Understanding Audiences Workshop

Continuing with their efforts to build the capacity of the Garden State's heritage community, the New Jersey Historical Commission and New Jersey Historic Trust present Understanding Audiences as a part of their Best Practices for Nonprofit History Organizations series.

Understanding Audiences will be presented by Max von Balgooy, president of Engaging Places, a design and strategy firm that connects people and historic places. In his History News article, "Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change” Balgooy writes that the 2008 economic downturn threatened our cultural institutions, but the issue extends beyond the economy. Surveys over the past thirty years by the National Endowment for the Arts indicate that attendance rates have dropped from 37% in 1982 to 25% in 2008. From 2008 to 2012 attendance continued to decline while electronic participation grew and live attendance among multi-ethic audiences has not declined.

With the changes in attendance rates, demographics and forms of participation, Understanding Audiences will introduce participants to national standards for learning about audiences; explore practices that integrate visitor interests, needs, and motivations into exhibits, programs, and activities; and help participants apply standards to their programs.

The workshop will be offered Monday, September 22nd from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at Middlesex County College in Crabiel Hall. The charge to attend the workshop is $20 and will cover the cost for breakfast and lunch.

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This is part of a three-part series of engagement workshops that will be offered into 2015. The workshop is presented as a part of the Best Practices for Nonprofit History Organizations series, utilizing the American Association for State and Local History’s Standards and Excellence Program.

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