African American Museums & Audiences


National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C.: Developed a comprehensive audience research plan, including strategic partnering with art museums in Africa, the U.S. and other places.

Clinton Church Restoration, Great Barrington MA: In collaboration with Proun Design, we conducted audience research (a) to analyze the characteristics of existing audiences at rural historic sites, and (b) to survey potential audiences to explore their interests in interpretive topics and awareness of historic African Americans in the Berkshires, including W.EB. Du Bois.

Association of African American Museums (AAAM), Washington DC:
National Needs Assessment, 2017.
National Survey of African American Cultural Organizations with collections, 2008

National Museum of African American History and Culture, Washington DC: African Diasporic Audience Research, involving three phases of quantitative and qualitative audience research in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area.

African Burial Ground Interpretive Center, National Park Service National Monument, New York City: ‘Front end’ Research and Formative Evaluation for exhibit planning (collaboration with Amaze Design, Boston)

The Newark Museum, Newark NJ: Summative Evaluation and school group experience with Generation Fit, involving audiences that are mostly African American

Louisiana Civil Rights Museum, New Orleans LA: ‘Front-end’ Research for this proposed project, involving focus groups in three cities with African American and white participants (separately, and together)

Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond, Louisiana State Museum, New Orleans: The devastation of New Orleans was experienced by all residents, but Katrina’s impact was especially strong on African American communities; among the ten audience studies we did for this exhibition project, we involved city schools in formative evaluations and conducted focus groups with African American residents.

Boston Black, The Children’s Museum, Boston: Storyline Testing study to assess preliminary concepts for this exhibition about cultural diversity; also a Summative Evaluation.

Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site, Tuskegee AL: ‘Front-end’ Research for the interpretive planning and exhibit design process for this National Park Service project.

Owens-Thomas House, Savannah GA: Interpretive planning study to explore visitors’ perceptions about presenting the enslaved Africans who lived and worked at this house of affluent white families (the most-visited of all the houses in Savannah’s historic house district).

Tredegar Iron Works /American Civil War Center, Richmond VA: ‘Front-end’ Research to inform interpretive planning for exhibits by exploring the perceptions of potential audiences from three perspectives: Union, Confederate, and African American.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati OH: Four years of audience research prior to opening, including a multi-city market analysis, benchmarking study of other culture-specific museums, Storyline Testing, and group previews to inform the marketing strategy.

Amistad: A true story of freedom, Connecticut History Museum, Hartford: Storyline Testing research to help refine and clarify the storyline for this exhibition; also a Summative Evaluation of visitor experiences.

Multicultural Project, Boston Children’s Museum, Boston MA: Assessment of change in the cultural demographic composition (especially African American and Asian) of the museum’s audience due to three years of programming.

Africa exhibit, The Field Museum, Chicago: Coaching on community forums, ‘Front-end’ Research, coaching for Formative Evaluation, and Summative Evaluation of this permanent exhibition.


J.Hayward & C.Larouche. “The Emergence of the Field of African American Museums,” invited article for The Public Historian, special issue on the state of black museums, Vol. 40 (3), August 2018, pp 163-172

B.L.Werner, J.Hayward & C.Larouche. “Measuring and Understanding Diversity is not so Simple: How characteristics of personal identity can improve museum audience studies,” Visitor Studies, 17 (2), Fall 2014, pp 191-206

Research reports

‘National Needs Assessment’ for the Association of African American Museums (available to AAAM members at, 2017

‘Assessment of the Field: African American Cultural Organizations’ for the Association of African American Museums (available to AAAM members at, 2008