Case Study: How African American Museums Can Remain Relevant

Forces of Change
Start Day and Time
Monday May 8 2:15-2:45 p.m.
Venue and Meeting Room
261 America's Center
Despite the good news of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture opening, a cursory review reveals little change from the Association of African American Museums' 2008 assessment of African American cultural organizations-a somber report of museums struggling for both funding and audiences. This case study session will examine matters related to four tenets by which relevance is enhanced and audiences are engaged: programming, diversification, children and Family, and the experience in and out of the museum.
Learner Outcome
  1. Gain an enhanced understanding of current challenges for audience development among African American museums.
  2. Evaluate four suggested tenets to drive museum strategies for growing audiences.
  3. Identify how these tenets can be incorporated into museum strategies for increasing attendance.
John Guess
Houston Museum of African American Culture
John Guess, former board member of the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Glassell School of Art, is the unrelenting voice and architect behind the resurgence of the now nationally recognized Houston Museum of African American Culture, which he was brought in turn around and make tangible in late 2009, where he served as Chief Executive Officer until September, 2016 and now serves as Director of Development.