Museum Services Program staff conducts and works in partnership with other groups to provide training workshops on a variety of museum topics throughout the state.

National Ranching and Heritage CenterStrategic Planning WorkshopTexas Pharmacy MuseumAudience Development Workshop

Going Local: Creating Local History Exhibits Your Visitors Won't Forget

Thursdays, July 23 through August 20, 10:00-11:15 a.m. CT

This free, five-part online workshop series will teach you the fundamental skills and concepts you need to understand how to incorporate local history Texas stories into your exhibits – especially traveling exhibits. We’ll begin by reviewing the vast array of Texas history resources available to you, move on to discuss the fundamentals of interpretive planning and writing, and then, explore ways to make your exhibit text more engaging and thought-provoking to visitors. Once we’ve covered the basics, we’ll examine techniques for interpreting those difficult stories that make everyone squirm. Finally, we’ll end with a session on how to select the most compelling images available and create a visually appealing and engaging exhibit. By the end of this series, you’ll be well prepared to infuse your local history stories into any exhibit – traveling, temporary, or permanent!

Instructor Erin McClelland has 15 years of experience in the interpretation and exhibit planning field. She currently serves as the Director of Operations for MuseWork, a full-service exhibit planning and design firm in Austin. This workshop series is presented by the Smithsonian's Museum on Main Street program, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Historical Commission, and the Texas Association of Museums. 

Catch up on past weeks of this online series by watching the recording and downloading all of the resources.
Register now for the rest of the series.

Fact Sheet

Museum Services Fact Sheet

The links below are from workshops presented by or in collaboration with Museum Services.

The Road to Great Exhibits

Resources from this workshop series can be found on this page.

"Understanding Visitors and Audiences" Workshop Resources

Pre-Workshop Assignment
Handouts on Visitors and Audiences
Presentation Slides by Erin McClelland
Articles on Millenials and Gen Z

Real Places Conference 2019 Visitor Research Presentations

Understanding Potential Visitors and How to Get Them Through the Door by Colleen Dilenschneider
Happy Hours? Fun Runs? How to Successfully Diversify the Visitor Experience by Colleen Dilenschneider


"Writing for Impact" Workshop Resources

"Writing for Impact: Frameworks for Interpretive Writing" by Erin McClelland
Additional Resource List
"Personal Connections and the Great Cosmic Soup"
"A Practical Guide to Personal Connectivity"
"The Neuroscience of Your Brain on Fiction"
Meaningful Interpretation
Clues to a Great Story

"Selecting Strong Imagery for Interpretive Stories" Webinar Resources

"Selecting Strong Imagery for Interpretive Stories" by Erin McClelland
Resource handout

"Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion" Workshop Resources

"Learning to See Clearly: Removing Blindspots from Organizational Behavior" by Chris Taylor
Additional Resources List
Bias Self Evaluation
The Johari Window
Teaching Tolerance
White Supremacy Culture
Implicit Association Test
Incluseum Article

"Becoming a Champion for Museums" Workshop Resources

Presentation Part I: Advocacy Primer
Preservation Part II: Articulating the Case for Change
Preservation Part III: Engaging Diverse Stakeholders to Lead Change
Additional Resources List
Fast Facts: Advocacy & Lobbying
Advocacy Capacity Tool
Articulating the Case for Change: Communications Toolkit
Engaging Diverse Stakeholders to Lead Change--A Worksheet