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Learning From Each Other: Narrative Explorations of Art Museum Self-guided Materials

Description: By engaging in collaborative arts-based and arts-informed narrative inquiry with my six-year-old daughter, we explored self-guided materials in art museums in the North Texas area. Though the field of art museum education is becoming increasingly participatory, most academic research related to self-guided materials has fallen short of exploring visitors' experiences with these materials. Furthermore, the perspectives of children have been long overlooked in academic and, at times, institutional research about family experiences in museums. Over the course of nine months, my daughter and I visited art museums and engaged with their self-guided materials, ranging from audio tours to interactive galleries. During this time we created collaborative works of art based on our experiences, which acted as both data collection and analysis in preparation for writing narratives. Our narrative explorations allowed us each to better understand our collective experiences. Though this research specifically targets self-guided materials in art museums, any educator interested in intergenerational or collaborative family learning may find both our methodologies and our conclusions to be helpful in better understanding how narratives are essential to this type of learning.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Fuentes, Jessica
Partner: UNT Libraries

Breaking Outside: Narratives of Art and Hawaii

Description: This research examines the personal narratives of two contemporary non-native artists living and working on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Issues related to narratives, power structures, artistic processes, insider/outsider dynamics, Hawaiian culture, island life, surfing, and the researcher's own experiences are woven together to formulate realizations surrounding alternative knowledge systems and the power of multiple or hidden narratives to the practice of art education.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Davidson, Allison B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating the Cultural Plan of Austin, Texas

Description: This is a concurrent, mixed methods study of the impacts of Austin, Texas’s cultural plan, CreateAustin. In the study, trend analysis and a t-test were used to examine variables before and after the cultural plan was in place. At the same time, interviews with cultural planners were used to uncover other effects. My research addresses a gap in the literature between understanding the desired and actual outcomes of a cultural plan. Cultural plans are being developed by many communities in an effort to attract creative workers but they are rarely evaluated. Evaluation using a mixed methods approach is necessary to capture all the outcomes of a cultural plan, rather than the limited scope of impacts that are captured by qualitative or quantitative analyses alone. My analysis of the quantitative variables showed some significant differences between when the plan was in place and the years prior to its creation. Interviews with key stakeholders revealed the formation of new networks as a powerful outcome of the planning process. The results allowed me to gauge the overall impact of CreateAustin and make some observations about the cultural planning process in general, as well as uncover new directions for future research.
Date: December 2013
Creator: Smith, Rachel May
Partner: UNT Libraries