First Person Interpretation in Theory and Practice


This interactive workshop will offer a variety of perspectives on First Person interpretation as a Museum teaching tool. We will spend some time considering the theory and benefits/shortcomings of first person, as well as the variety of living history models currently practiced in Museums. Then, using our content and model at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, we will engage in the process of developing a first-person persona, and participate in a multi-sensory character-building workshop. We will also focus on how to shift a third-person program or space into the first person, and the ways in which educators can incorporate elements of first-person interpretation and role play to strengthen the emotional dimension of a third-person narration.

Facilitator, Sarah Litvin is the Senior Education Associate for Exhibit Development at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. She has worked in public history since receiving her B.A. from Oberlin College in 2007. As Oral Historian at the Institute of Southern Jewish Life, she traveled the South interviewing Jewish community members and managing an audio-visual archive of their stories. At the Tenement Museum, she directs living history and accessibility. She has tripled the size of the Museum’s living history programming by creating three new programs, and has presented on the Tenement model at several national conferences. She was also a project team member for the Museum’s newest permanent exhibit, Shop Life, which opened in December, 2012. In addition to her Museum work, Sarah is a free-lance journalist, and has been published by the Jackson Free Press, English- and Yiddish-language Jewish Forward and the New York Jewish Week.

This workshop is open to the public and registration is required. Registration fee is waived for Brown and RISD Students. This workshop is part of the Public Humanities Professional Development Series. 

Please visit this page for registration details.