In museums we ask, “Why are people not attending?” But the real question we should be asking is, “What are museums doing that make people not want to attend?” Museums must start to look at themselves and analyze what they are doing or not doing so that more people feel welcome in a place that is designed for them.
As pointed out in The Museum Experience Revisited by Dierking and Falk, museums need to be conscious of the needs of all types of visitors. Museums need to realize that when reaching out to the public that they are not a monolithic group. Emily Holmes, Director of Education at the Paul Revere House in Boston, acknowledges this perception and tries to involve women from all different backgrounds in her organization’s programs. The Paul Revere House offers classes on child rearing in the 18th century for women of all races, ethnicity, and backgrounds. These type of programs for the community get visitors into the museum by opening up programs that relate to all women through the common theme of children. These types of programs get people to set foot through the doors of museums and increase attendance by serving an educational purpose for all which creates an environment more welcoming in the future.