El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park Visitor Center Museum Panels Are Now Bilingual!

By Melanie Magolan, Director of Visitor Experience

Many of the goals in the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s (SBTHP) DEI plan are large-scale and long-term, however we realize that there are smaller, quick changes we can make to help ensure that the visitor experience we offer is more inclusive and accessible. One such relatively easy change was to update the informational panels in the Visitor Center at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park to include Spanish translations.

Before/After of one panel. Photos by Melanie Magolan.

This project also gave us the opportunity to reprint and reformat the text, as well as update some content and images. SBTHP has been working to make our school and public programs more inclusive, but we are also committed to do the same for the everyday visitor to our historic sites. With the completion of the bilingual panel projects at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park’s Visitor Center and at Casa de la Guerra, we have taken a substantial step in this direction.

A peek into the process. Photo by Melanie Magolan.

In addition, some panel content has been updated to better reflect the layers of history and the diverse communities of the Presidio Neighborhood over time. The Alhecama Theatre, Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, and the Asian-American Neighborhood Festival are all represented.

The panels aren’t the only thing to become bilingual; SBTHP’s self-guided tour brochure is now offered in Spanish, as well. This has not only been popular with our Spanish-speaking visitors, but with French- and Italian-speaking visitors as well.

Part of the front cover of our Spanish tour brochure. Photo by Melanie Magolan.

The translations were done by Lena Morán-Acereto of Bridging Voices. Bridging Voices has been working extensively with SBTHP to help us learn to critically evaluate our own programs, particularly through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We thank Lena and Bridging Voices for their help and expertise.

We look forward to finding more ways to make our spaces and programs more inclusive and accessible.

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