Utah Museum of Contemporary Art

The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art is located in downtown Salt Lake. This museum is currently a participant in a nationwide museum impact study. “The social museum impact is a study that was designed here in Utah about measuring the social impact of museums. They are launching it this year and right now you can sign up to be a researcher of the museum of your choice,” says Andrea Tree, Audience Ambassador of the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA).

Tree described the importance of this study, “Ultimately, most art institutions are non-profits,” she says, “when you’re writing grants and you’re asking for money, you need data to back that, and so this data that will come from the museum’s social impact should be very beneficial to the growth of our museum and museums nationwide.” 

Not only does becoming a participant benefit the individual visitor, they are contributing to the continuation of art museums. To become a researcher is easy. First, go to the Museum Impact Study website, then simply follow the steps to apply as an individual participant. 

The experience of being a researcher for the Museum Impact Study was described by Tree. “You get to come to the museum three times. It’s within a span of like so many months. It’s not like you have to come three times all in one month and I think they do that so you can visit different installations. After the three [visits] you fill out a short survey.” It is fairly straightforward and flexible to whatever your schedule may be.

Another benefit mentioned by Tree is, “that you can bring your family. Even if you’re the only one who signed up to do the study, you can bring friends and family along with you on your visit for free as well which is kind of fantastic.” In this way, signing up to be a researcher provides benefits for you, your relations, and the museum. 

UMOCA is the closest museum that is participating in the study and Tree would highly encourage becoming a researcher there. The museum has six exhibits that will rotate, monthly to twice yearly, depending on the type of exhibit. Admission is free, donations are appreciated, but the experience is priceless. Art makes you think, question and connect and UMOCA strives to provide these experiences.
Andrea Tree expressed her love for the museum by stating, “I love every installation that’s up right now. But if I was to pick something, say to be my favorite, [I would pick] the mural show. I was more involved in it since I was here, and letting the artists in, and hanging out with the artists, and I did time lapse videos. That show would definitely be on my favorites mainly because I feel like I got to experience the installation.” 

The connection that Tree feels to the mural exhibit is similar to what the social impact study offers to participants. The chance to be a part of an artistic journey, and possibly be inspired along the way. Tree would define art as, “the urge to make and the result thereof.” Being able to see the results of another person’s creative process is a way to feel connected to them. 

Andrea describes her goal at the museum as  “broadening our audience by bringing more people in based on the fact that we’re all inclusive with those categories.” She takes on many roles, including social media, store curator, and scheduling events. Each of these roles provides her with unique experiences that influence how she views the museum.

There are many ways to become involved in art, and the museum impact study is one that is currently convenient. If you have any interest in art, this opportunity could be for you.  So why not take it? It’s absolutely risk free, and the experience is a chance to widen your perspective of the art world.