Katherine Gean

Freelance Researcher

Katherine Gean partners with Slover Linett to help clients build new capacities, make data-driven decisions, and navigate organizational change through research and evaluation. A key researcher of the firm’s multi-year engagement with the Irvine Foundation, Katherine has worked closely with the Oakland Museum of California, Cornerstone Theater Company, California Shakespeare Theater, and other arts grantees of the foundation that are breaking new ground in audience diversification and engagement programming. Her other clients have included the Knight Foundation’s arts program and several Wallace Foundation-funded arts organizations, such as Ballet Austin and Goodman Theatre, as well as science, nature, and art museums, symphony orchestras, and other cultural nonprofits. Katherine has a special interest in equity and inclusion issues and emerging models of co-creation with communities. She is co-author of our 2017 report for the Irvine Foundation, “The Engagement Revolution: A Study of Strategic Organizational Transformation in 10 California Arts Nonprofits,” as well as articles in the Journal of Museum Education and Journal of Science Education and Technology. Katherine has presented at conferences of the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and the National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST). She serves on a Collective Impact Panel for Ingenuity Inc., a Chicago-based K-12 arts education advocacy organization.

Prior to her time as a freelancer, Katherine joined Slover Linett’s staff in 2015 after three years as an evaluator at the Museum of Science & Industry in Chicago, where she worked on exhibit prototyping, STEM-pipeline diversity, and other visitor studies. She has also worked as a supervisor at the University of Chicago’s Survey Lab on research in arts education, social relationships, and health. Katherine earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Texas, Austin and her master’s at University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences, both with a focus on cultural anthropology and ethnographic methods; her MA thesis explored appropriation and commercial culture. Katherine is active in Chicago’s visual arts scene and is an avid runner—with and without her dog, Duncan.