Working with the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont will study the social impact it has on the 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 Thanksgiving Point, had the opportunity to select museums across the country for the Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) project. After a competitive application and review process, the Montshire was one of 38 museums selected for the study.

This study will measure social impact through strengthened relationships, health and well-being, continued education and engagement, and intercultural competency.

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

“We are deeply honored to be selected to participate in this national study,” says Jennifer Rickards, Montshire’s Acting Executive Director. “Although we’re confident in the value that the Montshire offers the community, this study of social impact will help us define, measure, and articulate that value more clearly and provide insights that will allow us to enhance the programs and experiences we offer.”

The Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) offered the following information on the type of information they are collecting and how they measure impact:

Health and Wellbeing

This outcome is measured through statements regarding physical health, such as diet and exercise habits, along with mental and emotional health. It recognizes that museums are restorative spaces and are places of community activities.

Intercultural Competence

Visiting museums expands awareness of cultures and ways of life. This outcome is measured by understanding empathy, connection to community, personal strengths and limitations, and perspective of self and others.

Continued Education and Engagement

Learning occurs across various spaces and time, including in museums and through the programs they offer. This outcome is measured by understanding in what ways wonder, curiosity, and interest are stimulated in museum visitors.

Strengthened Relationships

This outcome strives to understand the positive interactions people have with others. It is measured through statements about social and family relationships, the bond between people, and the ways in which relationships are nurtured.