February 12, 2014

Contact: Mary Mannix, Master Docent Series Chair, 301-600-1368,

The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium Presents The Annual
Master Docent Series, February 27 & 28, at Frederick Community College

Frederick, MD --
The Frederick Historic Sites Consortium presents the annual Master Docent Series on February 27 and 28, 2015, on the campus of Frederick Community College, 7932 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Maryland.  The program kicks off with a free program Friday evening, “A Revolutionary Christmas” Staged Reading performed by members of the Maryland Ensemble Theater. It is followed by a day of workshops on history and related topics on Saturday.  While the workshop portion of the program is geared towards local museum docents, anyone who loves history is invited to participate.

Friday’s "A Revolutionary Christmas" Staged Reading begins at 7 p.m. in the Jack B. Kussmaul Theater located in Frederick Community College’s Arts and Student Center. The program is free to the public and all ages are welcome to attend.Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and early arrival is recommended.The public is invited to a reception in the lobby immediately following the reading.                                          

Enjoy discovering the history of Frederick during the Revolutionary Era through a live reading of Reiner Prochaska’s new production “A Revolutionary Christmas.” Experience the story of a family living on a “German” farm in Frederick during the Revolutionary War. When they end up taking an escaped Hessian soldier captive, the soldier helps them rediscover love, hope, forgiveness, and the meaning of Christmas.  

On Saturday, February 28, the Master Docent Series Workshops begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Frederick Community College Conference Center with registration. To attend the Saturday workshop sessions, participants must register in advance or at the door.  The all-day fee for Frederick County residents is $40, including lunch.  Early registration is encouraged.  However, registration will be accepted at the door as space allows. The 2015 workshops will focus on Revolutionary Frederick and broadening the understanding of the community's response to the conflicts of the 18th century.

Program highlights for the 2015 Master Docent Series Workshops include:

  • Tim Grove, Chief of Museum Learning at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum and author of "Grizzly in the Mail and other Adventures in American History," will start the day with “Sharing Your Passion: Museum Visitation.”  He has worked at some of the most popular museums in the United States including the National Portrait Gallery and the National Museum of American History, where he contributed to various web projects. Grove was also project educator for the Missouri Historical Society's traveling exhibition Lewis and Clark: The National Bicentennial Exhibition. He'll speak on how your passion for your interpretation translates to the visitor and influences their experience and impression of your museum. Revive your passion and energy for the museum season with this session! [Opening Session, 9:15 a.m.]
  • Primary Sources are the grist that drive the historian's mill, however, what is and isn't a primary source is not always straightforward. To make matters even more complicated, not all primary sources are correct or report the same information about the same event. At "Primary Sources for Docents," debate what primary sources are and discuss how to track them down. Pat Ogden, from the Schifferstadt Architectural Museum, will share her experience researching the Brunner family of Schifferstadt and the early days of Frederick County. The wealth of primary source information she has found documents the experience of the colonial German settlers. Alan E. Duke, from Monocacy National Battlefield, performs research for special projects. His investigations have included Monocacy farm families and their relationship to the Great Frederick Fair. He has also identified genealogical information on the Worthington, Best, and Thomas families. [Concurrent Session, 10:30 a.m.]

  • The French and Indian War (1754-1763) posed a new development among colonial settlers in America. Conflict in their own back yards forced colonists to debate with their overlords over requests to fund and supply war from their own pockets, accommodate British troops, and actually fight for the empire's gain. In this process, the settlers placed viable demands on the Crown. If Britain required sacrifice from its subjects, then it also had the obligation to protect them. Jim Lichtinger, a Frederick County native who received his MA in Military History from Norwich University, will lead a discussion, "When the Populace Chooses War: Colonial Voice in the French and Indian War." How did Maryland do compared with its neighbors -- in particular Pennsylvania -- in its provision of funds and service to the British interests in the French and Indian War? How did civil action prompt British action on the frontier against the colonies' enemies? Don't miss this session! [Concurrent Session, 1:30 p.m.]
  • Visitors seek meaningful museum experiences that allow them to contribute to the interpretive conversation taking place. Join K. Allison Wickens, Vice President of Education at The Fred W. Smith National Library fo the Study of George Washington at Mount Vernon, for "Conversational Interpretation." During this interactive session you'll discover how to utilize the art of conversation as an effective interpretive tool. [Concurrent Session, 1:30 p.m.]
  • In the final session of the day, Chris Haugh and Ryan Bass will present "Repudiation: Frederick's Unique Response to the British Stamp Act." Haugh is Byways and Special Projects Manager for the Tourism Council of Frederick County and Bass is a Library Associate with Frederick County Public Libraries and a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. In 1765 Frederick's "Twelve Immortals" declared that business in their county would continue as usual -- Frederick would not comply with the Stamp Act. Who were the "Twelve Immortals"? Find out about them and why they responded in this manner as well as what happened as a result. Learn what you should understand about this unique event in our history and our own unique act of Civil Disobedience. [Closing Session, 2:45 p.m.]

The Master Docent Series is a program of the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium. This year’s program is co-sponsored by Frederick Community College with generous support from Plamondon Hospitality Partners. Support is also provided by the Tourism Council of Frederick County, Inc.

For a copy of the Master Docent Series Workshops brochure, including a registration form, stop by the Frederick Visitor Center at 151 S. East Street in Frederick, Maryland.  A downloadable version is also available.