Course Description

460.615 - Museums and Community Engagement

This course explores how museums and cultural organizations of all sizes can strengthen their relationships with the communities they serve. No longer are museums measured and judged solely by their internal resources-collections, endowments, facilities, and staff-but rather by the external benefits and value they create for individuals and communities. Growing numbers of museums are learning to make their organizations more meaningful and relevant by involving their communities in ongoing planning and decision-making. They are reframing museum activities to focus on what matters to their communities. By getting involved in community challenges and developing new partnerships, they are identifying underserved audiences and creating memorable visitor experiences. As museums begin this journey towards community engagement, they are initiating and facilitating social change and moving towards social entrepreneurship. This course includes the theory and skills of community engagement, drawing on both research and practice for examples.