… museum participation can result in significant and tangible benefit to society is present and well documented. Still when compared to other non-profit sectors, the cultural sector is not doing a good job of making the case. Compared to curing blindness, or saving babies, we would have a tough time convincing the Peter Singers or Bill Gates of the world that investing in museums is worth their money.
By using the BadgeKit opensource toolkit (http://badgekit.openbadges.org) created by the Mozilla Foundation, the Dallas City of Learning project will record detailed data about cultural participation this summer. Can you imagine the power of coupling school achievement data with data about out-of-school participation? As pilots like these spring up across the country, Museums have a unique chance to participate in gathering real and meaningful data about how their program contributes to student education and well-being.