Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Museum Studies
College of Arts and Sciences
Stephanie A. Brown
The U.S. population is becoming more ethnically, racially, and linguistically diverse. It is estimated that by the year 2050, the U.S. will shift to a majority-minority population, meaning that the total minority population will become the majority of the U.S. population. But while the U.S. is diversifying, the current museum visitorship demographic is not representative of or on track to measure up to these changes in the future. If museums are valuable civic spaces with several associated health, social, and educational benefits, and a large percentage of the population have low-English proficiency and cannot access the information, then there is a large percentage of potential museum visitors that are being denied the opportunity to a significant cultural activity. One way museums can break down linguistic barriers is to provide bilingual and multilingual exhibitions. The creation of these translated exhibitions not only give low-English proficiency individuals the opportunity to create meaningful experiences in a museum, it also purposefully welcomes them into a space that has been historically inaccessible to them. While research and evaluation are currently being conducted in many science and children’s museums, little is being done in art museums. This capstone proposes the creation of a set of guidelines to be utilized by contemporary art museums in the United States in order to increase linguistic diversity by creating bilingual and multilingual exhibitions.
Cha, Jennifer, "Multilingual Museums: A Proposal to Increase Linguistic Diversity in Contemporary Art Museums" (2018). Master's Projects and Capstones. 870.