Community representation, social cohesion, and museums: audience engagement in Bath, Bristol and L.A
Posted on July 12, 2022
MA Arts Management alum and PhD Candidate in Museum and Heritage Management, Thomas Rolfe, has
recently conducted his research titled ‘Community representation, social cohesion, and museums: audience engagement in Bath, Bristol and L.A’ in Los Angeles which involves a deeper partnership with The Global Academy of Liberal Arts (GALA), and Claremont Graduate University (CGU), USA.
This is a cross-comparative research project between the UK and U.S.
contemporary museum practice, where Thomas is conducting research in the three museums: The Roman Baths, M-Shed and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Investigating how well these museums are currently representing ‘their’ communities and what more can be done to help develop their roles within society, their sustainability as institutions and of the communities that they represent.
Thomas’ research looks into how communities, collectives, and creative groups can have more of a say and role in the decision-making made within museums. He believes by opening museums up, allowing greater community engagement, and re-imagining them as community hubs. These sites of culture and history can be at the very centre of creating more representative and cohesive societies.