Executive Summary

Museums serve as institutions that preserve, research, teach, and exhibit the heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education and enjoyment in visitors. They are a major part of society and its development because they are a base of knowledge that can be accessed by the public. The Worcester Art Museum (WAM) provides the public with opportunities to increase their knowledge with the help of programs such as interactive activities. The WAM is largely involved with art from the past and exhibiting example of historical periods of art, but this summer they will be working with the contemporary artist, Shih Chieh Huang. Along with this exhibit, the museum will use activities in Art Cart stations in the galleries and in the Drop-In Studio in their Education Wing. The WAM has never created activities in conjunction with a contemporary exhibit; therefore, they were unsure what activities to use.

The goal of this project was to provide the Worcester Art Museum with recommendations for interactive art activities to go along with the upcoming exhibit, Reusable Universes, that will engage visitors’ curiosity and creativity in this new form of art that involves using everyday technology and objects in different ways. In order to reach this goal, we needed to identify useful and age appropriate interactive art activities that could entertain and engage different age groups, identify methods to inspire curiosity in the visitors about Reusable Universes, identify methods to stimulate creativity about the various ways everyday objects could be used, and identify a way for museums to determine the success of activities. To achieve these objective, we assessed what other organizations have done, developed criteria for our activities, researched and brainstormed multiple activities, and then narrowed these down to create final ideas and prototypes.

After gathering the necessary information, we developed three Art Cart activities and one Drop-In Studio activity. Because the WAM does not have a way to determine the success of activities, we also developed a rating sheet and a survey to be placed next to the Art Cart and Drop-In Studio. We recommend the WAM implement the Makey Makey, Breadboard Activity, and Artist’s Material Bin on an Art Cart. For the Drop-In Studio, we recommend the WAM use the Creative Creations activity. To gather beneficial feedback and improve activities, we recommend the WAM introduce surveys with the activities and use rating sheets while running activities. This project highlights the lack of interactive activities to accompany the Reusable Universes exhibit and offers recommendations for activities and improving visitor experience.