How many panels should we have along our walk?
This depends on the size of the historic area which is the basis of the tour. The smallest size suggested is fifteen panels and the maximum thirty. However, it is possible to have several tours in different areas of a city, as is the case in Augusta, Maine. There, several tours were installed, each with a thematic focus. Visitors might take a day to do the walks, with breaks in between at local restaurants and shops, or might plan a return visit.
A project underway in France links seventeen towns via a bicycle tour. The Museum in the Streets will install panels narrating and illustrating the history of each town and will place a larger panel in town centers to map out the bike route.
How did you settle on the recommended number of panels?
The Museum in the Streets is a "teaser" of sorts that we hope will encourage visitors to search for further information in a town's historical societies, libraries, historic houses and museums. The walking tour is a way to bring history to life through the immediacy of photographs and with a brief text that will spark curiosity in a visitor. The real wealth of a community lies in the institutions preserving the town's collections and archives.
A tour of thirty panels lasts about forty-five minutes to an hour. We have found that most visitors are happy to break off their visits at that point. There is a lot of information to glean from thirty panels.
How long does the process take from the time we contact you?
Much of that is up to each town. Some towns have almost all the information ready when they contact us - and we love that! Others will first ask for advice, seek funding and then prepare the project, which is a sound approach as well.
Final production and delivery take roughly 5 weeks. However pre-production time, during which your town's project leaders conduct research, fundraise, collect archival imagery, write and edit the text, takes more time. Most Museum in the Streets walks take between 6 months and a year to complete.
You can read more about the whole process here.
Why are two languages used on the panels?
The Museum in the Streets aims to revive and preserve local histories. In our opinion, the walks should reflect awareness of how a community's history fits into national and World History. Bilingual panels can acknowledge the diversity of a town's origins. A second language can also reach out to an international tourist population. The first language on the panel is the one spoken locally, and the second is one either favored by visitors from abroad or by a portion of the population. For local students of foreign languages, the panels can serve as a learning activity.
The Museum in the Streets is happy to provide the translations if needed.
Who writes the text?
Local individuals are the most capable of telling their story and do the research and writing. The panel text should be factual as well as anecdotal (including local stories, lore, gossip) to be both instructive and amusing. We recommend a thematic thread for the walk, and nods to a wider historical context. Perhaps the panels illustrate the role the town and its inhabitants played in the history of a province, state, the nation, or even continent.
How much does a Museum in the Streets cost?
Prices vary according to the number of panels, so we can best answer this question when you have an idea of how many stops you would like on your walk.
The Museum in the Streets offers a service of the highest quality at the minimum possible price.
What does the price include?
The quote will include the cost of the panels, their layout and proofing, corrections, translations, shipping, and of course, our support and guidance throughout the entire project. The addition of your town to our website, and ongoing social networking on Twitter and Facebook is also included.
Neither the making and supplying of brochures nor the physical installation and posts are priced since each town tends to customize the posts the panels are placed on. You can see examples of this in our Image Gallery. We offer guidance and can put you in touch with other towns' project managers to benefit from their experience.
How long do the panels last?
The panels are guaranteed for ten years by the manufacturers against unusual degradation that might be caused by light (fading) and exfoliation or separation. If handled with care during the installation, they may outlast that period; panels installed in 1995 are still up and look very fresh.
Do you have suggestions for fundraising?
Yes, many! Once the project is underway we will advise you with the fundraising experience we have gained over the years.
What can we do to get started?
How about getting acquainted with the look and feel of The Museum in the Streets by visiting an installed site? Or simply request a brochure by e-mail. You could convene a planning committee and work with a local historical society or group. Design an initial fundraising plan. Collect good quality vintage photography. Prepare a synopsis of the town's history and prepare for a discussion with The Museum in the Streets©. Then contact us! We look forward to speaking with you.