NASAA Notes: July 2019

July 9, 2019

Utah: Social Impact Study

Some of the findings from the Utah Division of Arts & Museums social impact study

According to the results of a pilot social impact study that the Utah Division of Arts & Museums (UA&M) is conducting, museum visitation is correlated with statistically significant increases in health and well-being, intercultural competence, strengthened relationships, and continued education and engagement. UA&M undertook this project with Thanksgiving Point—a nonprofit farm, garden and museum complex that deployed a similar survey in 2015—to help participating institutions better understand and serve their audiences and to develop a replicable tool for museums big and small. As described in a recent American Alliance of Museums article, UA&M was motivated by Thanksgiving Point’s research and its recognition of the value and challenge of measuring social impact. With UA&M’s assistance, eight museums deployed the “end of experience” survey, which measured 104 indicators of social impact, and collected data from nearly 400 individual survey respondents who visited their “host” museum at least three times over three months. With these results, UA&M is now working to create an adaptable social impact survey instrument available to all museums in the state. To learn more, contact UA&M Museum Services Specialist Emily Johnson or Museum Services Manager Jennifer Ortiz.

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