Stephanie Downey, Director


Stephanie has managed and designed research and evaluation projects in all types of cultural organizations since joining RK&A in 1999. RK&A has benefited from Stephanie’s anthropology background and interest in and commitment to using evaluation and research to understand and ultimately improve the visitor experience in informal learning environments. Prior to her work in the informal education arena, she conducted educational research and program evaluation in public schools.

Stephanie Downey

Published Works, Select Articles By Stephanie Downey

“The Parental Role in Children’s Museums: Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behaviors.”
Museums & Social Issues, 2010.
By Stephanie Downey, Amanda Krantz, and Emily Skidmore

This article presents the results of audience research at a children’s museum in Philadelphia.  The research focuses on understanding the parental role in a children’s museum experience.  In particular, it identifies and explains three barriers to full parental participation. 

Full Article


“Measuring the Impact of Museum-School Programs: Findings and Implications for Practice.” 
Journal of Museum Education, 2007.
By Stephanie Downey, Johanna Jones, and Jackie Delamatre

Drawing on findings from research that examined a long-standing program at the Guggenheim Museum, this article identifies characteristics of a museum-school program that contribute to increased critical-thinking skills in elementary-aged students.

Full Article


“Visitor-Centered Exhibition Development.”
Exhibitionist, 2002.
By Stephanie Downey

This article describes the various phases of evaluation in the context of exhibition development. Newcomers to the field as well as exhibition developers and designers may find it instructional.

Full Article