Contact: Priscilla Brendler 
GHHN (Greater Hudson Heritage Network) is honored to enter into a partnership with the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area for $30,000 to support the Harnessing the Power of Stories Workshop and Webinar Series.

"Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone."*

Museums are all about stories! Storytelling is the oldest and most engaging method of communicating information and ideas ever devised. Museum collections have many stories to tell and can be used as anchors and triggers for a huge range of stories. Storytelling, an inspired art, is one of the most effective tools we can use when we serve to engage our audiences.  Museums are often seen as places of learning associated with the presentation of historical dates, facts and figures. However, they are also places where curiosity is invoked and where wondrous things can be discovered. The museum experience should engage visitors  with hands-on  and 
minds-on  activities, storytelling, employ historical  imagery, and evoke the spirit of historical persons from  the past. To create truly memorable museum experiences, sites must invest in their staff - especially the interpreters who are the front line of museums as they engage with visitors more than any other staff member. 

To address this need, GHHN will present a three-part workshop and three-part webinar training series. Scheduled for the 2019, each workshop and webinar is meant to work in tandem providing a structural scaffold in which to aid in the development of creating an engaging interpretive experience. In this series, participants will explore the craft and applications of storytelling, theater and living history concepts to gain insight into the key elements of an engaging narrative. 

"GHHN is grateful to the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area for their gracious support and partnership. The  Harnessing the Power of Stories Series seeks to hone the interpretive skills needed by guide staff to create truly memorable museum experiences and help them become more confident, creative, and connected storytellers," said Priscilla Brendler, Executive Director of GHHN.

"Partnering with GHHN to provide these unique trainings illustrates the unique cooperative framework of the National Heritage Area program at its very best: harnessing federal resources to encourage engaging, homegrown initiatives that promote the many historic and cultural assets of the entire Hudson Valley," said Scott Keller, Acting Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.

Workshop/Webinar One
INTERPRETERS AS STORYTELLERS: Shaping the Narrative, Sharing the Story
Tom Lee, Consultant Educator and Storyteller 

Workshop: Spring 2019
Webinar: Fall 2019
Every compelling story, from the simplest to the most complex, can be distilled down to a few basic and common components. Participants will gain insights into identifying the structure or "bones" of any story and how they can enrich their tour programs by applying this view of story structure to a range of stories embedded in their tours. Biographical sketches, the chronology of the construction of a house, the political and economic forces in play at any period of history, as well as popular stories and folktales can be shaped into compelling, engaging stories.

Workshop/Webinar Two
CONNECTING COLLECTIONS AND AUDIENCE: The Theater-Artists' Approach to telling the story of the objects in the collection
Sean McNall - Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival 

Workshop: Spring 2019

Webinar: Fall 2019
The history field often overlooks the art of theater when developing historic interpretation. The skills taught in theater provides effective forms of thinking for historic interpretation and audience engagement. In this workshop, fun and challenging-theater based activities will be explored through voice and movement exercises, acting techniques, improvisation, and facilitated reflection to invite participants into the process of telling stories about the objects in the museum.

Workshop/Webinar Three
Kandie Carle, Artistic Director East Haddam Stage Company and Living History Performance Artist

Workshop: Summer 2019

Webinar: Fall 2019
Living history interpretation is an educational medium where staff use performance to create a world, tell a story, stimulate learning, engage the senses and teach lessons through interpretation, clothing styles, pastimes, handicrafts, and reenactments. Visitors are transported to another time and place in their imaginations where they experience the past. 'Fleshing out' history, whether it be in a museum setting, or in a house, indoor or out, this workshop will take participants through active ways to create, launch, and maintain a living history interpretation. Whether it be first-person or third, whether you are the interpreter, or the training partner for staff, this comprehensive and interactive workshop will help participants feel comfortable with making history live.


About Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area
The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area program was established by Congress in 1996 and is funded through the National Park Service and Department of the Interior. The mission of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is to recognize, preserve, protect and interpret the nationally significant historic, cultural and natural resources of the Hudson River Valley for the benefit of the Nation. The Hudson River Valley Greenway is the management entity for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. Visit for more information on the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area.
About GHHN (Greater Hudson Heritage Network)
GHHN is the statewide 'go-to' service organization for responsive assistance, interpretation and collections care. Our program services are local, professional and statewide. GHHN offers grants, workshops, webinars, consultations, technical assistance, a resource network and professional development opportunities to advance the work of historical societies, historic house museums, heritage centers, historic sites, archives and libraries.

* Jennifer Aaker, Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business