Exhibiting Skills: Exhibition Development for Informal Educators


Call for applications

Workshop dates: Feb. 5-11, 2014


  • Free professional development
  • Plant-centered exhibit development workshop
  • Collaborative small-group work
  • Travel and lodging costs reimbursed

Exhibiting Skills: Exhibition Development for Informal Educators



Join the Huntington’s award-winning exhibition team for the fourth of five intensive workshops on the fundamentals of developing botanical exhibits. Be one of ten participants from a broad range of experiences and backgrounds to spend a week learning and working in a team-oriented setting surrounded by 120 acres of gardens. From concept through evaluation, you will develop unfacilitated and interactive prototypes of living plant exhibits.


You will gain:

  • insight into the development of the award-winning exhibition Plants are up to Something in the Rose Hills Foundation Conservatory for Botanical Science;
  • knowledge about interpretive planning, the processes that shape living-plant exhibitions, and the motivations of museum visitors;
  • skills in developing exhibit criteria and big ideas, writing labels for target audiences, creating prototypes, conducting formative evaluation, and designing for exhibit maintenance; and
  • the abilities you need to lead your home institution toward improved practice and a critical approach to botanical interpretation.


We will provide:

For participants living farther than 50 miles from the Huntington (including Canada & Mexico)

  • reimbursement up to $649 for airfare (on an American carrier) and ground transportation expenses, or mileage at a rate of $0.555 per mile; and
  • per diem of $130 a day for eight days to cover lodging and food (we provide lunch and can suggest a local, low-cost lodging option).

For participants living less than 50 miles from the Huntington

  • reimbursement of mileage at a rate of $0.555 per mile.


You commit to:

  • residence at the Huntington from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for six days from Nov. 6-12, 2013 (with Nov. 10 as a free day);
  • securing a letter of support from your home institution to attend the workshop;
  • developing and implementing three living-plant exhibits at your home institution within one year of the workshop (an exhibit is one component of an larger exhibition consisting of elements such as labels, graphics, specimens or authentic objects);
  • putting in 18 hours of combined pre- and post-workshop time on workshop topics, communication, and evaluation; and
  • freely sharing your exhibit ideas with other participants and the professional community.


Workshop leaders

Kitty Connolly, Botanical Interpretation Manager, Huntington Botanical Gardens, began her museum career in 1995 developing online exhibitions at the Smithsonian Institution. She is an award-winning exhibit developer who is experienced in presenting on the process of exhibition development and has published on public interpretation, most notably in the textbook Public Garden Management.


Rachel Vourlas Schacht, Library Education Manager, Huntington Botanical Gardens, has extensive training and experience in delivering research-based professional development for informal educators, in the operation of interactive botanical exhibits and related staff and volunteer management, and in leading workshops on these practices for professional audiences.


Beverly Serrell, Principal, Serrell and Associates, is a nationally recognized expert in interpretive planning with extensive experience and influential publications. For more than 30 years, Serrell has consulted with museums on exhibition planning and development, label writing, and evaluation. Her interests are in natural history, living collections, cultural history, art, and science museums and their audiences.


How to apply

Submit the application by Dec. 16, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be made by Dec. 20, 2013.


Institute of Museum and Library Services


This project was supported in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and by

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

About The Huntington

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution established in 1919 by Henry E. and Arabella Huntington. Henry Huntington, a key figure in the...

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