Social Ambassador Stories: Caring for the Ford’s Theatre Museum

Few people know our Ford’s Theatre exhibits as well as Heather Hoagland, Exhibitions and Collections Manager. Whether she’s cleaning Lincoln’s clothes from the evening of his assassination or preserving light-damaged photos, Heather shares her museum adventures on Twitter as part of our Social Media Ambassadors program. We asked about what she’s been working on this summer at Ford’s and her favorite museums on Twitter.


What’s something you wished more people knew about Ford’s Theatre and museums in general?

For Ford’s Theatre, I wish people knew more about all the great educational initiatives we offer.

As for museums, there’s a whole range of jobs you can do at museums—education, collections management, visitor services, conservation, exhibition design and development. Curating [selecting, organizing and caring for the items in a collection] is just one tiny piece of what goes into making awesome museums! I can’t count how many times I tell people I work in museums and they say, “Oh, so you’re a curator?”

What are you working on at Ford’s this summer?

I’m super excited about a new video we’ve created with 522 Productions for our fall musical Come From Away. The video shares the true story of the Canadian town of Gander and how generous the people there were to stranded airline passengers during the days after 9/11.. It’s the first time I have worked on something like this, and it’s been very fun learning about all the work and thought that goes into making even a very short video.


Do you have a favorite interaction that’s happened on Twitter?

I used Twitter to get in touch with a “come from away” [the real-life people whose story inspired our musical this fall] who had photos of Gander, Newfoundland, in the days after 9/11. We were able to use their photos in the Come From Away video.


What can people expect to see from your Twitter feed?

Every week I share a new Lincoln or Ford’s Theatre fact on Fridays. #FunFactFriday was just a little thing I thought up in my first month tweeting for Ford’s, and now they are some of my most popular tweets! I’ve only missed one week since I started: the week I was on vacation at the beginning of June.

If people enjoy your tweets and those of Ford’s Theatre (@FordsTheatre), who else do you think they would enjoy following?

American History (@amhistorymuseum) posts lots of interesting artifacts National Building Museum (@BuildingMuseum) does amazing work Glensheen Mansion (@glensheen) is a awesome historic house in Duluth, MN, that I just visited, Lincoln’s Cottage (@LincolnsCottage) is one of my favorite historic sites… after Ford’s, of course!

Follow Heather on Twitter (@hlhoagland) to see more! And let us know if you have any questions for her about caring the Ford’s Theatre collection; we’ll pass them along.

Sara Cohen is Marketing Manager at Ford’s Theatre, where she helms the Ford’s Theatre Facebook and Twitter accounts, among other projects that share Lincoln’s legacy with the world. Follow her on Twitter at @SaraECohen.