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Museum Audiences

The latest research-backed posts on museum audience behavior, in person or virtual, current or prospective.

Summer is here, and with it, a new guest blogger series! Today we are excited to share a new post by our friend Sadiya Akasha of Sitara Systems. Sadiya is a researcher, product designer, and expert on Gen Z (people born between 1995 and 2010).  In this summer series, Sadiya will make the case for...
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By: Rachel Nicholson Having drafted new labels, we want to ensure our approach is actually meaningful to our audiences at the Nelson-Atkins before putting them on the walls. We’re currently in the process of evaluating our new labels to better understand their impact on visitors. Our approach for label evaluations is usually to do random...
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By: Rachel Nicholson, Jocelyn Edens, and Ariana Chaivaranon In our workshops with curatorial colleagues (which we wrote about in the last post), we continually heard certain ideas rise to the surface about shared principles for interpretive text at the Nelson-Atkins. These included: Complexity: a label can be an invitation to explore the object and ideas...
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By: Rachel Nicholson In my last post, I wrote about harm reduction as a philosophy and how it might be applied to rethinking museum labels. In this post, I’ll explain just how we started these conversations at the Nelson-Atkins and put our ideas in action. This project is on-going, and we have certainly stumbled along...
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It’s always a pleasure to share this page with our friends and colleagues in museums.  Today we’re delighted to share the first post in a new four-part series by Rachel Nicholson from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (located in Kansas City, MO).  Every two weeks throughout April and May, Rachel will highlight her team’s efforts...
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Last year, my colleagues and I chatted about the work of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to propose a new definition of museums.  We listened to the MuseoPunks podcast, which featured different speakers talking about their perspectives on the definition process.  At the time, I remember being intrigued by the discussions.  The old definition...
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Sunday marked the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  My first thought was, “Really, only 30 years?”  It is shocking that people in the United States with disabilities had to wait so long to have their rights acknowledged by our government.  I also couldn’t help but notice that the 30th anniversary of...
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I started this blog about a month ago in frustration about the layoffs of museum educators (and other front-of-house staff although I am going to speak specifically about my experiences with museum educators).  I wrote it in a fury one night, and each day since my anger and sadness have grown as I have witnessed...
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When museums started closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in early March, there were surges of digital initiatives across all institutions meant to reach new and existing audiences while doors were closed. It’s an amazing and overwhelming time to be involved in the digital side of museums. However, I propose that online resources are...
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Shortly after posting my last blog on social and emotional learning being imperative and in museum educators’ wheelhouse, some conversations with clients, colleagues, and research participants further drove this point home for me.  In my first post, I wrote about how important question-posing is for social and emotional learning and how museum educators are often...
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