Films, Lectures, Symposia, and Workshops

Spring 2014:

April 14 2015 - Professional Development Workshop

Organized by NIU Museum Studies, Illinois Association of Museums, & Ellwood House Museum

Workshop funding is provided by the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the NIU School of Art and Design Visiting Artists and Scholars Program. In-kind support provided by the Ellwood House Museum. Logistical support provided by the Illinois Association of Museums.

Registration & Lunch

$50 per Workshop ($75 for both) IAM Members
$25 per Workshop ($40 for both) Students

Free for NIU Graduate Certificate in Museum Studies Program students, faculty, and staff; registration required. Email registration to by March 16.

Bring your own brown bag lunch.

Register at IAM Website or by Phone

Registration Deadline is April 9 2015

Workshop Location:

All events will be held in the Ellwood House Visitor Center.

The Ellwood House Museum address is 509 North First Street, DeKalb, IL 60115. The visitor center is located directly behind the Ellwood House mansion. From First Street drive west on Augusta Avenue and then bear right onto Linden Place. Just ahead you will see the entrance drive to Ellwood House Museum.

Museum Tours

Tours of the Ellwood House Museum will be held during the Lunch break from 12:00-1:30, and also from 3:30-5:00.

Workshop Leader
Max Van Balgooy

One of the national leaders in historical interpretation and community engagement, with extensive experience in developing solutions in collaboration with volunteers, staff, trustees, residents, scholars, design professionals, business leaders, and elected officials. Recognized researcher, author, and speaker on the trends, challenges, and opportunities facing museums, historic sites, and cultural organizations. Skilled facilitator and knowledgeable consultant for developing plans for business strategy, historical interpretation, public programming, marketing, and online media.

Program Schedule

9:00-9:30 - Check-In, Ellwood House Visitor Center

9:30-10:00 - Welcoming Remarks

10:00-12:00 - Interpretive Planning for Museums, Big and Small
Max Van Balgooy will provide an overview of the three basic elements of successful internpretation (content, audience, and method) and help participants assess their current situation and identity appropriate next steps--a process that works for any interpretive project at any museum.

12:00-1:30 - Lunch and Ellwood House Museum Tours

1:30-3:30 - Where Main Street Meets Madison Avenue
Max Van Balgooy will focus on “audience”
--one of the three basic elements of successful interpretation, but can be universally applicable to various types of museums--to help participants become better at identifying those audiences that should be a top priority (and those that shouldn’t be). Max will develop a profile of the community surrounding the Ellwood House Museum that participants will use during the workshop to guide a practical experience.

3:30-5:00 -  Ellwood House Mueseum Tours

5:00-6:00 - Does Your Place Matter? Making History Relevant and Meaningful to Americans
For the past two years, there has been a growing movement to make history more meaningful and relevant to Americans through the History Relevance Campaign. As a member of the steering committee, Max will share what has been learned from conversations at various confreneces around the country, as well as what has been accomplished and where we’re headed.