Remember the large sticky wall at last year's conference? Here it is!
The Visitor Studies Association (VSA) seeks to foster a sense of community among its members, who gather once a year to pose intriguing questions, explore diverse opinions, debate controversial issues, challenge assumptions and share their successes and their struggles—in essence, to learn from one another.
We invite you to join VSA in 2013, as we travel to Wisconsin to enjoy the fun, food, and festivals of summertime in Milwaukee. On the shores of Lake Michigan, Milwaukee is home to American icons including Harley-Davidson, Laverne & Shirley, and Miller beer. And that doesn’t even cover all of the city’s amazing cultural institutions, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee County Zoo, Milwaukee Public Museum, and Discovery World – just to name a few!
For 2013, VSA would like to invite the informal learning community to join us in creating a conference program to help push the field of visitor studies forward by thinking about the future of our field. This year, VSA will reflect on innovation within visitor studies and the critical importance of bringing innovation and creativity to our work while balancing these efforts with rigor in research and evaluation practice.
Innovation can encompass a broad range of qualities and features in the fields of research, evaluation, and informal learning experiences – from defining indicators and reporting results to shaping policy and defining the value of cultural institutions. Innovation and creativity speak to the future and bring about new ways of knowing and understanding visitors. In contrast, rigor and best practices lead to established standards, efficiency, and tried and true ways of knowing and understanding visitors. Innovation and creativity relate to rigor in research and evaluation in both positive and negative ways.
This theme and conference offers a place for those who have been looking for new ways to ask old questions and/or present ideas that are “out there” for critical and productive discussion and debate.