Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Impact of museum health/well-being programs

May Redfern asks: I am currently writing a paper for a conference on measuring cost/benefit analysis for museums delivering health and well being agendas (part of the broader social value remit). I was therefore just wondering if you know of examples of best practice in this area? At the moment I'm focusing on the UK's MLA's generic social outcomes framework and the new economics foundation's measurements. It would be great if I could add some more 'real life' examples of health/well-being policy delivery and evaluation in a museum setting.

Hi May. This is a tough one. I don't know of any specific evaluations and programs but I'm sure there must be some in the UK especially given their social inclusion agenda. Maybe ask via the Visitor Studies Group – they have a great email list.

The other person who springs to mind is Lois Silverman who has researched museums as therapy and come up with some interesting findings. She has published quite a lot and a quick Google search brings up various pieces she has done. Lois also has a chapter in the Richard Sandell edited book Museums, Society and Social Inequality that may be a good start. Last I heard she was at Indiana University in the Department of Parks, Recreation etc, but have looked through their (frustrating!) site and can't uncover anything further.

Good luck with your abstract – is it for the Inclusive Museum conference next June?

2 comments:

Gillian said...

The Queensland Museum does quite a bit with older audiences using reminiscence work to trigger memories and build oral histories. I don't know that they do any evaluation.

esweeney@gallery.ca said...

On May 2 2008, in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness week - the National Gallery of Canada is hosting a one-day Creativity and Mental Health conference. The focus will be on the impact creativity and art have in promoting Mental Health and it is aimed at Mental Health professionals and their clients.