Department Chair

Andrew D. Nicholls, Ph.D. Professor and Chair

Date of Award


Access Control

Open Access

Degree Name

Museum Studies, M.A.


History and Social Studies Education Department


Cynthia Conides, Ph.D. Associate Professor and Director of the Museum Studies Program

Department Home page

First Reader

Nancy Weekly, M.A., Burchfield Penney Art Center Collections Head


This thesis evaluates the connections between art museums across the country with their communities. With many of the country’s museums located in city centers, there is a large population of children who live within the vicinity of art museums. Many of these children also come from low socio-economic backgrounds. They may not have access to the resources needed to gain access to art museums. This thesis examines what art museums are doing to ensure all community members can experience what they have to offer. Four main categories are examined in this research: (1) the price of entry to the museum, (2) the variety of bus, subway, and rail stops close to the museum, (3) the variety and cost of educational programming the museum offers, and (4) the type of funding and support received to facilitate access. By understanding what museums are doing to promote affordable connections we can understand what more needs to be done. In summation, are art museums doing enough in their cities to ensure the success of the people who need them most? Do art museums really make a difference?