Stories at the core: Creating heritage tourism initiatives


**Note: This event is not currently scheduled, but this educational training can be facilitated in your community. Contact GK Callahan for more information.**

Learn how to incorporate stories and storytelling in your cultural heritage tourism project. 

An all-day educational and technical training event to learn best practices and guidelines for developing and producing audio and digital cultural heritage tourism projects. You’ll learn how

  • Stories and storytelling are the foundation for heritage tourism initiatives;
  • To cultivate place-based narratives derived from history; and
  • To add digital storytelling to your heritage tourism projects.

Explore the link between history, culture, art and economic development through the stories of Lexington community members who will share the process they used in creating the Legends of Lexington audio tour, and learn how the project has increased local tourism.

Who should attend?

  • People who deal specifically with economic development, tourism, culture, history or the arts
  • People involved in community decision making, such as tourism directors, city managers, chamber of commerce directors, librarians, educators, theater directors, parks and recreation directors, or cultural affair directors.
  • Artisans, craftspeople, historians, architects, community activity coordinators and agri-business entrepreneurs.

The training is designed to expand the knowledge and skills in community leaders, organizations and agencies in the use of stories to engage and develop community and tourism potential as a way to address challenges of Missouri communities. Some of the unique challenges to rural communities, small towns and some urban neighborhoods include: relative geographic isolation, infrastructure limitations, inability to tap into community potential, and population flight. The 2013 National Assembly of State Arts Agencies noted how arts, culture, and the humanities can help address these issues and others by diversifying economies, creating sustainable small businesses, improving quality of life, and attracting visitors and investment.

Topics covered

  • How to organize and plan for a heritage tourism initiative with stories at the core.
  • The key ingredients for making your heritage tourism project a success.
  • What kind of community capacity is needed?
  • How to include community members in a participatory planning process.
  • How to assess your cultural, historic and artistic assets and determine how to utilize those assets to promote local economic development through heritage tourism.
  • The best practices for gathering and recording local stories.
  • How to keep the history true.
  • What makes a good story?
  • How to turn history into a good story.
  • How to take the story and develop it into a heritage tourism product.
  • How to incorporate music into your project.
  • How to include digital storytelling in your heritage tourism initiative.
  • How to fund your tourism initiative.
  • How to begin your action plan.

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Extension resources