Olmsted-Beil House Virtual Programs

Production of virtual programs for Friends of the Olmsted-Beil House // 2021

Turnstile provided technical assistance on the production of virtual programs for the Friends of Olmsted-Beil House, a nonprofit organization that is working to preserve and interpret the former home and grounds of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted in Staten Island. The programs have included an on-site virtual tour of the park grounds and discussion on how Olmsted’s experience in Staten Island influenced his later work, and a panel on Olmsted 1871 comprehensive plan for the Staten Island’s growth and development. Production tasks included pre-production meetings with guests, on-camera hosting and moderation, and directing all visual and audio features of the broadcast.

Thai Select: Thai Food in America

Photo of plates of food on a table, including fish, curry, carrots, rice, and Thai iced tea

Virtual food festivals highlighting Thai food and culture // 2020–2021

Building on Turnstile’s experience with food-focused tours and virtual programming, we were engaged by marketing and communications agency ELMNTL on behalf of Thai Select USA to produce two series of online programs about Thai cuisine and culture. Produced during the height of the pandemic in the fall of 2020, the first series “Thai Food in America,” featured certified Thai Select restaurants from across the US with tutorials on Thai ingredients and cooking techniques and live cooking demos from 11 different restaurants across six hour-long virtual programs, including a live broadcast from Thailand. The second series in the summer of 2021, “Passport to the Northeast,” engaged not just restaurants in the Northeast region, but food suppliers, tour guides, and scholars to explore topics related to Thai foodways, diaspora communities, language, and culture. The series also included an interactive map of more than 100 certified restaurants and Thai business and cultural sites stretching from North Carolina to New England.

Photo by Clay Williams Photography

Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Making Brooklyn Bloom

Technical production assistance for virtual public program // 2021 and 2022

Turnstile Studio provided pre-production, training, coordination, and production services to Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s staff for their annual community event, Making Brooklyn Bloom, which was held on Zoom in March 2021 and 2022 with hundreds of participants both years. This work included creating a production plan and run-of-show to make the online event as interactive as possible, training the staff, volunteers, and guest speakers on relevant Zoom features and production tasks, managing a Facebook Live stream, directing all visual and audio features of the broadcast, coordinating with American Sign Language interpreters, and facilitating other accessibility accommodations.

Maxo Vanka Murals: Interpretive Planning

Photo of a church ceiling painted by artist Maxo Vanka depicting Mother Mary wearing a red robe and Baby Jesus on her lap, Jesus ascending to heaven above her

Stakeholder-focused planning process to develop interpretive framework and resources for future growth // 2020

Turnstile Studio produced an interpretive plan for the Society to Preserve the Millvale Murals of Maxo Vanka in the greater Pittsburgh area, a nonprofit organization which works to preserve and interpret historic murals inside an active Roman Catholic Church. The murals were painted by Croatian artist Maxo Vanka in 1937 and 1941 at St. Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, and they reflect contemporary struggles for social justice and the lived experience of the working-class Croatian community. The interpretive planning involved engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, including staff, volunteers, board members, visitors, scholars, congregants, and other community members in a collaborative and iterative process to develop the final plan, which included an interpretive framework guided by interpretive themes, outcomes, essential questions, and design principles; a theory of change and logic models to guide future program development; audience analysis and growth strategies; and comparative sites for learning and collaboration.

Brooklyn Public Library: Teacher Professional Development at Brooklyn Army Terminal

Black and white photo of young boys standing in a construction site holding buckets with scaffolding and the Brooklyn Army Terminal behind them

Chancellor’s Day workshop for New York City teachers // 2019

Turnstile collaborated with Brooklyn Connections of the Brooklyn Public Library to develop and host a day-long professional development workshop for history and social studies teachers. The program included lectures and tours on the history of the Brooklyn Army Terminal and its transformation from a military base to a nonprofit industrial park. Brooklyn Connections provided participants with take-home primary sources and lesson ideas to help students create connections between major historical themes and local history through the Brooklyn Army Terminal.

Vendy Awards: Marketing Design

Design of logo and marketing materials for the Vendy Awards // 2018–2019

The Vendy Awards were an annual food festival and fundraiser held to support the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of New York City’s street vendor community. Turnstile’s design team, led by Andrew Gustafson, created the visual identity for the last two Vendys, in 2018 and 2019, and designed related printed and digital collateral, including promotional postcards, posters, online ad banners, and the event program.

Expanding Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Welcome

Photo of a tour group showing a woman leading to tour, an ASL interpreter, a guest in a wheelchair, and another guest standing, with trees in the background

Staff Training and Capacity Building for Accessibility // 2019–2022

Starting in 2019, Turnstile was engaged by Brooklyn Botanic Garden to act as the key consultant in the implementation of a multi-year grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services titled “Expanding BBG’s Welcome,” which seeks to further advance accessibility of the site for people of all abilities through staff training and professional development. Turnstile conducted a baseline internal assessment of the experience and knowledge of staff related to accessibility through observations, surveys, and focus groups by department. Using the results of the assessment, Turnstile designed and has led training workshops for over 200 frontline staff across the institution that have been customized by departmental roles and have focused on practical interactions with visitors. Turnstile has also developed a range of learning modules on accessibility-related topics, including empathy-building, physical navigation and wayfinding, and multimodal communication strategies, that are being incorporated into in-house staff trainings and provides ongoing support to the Garden’s accessibility initiatives, including facilitating connections with disability service providers and advocates to serve as advisors and trainers, the roll-out of accessible services, programs, and signage, and supporting interdepartmental coordination on crafting institutional policies and procedures.

Brooklyn Army Terminal 100th Anniversary Content Development

Historical Research and Archival Materials for Marketing and Placemaking // 2018

In preparation for the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking of the Brooklyn Army Terminal, Turnstile Studio produced a comprehensive research document about the site’s history, along with archival photographs and other materials for use by the New York City Economic Development Corporation for marketing, education, and other materials. This package included dozens of high-resolution, public domain images of the Brooklyn Army Terminal and New York Port of Embarkation, an annotated timeline of key milestones in BAT history, facts and figures about BAT for use in social media and other marketing, and information specifically relating to manufacturing and industry from BAT’s history to draw past-present connections to current uses.

Green-Wood Cemetery: Visitor Engagement Training Workshop and Resources

Professional Development Workshop and Capacity-Building Resources // 2017

In the spring of 2017, Turnstile Studio was contracted by Green-Wood Cemetery to develop and conduct a customized professional development workshop for their tour guides and staff with a focus on techniques and best practices for providing an inclusive and engaging experience for all visitors. In addition to the training workshop, Turnstile’s team produced capacity-building resources for the institution, including training materials and resources for future workshops, as well as  a report with recommendations related to visitor engagement on tours of Green-Wood based on tour observations, assessment of online and printed visitor materials, and best practices across the museum and tourism fields.

Humanities New York: Designing for Public Engagement

Mind map on a whiteboard of the Food Cart Tour,

Professional Development Workshop for Public Humanities Fellows // 2016–2018

Turnstile hosted a two-part professional development workshop for three cohorts of Public Humanities Ph.D. 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 Food Cart Tour as a common reference point, combined with a series of facilitated activities, workshop participants shared ideas, questions, and concerns about their respective community-oriented 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.