We’re right there with community innovator Nina Simon when she says, “Collecting good demographic data can help you smash stereotypes. It can help you make smarter strategic decisions and better programs.” Well, we would believe that — we’re researchers. But we also had to agree when Nina and her team at OF/BY/FOR ALL pointed out that many cultural and community organizations, especially small ones, don’t have the money to work with research consultants like Slover Linett, nor the expertise and staff to create, conduct, and analyze audience surveys “in house” in ways that are representative, respectful, and useful. They need high-quality data to see who’s participating in their programs…and who’s not. But to many, collecting demographic data seems daunting and expensive. So we were delighted to collaborate with OF/BY/FOR on a new DIY guide for participant data-collection: the Who’s Coming: Respectful Audience Surveying Toolkit. It’s free and open-source, thanks to a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. And it’s designed to demystify and simplify on-site survey research to help small and not-so-small museums, arts organizations, and other public-engagement enterprises gather high-quality demographic information about their audiences. If you’ve been following the OF/BY/FOR ALL movement or our own work in the cultural sector, you won’t be surprised to hear that the toolkit emphasizes inclusion, cultural sensitivity, and community.

So please download it, try it, and share it with your partners and networks. If you do, please let us know how it works in your setting. This resource is still evolving, and we and our collaborators are eager to improve it as we go. It’s all part of our commitment to helping build capacity for research—and fostering a culture of responsiveness and data-informed decision-making—in our clients and the wider field.

 

Photo credit: First Friday at Abbott Square, courtesy of MAH Santa Cruz.

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Ashley Ann Wolfe@AshleyAnnWolfe

Lots of exciting announcements coming soon from @SloverLinett!

cc:@cgarfin @vvp317 @jenbenoitbryan

2. Laughter isn't the opposite of seriousness; it's the most profound way to get serious about something. And it opens the doors wider.

"...giggle your way in. It's not the normal way to do it, but if you can, you bring a much bigger group."

Two deep lessons about public engagement from @rkrulwich, looking back on 15 years co-hosting @Radiolab:

1. What really draws people in isn't mostly the "content"; it's the human warmth and joy of the hosts. ("When two people are having real fun, it's sort of like a warm fire.")

Like I’ve been saying... Love what you’re stirring in the #classicalmusic pot, Aubrey. And I would add: human-centered research is a crucial element of the experimentation process - how we learn with (not just about) #audiences.

Twitter feed video.Like I’ve been saying... Love what you’re stirring in the #classicalmusic pot, Aubrey. And I would add: human-centered research is a crucial element of the experimentation process - how we learn with (not just about) #audiences.
Aubrey Bergauer@AubreyBergauer

I get asked all the time about what we can change in orchestra administration culture, and my answer is always the same.

Embrace experimentation.

If we focus too much on short term goals, we don't try new things, leaving bold ideas on the table that could deliver huge results.

#ICYMI: Check out this stunning sketch animation by @ATJCagan from last week's #AAASmtg session on millennial science engagement, featuring @jenbenoitbryan & @TheGeoffHunt.

cc: @PLinett @MeetAScientist @labxNAS

Twitter feed video.#ICYMI: Check out this stunning sketch animation by @ATJCagan from last week's #AAASmtg session on millennial science engagement, featuring @jenbenoitbryan & @TheGeoffHunt. 

cc: @PLinett @MeetAScientist @labxNAS
Alex Cagan@ATJCagan

In the interest of open data and methods sharing - here’s the whole process! Impressions from a session on communicating science to millennials #AAASmtg

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