Consulting • Training • Research

Filed to: Turnstile Studio

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Our founding mission is “to advance public knowledge about the meaning of place, foster connections and understanding between people of diverse backgrounds, and inspire and reflect a culture of community participation through providing welcoming, well-researched, inclusive, and engaging educational experiences and resources to people of all ages and abilities.”

Turnstile Studio allows us to extend this mission beyond the tour programs we currently operate in New York City. We are always looking for partners and clients who share these values, and we seek to share the depth and breadth of our experience and expertise to support cultural sites, community-based institutions, economic development organizations, and other non-profits, in their efforts to more effectively engage the public through place-making projects, exhibitions, tours, and public programs.

Thanks to the diverse talents of our team, who combine decades of experience in a range of fields, our core competencies include:

  • Storytelling techniques
  • Research and content production
  • Visitor services and engagement
  • Accessibility for visitors with disabilities
  • Cartography and graphic design
  • Development and evaluation of tours and public programs

Below you will find examples of our past projects – please contact us if you would like more information about our practice at Turnstile Studio.


Humanities New York: Tour and Workshop

Filed to: PresentationsStreet VendorsTrainingsTurnstile Studio

Designing for Public Engagement: Tour and Professional Development Workshop

On December 12, 2016, Turnstile hosted a Food Cart Tour of the Financial District at lunchtime, followed by a two-part professional development workshop for Public Humanities Fellows at Humanities New York that explored the challenges and opportunities of creating publicly accessible resources and programming with community partners, informants, and collaborators. Using the tour as a common reference point, combined with a series of facilitated activities, workshop participants shared ideas, questions, and concerns about their respective projects, learned about and discussed logistical and ethical considerations for designing and implementing public-facing projects, and reviewed project management tools that support facilitating mutually beneficial collaboration with community partners.


Market Value: How Public Markets Drive the Baking Industry Forward

Filed to: EventsIndustryMaking It In NYCPresentationsPublic MarketsTurnstile Studio

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An Essex Street Market “Talk & Taste” event about the baking industry in New York City

Baking is literally our bread and butter in New York City making up the majority of food manufacturing businesses within the five boroughs. On December 8th, 2016 at the Essex Street Market, members of the public joined us for a taste of bagels and fresh bread and a behind-the-scenes look at the baking industry. Guest speakers included Lee Wellington, Executive Director of the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, Gene Davidovich, CEO of Davidovich Bakery, Uliks Fehmiu, Co-Founder & President of Pain D’Avignon, and the general manager from the new bread-themed Eataly NYC Downtown location. Moderator Cindy VandenBosch of Turnstile Tours interviewed panelists about what it takes to operate a food production and distribution business in New York City and the unique role public markets – like Essex Street Market – play in supporting the baking industry. This event was organized by Cindy VandenBosch and Lauren Margolis of the Essex Street Market Vendors Association.

If you missed the event, you can watch the whole discussion on below or on our Facebook page.

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CUNY Graduate Center: Workshop on Guided Tours

Filed to: PresentationsTrainingsTurnstile Studio

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Engaging Guided Tours: Techniques and Best Practices

On October 28, 2016, Cindy VandenBosch and Andrew Gustafson of Turnstile Tours led a workshop at the City University of New York’s Center for the Humanities as part of Afterlives: Place, Memory, Story, a day-long conference hosted by the Public History Collective. This workshop introduced attendees to best practices in developing and delivering guided tour experiences that are accessible, engaging, and rigorously researched. Through case studies drawn from Turnstile’s extensive experience in the field, and through modeling practices, participants learned about strategies for developing content for place-based learning, storytelling techniques, group management, as well as other approaches to ensure that visitors have an enjoyable and educational tour experience that is meaningfully connected to the tour’s location.


The Ringling: Accessibility Assessment

Filed to: ResearchTechnical AssistanceTurnstile Studio

Ornate features and stained glass windows of the back of the Ca' d'Zan mansion at the Ringling Estate

Recommendations for Accessibility Strategies

Turnstile Studio was commissioned to produce an assessment with recommendations and resources for increasing accessibility for all visitors at The Ringling’s 66-acre campus, including the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, Historic Asolo Theatre, Ca’ d’Zan mansion, and the Bayfront Gardens. The results of the assessment were informed by a review of visitor and training materials, a three-day site visit, meetings with department heads, and a survey conducted with more than 300 volunteers and staff. The final report included survey reports, as well as general recommendations in the following four areas: 1) Physical accessibility and navigation; 2) Visitor services and effective communication; 3) Institutional capacity building; and 4) Staff training. 



Four Freedoms Park: Social Welfare & the City Field Trip

Filed to: ResearchTurnstile Studio

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Research supporting educational field trips to Four Freedoms Park using the visible landscape to tell the history of public housing in New York City

Turnstile Studio was selected by the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy to conduct supporting research for an educational program focusing on the history of social welfare in New York City. Using the landscape visible from the park, located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in the East River, we identified a series of structures that typified different modes of housing to trace the history of housing for New Yorkers in need from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day. Research included examining primary and secondary source materials from local archives, including the New-York Historical Society, the New York City Municipal Archives, the New York Public Library, and the La Guardia and Wagner Archives at La Guardia Community College.


Essex Street Market: Historical Research for Infographic

Filed to: ResearchTurnstile Studio

The outside of a market that's painted colorfully with designs that include painted vegetables, fruit, and geometric shapesDrawing from already existing original research that Turnstile Tours conducted to lead public tours of the Essex Street Market, Turnstile Studio was commissioned by the Essex Street Market Vendors Association to research, develop, and curate a historical content document to support the design and creation of an infographic that will be installed inside the market. This research project included producing an annotated synopsis of the history of the Essex Street Market and New York City’s public market system, focusing on milestone moments, historical tidbits, and vendors’ stories, as well as providing suggestions for visual materials to feature in the infographic. Primary source materials were drawn from sources at the New York City Municipal Archives, New York City Department of Records, the Municipal Library, and the New York Public Library, as well as from online newspaper archives, including the New York Times, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, and other newspapers.


Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce: Brooklyn Tourism Map

Filed to: Cartography & Graphic DesignTurnstile Studio

CTM borough map

Design of tourism map and visitors guide to Brooklyn

In the spring of 2016, Turnstile Studio was contracted by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce and Explore Brooklyn to create a free visitors map for Brooklyn, highlighting travel and tourism stakeholders in the borough. The design was focused on drawing in visitors from Manhattan by putting a spotlight on wayfinding and the many means of public transportation that cross the East River. The maps were printed and distributed by CTM Media Group in kiosks throughout the greater New York area during the 2016-17 season. (more…)


Brooklyn Navy Yard: Tour Brochure and Map

Filed to: Cartography & Graphic DesignTurnstile Studio

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Design of brochure and map for tour programs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard

In the summer of 2015, Turnstile Studio was contracted by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation to create a new visitor brochure for tour programs at the Yard. This brochure was designed to improve wayfinding for visitors, and to encapsulate the wide variety of tour programs and experiences available at the Yard, including tours for the general public, school tours, private group tours, and exhibits and programs at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92. (more…)