📢 Monday and Wednesday of the conference provide opportunities for small groups of attendees to participate together in workshops, tours, and activities. Some have additional cost. Sign up is part of conference registration.  📢

Workshops, Tours & Activities

Monday, October 10

All Day (9-4)


  • A Day with an Anishnaabe Historian (Mackinac Island) - $150

Morning (9-12)


  • A Morning of Archaeology (Mackinaw City) - $10
  • MI Humanities Funding Workshop (Mackinac Island) - FREE FULL. Wait list created. 

    Afternoon (1-4)


    • An Afternoon of Archaeology (Mackinaw City) - $10 FULL. Wait list created. 
    • MSU Press Open House (Mackinac Island) - FREE
    • Historic House Tour (Mackinac Island) - $10
      FULL. Wait list created. 

      Read Full Descriptions for Monday

      Additional activities, especially those that do not require registration, may be added throughout July for both days. 

      Wednesday, October 12

      Morning (9-12)

      • Intro to Disaster Response and Hands-On Water Salvage Workshop (Mackinac Island) - $50
      • Metadata Grooming for Museums Workshop (Mackinac Island) - $50
      • Mackinac’s Historic Landscape Walking Tour (Mackinac Island) - $10 FULL. Wait list created. 
      • Dressing for Interpretive Success: Historical Clothing Tips (Mackinaw City) - $10

      Afternoon (1-4) 

      • Heritage Center Tour (Mackinac Island) - $10
      • Mackinac’s Historic Landscape Walking Tour (Mackinac Island) - $10
      • Michigan EMP Biking Expedition (Mackinac Island) - FREE BYOBike
      • Mackinac by Foot (Mackinac Island) - $10
      • Explore Colonial Michilimackinac (Mackinaw City) - FREE

      Read Full Descriptions for Wednesday

      Monday, October 10

      A Day with an Anishnaabe Historian

      9:00-4:00
      Begins and ends at the Biddle House, Mackinac Island

      The history of Mackinac Island goes back thousands of years with its original inhabitants, the Anishnaabek. The story of the Anishnaabek doesn’t end in the past but carries onto the present day. On this tour, join Eric HemenwayDirector of Repatriation, Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, to learn how the Mackinac State Historic Parks has worked with local Anishnaabek to bring the native story to the public through exhibits, signage and programs. The tour will begin at the Mackinac Island Native American Museum, one of the parks newest exhibits, located inside the Biddle House. It will continue to the Richard and Jane Manoogian Art Museum. From there, participants will embark via carriage around the island to view several of the historic signs of the Native American Heritage trail. The tour will conclude at St. Anne’s cemetery.

      Cost: $150 (includes lunch)
      Limited to 18 people

      A Morning (or afternoon) of Archaeology (offered twice) - AFTERNOON FULL. Waiting list created.

      9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00 
      Begins and ends at the MSHP Petersen Center, Mackinaw City

      Join Dr. Lynn Evans, Mackinac State Historic Parks Curator of Archaeology, to learn about one of the longest ongoing archaeological digs in the nation. Hear an overview of the archaeology programs that have taken place at MSHP since the program began in 1959 and tour several of the sites, including the lab and storage facility. 

      Cost: $10
      Limited to 15 people (each session)

      MI Humanities Funding Workshop FULL. Waiting list created.

      9:00-12:00
      Station 256 Conference Room, Mackinac Island

      Curious about the way your museum can receive funds for programming? Ready to take part in a statewide reading program or host a traveling exhibit? Michigan Humanities staff will share highlights of seven programs and grants that are available now to Michigan museums, offer tips for successfully applying for funding, and answer your questions about eligibility, timelines, and other important details. Through grants and collaborative programs offered across the state, Michigan Humanities provides opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of the past, the tools for stronger analysis of the present, and a more informed vision for the future.

      Cost: Free
      Limited to 20 people

      MSU Press Open House

      1:00-4:00
      Biddle House, Mackinac Island

      Visit the new Native American Museum at the Biddle House and have the chance to meet several Northern Michigan authors with MSU Press including Theresa Weller, author of The Founding Mothers of Mackinac Island, Phyllis Wong, author of We Kept Our Towns Going: The Gossard Girls of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Steve Brisson, author of Architectural Missionary: D. Fred Charlton in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, 1887–1918, and the author of the upcoming Women and the Making of Mackinac, 1800–1950, Melissa Croghan

      Cost: Free
      Pre-registration not required. Stop in anytime between 1 and 4. 

      Historic House Tour - FULL. Waiting list created. 

      1:00-3:00
      Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

      Join Mackinac State Historic Director and Architectural Historian Steve for a walking tour of historic cottages on Mackinac Island's West Bluff. 

      Cost: $10
      Limited to 20 people

      Wednesday, October 12

      Intro to Disaster Response and Hands-On Water Salvage Workshop

      9:00-12:00
      Fort Mackinac Post Hospital

      Whether it's a burst pipe, a slow leak, a flood, or the result of firefighting efforts, water is a major threat to Michigan's museums and their collections. In this workshop led by Mallory Bower, from the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology and Davina Kuh Jakobi, from the Ruth Mott Foundation's Applewood Estate, participants will learn the basic concepts related to disaster response. The workshop will include a brief overview of categories of disasters, planning for a disaster, and what to have on hand to best equip you for disaster response. The second half of the workshop will provide hands-on activities related to salvaging collections during a water event. All participants will receive a personal disaster response kit.

      Cost: $50
      Limited to 20 people. 

      Metadata Grooming for Museum Collections

      9:00-12:00
      Station 256 Conference Room, Mackinac Island

      This workshop, led by Matt Patulski of Poplar Media, will provide an overview of metadata grooming concepts and will include hands on exercises with common office apps including Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. Topics covered include fixing the basics errors found in almost every collection, creating new metadata from existing data, and exporting data to enable importing in to your collection software. In a series of short exercises, participants will learn tools, concepts, and methods to review, organize and clean up common metadata challenges when organizations need to make system-wide or targeted revisions to their collection data. Participants will need to bring a laptop.

      Cost: $50
      Limited to 20 people

      Mackinac’s Historic Landscape Walking Tour - (offered twice) - MORNING FULL. Waiting list created.

      9:00-12:00 and 1:00-4:00
      Starts and ends at Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island

      The landscape of present-day Mackinac Island has been shaped by natural and human forces for millennia. On this walking tour, join Kyle Bagnall, Park Naturalist for Mackinac State Historic Parks, to explore how this iconic landscape has changed through time. During the tour, we’ll utilize historic maps and photographs, written descriptions, modern technology, and field observations to explore new perspectives of seemingly familiar places. Similar techniques can easily be transferred to your site, helping visitors gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of any landscape. The tour will begin on the front porch of the Grand Hotel, then follow roads and paths for about three miles, ending back at the hotel. Wear appropriate footwear and bring a sense of adventure. Natural wonder included at no extra charge!

      Cost: $10
      Limited to 20 people.

      Dressing for Interpretive Success: Historical Clothing Tips

      9:00-12:00
      Colonial Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City

      Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) utilizes reproduction historical clothing as an interpretive tool at nearly all of their museum sites. Interpreters wearing pieces of our clothing collection lead tours, perform demonstrations, talk with visitors and answer their questions, and generally serve as walking exhibits. For this workshop, MSHP Staff members Craig Wilson and LeeAnn Ewer will cover the process of researching and acquiring/producing interpretive clothing, as well as successful care and storage. Additionally, they will examine the ways in which clothing can be used to enhance interpretive programs. Following the presentation, Craig and LeeAnn will lead a tour of our clothing production and maintenance areas in the Petersen Center, as well as clothing storage at Colonial Michilimackinac. The tour will conclude with a brief “fashion show” with MSHP staff reflecting the research, construction, and interpretive tasks discussed during the presentation.

      Cost: $10
      Limited to 20 people

      Heritage Center Tour

      1:00-4:00 (may end earlier)
      Meet at The Avenue of Flags at Fort Mackinac

      Join Brian Jaeschke, Registrar for Mackinac State Historic Parks, on a tour of the Heritage Center located on Mackinac Island. The center is home to the majority of the Mackinac State Historic Parks three-dimensional collection. MSHP collects objects to preserve and interpret the history of the Straits of Mackinac and Upper Great Lakes. Major themes include the military activity of the French, British and Americans, the fur trade, missionary history, Victorian tourism and Great Lakes transportation. The objects collected and stored at the Heritage Center include furnishings, textiles, artwork, decorative art objects, photographic equipment, tools and personal items.

      Cost: 10
      Limited to 20 people.

      Michigan EMP Biking Expedition

      1:00-4:00
      Meet at Marquette Park

      Meet up for a self-guided bike tour of the Island's most famous attractions. This 3 mile loop will go past Skull Cave, Little Stone Church, Fort Mackinac, Arch Rock and much more! Stops are possible along this leisurely bike ride to explore the cultural sites and the fall colors. Bring your own bike or rent one from one of the various bike rentals on the island. Hosted by the Michigan Emerging Museum Professionals.

      Cost: Free
      Pre-registration not required. No participation limits.

      Mackinac by Foot

      1:00-4:00
      Tour starting point TBD. Ends at Fort Mackinac Sergeant's Quarters. 

      MMA's Executive Director has a small side-hustle giving walking tours for one of the cruise ships that visits the island. Join Lisa Craig Brisson for a journey through downtown Mackinac Island to Mission Point, and then up the East Bluff. The tour will end at the staff housing she lives in behind Fort Mackinac, just in time for the Wrap-up Happy Hour. 

      Cost: $10
      Limited to 20 people.

      Explore Colonial Michilimackinac

      12:00-4:00
      Colonial Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City

      Visit Mackinac State Historic Parks' largest mainland site. This reconstructed eighteenth-century palisaded village includes period settings and exhibits that explore the history of the community and the people who lived and visited there. Costumed interpreters will be on-site to share stories and demonstrate historic processes. 

      Cost: Free
      Pre-registration not required. Stop in anytime between 12 and 4.

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      The Michigan Museums Association is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts and Culture Council

      Thank you to our Partners!


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      313-334-7643

      P.O. Box 5246

      Cheboygan, MI 49721

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