All my life, I’ve thought of teaching as an act of translation. Whether in journalism, legal, medical, or museum work, teaching can take many forms, but all involve the process of taking complex subjects and breaking them down for others to more easily understand.
Additionally, I observed early in my career that the people who learn the most from timelines, exhibits, or books, are the people who write, research, and build them. My approach to teaching, no matter whether it is on a personal or an institutional level, is built on that belief.
In the museum field, where we everything we do is “for the public good,” we have to find ways to raise awareness, build skills, and understand our personal and institutional core purpose. A “core purpose” answers the question of why we do what we do. It identifies why we exist. It keeps us going when frustration and burnout take hold.
Doing talks in galleries, classrooms, dance halls, libraries, and bookstores is great fun. I enjoy meeting a panorama of interesting people. I am currently offering book talks on topics related to World War II and THE TAIL GUNNER’s backstory. Additionally, I provide workshops on writing, historical research, and caring for family collections.
I’m happy to work with your organization to best fit a talk to your needs and interests.
For the last two years, I have taught Museum Studies and Cultural Arts Administration at University of Washington Tacoma. These classes form the foundation for the Museum Studies minor at the university and help students expand their knowledge of what kinds of museums exist and what forces are at play in the creation of nonprofit cultural organizations. The Lile Files site is our classroom reference and blog site.
I frequently give presentations at various museum conferences. I recently presented with a wonderful panel of museum professionals at the American Alliance of Museums conference, and presented a workshop for the National Association for Interpretation.