Using Audience Research To Build Diverse Engagement

– So you’re about to hear from
three excellent panelists, two are leaders in
organizations that have, will share their stories and discuss institutional efforts
in engaging audiences, specifically diverse audiences. I think what you’ll find most interesting from both of them is that this is not just about audience development or expansion. It’s a real deep commitment
to your institution, it’s meaningful and
thoughtful and authentic. So, I used to start these
with, who wants more audience? Everybody wants more audience,
but I think you’ll learn it’s more than that, it’s
more than just people, numbers coming across your doorway. The third speaker, Cecilia
Garibay is a consultant in this realm, and will add, will build on what you hear
from the case studies and, give you some practical
data tips and some thoughts around hiring a consultant. I want to get to your
questions pretty quickly, so they’re gonna go a little rapid fire, best to try to keep it
to eight minutes each, and then we’ll, try to keep
it to eight minutes each. So we can open it up and
have some of your questions. So, look for that. So, I just wanted to start with a question for all of you. Why are you here? Are some of the things
I’ve listed up here true? You’re noticing maybe a demographic
shift in your community, or you’re seeing other
people in your community reach the audiences more
successfully than you are, or, maybe you’re hearing
from your funders, or your staff members
that you need to increase your work in this world. On your chairs, you have this, Nine Effective Practices, that’s really what was born out of that book, “Road to Results.” I’m not gonna go through
each one of those, you can see them in front of you, but really, I wanna go over
a couple bullet points. There’s clearly various reasons why people undertake this work, various goals for each organization. There’s some similar methods,
but there’s some things that are maybe, these look
equal in this pie chart, but sometimes there’s a smaller step, and sometimes you get stuck, or you need to spend more time on one of the steps. So different organizations
are outlined in that book. So please take that moment
to read through the book. I know a lot of us grab
that on a regular basis, and it was really important
work that Wallace funded. And I want to thank Wallace,
it was on the opening slide, Wallace Foundation for supporting this. They’ve been sending folks
around to spread the gospel of increasing audience engagement, building museums, working
with performing arts groups, and recently with diversity. So, they’re doing really great work. They have a website, the Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center. Just Google Wallace Foundation. They share this information
freely, that’s one of the great things
about that foundation is, they don’t just do the work and share it among their grantees,
it’s there for everyone. They want the field to grow,
and the field to learn, so if you’re not paying
attention to their website in this area, or in your
work, you’re missing out. So, make sure you do that. Some things to consider,
before I bring folks up here, we’re gonna have some
moderated Q and A at the end, so I think, just let them power
through their presentations, and then we’ll hold the
questions til the end. But this might be just some sort of things to think about that I know from our work at the Clay Studio and work that went into the “Road To Results” book of what data you’re looking for, how targeted, how well
do you know the audience that you’re looking for, how
well have you defined it? What are some of the early
steps you might want to take. So I think that hopefully fills the room with a few questions that
you’ll want to consider, as you plan your questions at the end. There’s also another handout here on your chairs, this was a
little bit about learning and data and promotional
materials and tracking results. This is sort of another
little graphic that they’ve put together for you. So, I am going to bring
up Frederic, we’ll cue up Dr. Frederic Bertley’s presentation. I love this bio that I got from Dr. Bertley that said, he is a science evangelist, educator, and a consummate sneaker wearer. He’s the president and CEO of the Center for Science
and Industry, COSI. He’s passionate. Is it Co-see or, Co-sigh? Co-sigh. Co-see is the salad shop, Co-sigh. And I’ve been there, I was there as a kid. Honestly, my aunt was up there. He’s passionate about the
intersection of science and innovation, Dr. Bertley
strives to ensure all people have democratic access
to the wonder and power of science, technology,
engineering, arts, and math. Thank you for STEAM, not just STEM. Dr. Bertley. (audience applauds) – Thank you for this, I really
appreciate you inviting me to share with these fantastic panelists, and thank you AAM, for having us here. I’m gonna talk kind of
a little case study, so a lot of kind of data. So this is me. (audience laughs) Start with that. But, I really want to start here. So this is rocket science,
ladies and gentlemen. Right, fine. This whole thing with diversity, inclusion, access, et cetera? Is not rocket science. Right? What do I mean by that? So I’m gonna put it in
the context of museums. Why is diversity and inclusion
important for museums anyway? Why are we talking about
audience development? Well, a bunch of reasons. One, this great country, right now, 2.4 million science, technology,
engineering and math jobs open in the country, right? And then as of yesterday,
now in Ohio and Columbus, in Ohio, as of Monday we
have 142,849 open jobs, half of which are based in science, technology,
engineering and math. I’m not talking about getting
a PhD in astrophysics, but even at a two-year community college, you can start off with
a 50, 60, $70,000 job. All right? So these are real things. All kinds of researchers, something from the Brookings
Institute, telling you like, 2020, by next year, half of the jobs across the country will be based in science,
technology, engineering, and math. So from a practical standpoint,
there’s a workforce issue. Yes, we need to get men and
women to fill these jobs, right? And so when you look at the workforce, where are we gonna get these people from? Well, so here’s a classic map you see it around political times,
it doesn’t really reflect the robustness of this country. This isn’t what this
country really looks like. All right? We are a diverse country. And shockingly, you know, half of the
population, of course, is female. And, depending on how you call
it, and what boxes you check, around 40-50% of Americans are non-white. And that’s the workforce
population, right? So, we need to leverage
the entire population. Yet, if I ask you to
close your eyes right now, and think of a scientist,
somebody shout out, who’s the first scientist
that comes to mind? – [Man In Audience] Einstein. – Bingo. This is not a magic show. I knew someone was gonna say that. Okay, guaranteed. Now, if I’m asking you,
think of a woman scientist. Who do we all say? – [Woman In Audience]
Pasteur, or Marie Curie. – Marie Curie, again. Not a magic show, right. (audience laughs) And if it’s black history
month, dare I say it, and I say, name a scientist
we all come up with, that peanut guy, right? George Washington Carver, right? Okay, there you go, this is true. I knew you were all gonna say this. Now, if I push it, oh by
the way, what’s the issue? They’re all dead, right? And if you’re trying to. (audience laughs) I respect the dead, trust
me, and I love history, a student of history, but
you’re trying to inspire the next generation of these folks to fill these STEM workforce
jobs that we’re talking about, it’s not gonna work with
a bunch of dead people. So if I push you guys in the audience, and I love the fact that
you’re participating here, if I push you into naming
a living scientist, who do you all say? Man, I can’t. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) Nothing here, nothing here, nothing here. Really, right? And, obviously, he’s awesome. But, I went for it, that’s right. But, if I then push you to say one more, there’s one more you
guys will come up with. – [Audience Members] Bill Nye. – Thank you. And that’s my favorite, right? (audience laughs) And this is my favorite for
a bunch of reasons, because, he’s called Bill Nye the Science Guy. And it turns out he’s
actually not a scientist. He’s an engineer. Now that makes no sense or no difference to anybody but scientists or engineers. But seriously. But, Bill
Nye the Science Guy. All right. This is amazing, right? But, as much as I love the
dead, and gotta respect them, these are two formidable scientists who have really moved
science and literacy forward, in compelling ways. The bottom line is, this is our youth. And if we want to excite our youth, you gotta come at it differently, right? Because this is what our girls
are thinking about today, right, and who they admire,
and who they respect. And if you ask a bunch of
elementary or high school boys, you know, same kind of answers. These are the people they
know, they don’t know Neil de Grasse Tyson, they barely know Bill Nye the Science Guy, right. These are the folks they know. And, I’m not critiquing this. In fact, the last time
I was in New Orleans, somebody asked me that, I
was actually here this year. Let me do a quick issue, but anyway. I was here this year, because I did come to see the Beyonce, Jay-Z On the Run tour, right here at the Superdome. So I love entertainment. I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t
like and revere these folks, but there’s more than that, right? If this is a group of
people we want to inspire to fill STEM jobs, et
cetera, and it’s not just about filling jobs, if we
don’t get the black and brown and female populations
into science, technology, engineering, and math, we’re
missing out on those geniuses that are there, because
genius isn’t color-ridden, or religious-based, there are geniuses in all these populations,
and we might be missing the next Mark Zuckerberg,
or whoever you think are geniuses. And especially if we
want these young kids, you know, it’s not gonna work. So, that’s the backdrop
for a program that I want to talk to y’all about,
called The Color of Science. Right, Color of Science
program, we’ve done it in Montreal, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington D.C. and now of
course because I’m at Cosi, at Columbus, we’re doing
it in Columbus, and really, it’s a very simple premise. All scientists aren’t old white men with thick glasses and pocket protectors. The women make fantastic
scientists and engineers, and black and brown populations have been contributing forever, right? And so, we highlight them. So for example, this is a meeting with prominent female scientists, right? And one of the ones I
was just talking about, Agnes Kutcher, the second
one from the bottom, she is about 4’11” on a super tall day. Imagine she was the lead engineer for the most incredible
fighter jet, right. You know that black fighter jet? Et cetera, well she was the lead engineer. Imagine that. You know, but we don’t know that, right? Here’s another one. Four generations of African
American role models. They always say, oh there’s no role models for young black boys coming up. There actually are. This is everyone from an
80-year-old person responsible for the cell phone, down to a physicist, to a cardiologist, and
then a young engineer. So we got four generations that people can identify with. I’m talking really quickly
to get through this. All right. This is one we launched
just this year at COSI. Again, differentiated people. Someone who’s running
research and innovation for all of Ford Motor Company, right. African American woman who
grew up in poor Detroit. You now, Will Burrus is
another amazing techie. I wanna talk about Dr. Chen in a minute. But you get the idea. The point is, we find these individuals who are out there in the community, and we expose them to
other community folks, whether it’s young kids
that we want to motivate, or adults, because it’s
important that adults, black or white, see that they
have these amazing people in different communities, right? And so, then we have a
program the next day, which is, we give these kids a passport, it’s called your passport
to The Color of Science. They get this little
passport book, they run around the museum, and they
meet all the scientists, and they do hands-on, or they get a hands-on interactive experience. So they learn what it’s
like to be a biologist, or a cardiologist, and I’m whipping through these slides, because of time. But you get the idea, and
here’s a really cool part of the program, we actually
have the younger generation, high school students mentoring
middle school students. So, some really cool outcomes. There are some amazing people. So, this is a comic strip called Spectrum, that’s created by Dr. Rosenberg. She is actually a blond
haired, blue eyed, physicist who’s now directing the APS,
American Society of Physics, their outreach programs, and she writes comic
books, and the comic book is a scientist who’s a blond
and blue eyed physicist. Like, really cool. So we
got a little blond girl, hey, it’s okay to like science, et cetera. Talk about the Fresh Prince, well, the head astrophysicist at
University of Pennsylvania is Dr. Larry Gladney, and he
lived right around the corner from where the Fresh Prince
lives, in West Philadelphia. Imagine that. Going really quickly here,
I’m coming to the close. James West, he’s the person
behind the cell phone, him and his German
colleague invented something called the electret microphone, which is in every single
cell phone around the planet. He’s an African American
guy from the same place where Al Myerson came up, in Virginia. All right. Geisha Williams, the first Latina to be part of the Fortune 500, as the CEO of a major corporation. This is Dr. Cory Bargmann,
an amazing biologist who went from gene to product, and really made us understand it. And the last one real
quick, is this gentleman, okay, Dr. Chen, I referenced him before. He is an Asian American, part of the LGBT community. He’s a doctor in Ohio, in Columbus region, and he was talking about how, he’s a major oncologist, doing some really incredible research. Some of his patients would be like, hey, you can’t touch me, I’m not comfortable with the fact that you’re
part of the LGBT community. And hearing that story was incredible, because you have to understand that, these people do exist and their out there. It’s important that we
celebrate their great work, so that we can spread that message. And so, with that, and
I’m not belittling this, this is not about hitting a check mark, it’s about really engaging in
sincere and authentic ways, reaching out to these
communities, saying hey, we want to embrace you,
we want to showcase, we want to showcase the wonderful stuff of how you contribute to the community, so we can impact the next generation. So with that, it really
is not rocket science. But if it is rocket science
to you, we have that too. Well, you should’ve
seen the hidden figures. Thank you very much. (audience applauds) – We’re gonna bring up,
next, we’re gonna hear from Magda Martinez, who’s currently
the Chief Operating Officer at Mural Arts Philadelphia. I came to know her while she was serving
as Director of Programs at Fleisher Art Memorial, a
position she had for 16 years. Also a group outlined in
“The Road to Results,” and the “Taking Out the Guesswork,” so, you’re hearing from someone
who’s right there in that book. She serves on a lot of
boards, The Bartol Foundation. I didn’t have a sneaker
story about you Magda, but I kind of fell in love with Magda over a few drinks at a holiday party. Nick Kripal, our late
artist friend, Nick Kripal, and she really quickly gets into the power of art and community. I don’t think it was the
drinking, it was Magda. She’s quick, and she cares about it, and it was fast, we were in it. So Magda, please come up, Magda Martinez. (audience applauds) – Okay, so we’re gonna see what happens. Clicker, me, time,
there’s a lot of pressure. (audience laughs) Hi everyone, thank you for making time to come today. So, this is Fleisher, So, as Chris mentioned, I
was the Director of Programs at Fleisher Art Memorial for 16 years. And responsible, basically,
for all our public programs. Oh, sure, new batteries. – [Man Offstage] Oh sure,
you get new batteries. (audience laughs) – That’s because I’m special. Okay. So, I wanted to start
here with the mission, because for me, this work has
to be tied to your mission. Diversity, equity, inclusion
has to mean something to your institution, it’s
not just a nice thing to do. Because we all know, when
it comes time to talk about resources, if it’s not
directly tied to your mission, if you can’t show that as impacting and moving your mission forward, people will have questions about it. And, it will go the way of
those cute little dodos. Okay, so this is just one slide about Fleisher, it’s
been around since 1898. What’s important about
that, it’s in a part of Philadelphia called South Philly, which has historically
been a part of the city where people, newly arrived
people have settled. So during Fleisher’s
time, it was predominantly Eastern European, southern European, mostly Italian, and then also African American, with people who had come up
during the great migration. It serves a lot of people,
it has what I think is a big budget, even
though other people don’t. It’s two million dollars a year. So, this is how it happened, the story of audience engagement. And I do have notes, and my problem is I never look at my notes
once I write them down. So I’m gonna try because
we have time issues. So here we go. So, I found myself at a
meeting, I don’t know how of the city, where they were discussing actually getting more newly arrived people to settle in Philadelphia. They were choosing New
York and Washington D.C. The reason the city wanted it,
families tend to be larger, bigger tax base, and Philadelphia had been losing population, as opposed to gaining population. When they did some research,
they found out people chose New York and Washington because there were more direct flights to their countries of origin. So, Philadelphia set out, and is now one of the largest hubs. Right. So, I love it, I can fly
direct to almost anywhere out of Philadelphia now. But, thinking about
that, it got me thinking about Fleisher. (speaks foreign language) Ah, wait, went too far. So, what was happening was
they were changing demographics in South Philadelphia, and
we were experiencing that in our work offsite, in schools, but, the population at Fleisher who was coming to take classes was still predominantly
white, anywhere from 50 to 60 years old, medium income of about $70,000 and
college educated plus. Right? So, who we were serving offsite and onsite didn’t match, you can’t have a house divided amongst itself. Somebody loses. So, the idea was, that’s what it looked like
when we went to schools. That’s not what it looked
like in the evening when people came for classes. So this is why we pursued it. Because we wanted to focus on our mission. If our mission was to
create access for everyone, everyone has to look like everyone. And then matching the internal with external participant trends. So we never referred to this
work at Fleisher as outreach. And I’ll get into that
if I have time, right. Outreach means you’re
reaching outside of yourself. It is something separate,
it is not who you are. Just think about that phrase for a moment. And preparing for tomorrow’s participants, not just participants,
but supporters, right. So, lots of organizations don’t realize they’ve already missed out on generations of financial supporters
to your institution because you don’t have
relevancy to them, right. I’m the daughter of two immigrant parents. I’m really clear about
who I give my money to, and who I don’t. Not because of the way they treated me, but because of the way
they treated my parents. So, when people talk about
sustainability and development, same way you court that big check writer for 10 years, not being sure they’re gonna give you any money (laughs) right? This is the same thinking. These are the people who are coming up. Yes. So this is what we originally
applied to Wallace for. Pretty traditional, and written, not that I have anything
against development people, I love them, they raise
money for the work I do, but it was written pretty much in the development office. Okay. Wallace said yes, we’ll
give you the money, and then we revised what we wanted to do, and that’s the next slide. And you can just click them all up there. What we decided to do was spend most of the money on research. We actually didn’t create programs during the time that we got the award. The idea was, you’re inviting somebody to dinner, and you haven’t
asked them what they like. Right. You’re creating it based on what you think they want or might like. And we all know how
dangerous that is nowadays with people being gluten free, and vegans, you can mess up the whole meal. You get one shot at a first impression. So, really this was
about learning to engage with new groups of people, with intent, right. It was the intention of
the institution to do so. Placed a high value on arts
and creative practices, and I always want to highlight this, just because someone’s not doing something with your organization doesn’t
mean they’re not doing it, and they’re not interested. We have to accept the
fact, they just may not be interested in us. (laughs) Right? Doesn’t mean they don’t value it. And, that location and
distance was not an obstacle if we were offering
something that was relevant to that community. Right? People put their money where
they think it’s important. Next, please. And so our internal cultural shift. So the reason we did
research, the reason there was no programming was we realized
we had to do the work. The onus was on the organization. It has a culture, every
organization has a culture. There’s the one we think it has, and the one everyone else
is reading externally. Right? And this was about learning
to read that externally. So this was our mantra. We have yes, next slide, thank you. We also did, and this was important. For us, we wanted to be
sure that when we said community engagement, and
diversity at Fleisher, everyone knew what that meant. And we searched a lot of
arts organizations do this, but they don’t actually write. They say they do this,
but they don’t write a definition for it. So our definition came from
social service agencies, and social activist agencies. Next please. And this is what we learned 30,000 feet above the air, these were the three
big themes that came up. Come to us. We don’t know who you
are, come to where we are. Why do you keep asking us
to come to where you are? Next. Show us. And we actually don’t
really know what you do. Fleisher Art Memorial sounds
like a place for dead people. (audience laughs) Not where you’d come and
get art classes, right? I mean, it’s legit, right? Not just show us what you
do, but show us who you are. What do you value? And often organizations
don’t realize they’re sending out a message about that. About who they value, and what they value. Next one. Yeah, and then welcome us. And welcome us was, if
you’ve gone out and done the other two things as an organization, and I choose to come to your institution, be ready for me. Right? That may mean have stuff
in different languages. That may mean, somebody should greet me as soon as I walk through the door. Right? Because you got one shot, and
you put all this work into it. And, this is how we, so everyone at Fleisher,
and I mean everyone, from board to facilities, people was involved in this. This is institution wide, and information from this research was
shared with everyone on the staff. Okay. Okay. Okay. I’m getting conflicting messages. Okay. So we’re almost there. And as the culture shifted, so did the programming at Fleisher. Right. So by the time we got
to doing these things, our money from Wallace had
already been spent and used. The great thing was, because
we could speak to this with intention, it got a lot easier to raise money for this. Right? Because we could say we
spent time with people in focus groups, surveys,
ethnographic studies, we’ve really talked to the community to figure out why they’re not coming. It was much easier to explain why this was the way we were choosing
to address those issues. Okay? So we have ColorWheels, which allowed us to come to us and show us. Traditional Nigerian and Ghanaian pottery, to break the mold. It’s a very western course selection at Fleisher. Dibujo Basico, which was a Spanish-only introduction to painting,
which was scheduled for Monday nights, on
purpose, because that was the night most people had off. Because they worked in restaurants. Right? And that’s when they had off. And building community bridges. Which you guys can ask me later. These are our FAMbassadors. They are members of the staff,
they are community advisors. Not just liaisons. We’re not just sending
them out with information. They actually were the ones that told us when to schedule all these things, and what their communities needed. And we saw ColorWheels,
that’s it in the background. Okay. So, these are the evolution. This focused on learning,
and I think Fleisher became what I call a learning institution, right. It taught itself how to learn. Because, engagement never stops. Groups will change, who you want to engage with will always change, and obviously, you’re already engaging with
people, because you’re here. (laughs) Right? If you’re engaging
with no one, or didn’t know how to do this, you wouldn’t be here. Okay, and keep going please. And these were, I tried to think of some translatable lessons. Ask yourself, why now? Why are you doing this? And how does this further your mission? And I think sometimes a good question is, and why do it at all, if you don’t? If you don’t do it, what does it matter? If you can’t answer that question, you’re headed for trouble. It has to have real meaning for you. And, what we found was, what we learned with one
very specific group of people actually applied to many
people that we served, right. Because you’re beginning
to think that way. About how you serve people. Right, we’re in the business, we’re a service industry. Right. Yes, thank you. I think time is way over, thank you all. (audience applauds) Oh, and I wanted to say, this work is not just transactional,
it’s relational. Because diversifying means
you’re picking up people who don’t reflect you
demographically, or psychographically. So, it’s important to know that. I don’t know where to put this thing. Okay, thank you. – Take it with you, thank you. No, I’m really glad. I don’t
want to feel too rushed, because that’s important stuff. I remember being around Philadelphia while this was taking place
at Fleisher Art Memorial, and both Fleisher and the Clay Studio both had a moment with, simply the look of our materials that we were giving out, and our audience with focus groups were saying,
doesn’t resonate with us. Newly arrived immigrant
community and you’re handing me a college catalog, and it just, that’s not their fault, that’s your fault, as an institution, you really
have to ask your own question. So, I just remember that as
something we both learned. So you’ve heard from Frederic, who I think really clearly touched on
the concept of authenticity, really authentically
addressing your mission, and your audience and reaching out and finding an authentic solution to what you’re doing. And, what I love also about
the Fleisher Art Memorial is, here’s an organization chugging along that has been succeeding in its mission, and it’s still doing what it knows, and is doing what it knows,
and doing what it knows, and suddenly it looks out and says, our entire community
is different, holy cow. Like, again, that’s on you. So I think that’s why those
are such powerful stories. Our next speaker, Cecilia Garibay is the principal of Garibay Group. She founded this nationally
recognized audience research and consulting firm to help clients understand their current
and potential audiences. I didn’t have a sneaker
story about Cecilia, but, I’m very close friends with
Cecilia’s sister Elizabeth, and, I’ve actually done shots
of tequila with her dad. So, that is a memorable experience. (audience laughs) I knew
I’d get you on that one. All right, Cecilia please come up. (audience applauds) And actually you should know that my dad is turning 86 tomorrow, so. So we’ll have some tequila
with you in mind, Chris. Great. Well, thank you for
having me, and I’m excited about following these
two wonderful speakers. There are a couple of points that I think they’ve already raised
that I want to touch on. One is this notion of
authenticity and understanding. As Frederic talked about,
the story that he told, it’s a good reminder of
thinking about moving outside your own context,
and understanding the broader context, right. The ecosystem in which you’re in. I think Magda talked a
lot about this notion of not just community, but
being a learning organization. Which is very close to my
heart, because that’s actually the way I think about our work, my work, and certainly the work that
we work with clients on. So I’m gonna start by I
guess saying that I’d like to think about us expanding
the notion of audience research to more than just the
idea of market research, but audience research, much more broadly. I would also include evaluation
as part of the mix, right, because good evaluation
helps you be reflective in thinking about what’s
working and what’s not working. So for the purposes of this conversation, I’m not going to make too much of a distinction between those. So, to get us sort of
grounded, I’m gonna move into that first slide,
and talk a little bit about culturally responsive evaluation. And the reason I bring this up is because, there are many ways to
think about methods, right. There’s surveys, focus groups, ethnographic studies,
many things you can do. But a method does not necessarily equal understanding your underlying value. And so there are ways
in which you can think about the orientation,
the values that you bring to the table, as you begin to think about research or evaluation that are really important to consider. So, at Garibay Group, we
focus on culturally responsive contextually relevant
approaches to evaluation. All big words to say, that
what we look at very closely, is we look at culture and context as central considerations, when we begin to do a study. And that’s everything from
the moment you design it, to the way instruments
are developed and looked, all the way to the way that data are analyzed and communicated. So, to give you an example,
when we do a study, and it’s focused with a particular group or community, we try to figure out ways to then after that data are collected, and we have findings, to actually bring it
back to the community, and let them know about what we found. So it is not an extractive process. So, at its best, I think
of research and evaluation as an authentic collaboration
with community members and museum staff. When we work with
museums, we typically ask many questions, but two are paramount. What will we help you learn
to make better decisions for a specific project or a specific group that you’re thinking about? But more importantly, how is this study going to help you make
change in your organization? And particularly, your
organizational practices. So I lay that out because
I think that those are fundamental ways of
thinking about research and evaluation that we
don’t often think about. So now I’m gonna switch
and focus on three ways in which I think
evaluation and research may be particularly salient
here in this conversation around audience development, and ways that those two
can inform practices towards more meaningful engagement. So the first is this
notion of leisure values. And so that’s, as a field, we focused, traditionally on a lot
of our energy in museums, learning about what
happens when people come through the door, what they look like, and we often actually, the
field of visitor studies, started in that realm, right? People are coming, we want
to create better experiences for people who are here. But we rarely, for a long
time, we didn’t actually ask about those people who weren’t coming, and the experiences of those individuals. So that’s one place where we can start. So, in particular, what
I would argue is that we need to more fully
examine the leisure values and intentions and
perceptions of audiences that are potential for us, but that we haven’t yet reached. And so one way to do
that is thinking about, what are the value sets that align between your organization, and potential communities? And again, we bring a really
affect-based perspective. So for example, instead of
asking, why aren’t people coming to our institution,
we might actually be asking questions like, what is happening in this dynamic that potentially is not
allowing for the kinds of experiences that individuals tell you. Or perhaps there are values
that actually, we sync up with, but we don’t actually make clear. So those are some of the
questions that we can think of. So in our work around leisure
values, in particular, we focused, again, early
on the Latinx community, and then moved onto many other communities that we work with in collaboration with different museums. But these study typically
involved focus groups with participants, to
really understand this idea of during their free time,
what are some of the values? What are the reasons that
certain things make it on the table, and others don’t? So I’m gonna show you some data from, basically it’s a compendium
of about 26 focus groups in the US, involving a
number of institutions, including places like the
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the
Palm Springs Art Museum, the Children’s Discovery
Museum in San Jose, the Brookfield Zoo, those are just some of the folks who are part of this study. So if you can look at the next slide. One of the things we looked
at, we were mapping perceptions of leisure destinations
around two dimensions. The first dimension on the
X axis is passive to active, and the more important one
I want to pay attention to here, is the Y axis of knowledge. And by knowledge, I mean how
much understanding it takes for someone to actually be able to engage in that activity. So if you click on the
slide one more time, you’ll see there are a number, and I don’t know how clear this slide
shows up in the back. But there are a number of
different leisure activities that individuals do. The ones that are circled
in red are all museums. So the perception of art museums to the upper left hand quadrant
is where you see it there. So there’s art museums, history museums, science centers, zoos,
and children’s museums. What does this tell us? If you think about this
list, the other things that are on there are things like, church, parks and pools, water parks, Sea World, and so forth. Now what was interesting
about this is that what this tells us is
that museums are seen by many communities, in this case, very specifically Latinx parents, are seen as highly coded places. Enigmatic places that take a lot of effort and understanding to know
how to even access them, or what to do in them. Now that’s not because
individuals are not aren’t smart, you see that there are
other many, lots of other leisure activities up there. But what it does tell us is that, the research with non-museum goers can point to those places
where there may be disconnects. This particular one, I get excited about. Because the enigmatic
aspect of it is because we don’t make apparent,
I think it’s what Magda was saying earlier, we don’t make clear how you access what we’re about, what you do in our spaces. And even, frankly, if you
have permission to come. So those are some of the areas. But on the flip side, some of the research around leisure values for example, can also point to places
of synergy for museums. So for example, in one of our
studies with Latinx parents, we found that education was
a very highly regarded value. One which then, the museums
we were working with could really use as a
leverage point, not just in their marketing message,
but really thinking in the actually deep kind of programming that they offered. I’m gonna move on just
for purposes of time. Another area where audience research and evaluation can be particularly helpful is in looking very carefully,
and informing practices around representation, and by that I mean, how non-dominant groups in
museums are represented, either in the content, or also, in terms of the organizational culture. So, we’ve done a lot of studies, in many different museums, where we’re looking really clearly at this notion of representation. So for example, we’ve been working with Crystal Bridges Museum
of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, the American
Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Latino Center,
just, and I name those, just to give you a sense of the way that you can plug much of these ideas into very different kinds of institutions. So the techniques we use to
look at ideas of representation are around everything
from discussion groups with community members. It might be interviews, it
could be ethnographic studies where we actually do
videoing, but the point is, that these techniques, while varied, can give you two things. One, they can get you a
sense of what authentic full representation looks like, and so, just to the next slide. At the end of the day,
what are we learning? We’re learning that what people want is to feel fully
represented, authentically and holistically across that museum. So I’m gonna ask you to
move to the next slide, just to give you a couple of quotes of the kinds of things I’m talking about. The first quote, for
example, refers to the fact that there aren’t people
that look like me. Why would I come? The other is really more
about an interesting image marketing piece, where we were working with an organization looking at some of the messaging pieces, and
you can see very clearly, the issue, even just in the images, right, that are depicted, these
are some of the kinds of salient information that good research, where you’re looking authentically
at that collaboration with community, can really tease out and emerge. And there can be some
ouch moments in these, as you can tell, those aren’t easy kinds of things to hear
if you’re in a museum. But they become those
entry points, those moments when you can really peel back and think as a learning organization, where you might actually be willing to change or think about making change. I have about a minute, so
I’m just gonna move quickly to the next one. And this is an area of
research and evaluation that I hear much less
talked about, which is, that we talk a lot about
research and evaluation in terms of audience,
but we don’t often think about it in terms of internal culture. And I would argue that this
is a really important piece to be thinking about,
because it’s the linking of your internal practice,
your internal culture that’s really going to make a difference in the way that you’re thinking about your audience development. So I would just say, just
quickly, to the next slide, is that there are many ways
you can think about it. So for example, right now through the Cultural
Competence Learning Institute, which is like a cohort model that is part of the Association of
Science Technology Centers that Children’s Discovery
Museums and Garibay Group, one of the things that
we run is staff surveys that allow institutions to understand how staff is feeling about their workplace, and about DEAI, and understand how inclusive practices internally also translate externally. And again, even an analysis
of simple data, for example, have you analyzed your compensation to look for differences based on different factors such as gender, age, race/ethnicity, you could do that. You could look at
promotions, and looking at how, if you’ve disaggregate
the data, again, by age, gender, race/ethnicity, do you have any kinds of disconnect? Those are simple things that don’t even require a consultant, right? You can do that for yourself. So, I’m gonna stop there in the interest of having a conversation about
some of what we’ve heard. Thank you. (audience applauds) – Wow, thank you, yes. We have a microphone here for this group. I have one or two questions
I’m gonna start with, and then I’ll hopefully
turn it over to y’all. And I think we get an
extra five or six minutes since we were waiting
on technical assistance. Okay. Just because we came
right out with talking about authenticity, and
I noticed Dr. Frederic, just call him Frederic, right? Frederic, at the very
end of your slide show, you put up a quick shot of “Hidden Figures” there. When we talked on the
phone, I was pretty excited by why you think this work is so important and your story with Katherine Johnson. – So, the slide that
didn’t work at the end, “Hidden Figures,” can you show of hands who’ve seen “Hidden
Figures” in the audience? Okay, and so those of you who haven’t, first of all, it’s a great movie. But, it’s unbelievable that Katherine Johnson the main star, played by, Taraji, sorry, she turned 100 years old. She’s alive right now. She turned 100 years old last August. Think about that. We all met her, myself included, I don’t pretend to be, we all met her, or knew about her, two years ago, when the blockbuster movie “Hidden Figures” came out,
based on the bestselling book. Imagine how many girls would’ve thought that they could’ve been engineers, or mathematicians, if they saw her 50 years ago. 40 years ago. 30 years ago. Imagine how many black girls and boys. I mean, this is incredible, so for me. – Who was she, for those who didn’t? – Oh, sorry, sorry. So if you don’t know who
Katherine Johnson is, so this is an African American woman who’s roughly in her 30s or so, who was picked by John Glenn, okay, one of the most famous, deservedly so, astronauts of our time. He’s from NASA, but, world astronauts, without question, he’s the first person to successfully orbit planet earth. He picked her and the movie is on point. There’s no exaggeration there. He single-handedly picked her
to do the hand mathematical calculations to make sure
he could successfully orbit our planet, and come back to earth. He picked, not just a woman,
an African American woman. Now think about how
powerful that story is, yet, we don’t know about it, right. And so, that’s why I threw it up there, this idea of intentionally recognizing the men and women who
are in our communities who are doing transformational things through science, technology,
engineering, and math, that’s how you’re gonna
get the next generation to be excited. But there are a lot of things you can, like, day to day things you
can do to make a difference. You know, Color of Science
is a bigger program that we intentionally bring in people from the LGBT community
who are scientists. Why? As a scientist, I can tell you, that’s one of the most
homophobic professions out there. It’s unbelievable how prejudicial it is against the LGBT community but people don’t think about that. So, identify those
scientists, bring them in, and being intentional about
wanting to hear the stories. But there are the smaller things. For example, I met a woman
who came through the atrium, she had a chador on, she
was clearly a Muslim woman, with her family, and I
said, Salaam Alaikum to her. That’s all I said. Next thing I know, my guest
services three days later, gets this long email about some employee, she didn’t know I was
the President and CEO. Some employee greeted her
in a very important message to her, and blah blah, she
wrote this whole long email because I simply said Salaam Alaikum, which is you know, the Muslim term for may peace be with you, et cetera. It’s just a Muslim greeting. But that little thing
meant the world to her. She felt welcomed. Do you know what I mean? And so, you know, and there’s
a long list of everything in between, but there
has to be intentionality, and it has to be, leadership
has to be on board. You can’t be kind of doing this. Going out and doing your marketing stuff, but you come back into
the building, like well, good job marketing, but
we’re not changing our images in the building, and so. – [Chris] I think we have
time for one more, and then, so we do our surveys and get
our books, sorry, please. At most, we can visit, too. – [Woman In Audience] So,
my name is Amber Kerr, I work in a visible conservation
lab at the Smithsonian. And, we have such an amazing collection at the American Art Museum,
but I’m trying to connect our local cultural communities, because of our collection is so diverse, and because I work behind glass walls, I want them to see scientists
and the opportunity of art and science together. But, I really loved your FAMbassadors? Is that what you called them? How do you find these
community connections? Because I’m searching for that
and trying to cultivate that, so that I can start to
get them to bring people to the labs to see us. – FAMbassadors, yeah. – So, FAMbassadors is Fleisher
Art Memorial Ambassadors, FAMbassadors. I didn’t come up with the name, really, I’m bad at that kind of stuff. So I’m glad someone else did. So, there are a couple
of things that happened. Number one in our focus groups, there was a shot there of a woman with lots of kids around her. Her name is Nancy Vargas. She was in that focus group. She enjoyed and felt so respected by the way that focus group
was run, that she decided she was gonna start
bring parents and kids. She’s what I refer to as a bridge person. There are people in those communities that you are thinking about, who, for whatever reason, naturally seek out resources for their communities, and they bring them back, right. That’s not their job. But they’re there. The other thing is, at museums, because I’ve done this talk here before, but also for the Zoological Society is, look at your staff, and I may be wrong, but when I walk in a museum, the security at the museum looks like the people everyone
is saying they can’t engage. (laughs) Oftentimes. Those security guards reflect those communities that you say that you’re having trouble engaging. They’re in the building. – [Chris] Talk to them. – Right, talk to them. Make them, I know that
sometimes you’re hiring out another firm, maybe, taking care of them, but you should be making them feel like they don’t just stand
there all day long, right. That you see them, and a
lot of this work is about letting people know you see them. Right? You see them as another human
who has something to offer. So, you know, and then Nancy
did that, and we’re like, hmm, what if we’re
intentional, and we find, and we seek these FAMbassadors? The important thing is, and
I forgot to mention this, is Fleisher had been doing work in those communities for a while. So, we also had trust by proxy, with lots of community
groups who would say, these people are gonna treat
you right if you go there. We’ve been working with
them for five years. Right? People know when you’re going to them, and you want something. And what they’re gonna
do is not give it to you. Right, if they feel used. And that’s where the
authenticity comes in. I hope I’m answering your question. – [Chris] I wanted to give
a quick round of applause to our panel this year, thank you. (audience applauds)

1 thought on “Using Audience Research To Build Diverse Engagement

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