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Museums in Strange Places

Author: Hannah Hethmon

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I believe that museums are one of the best ways to discover a place, whether it’s your first time visiting or you’ve lived there your whole life. Join me on this adventure as I get to know the world….one museum as a time.

This is a podcast for people who love museums, stories, culture, and exploring the world. In Season 1, the podcast focuses on museums in Iceland. Season 2 explores the museums of Maryland.

I’m your host, Hannah Hethmon, and in each episode I visit a different museum to discover its stories, discuss challenges and triumphs with fascinating museum professionals (and volunteers), and get to know each season’s country, state, or region through it museums.

Get bonus material from each episode (photos, further reading, links) by visiting individual episode pages at hhethmon.com. Use the hashtag #MuseumsinStrangePlaces on social media.

Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, "Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits," available on Amazon.
40 Episodes
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Hey Museums in Strange Place listeners! I’m excited to share a sneak peek of my new podcast, London is OK I Guess. Don’t worry, I’ve still got plenty of Museums in Strange Places episodes in  the pipeline for you to enjoy.  But first I want to invite you to listen to the first few minutes of the first episode of London is Ok I Guess, a show about finding your place….in a place you’d rather not be. If you like what you hear, please go subscribe to the show on whatever app you use, share it with a friend, and leave London is Ok I Guess a review on Apple Podcasts.     
He’s the master of macabre, the man who created mystery fiction, the face on the socks and beer bottles of everyday Baltimoreans. He’s Edgar Allan Poe, and he belongs to Baltimore. Join me on a visit to the Poe House in Baltimore, the tiny house where his career began, to learn about Baltimore’s devotion to Poe, his tragic life, and the future of his legacy in the city where he died mysteriously.   This episode is sponsored by Grove History Consulting. TRANSCRIPT Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-ByStep Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits.   
So much of Maryland was built on the back of enslaved Africans, yet it’s easy to avoid confronting the history of slavery in Maryland’s former plantation country. Historic Sotterley is trying to change that. The plantation was built in 1703 by a man who made his money off the slave trade, and the site was witness to 165 continuous years of slavery. Today, staff and descendants at Sotterley are committed to sharing the site’s whole history and healing the legacy of trauma left by the violence of slavery with the ultimate goal of making their community and their world a better, kinder place.  This episode is sponsored by Grove History Consulting TRANSCRIPT Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-ByStep Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
About half of all museums in the US are in small towns in rural America. Each of these museums holds stories and objects that are worth preserving and sharing, but they don’t always have the funding and infrastructure they need to operate and innovate. That’s where Museum on Main Street comes in. This Smithsonian program brings traveling exhibits to small towns for six weeks at a time. But the exhibit materials are just the catalyst for a much bigger experience, an experience that leaves these towns empowered to use culture to build stronger communities. In this episode, I hear from folks in DC, Massachusetts, Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota about the impact of Museum on Main Street. TRANSCRIPT Find more information about Museum on Main Street and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-ByStep Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits.   
What do Baltimore, Russian Jews, the third oldest synagogue in America, Eastern European Catholics, seances, and Harry Houdini have in common? You’ll find out in this episode, a visit to the Jewish Museum of Maryland, an institution that prioritizes storytelling (and is pretty good at it). Join me for a tour of the historic Lloyd Street Synagogue, a journey back in history to the heyday of the Jewish market on Baltimore’s East Lombard Street, and a celebration of the life of Harry Houdini, the son of a rabbi. All the music in this episode is by Seth Kibel and the Alexandria Kleztet. This episode is sponsored by Grove History Consulting TRANSCRIPT Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step-ByStep Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
S02/E07: Located in a waterfront 1860s oyster cannery in the Baltimore Harbor, The Baltimore Museum of Industry is trying to inspire and engage their visitors around the concept of work by telling the stories of historical workers. But in order to better fulfill this mission, the museum has to be constantly re-evaluating themselves and their assumptions about work. In this episode, I talk to staffers Beth Maloney and Auni Gelles about how an experimental interactive and a new job description are pushing the museum beyond more traditional education and interpretation methods. This episode is sponsored by Grove History Consulting. Featured songs in this episode are by The Bumper Jacksons, off their new album, I Never Met a Stranger. DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts/iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcasting on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
The Sandy Spring Museum describes itself as “community-activated.” They want to be a secular gathering places, where people of different backgrounds can come together and build a sense of place and belonging. I visit the museum to speak with Executive Director Allison Weiss about the museum’s radically community-driven programming, the Quaker principles built into the museum’s design, and how they are trying to serve a community of incredible diversity. This episode is sponsored by The Lyndhurst Group. DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT Music in this episode is by Los Hijo 'e Plena, the musical arm of the community-building nonprofit Cultural Plenera. Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
BONUS content from Episode 5, "The Lost City: Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland."  Dr. Regina Faden and I head down to Historic St. Mary's City's Waterfront exhibit, where we board the Maryland Dove, a replica 17th century sailing ship. The ship's Boatswain, Jeremy, talks to us about what it's like working on a historic ship and why old boats are like classic cars.   Music in this episode is by Hesperus, from their album An Early American Quilt, released on the Maggie’s Music Label. Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
BONUS content from Episode 5, "The Lost City: Historic St. Mary’s City, Maryland."  A brief stop at the active dig site of Historic St. Mary's City's Archeology Field School, where Dr. Travis Parno is guiding students from St. Mary's College in a dig to investigate the site of Maryland's first State House. Dr. Parno also tells me about his ongoing research into early taverns, the powerful enslavers who ran them, and how they can shed light on the codification of slavery in Maryland and America.  Music in this episode is by Hesperus, from their album An Early American Quilt, released on the Maggie’s Music Label. Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
In the early 17th century, 300 English settlers traveled to the new colony of Maryland in search of new opportunities and a place where they could practice their Catholic faith in peace. They built Maryland’s first capital, St. Mary’s City, and their city thrived...until its founders fell from power in England. Soon, St. Mary’s City was abandoned and it’s wooden structures rotted. The city lay hidden under farm fields and forests until archeological efforts led to the formation of Historic St. Mary’s City, a living history center that tells the story of the fourth permanent English settlement in America. TRANSCRIPT This episode is sponsored by the Lyndhurst Group. Music in this episode is by Hesperus, from their albums An Early American Quilt and Colonial America, released on the Maggie’s Music Label. Find more information on the museum and photos on my website, hhethmon.com. If you enjoy Museums in Strange Places, please help me keep it going by leaving a review on iTunes or sharing this episode with a friend. Let me know what you think by sending me a tweet @hannah_rfh. Interested in starting a podcast at your organization? Check out my new book, Your Museum Needs a Podcast: A Step by Step Guide to Podcast on a Budget for Museums, History Organizations, and Cultural Nonprofits. 
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