Longitudinal Case Study

Marianna Adams and Jeanine Ancelet of Audience Focus, Inc. directed the Longitudinal Case Study with support from the on-site researchers at each museum. This part of the study focused on the three overarching research questions and also investigated the last question further:

  • WHO are the families who visit interactive spaces in art museums and WHY do they visit them?
  • HOW do families use interactive spaces within art museums?
  • WHAT do parents perceive is valuable about interactive spaces in art museums and how do they perceive their families benefit from visiting them?

Each museum recruited six families to observe for 18 months.  The families were varied and were representative of the diversity of art museum visitors. The children in the project ranged in age from 3 to 13 years (5-12 years of age was required for the study), and the families included a grandmother, a mother in the military, a mother who owns a business, and a father who is an artist. The children were in public and private schools as well as homeschooling. The families were asked to visit their local art museum three times and make three visits to other comparable institutions or locations. The on-site researchers for each institution accompanied the families, took notes during the visits, and conducted in-depth, semi-structured follow-up interviews with the families.