5 Thoughts About Graffiti – Messages on the Landscape

Graffiti – is it vandalism or a message on the landscape, something that transcends time to bring a view of the past into the present? At what point does graffiti stop being a problem and become a valued artifact, and who gets to make that judgment? Here are some random thoughts generated by graffiti aroundContinue reading “5 Thoughts About Graffiti – Messages on the Landscape”

Finding The Sweet Spot

At some heritage sites interpretation is entertainment, doing little more than passing time for visitors or delivering information that will not be remembered. Helping people connect emotionally and intellectually with complex stories is a challenge. Experiences must be planned with specific objectives in mind.   Much of what we do in planning natural and culturalContinue reading “Finding The Sweet Spot”

The Mountain Gorilla Experience in Rwanda

Just one hour in the presence of mountain gorillas in the Virunga Volcanoes of E. Africa can make you rethink who and what you are. We just led an ecotour through the three national parks of Rwanda: Nyungwe in the southwest, Akagera in the northeast and Volcanoes in the northwest. At dinner on the lastContinue reading “The Mountain Gorilla Experience in Rwanda”

Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special

Think about Mardi Gras, and New Orleans comes to mind. Pamplona evokes images of the running of the bulls. Times Square in NYC seems to own New Year’s Eve. I noted several other cities with events but the big televised ones with strong brand identity were at Times Square. Special events help create a communityContinue reading “Five Ways to Keep Your Special Event Special”

Messages Matter

I just posted the video seen above on my Facebook page after Carolyn Widner Ward (thanks, Carolyn) posted it on hers. I had seen the original award-winning video, La Historia de un Letrero by Alonso Alvarez Barreda, several years ago (thanks to Eliezer Nieves-Rodriguez for the reminder and Dr. Sam Ham for the deep background on hisContinue reading “Messages Matter”

Five Strategies for Proactive Project Management

Have you ever dreaded the sound of your cell phone ringing, knowing that it brings yet another crisis or question that pushes your organization into confusion? Reactive organizations seem to be very common, especially among underfunded, overworked nonprofits and government agencies. It’s hard to get out front and steer the wagon, when the wagon’s alwaysContinue reading “Five Strategies for Proactive Project Management”

Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success

If you’re an interpreter or guide working on the front-line of an agency, organization or tour company, how do you evaluate your success on a daily basis? Is it the number of smiles you receive, the volume of the applause, the “good job” comments made by your peers or supervisors? More than a dozen yearsContinue reading “Program Scope Objectives, A Measure of Success”

Brain Research – Some Thoughts for Interpreters

Sperry’s famous research at Caltech on the “split-brain” was shared with the scientific community in the 1960s, and since then, numerous other studies have been done that provide more insight into the varied specialized functions of different parts of the human brain. These studies suggest that there is no simplistic explanation of “right-brained” and “left-brained”Continue reading “Brain Research – Some Thoughts for Interpreters”

Successful Partnerships and Shifting Perspectives

I recently had the opportunity to hear a dynamic speaker with an important message. Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a veterinarian and conservationist and listening to her talk about her work in her birth country of Uganda was inspiring in a number of ways. The unique organization she founded, Conservation through Public Health (www.ctph.org), provides wildlifeContinue reading “Successful Partnerships and Shifting Perspectives”

Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration

Communities employ varied strategies and tactics to create positive change. These  strategies are a starting point for communities seeking ways to collaborate and improve their tourism products and experiences. 1.    Assess what’s working and what is not – This usually requires a consultant who can serve as an objective observer. Analysis of the visitor experienceContinue reading “Eight Strategies for Community Collaboration”