Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Making Brooklyn Bloom 2021

Technical production assistance for virtual public program // 2021

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 with more than 300 participants. This 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, and coordinating ASL interpretation and other accessibility accommodations.

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.

The Ringling: Accessibility Assessment

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

Recommendations for Accessibility Strategies // 2016

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 in Sarasota, Florida, 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. Since this assessment, The Ringling has excelled at implementing many of the recommendations in the report.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Accessibility and Visitor Engagement

Photo of the Fragrance Garden showing a raised bed of plants and bronze plaque with Braille text and a group in the distance

Training Workshops and Resources for Staff and Volunteers // 2016

Turnstile Studio was contracted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to conduct a series of training workshops, develop training tools and materials, and provide recommendations to further enhance accessibility and visitor engagement for both children and adults. This project involved two separate accessibility training workshops with staff, K–12 instructors, Discovery Docents, and Garden Guides and the development of training resources to support the institution’s continuing efforts to provide welcoming experiences to visitors with disabilities. Turnstile staff conducted on-site observations of guided tours, school programs, and the Discovery Garden; created tailor-made training resources and evaluation tools for general public tours and the Discovery Garden; developed a train-the-trainers lesson plan with supplementary training materials and resources; supported the inaugural pilot early morning opening of the Discovery Garden for families with children who have disabilities; and delivered reports with assessments and recommendations based on observations and best practices in the field for future capacity-building efforts.