The Value of Museums: Enhancing Societal Well-Being
Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium
Museum of Texas Tech University
3301 4th Street
February 8, 2024
Reception immediately following in the Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court
**A brand new, exciting art program, Teaching Artist Training will be introduced at the reception. Read below for more information.**
Open to the public
Join us for an informative and engaging talk from museum expert and author John H. Falk, Ph.D. His lecture will focus on key questions: why people go to museums, what people do there, and what the benefits are of visiting a museum. Consciously or not, people go to museums to support and enhance their personal, intellectual, social, and physical well-being. People who visit museums report that their museum experiences made them feel better about themselves, more informed, happier, healthier, and more enriched; all outcomes are directly related to enhanced well-being. Historically, benefits such as enhanced well-being were seen as vague and intangible, but Falk will describe how enhanced well-being, when properly conceptualized, can be defined and directly measured. The talk will conclude with suggestions for how these insights about well-being might be strategically used by museums as a way to help the public better adapt to and cope with the rapidly changing and challenging times ahead.
The event is hosted by the Museum of Texas Tech University and Art After Hours by the Lubbock Cultural Arts Foundation.
Join us on the morning of February 8 (the day of the lecture) for a Cultural Leaders Q&A with Dr. John H. Falk!
Location: Kline Room on the Mezzanine
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Area cultural leaders are invited to a Q&A conversation with respected museum expert and author John H. Falk, Ph.D. Join us at the Museum of Texas Tech University and bring your questions!
What to expect:
Falk's decades-long research focuses on key questions: why people go to cultural institutions, what people do there, and how people benefit from these visits.
- Do you have questions about how to serve your organization's audiences, how to know what audiences value, or how to shape content to support the way programs enhance learning?
- Do you want feedback about audience strategies you've implemented or data you've collected?
- Exploring such questions helps us articulate the reason for our work and how we prioritize resources, with an outward-in approach.
Dr. John Falk is visiting the Museum of Texas Tech to kick off a year-long project to build a Teaching Artist Team at the Museum. We hope this session and his evening lecture will inspire and celebrate the value of cultural organizations in our community.
About Dr. Falk:
Based in Corvallis, OR, John H. Falk is the Founder and CEO of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Emeritus Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. He is a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs when people have significant choice and control over what, where, and when they learn. Dr. Falk's current research focuses on how cultural institutions such as museums, libraries, zoos aquariums, and science centers support the public's well-being and learning, and in the process, foster curiosity, inspire personal growth, and enhance an individual's physical and mental health. His work is helping cultural institutions re-think their value and positioning in the 21st century. He is ranked as one of the leading social scientists in the world and his awards include the Leadership Award for Significant and Lasting Impact, Western Museums Association (2022); NARST: A worldwide organization for improving science teaching and learning through research Distinguished Career Award (2016); Oregon State University, University Outreach and Engagement Vice Provost Award for Excellence, Innovation-Partnerships Award (2016); Council of Scientific Society Presidents Award for Educational Research (2013) and American Alliance of Museums John Cotton Dana Award for Leadership (2010).
Build community at the Museum of Texas Tech.
The Teaching Artist Team will be made up of 5–7 practicing artists from a variety of disciplines. You must be a practicing artist living in the near region of the Museum of Texas Tech University, available to lead programs on Saturdays, available to meet regularly as a team, and able to work in the US. Musicians, actors, filmmakers, designers, and visual artists are all welcome, with the willingness to make connections with works of fine art on view in the Museum's galleries and to brush up on basic art history.
Online application »
Teaching artists will lead public programs at the Museum, including gathering survey and reflection data used to evaluate programs and to learn and grow as a team. Programs will be designed to guide participants of all ages to experience the creative process and build a relationship with visual art on view at the Museum. Teaching artists should desire to help others explore the relevance and accessibility of art in everyday life.
Teaching artists are practicing artists who develop public programs that seek to activate the artistry of others. Teaching artists does not necessarily teach others to be artists but to develop relationships with the arts through various encounters with the creative process. Put simply, teaching artist training prepares you to lead public programs that help participants experience the relevance of art in their own lives. As a practicing artist, you know how to make art, but perhaps not how to teach. Teaching artistry helps you build skills to guide others in accessing the creative process.
Training will consist of workshops led by practitioners of teaching artistry. These workshops will be delivered over a series of weekends or an intensive long weekend format in late May and/or early June.
The team will work with an education expert in a series of 3–4 workshops to develop a team mission statement, goals that can be measured (SMART goals), and programs based on the overall program types. Workshops lasting 1.5 or 2 hours will take place on Saturdays or weeknights and may include Teams or Zoom meetings. This workshop leader will then create evaluation tools, such as participant surveys, to help get feedback from audiences.
Team members will deliver public programs on Saturdays at the Museum, based on the following program types. Programs take around 15–20 hours to plan and deliver, with community projects involving more time, plus 1 hour for online team meetings after each program.
◦ Studio 360 art-making workshops at the Museum
◦ Community-based projects via partnerships
◦ ‘Art of Seeing' workshops at community venues