Heritage Interpretation for families: Why and what’s it all about?

Illustration by Emma Thyssen


Do you focus on families with the heritage interpretation you offer? Research in the Flanders region shows that the experiences we gain as a child when we’re out with our family determine what we are interested in later in life. So, if we want future generations to grow up into people with a heart for heritage, it is worth investing in the target group families.
On top of that, Barbara Struys believes that heritage interpretation for families offers the visitors meaningful ways of connecting more with their family members and their shared heritage.

What does all this involve? Always, it means more than providing some fun assignments for the children and a separate offering for the adults who accompany them. Offering heritage interpretation for families compels you to open your eyes and examine the total experience of a family on your site. In this webinar, Barbara will take you into the ‘why’ of investing more in families. She’ll also provide concrete insights from her experience and recent research on how you can work towards a greater focus on families that helps them connect with each other and your natural or cultural heritage. And, of course, Barbara would like to discuss with you just what does impactful HI for families requires?

Barbara Struys is passionate about connecting heritage with visitors and local communities. She combines jobs as a knowledge-sharing coordinator for cultural education at publiq vzw and as a freelancer who offers support and counselling to heritage organisations. Her focus as freelancer is in heritage interpretation for families and facilitating more co-operation in guiding groups. She worked for Herita (in Belgium) as site-manager of the Castle of Horst and audience development coordinator between 2014 and 2017. Since then, she has remained an active member of the Horst Society, a group of volunteers and guides who try to keep the site connected with visitors while the castle is closed for restoration. For the site of the Castle of Horst she designs programs and trails for families and other visitors.

 

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