Focused Interest Groups (FIGs) - Initiated in December 2014, the VSA Board voted to adopt Focused Interest Groups (FIG) as part of the organizational structure. VSA FIGs are open to all current members, providing forums for sharing and cultivating common VSA member interests. FIGs are sub-groups of VSA, and their activities and activity level are dependent upon the members of each FIG. All FIGs maintain communications through Slack, which FIG members gain access to upon joining.

Current FIGs include:

  • Justice and Anti-Racism in Visitor Studies - This FIG was renamed from the original Bridging Communities FIG, which aimed to support VSA’s initiative of building capacity to support diversity in the field by focusing on diversity and inclusion in visitor studies, and cultural competence in evaluation and audience research. The FIG will continue to engage in this work with a stronger focus on how visitor studies and evaluation can support justice and anti-racism efforts within museums and informal learning institutions. The Justice and Anti-Racism in Visitor Studies aims to bring together a group of learners to reflect on and support action around DEAI and social justice work in museums and other informal learning environments, how evaluation and visitor studies can best support and lead these efforts, and deepening our understanding and utilization of equity- and justice-focused evaluation practices.
  • Data Visualization and Reporting - Focused on effective communication of results, members share unique ideas, feedback, and issues in visualizing data. The group's online Slack community offers on-demand support for tricky visualization challenges and inspiration for clear, use-driven reporting.
  • Zoos, Aquariums, and Gardens - To bring together a community of professionals who are interested in, and who contribute to, social science/audience research and evaluation in zoos, aquariums, nature centers, or other organizations who focus on living collections. ZAGFIG manages a public Facebook Group to provide a space for professionals at all levels to share questions and engage in lively discussion. ZAGFIG also hosts a Google site for VSA members to access as a hub for sharing example research or evaluation instruments, reports, and other relevant resources.
  • Art Museum - The Art Museum FIG is a vibrant community of evaluators and evaluation users working in or with art museums. Members share resources and engage in lively conversation around topics that are unique to evaluators working in the arts. It is a welcoming community that offers a space to bring questions, workshop ideas, or problem-solve challenges. Member-only activities include professional development talks, virtual discussion sessions, and a biannual in-person session during VSA conferences. Past topics of discussion have included observation studies, data literacy, data communication and reporting, and visitor intercepts, among others.

To join one or more FIGs, please select them in your Profile via your member dashboard.

Interested in starting your own FIG? Email your proposed idea to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..