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Dallas Museum of Art Receives $250,000 Gift to Extend Research into Visitor Engagement

The Dallas Museum of Art has received a $250,000 gift from Martha McCarty Kimmerling to support ongoing research into visitor engagement in the Museum. The research provides insight into the critical link between museum experiences, deep engagement with works of art, and informal learning outcomes. Beginning in October, this new research will extend the information presented in the Museum’s groundbreaking and nationally acclaimed seven-year study released in 2010, A Framework for Engaging with Art.

Visitor engagement research at the DMA will explore how the Museum’s efforts can successfully connect a visitor with a work of art and how to best encourage an ongoing interest in and relevance for art in the lives of visitors. With this research, the DMA will be able to engage visitors more deeply and provide additional opportunities in which to enhance the museum experience for audiences across all demographics.

“We thank Martha McCarty Kimmerling for her ongoing and enthusiastic support of the Dallas Museum of Art’s educational activities,” said Robert Stein, the Museum’s Deputy Director. “This generous gift from her to the DMA’s Martha McCarty Kimmerling Fund for Education allows the DMA to continue to strengthen its relationship with its visitors through research on how they best engage with art and the Museum.”

The new research will build on the DMA’s longstanding and well-known dedication to visitor engagement and educational advancements. The Framework for Engaging with Art, completed in 2010 and developed jointly by DMA staff and Randi Korn & Associates, Inc., provided an unprecedented understanding of the preferences and behaviors of museum visitors. It was published in January 2011 by the Dallas Museum of Art and distributed by Yale University Press as the book Ignite the Power of Art: Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums, and probed beyond traditional demographic studies to ask how visitors prefer to engage with art in the museum setting. The DMA’s continued research into visitor engagement will expand on this existing work to better understand how to encourage visitors to connect with art. It will be led by Stein and a team of DMA education staff.

About the Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs is its global collection, which encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, the Museum welcomes more than half a million visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary events, and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.

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