Social Impact Study

UA&M Receives IMLS National Leadership Grant to Expand Social Impact Study

The Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement (CCE) is pleased to announce that the Utah Division of Arts & Museums’ has received a Museum National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

The federal grant is the first of its kind for CCE, and the first National Leadership Grant awarded in Utah in more than ten years. Co-authored by Liz Kinne with Grant Pro Group, the grant will enable the Division, in partnership with Thanksgiving Point, to expand on their pilot of the Social Impact Study, which ran from 2017-2019. This new, nationwide research project, Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI), will involve museums from across the country as they investigate the social impact of their organizations on individuals in their communities. The $500,000 grant will fund the research project for three years, until 2023.

About Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI)


The Measurement of Museum Social Impact (MOMSI) project is working with 38 museums across the United States to measure the social impact their museum has on visitors from their communities. MOMSI builds on the work of the state-wide social impact project (detailed below) and measures social impact through four long-term outcomes: continued learning and engagement, health and well-being, valuing diverse communities, and strengthened relationships.

MOMSI will further validate the social impact survey created during the Utah pilot, ensuring the tool is sufficient for national use. At the conclusion of the project, the MOMSI team will release a free social impact toolkit for museums big and small, here in Utah and across the country, to measure their own social impact.

Use the button below to navigate to the MOMSI website, where you can learn more about the project, see the 38 participating museums, contact us, and keep up with news from the project.

Learn More

About the Utah Pilot Social Impact Study

According to the results of our pilot Social Impact Study, museum visitation is correlated with statistically significant increases in health and well-being, intercultural competence, strengthened relationships, and continued education and engagement. We undertook this project with Thanksgiving Point — the Utah County nonprofit farm, garden, and museum complex that deployed a similar survey in 2015 — to help participating institutions better understand and serve their audiences and to develop a tool we can replicate for museums big and small. We were spurred on by Thanksgiving Point’s research and its recognition of the value and challenge of measuring social impact. With our help, eight museums used the “end of experience” survey, which measured 104 indicators of social impact and collected data from nearly 400 individual survey respondents who visited their “host” museum at least three times over three months. With these results, we are now working to create an adaptable social impact survey tool that will be available to all museums in the state. 

Thanks to the following Utah museums who participated in the pilot project:

Utah Museum of Fine Arts

Springville Museum of Art

Clark Planetarium

Brigham City Museum of Art & History

Tracy Aviary

Monte L. Bean Life Science Museum

Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art

Red Butte Garden

See Our Findings

Read Our Report

Our museums specialists collaborated on an article about the Social Impact Study in the May/June 2019 issue of Museum, the member magazine of the American Alliance of Museums. 

Read the Article


Emily Johnson
Field Services Manager