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As Museum Attendance Declines, One Institute Argues Audience Engagement Is on the Rise

Category: Attendance

This article describes a finding from a recent report published by the National Center for Arts Research showing that while overall physical attendance to art museums might be declining, their total points of engagement are actually increasing when virtual visitors are taken into account.

The article discusses whether and how virtual attendance at art museums should be considered when evaluating the depth, and quality of engagement in addition to the total frequency and reach.

In our Edition 3 Report, we found Art Museums had the highest community engagement, whether or not virtual participation was taken into account. They engage about half of their total touch points in-person and half virtually. In absolute terms, compared to other sectors they have the highest average number of touch points, both in-person and total.

-National Center for Arts Research

The National Center for Arts Research, which was created in 2012 by the Meadows School of the Arts and the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, says museums "have the highest average number of touch points, both in-person and total."

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