Educational Offsite Sessions

Saturday, December 1


Half-Day Sessions


Tour of the Buildings of The Historic New Orleans Collection

Survey three centuries of New Orleans history with a tour of THNOC’s galleries and a discussion with their visitor services team. As part of their mission to preserve New Orleans’s history and culture, THNOC has restored significant structures on Royal Street and Chartres Street that exemplify a variety of architectural styles. Tour with staff through the spaces and learn about architectural styles, urban history, and the ways they use spaces for interpretation. Your guides will be Joanna Robinson and Kurt Owens, interpretation assistants with The Historic New Orleans Collection.

Time: 9:30–11:00am
Cost: $10
Maximum Number of Participants: 20
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes  
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Participants will walk the .5 miles from the hotel (roughly 11 minutes)
There was a problem loading this area.

Docent Pearls of Wisdom: Tour of the National WWII Museum

Offering a compelling blend of sweeping narrative and poignant personal detail, The National WWII Museum features immersive exhibits, multimedia experiences, and an expansive collection of artifacts and first-person oral histories, taking you inside the American involvement in World War II to honor the generation that sacrificed so much to secure our freedom. 

This educational offsite will start with a self-guided 1.5-hour walk through the museum’s original Normandy gallery (opened 2000) and, for contrast, the Arsenal of Democracy exhibit (opened 2018), where you can see how the museum uses multimedia, interactive displays, and artifacts to create countless opportunities for visitors to make personal connections with the men and women who helped win the war. After touring the galleries, you will get the unique opportunity for a one-hour Q&A session with experienced museum docents who can answer your questions about the museum and also offer advice on any docent issues you may have at your sites. If you’d like to learn docent perspectives but don’t have a mechanism to get those answers, here’s your chance! 

Lunch on your own afterward at good neighborhood eateries!

Time: 9:00–11:30 a.m. 
Cost: $10
Maximum Number of Participants: 40
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing, walking shoes
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver 
Lunch: Lunch on your own afterward, you’ll be close to many good neighborhood eateries!
Transportation: Participants will walk the .9 miles from the hotel (roughly 17 minutes)
There was a problem loading this area.

Garden District Architecture and Lafayette Cemetery

Explore how history and culture are reflected in the use of architectural style and burial practices

This offsite takes you to one of the world’s most dazzling residential neighborhoods with its oak-tree lined streets as you examine the antebellum-era “Creole vs. American” conflict. Witness how history and culture are reflected in the use of architectural styles including Greek Revival, Italianante, Gothic, Georgian, and more. In addition, you will explore the famed above-ground tombs of the Lafayette Cemetery #1 and learn about New Orleans’ peculiar burial practices and funerary customs. 

Time: 10:00am–12:00pm
Cost: $23
Maximum Number of Participants: 40
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets and the street car may be hard to maneuver 
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Combination walking and street car (ticket included)
There was a problem loading this area.

Laura Creole Plantation

From the Big House to the Quarters: Slavery on Laura Plantation

Built in 1803 the Laura Plantation is a restored historic Louisiana Creole plantation on the west bank of the Mississippi river. This offsite will take you on a guided tour through the 200-year-old sugar plantation homestead. We’ll see the Big House, where exhibits explore the lives of a single Creole family (over four generations) based on Laura Locoul Gore’s handwritten Memories of the Old Plantation Home. We will also tour authentic 1840s slave cabins and see the newly opened museum exhibit that is dedicated to telling the authentic story of the slave community of this Creole farm. Designed around different themes the exhibit reflects the complex layers of life on the plantation. The displays illustrate how the lives of the enslaved people were intertwined with those of their owners – one room holds a large collection of purchase documents and rare photographs that bring to light the names and faces of these long-forgotten people. 

Time: 8:15am–12:30pm
Cost: $63
Maximum number of Participants: 29
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing and walking shoes
Accessible: Limited access to all areas of the plantation
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Provided—round trip is approximately 110 miles
There was a problem loading this area.

The Ogden Museum Teen Docent Program

Engaging Young Adults in Cultural Institutions 

Join Ellen Balkin, Ogden Museum education manager, and Mikhayla Anderson, teen docent coordinator, along with Ogden Museum teen docents as they take you on a guided tour of the Ogden Museum followed by a discussion (with teen docents!) exploring the history of their award-winning teen docent program and how institutions can successfully engage youth to create mutually beneficial programs. 

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Teen Docent Program serves New Orleans area public school students with the goal of increasing their exposure to the arts, developing leadership and critical thinking skills, and empowering youth to be role models and share their talents with their community. The program was one of 12 selected for the 2015 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, the nation’s highest honor for out-of-school arts and humanities programs that celebrate the creativity of America’s young people, particularly those from underserved communities.

Time: 10 :00am–12:00pm
Cost: $25
Maximum Number of Participants: 20
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Participants will walk the .7 miles from the hotel (roughly 20 minutes)
There was a problem loading this area.

Underground New Orleans 

Archaeology in the French Quarter and Beyond 

Explore the history of New Orleans through what has been left behind beneath the ground! Archaeologist Dr. Ryan Gray and Richard Wallin Boebel, professor of anthropology at the University of New Orleans, will take participants on a tour of archaeological sites, past and present, to give a glimpse of the city from its underside, with a focus on the histories of groups marginalized in the past by race, ethnicity, class, and profession. Stops will include the locations of the city’s Colonial-era cemetery, St. Anthony’s Garden, Madame John’s Legacy, the Rising Sun Hotel, Congo Square, and Storyville, along with one or more active dig sites in the French Quarter and vicinity.

Participants should download the free New Orleans Historical phone app, available through the Apple app store or Google Play, in order to view archival photographs and excavation images pertinent to the sites (www.neworleanshistorical.org/tours/show/95).

Time: 9:00am–12:00pm 
Cost: $15
Maximum Number of Participants: 27
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, this is a guided walking tour of the city; some city streets may be hard to maneuver 
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Guided walking tour.
 
There was a problem loading this area.

Guided Bird Walk

Explore City Park, home to 280 species of birds 

Join a guided morning bird walk in one of the oldest and largest urban parks in the country! New Orleans City Park was established in 1854 and has over 1,300 acres of green space filled with lagoons, flora, and groves of trees that support more than 280 species of birds, from brown pelicans to red-bellied woodpeckers. Within the park, the thick undergrowth of the 60-acre Couturie Forest makes it one of the state’s top birding spots. Take a look at the Inside Guide to City Park Birds for more information about the many birds who either call City Park home or who are just passing through the neighborhood. 

After the bird walk, spend an hour exploring some of the rest of what City Park has to offer. We’ll drop you off at the Morning Call (inside the park) where you can purchase beignets and café au lait. For those who want more, for a modest admission fee, you can visit the New Orleans Museum of Art, The New Orleans Botanical Garden, and much more. At no charge, you can wander through the beautiful five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Or you can take a leisurely stroll around Big Lake and through the world’s largest stand of mature live oaks, which includes a grand oak that dates back nearly 800 years. You can learn all about City Park at http://neworleanscitypark.com/about.

Time: 7:30am–12:30pm
Cost: $55
Maximum Number of Participants: 15
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: No
Lunch: Not included
Transportation: Provided
There was a problem loading this area.



Full-Day Sessions
 

Audubon Zoo

Learn how a premier zoological institution interprets their animals and works to save species

Tour the Audubon Zoo with guide Jack Gaines, adult naturalist volunteer coordinator, as he shows you how the Audubon interprets its animals and the places from which they hail for visitors. 

For many urban children, their first brush with the natural world outside of their own backyard happens in a zoo or aquarium. For many animals threatened in the wild, these same institutions offer a sort of ark, a plan B population to back up in situ conservation and preservation efforts. From Asian Domain to the Louisiana Swamp exhibit, each space is designed to be an immersive experience for their audience, creating connection between guests and the animals. During the tour you will visit the interpretive placements throughout the zoo and explore the role of education staff and volunteers in each placement. You will be sure to meet some animals along the way and see what goes into caring for the animals. Your guide will discuss how Species Survival Plans work in AZA-accredited facilities and how zoos like the Audubon are working together to save species. 

Time: 9:30am–3:30pm
Cost: $63
Maximum Number of Participants: 25
Suggest Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, public areas; behind the scenes may not be 
Lunch: Included
Transportation: Provided
There was a problem loading this area.

Audubon Aquarium and Audubon Insectarium

Crawly insects to diverse marine residents

This dual offsite offers the unique opportunity to tour two of Audubon’s top-rated facilities, the Audubon Aquarium and the Audubon Insectarium, as you learn from their guides. 

Your offsite starts with a tour of North America’s largest museum, the Audubon Insectarium, devoted to insects and their relatives as you learn about the unique challenges the Insectarium faces interpreting creepy crawlies and see what they do to make it the top-rated Audubon facility. At the aquarium, you will learn about education programming and how they harness the power of the regional environment in their exhibitory and messaging. You may also get a behind the scenes peak at how we care for our diverse marine residents.

Time: 9:30am–4:00pm
Cost: $60
Maximum Number of Participants: 25
Suggest Gear: Weather-appropriate clothing and comfortable shoes
Accessible: Yes, public areas; behind the scenes may not be
Lunch: Included
Transportation: Provided

There was a problem loading this area.

Canoe & Kayak 

Swamp, Marsh, Bayou, and the Louisiana Estuary

Experience the full story of the wetlands in an eco-friendly, low-impact way as you kayak through a swamp, marsh, bayou, and into the Louisiana estuary system. Follow your guide in your own canoe or kayak (provided) as you venture down a natural undeveloped cane bayou. This offsite is guided by a Louisiana Master Naturalist who will stop along the way to give you detailed information about the bayous, swamps, and Louisiana’s wetland eco systems in surrounding New Orleans. Cane Bayou is the only undeveloped bayou left leading into Lake Pontchartrain, once at the lake, you will enjoy a po’ boy lunch and for those who want, you may take a wade in the lake. Depending on the season, wildlife consists of ibises, egrets, herons, eagles, alligators, turtles, and more. Woodpeckers and assorted song birds are seasonal visitors to the living and dead cypress trees visible from the bayou.

Time: 8:50am–3:00pm or 11:50am–6:00pm
Cost: $95
Maximum Number of Participants: 25 each tour
Suggested Gear: Be sure to check the forecast and dress appropriately, check the weather the morning of the paddle
Accessible: No
Lunch: Included
Transportation: Provided—90-minute round trip
Other Notes: Drinking water, lunch, and waterproof cases for phones are provided. The tour lasts 3.5 to 4 hours, including a mid-paddle break. No experience required for kayaks, some experience recommended for canoes. Per paddler weight limit of 275 pounds (124.7 kg).
There was a problem loading this area.
There was a problem loading this area.

New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park

Experience jazz music where it all started

Spend a full day at the unique New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park and learn about the diverse history and culture of New Orleans jazz. Start your Saturday morning the ‘New Orleans way’ with a yoga class to live jazz music performed by park rangers.  After a morning of yoga, join the rangers for an introduction and overview of their interpretive programming. Later, experience an interactive African drumming circle and dancing demonstration followed by a brass band workshop (if you play, bring your own instrument and join in with these New Orleans musicians). Continue the day with a guided walking tour of the French Quarter focused on the development of New Orleans jazz. End the day with friends listening to live music on Frenchmen Street.

Time: 10:00am–4:45pm (Happy hour starts at 5:00pm!)
Cost: $35
Maximum Number of Participants: 20
Suggested Gear: Comfortable clothing. Be sure to come prepared for yoga, drumming and dancing!
Accessible: Yes, a short walk to the site is required; some city streets may be hard to maneuver
Lunch: Lunch and drinks on your own in French Quarter
Transportation: Participants will walk one-mile from the hotel to the park  (approx. 20-minute)
 
There was a problem loading this area.

Interpreting Difficult History 

Oak Alley and the Whitney Plantations

An hour outside of New Orleans, along the banks of the Mississippi River, is a community with powerful testimonies to the rich history of the antebellum south and the sugar plantations. Step back in time with this guided tour of two plantations, Oak Alley and the Whitney, as you explore and discuss the difficult history of the past as seen through the eyes of the enslaved labor and plantation owners. 

Built in the early 1800s, Oak Alley offers an experience as compelling as the plantation’s 25 historic acres and 300-year-old alley of oaks. This tour will take you from the plantation’s mansion, the “Big House,” which was built with prestige and power in mind, to the slavery exhibit, where you will hear touching stories of the lives and living conditions of individuals who were owned and kept on the plantation. It also includes a look into life after emancipation, as laborers continued to live in the increasingly squalid housing until the 20th century. Your guide will discuss how they address visitors’ needs as they confront difficult history. The tour ends with a unique opportunity for Q&A with Laura Kilcer, curator, and Gaul Dubois, interpretive coordinator, as they discuss some of the questions that have guided their revamp, including site identity, humanizing the enslaved, difficult history, and rebranding. After lunch at Oak Alley, you will depart for a tour of the Whitney Plantation. 

Spend the afternoon at the Whitney Plantation, which opened its doors in 2014 to the public for the first time in its 262-year history as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery. Your afternoon will start with time to explore the grounds on your own, and then take a 90-minute guided tour of the museum exhibits, memorial artwork, and restored buildings that offer hundreds of first-person slave narratives that offer a unique perspective on the lives of Louisiana’s enslaved people. The tour will end with a Q&A. 

Time: 7:45am–5:15pm
Cost: $105
Maximum Number of Participants: 45
Suggest Gear: Comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing. You will be walking on gravel pathways
Accessible: Pathways and upper floors may not be wheelchair accessible
Lunch: Included at Oak Alley
Transportation: Provided—travel is approximately 100-mile round trip
There was a problem loading this area.

Jean Lafitte Barataria Preserve National Park 

Explore the protected wetlands, bayous, swamps, and marshes 

Explore the protected wetlands of New Orleans’ Barataria Preserve and see how humans have lived off the land over time, from Native Americans to Cajun pioneers to the pirate Jean Lafitte, who smuggled goods through its dark waters and serpentine channels. Join Jean Lafitte National Historical Park rangers as they take you through the Preserve’s bayous, swamps, and marshes to spot animals, including alligators and over 200 species of birds. Your morning will start with a pontoon boat ride where you will get the chance to hear from local guides who have lived the Cajun way, as they tell stories of life on the bayou. Across from the boat dock is a 200-year-old cemetery that is located around the most significant Indian burial mound in south Louisiana that carbon dates back 2,000 years. The day ends with a guided hike down a favorite trail (Bayou Coquille Trailhead) that starts in the hardwood forest along the bayou and changes to a cypress-tupelo swamp before becoming a freshwater marsh.

Time: 8:45am–3:45pm
Cost: $72
Maximum number of Participants: 54
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothes for a pontoon boat ride and trail hike. Be sure to bring your sunscreen and water bottle
Accessible: No
Lunch: Included
Transportation: Provided.
 
There was a problem loading this area.

Service-Learning Project: Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum

Beautification project followed by a discussion with civil rights leader Leona Tate

Before the Lower Ninth Ward became the most devastated neighborhood in New Orleans it was a vibrant home to musicians, civil rights activists, culture-bearers, and generations of extended families. In 2011 the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum was founded in response to the painfully slow rebuilding of the Lower Ninth Ward. Today the museum stands as a means to celebrate and preserve the stories of the rich history of the neighborhood where only one in five residents has been able to return to their homes since Hurricane Katrina. 

Join us as for a day where your morning starts off by contributing to the community planting trees at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum and ends with the unique opportunity to meet Leona Tate, a historical figure, community organizer, and legend. Hear Leona’s incredible story of her journey into the civil rights movement where in 1960, at the age of six, she entered into the civil rights movement when she and two other African-American girls integrated McDonogh No. 19 Elementary School. Today Leona continues the journey through the Leona Tate Foundation for Change, where she strives to educate the public regarding lessons of the civil rights movement and its impact on human rights efforts throughout the world.

Time: 8:00am–3:30pm 
Cost: $55
Maximum Number of Participants: 25
Suggested Gear: Weather-appropriate clothes for outdoor planting. Be sure to bring your sunscreen and water bottle.
Handicap Accessibility: This offsite is not accessible.
Lunch: Included
Transportation: Provided.
There was a problem loading this area.


2018 NAI National Conference
New Orleans, Louisiana

November 27 – December 1

Lodging

New Orleans Marriott
555 Canal Street
Book a room in NAI's room block.

Single/Double $149 (plus taxes)
Triple – add $25
Quad – add $50

Interested in Sponsorships or Advertising?

Contact NAI Events Manager Michele Farmer at mfarmer@interpnet.com or 970-484-8283 x805.

NAI 2018 on Facebook

Follow the conference Facebook page for a deeper look at events and updates.