Data Stories from 2019-2021 are available as downloadable PDFs. 2022 Data Stories will be added as they become available.
2022 Data Stories
Museums and Wellbeing Part II
Museums are places that provide respite and challenge us. Does challenging content preclude opportunities for respite?
Museums and Wellbeing Part I
What wellbeing outcomes do people think museums provide, and how can they engender connections among people?
Climate Change in Museums Part III
What were the big takeaways from our research on audience attitudes towards climate change content in museums?
Climate Change in Museums Part II
It is critical that we understand our audiences’ perspectives on the topic of climate change. A new spectrum of attitudes can help us be more effective in teaching about climate change.
Climate Change in Museums Part I
Assessing how audiences feel about climate change content in museums is crucial for ensuring we can be most effective in our role as informal educators in our communities.
Museums & the LGBTQ+ Community
How are museums serving the LGBTQ+ community, what engagement and visitation patterns can we identify, and what are their perspectives on representation in museums?
Museum Experience Preferences
Has the pandemic altered museum-goers’ preferences when it comes to museum experiences? In this data, learn how those preferences have, or haven’t shifted.
Museum Visitation: Frequency and incidence gaps
Who is visiting museums and what demographic factors play a role? You might be surprised by what we learned in 2022.
Museum Visitation: Recovery trends from the pandemic
The pandemic upended museum visitation, and patterns continue to shift. Read more as we navigate our “new normal.”
Purpose and Methodology (Update)
When fielding audience research, we are looking for three types of information. Learn more about the purpose and methodology of this research.
2021 Data Stories
Curiosity, Compassion, Community: The Traits of Inclusive People
What traits and values are more inclusive people likely to have? If we cultivate those traits more broadly, will we increase inclusive attitudes more broadly?
Virtual Audiences Part 2
Virtual engagement during the pandemic helped museums
deliver content to about half of frequent museum-goers. That means that while virtual content worked for many museum-goers, it didn’t work for everyone. Why not?
Purpose & Methodology
Each year, we receive great questions about the methodology behind the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers. Learn more in this year’s data story covering purpose and methodology.
Spring 2021 Update
Spring, with its changeable weather, is also bringing changeable emotions as we pass the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic. Optimism is increasing as vaccinations expand dramatically. But worries continue to lurk for many.
The Spectrum of Inclusive Attitudes Methodology
For museums to be most effective in sharing inclusive content, it is critical that we understand our audiences’ perspectives on inclusion. Who supports it, rejects it, or isn’t thinking about it?
Virtual Audiences Part 1
Many museums pivoted quickly to virtual content as a way to continue to engage museum audiences. If museums had to be closed, and people were spending a lot more time at home, it seemed like a good idea.
Museum Visitation Rates & Demographics
It’s easy to make assumptions about who visits museums. But some of those assumptions don’t turn out to be totally true when we look at casual museum visitors.
Vaccinations and Re-entry
As vaccinations roll out across the United States, individual comfort levels for visiting museums will continue to shift and change. Indeed, we saw these shifts even over the past several weeks in our research.
Community Concerns and the Pandemic
Our communities matter to us, and understanding those concerns, as well as how museums, culture, and learning contribute, helps us to consider how we can serve our communities more effectively.
Museum Visitation Pre- and Mid-Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic devastated museum visitation and, as the pandemic has progressed, some museum-goers have returned to visiting museums, while others have continued to pull back.
Masking: May 2021
As masking requirements lift across states and communities, and the CDC shared that it no longer recommends masking for the vaccinated, many museums have been left with a quandary: do we continue to require masks … or not?
As winter sets in, worries have expanded while, at the same time, many of us feel like we are living our lives on repeat. This data story highlights current concerns for museum-goers.
2020 Data Stories
The Purpose of Learning
Museums are about learning, but while most people agree that learning should deepen knowledge in areas one is already interested in, there is less agreement about learning as a way to expand worldviews and perspectives.
Museums & Neutrality: Taking Positions in a Polarized Society
We asked how audiences really felt about neutrality. The overall results showed that a majority of museum-goers did think museums can take a position…though largely with limits.
Worldviews, Clusters, & Intuitive Epistemology: An Introduction
Everyone is different. We all know that. And that extends to our visitors. Each one comes in with their own values, attitudes, and belief that affect how they engage with museum content.
Curiosity: A Primer
The more we examine curiosity, the more important it appears to be, not only to individuals but to society. Research consistently shows that curious people have improved practice life outcomes, self-actualization, and prosocial outcomes. Why?
Museum-Goers and Accessibility
We all want our museums to be inviting places. Places that everyone can find comfortable and easy to visit. That means accessibility is important. We asked museum-goers what kinds of access and support their families could use at museums.
Methodology Primer: Bias
Bias. It is something that all researchers have to grapples with and it’s unavoidable. When we field audience research, understanding and acknowledging bias is incredibly important. Let’s explore two major ways bias affects this work.
2020 Data Stories – COVID-19 Audience Research
Communities and Our Post-Pandemic Future
If museums are going to serve audiences effectively while also helping their communities rebuild, we need to start planning now to address those needs.
Relevancy in a Tumultuous 2020
2020 has been a year of historic pandemic, economic devastation, and civil and racial unrest. And all of us are grappling with the changes these three things are causing in our communities.
Respite and Museums
As more people struggle to cope emotionally and mentally with the pandemic, places of respite are increasingly important. To learn more, we asked a direct question about respite this fall and we received some pushback.
When the pandemic started, many museums suddenly pivoted to providing virtual content. Now that we are several months into this pandemic, we checked in with our Pandemic Panelists to see how well that content was working for them.
Autumn 2020 Update
7 months into this pandemic, with no immediate end in sight, has many museum-goers feeling we are on a never-ending rollercoaster of challenges and stressors. They are looking ahead to colder weather with dread.
Summer 2020 Update
Last spring, we fielded a “Pandemic Panel” to assess how museum-goers were grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. As summer began to unfold, we reopened the panel to see how they were doing as the country opens up and cases surge.
Broader Population Concerns for Museums
While the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to sink in, we wanted to assess how concerned or not the public was about the survival of museums.
When Will Audiences Be Ready to Return to Museums?
When will audiences be ready to return to museums and what will help them feel safe and comfortable? Museum-goers responses ranged widely, though most fell in a cautious middle.
Hope and Healing
As we enter May, museum-goers are looking ahead to even more time at home, as well as mixed feelings about the reopening of our communities. There is a sense that many are reaching an emotional low point.
Do Audiences Want Virtual Content from Museums?
Do audiences want virtual content from museums? During this pandemic, yes! But what people would love to see, and how they find, varies quite a bit.
Museums are Struggling Financially. Do people know?
Museums are struggling financially, but do people know, and will they support us? The answer is, unfortunately, grim.
How Are Museum-Goers Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic?
How are museum-goers responding to the pandemic? A lot like we all are. They are worried about their families, livelihoods, communities, and humanity.
Browse the stories of those who have participated in the Annual Survey of Museum-Goers and learn how they applied the data in practice.
Data cuts and current participants
When five or more museums of the same type or location sign up for the survey, you receive even more benchmarking data. See current data cuts.
Ready to sign up?
Complete the form to sign up or get in touch with Wilkening Consulting for more information.