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Chazen in National Social Impact Study

The Chazen Museum of Art has been selected to participate in a research project to study the social impact it has on its community and assist in refining a social-impact tool for the museum field.

Thanks to a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS), the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, in partnership with farm, garden, and museum complex Thanksgiving Point, has selected museums across the country to participate in the Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) project. After a competitive application and review process, the Chazen was one of 38 museums selected for the study.

Working with the MOMSI team, the Chazen will recruit and survey visitors from the local community. The data collected will inform the Chazen on its social impact and will provide validated data about the museum field generally.

Social impact is the effect of an activity on the social fabric of a community and the well-being of those who live there. This study will measure social impact through strengthened relationships, health and well-being, continued education and engagement, and intercultural competency.

“The Chazen Museum of Art at UW–Madison is thrilled to have been chosen as a participant in the MOMSI study,” said Amy Gilman, director of the Chazen. “As an arts institution, we believe deeply in the power of art to transform, inspire, and educate our visitors. The MOMSI study will help us evaluate this effort, and better inform strategic decisions at all levels of the organization. Most importantly, the spirit of the MOMSI study is to evaluate the impact the Chazen has on visitors even when they are no longer at the museum. As we seek to epitomize the Wisconsin Idea in all that we do, data such as this will be invaluable in expanding the Chazen’s influence beyond the boundaries of its buildings.”

The Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) project addresses the critical need of establishing best practices for measuring social impact within the museum field. It advances museum practice by measuring the social impact museums have on visitors and developing a tool for museums to better understand their social impact on individuals and communities. MOMSI will test the nationwide scalability of a tool developed in Utah to provide museums of all sizes the opportunity to measure their own social impact.