By Elizabeth Pickard, Director, Education and Interpretation, Missouri Historical Society

Last month, the Missouri Historical Society launched its new StEPs working group as part of its Innovation Fund. Seven local history organizations are working through the StEPs workbook planning process in one year. The hope is that, by tackling the program in a structured course with fellow professionals, participants can share resources with one another as well as be sources of encouragement and support. A structured group also helps participants stay focused on the program by having set deadlines and group meetings. The quick pace is intended to help the organizations develop planning and implementation plans and to keep their momentum going through the process.

In addition to providing a group meeting structure, MHS is bringing in local, regional, and national experts to speak on each of the StEPs workbook sections. They will lead workshops on each topic and, during the planning time in the workshop session, help organizations identify action steps to meet their goals.

The organizations will gather for four hour meetings eight times over the course of the year, beginning with the January 2019 kickoff session and ending with a January 2020 StEPs celebration. At each gathering, they will develop a plan for conducting the initial assessment for one of the chapters. They will then identify what resources they have and what resources they need to determine where they are for each of the chapter’s standards, including what level they meet, or whether the standard needs to be addressed to begin with.  At the next meeting, they debrief with one another, share their experiences, and then have a workshop on that chapter.  At the end of the session, they will plan for assessing the next chapter and so on.

Here is the meeting schedule for the year, along with the presenters covering each topic. We’re excited to begin this process with our colleagues!

Date Topic Speaker
January 15 Kickoff meeting/plan for assessing Mission, Vision, Governance Cherie Cook, AASLH
February 12 Mission, Vision, and Governance workshop/plan for assessing Audience Ashley Holmes, The Rome Group
April 16 Audience/plan for assessing Interpretation Dina Bailey, Mountain Top Vision
June 11 Interpretation/plan for assessing Stewardship of Collections Modupe Labode, IUPUI
August 13 Stewardship of Collections/plan for assessing Historic Landscapes and Structures Tamara Hemmerlein, Indiana Historical Society
October 15 Stewardship of Historic Landscapes and Structures/plan for assessing Management Andrew Weil, Landmarks St. Louis
December 17 Management/develop punch list to complete StEPs Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, The Abbe Museum
January 14 2020 wrap up and celebration of class of 2019 and kickoff for class of 2020  

Learn more about StEPs groups here, and for more information on starting a StEPs group in your area, contact AASLH Senior Program Manager Cherie Cook at [email protected] or 615-320-3203.