OF/BY/FOR ALL is an initiative which seeks to help organizations become more of, by, and for their communities. Through this program, we’re building a Change Network — a training program to help organizations take concrete action to involve new communities in their work. In my role as the technologist on our team, I’m focusing on building tools to support training and community building in the Change Network.

Our goal is to provide tools to help organizations set goals for community involvement, adopt new behaviors, and track their progress. At the same time, we also know that this kind of change…

If you are just joining this discussion about this project, get caught up on previous posts. This one will detail what we learned, how we measured, and moving how we’re going to move it forward. Spoiler alert — this medium-touch approach successfully introduced new audiences to the Barnes, cut costs dramatically, and had what we consider is a high rate of return.

I’ll be the first to admit these results surprised me.

Measuring Impact

This program had a 31% return rate measured by those who we engaged at libraries then coming on the Barnes field trips. Our highest return rate — 56%…

In my last story I introduced the idea of what the Barnes is doing with VR and why we’re doing. In this post you’ll find me detailing how we put the project together.

Neighborhood Library Selection

We used the first two months as a planning period to determine which neighborhood libraries would be the best fit for the program. This included reviewing library locations, visiting potential sites, and meeting with librarians to discuss the program to see if they thought this would be of interest for their community.

Selection of neighborhood library locations was guided by the following questions:

  • In which neighborhoods does…

I will admit that I went into into this project with some trepidation. We’ve all seen the discourse surrounding VR projects in the sector — there’s nothing quite like seeing an all out brawl on social media as you are in the implementation stages of your own initiative. I was skeptical going in, but I watched as this project became one of the most impactful of my career. I don’t say that lightly — it has been really exciting to watch this unfold. We’re going to roll this story out over a number of posts and I hope you’ll follow…

I’m excited to say I’m joining the OFBYFOR ALL team — a movement to help civic and cultural orgs become of, by, and for their communities. Spearheaded by Nina Simon and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (MAH), the initiative is designed to help organizations achieve impact by sparking needed change at the programmatic, staffing, and leadership levels.

I’m joining the team as their consulting creative technologist and will help guide the research, development, and building of tools for a wide range of organizations. I get to think about scale — how to help build a tool set…

I mentioned in my last post that 2,226 ballots were submitted and 21,658 votes were cast during the two weeks that Let’s Connect was open to the public. This post will look at who cast those ballots and take a deep dive into how we’re measuring impact.

Breaking Down the Ballot Holders

2,226 ballots were submitted; 62 of those ballots were submitted by local curators throughout the Philadelphia region that we asked to participate, along with the public. 551 of those ballots were from those who registered on site at the Barnes — the biggest percentage of those were from people in our general audience…

At the close of the Let’s Connect exhibition the Scantron ballots were loaded into the trunk of a car and driven to Lancaster, PA to be scanned at a processing facility.

Steve Brady, our CTO at the Barnes, loaded the ballots into his car and drove them to Lancaster, PA for scanning at a Scantron facility.

I will admit the idea that we were carrying ballots to a car and driving them somewhere to be scanned was a bit unfathomable given how much digital work we do. That said, the use of Scantron has given me a chance to reflect on its user experience, and my own.

We just won gold for this partnership in the Public Outreach category of the AAM Muse Awards and ten more wrapped bikes just launched on the streets of Philadelphia. The time feels right to look back and report on how things are going. In this case, measurement requires looking at many angles to form a complete picture. I wouldn’t say we have all the answers here, but how we’re analyzing may make for an interesting story.

Project Goals

The reasoning for the partnership sets up how we’ll measure its success. The Barnes adopted a five-year strategic plan in 2015 that prioritizes innovative…

We are so far from done with this implementation it’s hard to blog about it, but having worked on this for a year there’s a sense we’ll never be “done” and it might be good to release some of our progress. This post is about user experience at the Barnes — simply, what it feels like to be in our galleries as a visitor, techniques we are using, changes we’ve made, and some progress we’re seeing. Bonus, we’re releasing some materials that may be of interest — read on if you are curious.

Acknowledging Where We’re At

Just a year ago there were a…

The first post about Let’s Connect detailed the “whys” of the project — things we felt important in the participatory design. This story will discuss some of the “how.”

In previous participatory projects that I’ve organized— Click! A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Split Second: Indian Paintings, and GO: a community-curated open studio projectyou may have noticed there was a heavy digital emphasis common to all of them. Both Click and Split Second used website applications as the primary method of engagement with the results of that online engagement ending in onsite exhibitions. GO had heavy digital components including a website…

Shelley Bernstein

Head of Product/CTO @ofbyfor_all. Digital consulting @the_barnes and others. Living in Far West Texas and loving it.

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