Museum Marketing, Communications and Audience Engagement Glossary Public Launch

Adam Rozan is the kind of person that lodges in your memory in a positive way.

We first met at AAM in Minneapolis in 2012. He was at the Oakland Museum of California at the time and he stood out with his orange suit and indubitably positive and open disposition.

Adam called me out of the blue one day as he sometimes does. He had an idea and a challenge. He said, “I keep having conversations with my colleagues where we stumble because we do not have the same definition of some key ideas related to our work. Terms like audience, marketing, or community should be clear and agreed to since they are so important to our work, but I keep finding that they are not settled or clear in people’s minds. What if we pulled together some great minds from across the country and created a museum-specific glossary of terms so our whole professional community could collaborate better?”

“Sure!” I said.

We were both thinking it would be relatively easy and completed in three months.

We’ve been at it for three years and it has been a very fruitful and rewarding exercise. It was not exactly easy though. And we are not “done” with the glossary, but we all decided that it was time to turn it loose and make the Museum Marketing, Communications and Audience Engagement Glossary public. It’s time to launch it as an open project to be refined and contributed to by the field.

So, here we are, launching it as a blog-like microsite at AAM 2023. It’s very much a work in progress, but it is the yield of many hours of productive conversation and debate among a collaborative set of volunteers, some of whom have come and gone as they changed jobs or moved.

I want to thank all who contributed through our bi-weekly work sessions and also those who took the time to go through the Glossary and make suggestions along the way.

Kristie Swink Benson, High Museum of Art
Elke Dehner, Rubin Museum of Art
James Heaton, Tronvig
Noelia Hobeika, Tronvig
Joyce Kwon, Tronvig
Allison Peck, Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream, formerly Smithsonian Arts & Industries
Kristin Prestegaard, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Katie Ross, Denver Art Museum
Adam R. Rozan, museum professional
Jo Tiongson-Perez, Penn Museum

Amy Hutchins, Deirdre Maher, Aidan Vega, Tia Jackson-Truitt

We invite your ongoing suggestions and comments to the Museum Marketing, Communications and Audience Engagement Glossary. We hope you find it useful as you collaborate across functions within your organization and with others in the field.

Contribute to the Glossary

Our working group has grown to enjoy our sessions for discussing these ideas and we would like to continue that process with an open call to join our group to discuss our work in the context of these terms and the ideas they inspire. Tronvig hosts a monthly call for any who would like to join this ongoing conversation from the community of museum professionals.

Please email for an invitation to the sessions, held on Zoom on the second Friday of the month from 1 to 2PM Eastern Time.

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