Unique or Combination Museums

Las Cruces Museum System

Las Cruces, NM — Completed a multi-faceted study with the goal of making a stronger connection with local Latino-Hispanic-Mexicano residents, using community input and audience analysis to develop possible concepts for a new exhibition about Las Cruces (collaborating with Tey Marianna Nunn of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque).

Adirondack Experience (formerly Adirondack Museum)

Blue Mountain Lake, NY — Following the completion of a spectacular new exhibition, “Life in the Adirondacks” earlier in the summer season, we conducted a two-method Visitor Study to explore publicity awareness, decisions to visit the Museum due to knowledge of the new exhibition, and satisfaction with the experience.

Prior to that project, our Storyline Testing for the schematic design phase 1 of a new exhibition, looked at interest in environmental topics and interactive exhibit ideas among local residents and members.

We also completed Audience Research for a Master Plan, including a review of 15 years of previous studies, an online survey of upstate NY current and potential visitors, and a concept development study conducted at multiple locations in the Adirondack Park to assess residents’ and visitors’ patterns of visiting interpretive/museum sites and their interest in and reactions to a variety of proposed exhibit concepts.

Previous projects include Evaluation of visitor satisfaction with the audio tour, Image Study of the museum among a wide range of visitors to the Adirondack Park, Qualitative Research to inform planning of temporary exhibits, and two comprehensive Visitor Analyses.

Levine Museum of the New South

Charlotte, NC — This Museum is unusual in its spirit of connecting to its community, past and present, featuring social issues as well as community development. The new Director asked us for a thorough analysis of the Museum’s public image, including whether they should be marketing for awareness or for motivation, their reputation in the community, and public interests that could connect to future programming. Our quantitative study of ~ 700 households answered critical questions about the Museum’s relationship to its audiences.

Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate

Boston, MA — PPDR conducted a Visitor Experience Study for this new museum, to investigate visitors’ use and reactions to the technology, the exhibit storyline, the Senate Chamber, and take-away messages about how government works. Read our EMK case study on the Visitor Experience Studies page >>>

Louisiana State Museum

New Orleans, LA — Through our long relationship with this museum, we completed six years of evaluation activities for “Living With Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond” – an NSF-funded permanent exhibition about the historical precedents, the chaotic aftermath, the science behind hurricanes, the recovery process and implications for future planning. The exhibition provides interactive science exhibits that explain what happened (on subjects including levee design, hurricane formation, disaster preparedness and wetlands).

We began with Front-end Research, using intercept interviews in three states and focus groups of local residents, and then moved into the first phase of Formative Evaluation, using Storyline Testing to assess people’s expectations, interests, and likely reactions to the sequence and content of exhibit messages. We also did Formative Evaluation studies for two challenging rooms of the exhibit-in-planning and a final Formative Evaluation study for four interactives about hurricane science. Later, we conducted a Remedial Evaluation after the exhibition opened in late October, and a Summative Evaluation.

The last phase of the evaluation process was a Longitudinal Evaluation, contacting people who saw the exhibition from 6 months to 2 years later, investigating their perceptions of hurricanes and how that relates to their lives.

Along the way, we also conducted Audience Research, to inform the development of a new Master Plan, that considers extensive changes in the subject matter and exhibitions at the five museums, using focus groups with local audiences and community interviews with locals and tourists.

Newark Museum

Newark, NJ — This museum offers a Maker Space after-school program for a group of Newark Public School students with the goal to introduce them to STEM career possibilities through hands-on projects. We provided consulting for an evaluation strategy and instruments to get student feedback at various times during a semester’s program.

We also conducted a Summative Evaluation of “Generation Fit” — a science exhibition with numerous interactive components engaging visitors on two main themes: exercise and nutrition.

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Philadelphia, PA — PPDR consulted on audiences and audience research, for exhibition planning.

Vassar College Powerhouse Theater

Poughkeepsie, NY — PPDR was hired to conduct an analysis of the season’s audiences to this unusual summer theatre series, which includes works-in-progress as well as large and small productions.

Northeastern University Pastel Project

Boston, MA — Here, we did Program Evaluation of pilot family programs that used science content at arts venues (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Symphony, collaborating with the Museum of Science and the Physics Department at Northeastern University); a National Science Foundation planning grant.