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Attempts of museums around the world to capture the young adult audience

By: Emma Shrapnel, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 25 Sep 2012

What are museums around the world currently doing to capture the young adult audience? The second topic investigated in the audience research study "Engaging Young Adults in Museums".

Internationally, museums are attempting to forge ways in which to better connect with the young adult audience, so they may be accepted as a fun and desirable social destination for this age group.

The Denver Art Museum ran the event “Untitled” on the last Friday of every month starting in 2007. It was included with regular museum admission and strived to engage adult visitors with the museum’s collections in unconventional and unscripted ways. The exhibitions were entwined with live music, free nibbles, a cash bar and a range of activities that visitors could customise to their liking. Activities ranged from a series of tours given by experts in the fields; neurologists, chefs, cartographers – all from the perspective of their own expertise. These activities were all created to have offbeat and unexpected content, so visitors experienced something new on every visit.

The Museum of London has taken an interesting approach to engaging young adults. They have recruited young people aged 16-21 to form “The Junction Youth Panel”, who act as consultants with the museum to ensure projects, displays and events appeal to young people. Junction members help to curate displays and organise public events. The Museum of London’s approach is quite different: instead of creating programs for young people, they have had programs created by young people.

For the full research paper, "Engaging Young Adults in Museums"

References

Denver Art Museum, Creativity, Community and a Dose of the Unexpected, Denver Art Museum, Denver, 2011
Museum of London, Junction - Introducing the Museum of London’s youth panel, The Museum of London, 2012, accessed 1st of May 2012, http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/Get-involved/Collaborative-projects/Stories-of-the-World/Junction+youth+panel.htm