Date of Completion
Dr. Elizabeth Drummond
The subject of my research is how museums adapted their public programming in response to COVID-19. The goal of my research is to analyze how successfully museums shifted their community engagement programming to online platforms. Since I hope to work in the museum field of programming, I was motivated to conduct this research. Not much research can be found on this topic because COVID-19’s effects on museums are still unfolding. My research could provide a foundation of ideas to build on. To begin, I read articles about the relationship between museums and technology. I applied this knowledge to analyze how museums have adapted to the closure of their physical spaces. I completed a case study on the Wende Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). I cataloged posts from their websites, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. Then I evaluated the frequency of posts and their content. I found that the Wende and MOCA used similar hashtags to engage with followers and aimed to include education in their online content. While MOCA posts were centered on contemporary art, the Wende used their platforms to create conversations about current events and the historical relevance of this time. The results of my research surprised me, I thought both museums would curate their posts to speak to the pandemic. Instead, MOCA adapted their normal programming while the Wende created new programs to address the effects of COVID-19. This research is significant because it documents a period of online experimentation in the museum field.
McConnell, Lindsay, "History in Crisis: Museum Programming during the COVID-19 Outbreak" (2021). Honors Thesis. 386.