Institution: Pratt Museum, Kachemak Bay
An Exploration of People & Place Exhibition
Front-End Evaluation, Formative Evaluation, Summative Evaluation
Over the course of six years I worked closely with Pratt Museum staff on their new core exhibition, Kachemak Bay: An Exploration of People & Place. Front-end research confirmed and refined exhibit messages. Results of a fun, graphic mapping activity for respondents made clear the need for an orientation station for visitors from outside of the area. Among other development-related research questions, formative studies tested the use of a poetic voice for label copy, a new approach for the institution; findings supported the poetic style. Extensive summative evaluation made use of targeted observations, tracking and timing, interviews and surveys to assess the exhibit experience overall, and impacts of individual community-based videos. We measured and documented the longest dwell time per square foot ever measured to date. Members of the community-based video teams also participated in an evaluation which found that they had a deep appreciation for the process, and the Museum as a result. In these and all studies I conduct in Alaska, cultural responsiveness is key. The Kachemak Bay exhibition won the Museums Alaska Award for Excellence in 2009.