The State of DEAI in Museums and What it Means for Visitor Studies

A national landscape study from the Cultural Competence Learning Institute (CCLI), published in 2020, was the first comprehensive, multi-sector study to examine the state of DEAI efforts in U.S. museums. Led by Dr. Cecilia Garibay and Jeanne Marie Olson, this seminal work, which included survey responses from 580 museums and informal learning organizations, has significant implications for the visitor studies and museum evaluation fields. According to study results, most museums (89%) have not established metrics around DEAI to track progress; only about a quarter of museums reported that they gather demographic data from visitors, and only one-third collect data from those who do not currently visit (Garibay and Olson, 2020). Join us for a conversation with Dr. Cecilia Garibay to collectively reflect on the study’s findings and their implications for the visitor studies field. A panel of evaluators and practitioners from a variety of museum settings will share thoughts on how the study resonates with their experience, ways in which they’ve worked to address the data gap to support DEAI efforts, and reflections on what this means for the visitor studies field. Guest speakers include Dr. Rabiah Mayas (Museum of Science and Industry), Ken Morris (Detroit Institute of the Arts), Elizabeth Bolander (Cleveland Museum of Art), and Sena Dawes (Feeding America). Though an interactive dialogue, we will focus on such questions as: How do the study’s findings resonate with your own experiences at the institutions you work with? What is the “call to action” for visitor studies professionals, for VSA, and for the field as a whole? What specific examples and practices exist that can help address some of the data gaps identified in the study? What is needed to shift institutional practice around gathering data to inform DEAI efforts and/or establishing clear metrics to track DEAI progress, and how can we be more effective in supporting these efforts? What do you need from VSA to better support change within your own practice or advocacy at the institutional level? What are the key barriers and how can we individually and collectively address them? Please come with your ideas and questions related to the CCLI National Landscape Study, hear examples and resources from peers, and help determine how VSA and the visitor studies field might play a stronger role in supporting DEAI efforts and organizational change within museums and other informal learning institutions. A few items noted in the presentation: Cultural Competence Learning Institute (CCLI) and CCLI Landscape Study Report.

February 10th, 2021 from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM