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March 04, 2010


Paul Orselli

This is interesting stuff --- especially the challenge for non-Children's Museums to figure out ways and means to have at least part of their facilities become perceived as more family/kid friendly.

I know from my own experiences developing interactive exhibits in Art, and History, Museums that the biggest challenge is often overcoming staff's reluctance to introduce such audiences and exhibits to their institutions in the first place.

Chris Sparks

Very interesting article. Our museum is currently pretty well set up for visits from young families, but there is always more that can be done. Thanks for taking the analysis of visitation trends to the next stage.

john buchinger

For museum education departments we are seeing some significant issues with school group attendance. Overall we are seeing more schools calling asking for assistance with admissions and transportation costs, coupled with groups canceling based on budget cuts.
I see many reports saying museum attendance is doing better, but my core is shrinking.
I am interested to see how museums respond to the needs of schools and how long will funders be willing to foot the bill for field trips?


First off, I need to say that this blog has changed my life! I am currently doing graduate research on the impact art museum outreach programs have on the community. This data has helped me tremendously.

I may have missed this in previous posts, but could you please define "core visitors?" Is it as simple as those on the email list, Facebook "friends", and Twitter followers?

Susie Wilkening, Reach Advisors

Hi Kelsey - happy to help! Yes, you are pretty close on our definition. We define "core visitors" as individuals who visit museums regularly, and interested enough about one or more museums to be on an e-mail list, follow the museum on Facebook or Twitter, visit the website regularly, donate/join, or be on a mailing list. But keep in mind that just because someone is a core visitor, it does not mean they care deeply about the museum on a personal level, or have ever had a particularly meaningful museum experience. They like museums, and visit museums, but there is a smaller group (we have called them "Museum Advocates" in the past) that feel much more passionately about museums.

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