First Person Interpreters (F.P.I.)

News and Updates

2018 Retreat

The 2018 George Chapman Memorial First Person Interpreters Retreat took place in Dover, DE, March 23-25. Site hosts included the Johnsons Victrola Museum, The Old State Capitol, Rose Cottage, and our main host site, John Dickinson Plantation. Registrants went on guided tours of the Cultural Affairs Facility, Old State House Museum, the Johnson Victrola Museum as well as the John Dickinson Plantation. The guided tour of Dover's historic town green was full of storytelling and drama! Some sessions were held at the Dover Public Library and the keynote performance and dinner at St. Jones Preserve. We definitely experienced Dover! The people were kind, generous and showed their appreciation for our coming to their neck of the woods for our retreat.

During the weekend, session topics were varied and focused attention on both the novice just starting out, as well as the experienced practitioner, from Business 101 for the independent to the training program for site specific junior role-players and interpreters. Discussions included trouble shooting challenging interpretation to creative ways of encouraging continued best practices. 

Representatives from ALHFAM member sites included Old Sturbridge Village, Strawbery Banke, Colonial Williamsburg, Norlands Living History Center, and John Dickinson Plantation, along with first-time attendees from the Accokeek Foundation’s National Colonial Farm, the American Antiquarian Society, First State Heritage Park, New Castle Court House Museum, Fort Delaware State Park, Historic Daniel Lady Farm, National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, and the Delaware Dutch site Zwaanendael Museum. Other organizations and sites represented were De Thee Tuin, Killens Pond and the Ebonydoughboys, Inc.

From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, from Canada through New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, to Long Island, and from Maine to Maryland, and Virginia to Delaware, attendees came together to share insights, network, and participate in on-your-feet training. 

Everyone took something of value from participation in and continued connection to ALHFAM’s F.P.I. PIG. We welcome the new members who have joined ALHFAM through participation in the retreat.

Name Change

In October, 2016, the membership decided to change their name from FPIPN (First-Person Interpreters Professional Network) to F.P.I. (First Person Interpreters).

2016 Annual Meeting Update

Thank you to Ron Carnegie of Colonial Williamsburg for chairing the PIG for the past few years, and for keeping alive the retreat, leading sessions and workshops, and supporting the efforts of all ALHFAM First Person Interpreters.

Detailed information on the FPIPN PIG from this year’s meeting as well as going forward, will mainly be on the FPIPN PIG Forum group page on the ALHFAM website, as well as on the ALHFAM-L, with use of Facebook postings alerting folks to those postings. Facebook is great to announce that more info will be on the website Forum page. We are trying to increase membership through enticements posted on Facebook, so photos of what everyone is up to and event announcements will continue to be appreciated on the Facebook page. The more the better, in fact! However, job offers and employment opportunities should be added to the website Forum page (giving access only to members who have signed up to be included on that PIG Forum page at the website). Access to job listings (especially at AHFAM member sites) are a benefit of membership. And of course, the website has a general jobs postings list as well (available to members only). So posting in both places is encouraged. Again, this is a benefit of membership, as is the ALHFAM-L.

I have posted a challenge to the membership on the FPIPN Forum page, please head on over there and put in your two (or three) cents worth!

Looking forward to next summer’s ALHFAM annual at Geneses Country Village, where FPIPN is going to join with HATS for a two-pronged session. Kandie Carle will be submitting a proposal to bring back my "clothing through the eras" silhouette session (from several years ago), with suspended white sheet and back light. Then some of those participants will be in the next session doing a first person presentation, in costume, with discussion about creating the pieces and what has worked and what hasn’t.


  • To provide a support network for practitioners of first-person interpretation.
  • To promote high standards of quality for first-person interpretation.
  • To provide a clearinghouse for techniques, advice, employment opportunities, and resources.
  • To meet as an ALHFAM PIG and conduct pre-conference workshops or sponsor sessions at Annual and Regional ALHFAM meetings, as well as independent First-Person retreats.
  • To organize a network of independent contractors and museums so both types of agencies can locate appropriate talent for their projects.


The committee disseminates its lists, guidelines, and resources via the ALHFAM Web Page (, electronic mail, regular mail, and the ALHFAM Bulletin.


  • Past into Present: Effective Techniques for First-Person Historical Interpreters. University of North Carolina Press, 1998. by ALHFAM member Stacy Roth.
  • Three page summary of 1997 ALHFAM pre-conference workshop, The Freelance Interpreter: Issues, Audiences, Marketing & More. 1997 ALHFAM Annual Meeting Proceedings, Vol. XX, Pages 255-257.
  • ALHFAM Proceedings especially Vol. XXII, 1999 FPIPN pre-conference workshop papers, pages 70-75,112-14, 121-124.
  • Papers from 2000 will be available when published.

If you are a member of ALHFAM and would like to join F.P.I., please send your name, address, institutional affiliation (if any), telephone number, email address, and a short description of your first-person interests to Kandie Carle.

For any whom may be interested, F.P.I. now has its own Facebook page and own Forum.  Feel free to come on by if you are so inclined.

Please feel free to send personal and site literature for referrals. Also, please indicate if you would like to take an active role in the F.P.I. as part of our working committee. We pride ourselves that participation is open to all who wish to take an active part in the work of the committee. Though we are far apart in terms of distance, we find ways to spread the work. 

Stacy Roth has compiled a list of historic sites that use first-person interpretation.

ALHFAMP.O. Box 16, Rochdale, MA 01542 -

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