Westmoreland Museum of American Art

ILI partnered with the Westmoreland Museum of American Art (WMAA) to build an organizational culture that would support its new Vision: “We imagine a world in which everyone feels valued and represented.” With this in mind, the WMAA is committed to working with audiences to expand traditional definitions of what it means to be American and to foster constructive dialogue around relevant topics—some of which may be difficult.

To fulfill this new vision, this IMLS-funded project invested in an institution-wide training of staff over a two-year period of time with the goal of building the WMAA staff’s capacity to perform and understand audience and visitor research, to understand the current state of knowledge about art museum visitors and to integrate those new skills and understandings into how they shape the visitor experience.  This work moved research to practice by building the staff skills and knowledge to successfully conduct culturally responsive and visitor-centered interpretive planning processes that inform marketing, guest services, programming, and didactics/interactives. With these new skills, current visitors will be exposed to new perspectives and lived experiences through their encounters with art and programming, and the WMAA will reach new and diverse audiences through community partnerships and by diversifying exhibition programs, collections, and interpretation.

Project lead: Judith Koke