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  • Finding the Words: Interpretive Writing Workshop

Saturday, April 6

10am- 4pm


Finding the Words: Interpretive Writing Workshop


Kris Wetterland, Director of Interpretation and Education, Corning Museum of Glass


This writing workshop is designed to give you the skills to write engaging and informative interpretive text for the general museum visitor using storytelling techniques, museum visitor studies data and creative nonfiction principles. The workshop will also give you time and space to practice these skills.


For the workshop you’ll need to bring an image of one work of art to write about. You may bring supporting information about the work of art, but it’s not necessary. You may also bring writing you plan to revise, or you may start with a blank slate. You’ll also need whatever writing tools you prefer: pen or pencil and paper, computer, iPad or any other tool you like to use.

Writing Workshop Outline

1. Learn about core messages.

2. Learn about core messages and how to apply constructivist learning theory in interpretive writing.

3. Understand the difference between writing about concrete versus abstract concepts.

4. Learn about the average adult museum visitor and what they read in everyday life.

5. Capitalize on the power of the unexpected and use mysteries to capture attention.

6. Learn rules for good writing in any arena, including understanding active versus passive text.

7. Explore National Geographic magazine captions.

8. Learn how to make interpretive text personal.

9. Appeal to a reader’s identity to answer the question: Why should I care?

10. Learn the science behind storytelling and use it as a powerful tool for interpretation.

11. Readability: what is it and how to assess it.


Back to Conference Schedule

The Museum Association of New York strengthens the capacity of New York State’s cultural community by supporting professional standards and organizational development. We provide advocacy, training, and networking opportunities so that museums and museum professionals may better serve their missions and communities.

Museum Association of New York is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 

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