Museums are facing a unique problem these days – Millenials aren’t visiting their halls. The majority of museumgoers are older art lovers and parents with young children, but one of the biggest demographics out there, young adults, are staying home. Why?
Well, the conflict is pretty clear – why would you want to pay to visit a museum where you have to walk around quietly all day with your hands behind your back, when you can see the exact same content on your computer for free? If you have a laptop, you don’t even have to get out of bed. There are no crowds of tourists to get in the way, and if you want to lick the Mona Lisa, there’s no security guard to stop you.
So how can museums stay relevant? Many are turning to blogging and online marketing.
Engage Your Audience
One big reason that millenials aren’t visiting museums is that they expect to be engaged at all times. Museums are passive — you are expected to be quiet and reserved at all times. But millenials are accustomed to artists that talk to them even as they create, not art that exists in a void.
The art that young adults are viewing in this generation comes from Instagram feeds and Tumblr posts. Alongside the art, they see the lives and opinions of the creators. Art doesn’t exist in a void — context is necessary and important to these viewers.
Some museums are using social media and blogging to add this element to their exhibits. Park West Gallery, located in Michigan, is using a YouTube blog to accomplish exactly that. They post interviews with artists on the account, allowing viewers to see the process of making the art, as well as a chance to listen to the artist speak about their work.
Fun And Games
Art museums used to be staid, sterile locations. Many people still see them as strict places with a moratorium on fun.
Modern art museums are changing that perception with art that viewers are encouraged to touch and interact with. A recent exhibit at a Washington museum opened up a giant ball pit to the public, encouraging visitors to let their inner child out to play.
Modern museums are leaning away from the “quiet in the library” approach, instead opting to directly engage viewers with art that challenges their perception of what belongs in a museum.
The Next Generation
Although some purists might scoff at the idea of museums having a virtual collection or marketing themselves online, but the truth is that digital media is changing our world in myriad ways. One thing that will change is how we visit museums.
What’s next? A virtual tour or preview of the museum? Museums offering a peek behind the scenes through their blogs? These concepts will help to update the image of art museums and keep them relevant to new generations as we go forward in the twenty-first century.
Originally posted on September 16, 2015 @ 3:47 am