Museums looking to improve the diversity of their audiences need organisational change at a fundamental level. I believe Isaac Kaplan is spot on when he says that 'hiring on every level is important' when we talk about fostering diversity in museum audiences and understanding the root causes of the lack of it. And whilst this type of change represents a shake-up of the status quo, it can have positive ripple effects on minority inclusion and museum participation for generations.
I'm particularly drawn to the idea of developing a museum that is reflective of the social aims and aspirations of the museum, as opposed to the traditional approach of thinking about a museum in its physical forms. To me, this is the critical approach needed to bringing the "museum" to the community. Indeed, if hard-to-reach, disabled, and minority audiences are not coming to museums then museums must come to them both philosophically and practically.
This can be particularly true of STEM-centred museums; our research suggests that science centres/museums are often perceived as a place for children whilst adults rarely visit unless accompanied by children or as part of a programmed social event (i.e. late nights). The St Louis Taylor Center's YES programme has been a champion of bringing a STEM museum out to disadvantaged communities in new and exciting ways.
For museums to stay accessible and fulfil their social mission in increasingly diverse, multi-language, multi-ethnic communities, we must have museums that reflect these communities from top to bottom.
Buoyed by the public’s expectation for accessibility and openness, museums are pushed to “think with our communities and not simply as spokespersons,”