The Visitor Studies Association was recently awarded a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) aimed at rethinking what it means to do visitor studies in today’s contexts. REDEFINE Visitor Studies (MG-253082-OMS-23) is a two-year grant designed to better equip visitor studies professionals with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions needed to advance the field in relevant ways, with a particular focus on supporting diversity, equity, access, inclusion, justice, and belonging (DEAIJB+) in informal learning institutions and in our communities more broadly; and to provide broader access to entering the visitor studies field, particularly for those who have been and continue to be underrepresented in museum professions. 

This work will include engaging a diverse range of visitor studies, evaluation, and informal learning researchers and practitioners to update and revise VSA’s Evaluator Competencies framework, which is now more than 15 years old; develop dissemination and training strategies that align to the new framework; and create the foundation for new pathways into the field. This has been a long-time effort that builds off many years of dialogues and conversations within and beyond VSA.

Stay tuned in the coming months as we share more about opportunities to engage in REDEFINE Visitor Studies, such as through joining one of several working groups, participating in listening sessions, providing feedback on drafts of the new competencies framework, or submitting a journal article or conference session related to the goals of this work.

Please send thoughts, questions, or inquiries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MG-253082-OMS-23)