Silvia Filippini Fantoni, Director of Interpretation, Media and Evaluation, Indianapolis Museum of Art.
The debate about whether museums should be free or not is a hot topic at the moment. Many keep on advocating for free admission to guarantee access to those with limited income. Due to the lingering effects of the economic downturn, however, others have started to question the sustainability of the free admission model which relies heavily on public funding, large endowment draws and contributions from an aging donor base. In order to contribute to the debate and help institutions that are currently considering switching business models, representatives of the Indianapolis Museum of Art will share their experience with the recent move to a general admission charge.
During the presentation we will discuss, among other things, the reason behind the switch, how this has affected attendance, and audience demographics, but also the impact that it has had on membership numbers, and visitor engagement with the museum and gardens. We will also discuss how the institution has responded to and will continue to address some of the challenges that were brought by this change. In the past few years the IMA has collected lots of data about its visitors both before and after the change. This has given us the opportunity to document the shift in admission policy in a very detailed way and share such useful data with the museum community.
Presented at MuseumNext Dublin. MuseumNext is a global conference series on the future of museums. For more information visit: museumnext.com