Minnesota Local History Workshops

History Responds to Crisis

Historic 1940 photo of three men pushing car out of snowdrift Online workshops with sessions focused on planning and responding to the unexpected. From planning for massive disruptions in operations to preparing your museum and collection for an extended period of closure to staying in touch with your members. 

The Workshops are over. Please check out the recordings of the Workshops.


Date of Event: Wednesday, May 13, 2020
View Recording - Welcome - Survey Results (18 minutes)
View Recording - Membership: Then and Now - Member Communications, Revenue, Events and Over the Curve - Rhonda Teich-Hickey (51 minutes)
View Recording - Business Continuity Planning for Cultural Institutions - Anne Richards (45 minutes)
View Recording - Closing Down a Museum or Site - Paul Storch (48 minutes)
View Recording - Q&A with MNHS Collections Management - Saira Haqqi, Todd Topper, Dan Cagley and Megan Narvey (48 minutes)


Workshop Session Descriptions

Membership: Then and Now - Member Communications, Revenue, Events and Over the Curve

Description: Everything has changed/is changing with COVID-19 for museums and cultural organizations. and our audiences We continue to be closed to the public and reopening will present new challenges and opportunities for our revenue streams and connections with members and donors without in person events.
Let's talk about some ways that MNHS has been adapting renewals, planning events, getting in touch with members and donors and more. Come with a challenge and a highlight from your own work to share with each other.

Presenter Bio: Rhonda Teich Hickey is the Senior Manager, Membership Program and Development Events at Minnesota Historical Society

Business Continuity Planning for Cultural Institutions

Description: A business continuity plan is an essential component to risk mitigation within an organization and a key factor in recovery after a disruptive event. In this conversation, we will cover the required elements of a museum business continuity plan, learn how it relates to disaster recovery and emergency response plans, and discuss the challenges we are facing with a business interruption due to COVID-19 and how a business continuity plan can help plan for the future.

Presenter Bio: Anne Richards is the Security & Risk Program Manager at the Minnesota Historical Society. Her interest in museums began with achieving a Masters Degree in International Cultural Heritage Management from Durham University, Durham, England. Anne oversees the Security & Risk Program which includes risk management initiatives, cultural institution security, business continuity, and policy development. Anne is a Certified Institutional Protection Manager (CIPM) and a Certified Public Sector Continuity Professional (CPSCP). She is enthusiastic about providing cultural institutions with a sustainable future through the preservation of collections, historic sites, and the natural and built environment while encouraging risk management and security initiatives.

Closing Down a Museum or Site

Description: Every museum and historic site should have a plan for safely shutting down to the public in the event of a crisis, such as the current pandemic. We will look at how to do that in a logical, orderly way that will ensure the safety of staff and visitors, as well as the safety and security of the building and collections for the duration of the shutdown. In relation to the current situation, we will cover considerations and guidelines for re-opening.

Presenter Bio: Paul Storch has been the MNHS Facilities-Historic Properties Sites Collections and Exhibits Liaison since 2009; before that he managed the Daniels Objects Conservation Lab in the History Center for 18 years as Senior Objects Conservator. He is responsible for managing the collections and exhibits at 26 sites around the state, which includes preventive conservation, installation and de-installation of exhibits, acquisitions, inventories, and disaster planning.

Q & A with Megan Narvey, Todd Topper and Dan Cagley

Description: How is the Minnesota Historical Society managing and caring for collections during the coronavirus crisis? This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn from staff at the Minnesota Historical Society including collections managers and conservators. Topics that may be covered include site access and walk-throughs, adapting and using an emergency plan, working from home, and preparing for and preventing possible collections emergencies from afar.

Presenter Bios:

Saira Haqqi is the supervisory book and paper conservator at the Minnesota Historical Society, where she manages a busy conservation lab preserving general and special collections items for exhibit, digitization, and researcher access. Her prior conservation experience includes working at the New York Historical Society, the Library of Congress, and the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard University, among others. Saira has Master's degrees in Art Conservation and Art History from New York University and received her Bachelor's in Liberal Arts from Carleton College.

Todd Topper is Manager of the Collections Management unit for the Minnesota Historical Society. He oversees budgeting, staff, and program for three overlapping teams; conservation, registration, and collections management. Todd brings 29 years of experience working in museums, historic sites, and archives in Indiana, Georgia, Colorado, Ohio, and Minnesota. He has served as registrar, collections manager, associate curator, regional sites manager, and building expansion project manager. Todd was raised on a farm in Indiana and continues to grow his knowledge in agricultural history, sustainability, cooking, and world foodways. He and his wife live in St. Paul.

Dan Cagley is the collections manager at the Minnesota Historical Society. He manages all of the Society's permanent and temporary collections storage areas and oversees the accession process for the archaeology and museum collections. Dan has a Master of Arts degree in History from the University of Northern Iowa after receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. He has 25 years experience as a collections manager.

Moderator: Megan Narvey is the Outreach Conservator at the Minnesota Historical Society. She is a graduate of Carleton College (BA in chemistry) and University College London (MA in Principles of Conservation; MSc in Conservation for Archeology and Museums). She has worked as the postgraduate intern in Objects at the Canadian Conservation Institute in Ottawa, Canada, and then as an Objects Conservator at the Western Archeological and Conservation Center in Tucson, Arizona.