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Community Engagement Assessment

The Community Engagement Assessment reviews the museum’s understanding of and relationship with its various communities and the communities’ perception of and experience with the museum. It helps museums gather better input from their constituents, develop a more nuanced view about the community’s demographics and needs, respond to the changing nature of its audiences and incorporate these findings into planning and operational decisions. This process helps museums form new collaborations and strengthen old ones.

Before Applying

If applying for the Community Engagement Assessment, MAP staff strongly recommends that the museum has:

  • A formal and approved mission statement. An approved mission statement indicates a clear institutional self-image that can be tested against the community’s perception.
  • Previous experience with self-study, as that helps you manage assessment logistics, which need to involve members of your museum’s community and audiences.
  • An established process for institutional/strategic planning, ensuring a way of using the large amount of information that will result from your museum’s self-study and report.

What should you expect from a Community Engagement Assessment?

Increase staff and/or governing authority’s knowledge about:

  • Museum’s community and stakeholders
  • How the museum is perceived by its audiences and community

Improve alignment of:

  • Mission with audience and community
  • Resource allocation with audience and community needs

Improve ability to:

  • Communicate with the community
  • Serve its audiences
  • Identify and develop potential audiences
  • Create collaborations to address community needs
  • Incorporate community needs into long-range plans
  • Conduct an audience evaluation
  • Improve visitor services
  • Meet audience needs through exhibitions and programming
  • Write/review/revise policies and procedures
  • Write a long-range interpretive plan
  • Write a long-range marketing or outreach plan

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