Yesterday, Yale University Press sent word that Bonnie Pitman's Ignite the Power of Art Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums is now available at Your Finer Booksellers. (Well ... it's supposed to be -- the Borders and Barnes & Noble in Preston Royal, at least, don't yet have their copies.) Pitman, the Eugene McDermott Director at the Dallas Museum of Art, has long wondered how to get folks more engaged in the museum's offerings, and the book, co-written with Ellen Hirzy, is said to be the result of seven years' worth of research intended to answer the questions: "How do visitors like to experience art? What makes for an enriching museum visit?" Promises Yale:
Ignite the Power of Art publishes these findings and provides a new understanding of museum visitors. It describes how these studies have been used to build attendance, enhance exhibits, and develop new programs such as the Center for Creative Connections, the online Arts Network, and the Late Nights event series, all at the Dallas Museum of Art. Furthermore, the book describes how this research, which goes far beyond traditional demographic data and analyses, has transformed the Museum, unleashing a profound change in institutional thinking and paving the way for sustained innovation. Also included are interviews with community leaders who offer their perspectives and insights on the Dallas Museum of Art's remarkable revitalization.
The publication coincides with the DMA's announcement that beginning next month, it'll launch a YouTube series intended to "spread the gospel" of the museum. Says Judy Conner, the DMA's chief marketing and communications officer, "These new videos are meant to give people a better idea of what the DMA is all about and the kinds of experiences that people can have here."