIA & EDARIA FOOD MATTERS: ETHNIC AUTHENTICITY COMMUNITY PRIDE - ECONOMIC BENEFIT - DIVERSITY
  29. 29. z AURRERA THE FUTURE MATTERS: GOING FORWARD ¡ Cultural awareness, diversity, global experiences ¡ Interactive, interdisciplinary education ¡ Difficult stories: discrimination, racism, inequality, migration ¡ Sparking dialogue: using the past to teach the future
  30. 30. z ESKERRIK ASKO ! THANK YOU
  31. 31. —— Mary Tyson —— —— Director of Regional History/Community Library and Caretaker of —— The Mary and Ernest Hemingway House and Preserve
  32. 32. —— Robin Little Wing Sigo —— —— Director of Research & Strategic Development, Suquamish Tribe —— —— ——
  33. 33.  Reindigenizing Suquamish We Are Still Here Robin Little Wing Sigo, MSW
  34. 34.
  35. 35.  The Suquamish Tribe Return of Suquamish Shores - June 1, 1968 Lease Signed - 36 acres of prime real estate for $7,000/year - Controversy - “Only Members & Guests” - Backlash - Development Strategy - The Return
  36. 36.  Planning for the Future via Tribal Member Meetings - Grieving Process - Stories from the Past - All Possibilities - Where do they meet - Culturally Humble Partners - Create designs - Socialize - Start and Keep Going - Dynamic Plans
  37. 37.  Reindigenizing the Land through Presence & Education
  38. 38. —— What is different for a visitor experiencing an institution located near or on the land upon which the subject matter occurred? —— —— Near or on the land where the people and culture being ‘interpreted’ lived and/or are still living? —— —— How can difficult events or current issues and experiences be more powerful when visitors are engaged with the physical location where those events occurred or are occurring? —— —— What is the responsibility of the museum to create comfort or allow discomfort around those topics? —— —— How is dialogue sparked? —— —— How can institutions that are not located near the locations related to their collection or visitor experience, engage and root that experience in place?

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