Engaging Communities in Museums is designed for museum professionals who are hungry for information about how to design experiences in partnership with their communities. Providing an overview of the many ways that museums around the world have begun to listen more attentively to their audience, the book highlights the importance of listening to community and discusses the idea of relationship-building as an entry point to relevancy.
Drawing on interviews and discussions with museum professionals around the world, as well as tangible, real-world examples, Allison showcases the many ways that museums, both large and small, are actively working with their communities and also provides a roadmap that demonstrates how museum professionals can listen more effectively to their audiences as they craft new experiences. The book also explores the fascinating nexus of community engagement and exhibit and experience development, thus taking museum professionals on a journey of discovery around community responsiveness and attention to audience.
Engaging Communities in Museums provides a thorough comparison of development models from disparate venues, making the book a must-read for museum professionals who are looking for purpose and common-sense techniques that can guide their work with the communities that they serve. Students in museum studies courses will also find the text useful as a primer on community engagement in museums.
Table of Contents
Introduction - Why co-vision, co-create and co-develop?
Chapter 1 - Community responsiveness and understanding audience
Chapter 2 - Relationship-building and partnerships in museums
Chapter 3 - Case studies in co-creation
Chapter 4 - Comparing models of development
Chapter 5 - Staying connected with community
Conclusion - New pathways and ideas in museums
David B. Allison is Onsite Programs Manager at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and has spent his career in museums working to design and develop engaging experiences for audiences of all ages.