10 Reasons to Visit a Museum

Oaklee’s guest post excerpted from Colleen Dilenschneider

 1. Museums make you feel good.

Experiences, such as visiting a museum, can become a meaningful part of ones identity and contribute to successful social relationships in a manner that material items cannot. So consider foregoing an outing for items that you may not need; going to the museum will make you happier in the long run.

2. Museums make you smarter

There is no doubt that a primary role of museums is to engage and educate the community. It becomes nearly impossible to exit a museum without having gained any information or insight during your visit.

3. Museums provide an effective way of learning

Museums are examples of informal learning environments, which means they are devoted primarily to informal education — a lifelong process whereby individuals acquire attitudes, values, skills and knowledge from daily experience and the educative influences and resources in his or her environment.

4. Museums are community centers

Museums are a lot more than collections of artifacts; they allow you to meet with neighbors, discuss thoughts and opinions, and become an active part of the community.

5. Museums inspire

Museums provide inspiration through personal connections with visitors, and not only on-site and through physical community outreach efforts; some even manage to connect through their social networks.  These kinds of personal memories created at museums do not expire.

6. Museums help bring change and development to communities

As museums are functioning more and more like community centers in providing access to current research and new ideas, they’ve become hot-spots for civic engagement. The promotion of education and the cultivation of conversation that are taking place in museums across the nation shapes and strengthens our neighborhoods.

7. Museums are a great way to spend time with friends and family

A day at the museum often translates to a day spent with loved ones as fathers and mothers transform into tour guides, and the environment provides a shared learning experience.

8. A museum may be your next community partner or business endeavor

It takes a lot of employees to help run America’s approximately 17,500 museums and it takes countless businesses and community partners to keep them functioning. Museums need everything from printing services, to video surveillance, to dino-glue– and they are inextricably woven into the web of American government and businesses.

9. Museums are free sometimes but they all need your support to keep their doors open.

Several museums nationwide offer free admission during specified hours or days of the week. Visit the website of your favorite museum to see if they feature something like this.  Perhaps more importantly, take a look at museum membership rates. Often, a membership pays itself off in as few as three annual visits to the museum. When a museum does NOT offer free admission, look into your heart. All museums need financial support in order to keep their doors open. If you like a visitor serving organization and you want to keep it around for decades to come (so that you may bring your great-grandchildren), make a donation or fill out that membership card with pride!

10. There is a museum close to you.

According to the American Association of Museums (now the American Alliance of Museums since the original publication of this post) museums average approximately 865 million visits per year or 2.3 million visits per day. That’s a lot of museum visits! There is certainly something for everyone.

Colleen Dilenschneider works with nonprofit leaders to ensure the long-term relevance and financial success of their visitor-serving organizations. She specializes in the evolution and deployment of innovative community engagement practices informed by proprietary data that both identify and predict trends in the market’s behavior. You can read more of Colleen’s blogs at http://colleendilen.com.

Click here for Colleen’s full article.