Avery at Wheel

In order to share what we learn with the wider professional field of informal, free-choice learning, Audience Focus encourages its clients to join them in co-presenting at national and international conferences and co-authoring articles about our projects. Our most recent presentations & publications are listed below.

Recent Conference Presentations & Workshops

March 2016
National Art Education Conference

  • Research Findings from Arts Integration Projects


  • Digital Technology in the gallery: Does it work?

April 2013
Museums and the Web Annual Conference 2013, Portland, OR

March 2013
National Art Education Association 2013 National Convention, Ft. Worth, TX

July 2012
Visitor Studies Association 2012 Annual Meeting, Raleigh, NC

  • Observation across disciplines: A view from visitor studies

May 2012
American Association of Museums 2012 Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN

  • Family Learning in Art Museum Interactive Spaces: Final report of 3-museum research project

March 2012
National Art Education Association 2012 National Convention, New York, NY

May 2011
American Association of Museums 2011 Annual Meeting, Houston, TX

  • Content-Heavy Exhibitions: Balancing Curatorial Scholarship with Popular Appeal (Regular & Webcast sessions)
  • Twelve Little Engines That Did: The Story of a Multi-Museum Collaboration to Evaluate the Visitor Experience

March 2011
National Art Education Association 2012 National Convention, Seattle, WA

  • Family Learning in Interactive Galleries: Final Research Results
  • Teach With O’Keeffe: Four Schools, Three Museums, and One Exhibition
  • Conversations from the Dialog Table: Visitors reveal how they benefit from this dynamic storytelling tool.
May 2010
American Association of Museums 2010 Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA
  • Webcast session. Optimize Volunteer Interpreters to Personalize Visitor Experience Research finds that visitors want a personalized experience, butmany museums still train volunteer groups to conduct primarily guided—no choice—tours. Explore different approaches to using volunteers, various ways guides can help personalize visitors’ experience, and obstacles and implications that emerge when using volunteers in this way.

  • Regular conference session. Optimize Volunteer Interpreters to Personalize Visitor Experience

April 2010
National Art Education Association 2010 National Convention, Baltimore, MD
  • Issues Forum: Reflective Practice, Action Research, & Evaluation What is Action Research and how can it foster reflective practice within museum education?
  • Intergenerational Learning in Art Museums: Mid-Point Progress Report The FLING research collaborative presents early findings from a seminal IMLS-funded study by the Frist Center, Speed Museum, and High Museum with Audience Focus and the Institute for Learning Innovation.
  • Personalize Visitors’ Experiences Using Volunteers & Docents In an increasingly customized world, museums have to rethink the role of volunteers. This session explores strategies for using volunteers to personalize visitor experiences and implications for recruitment and training.

May 2009
American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
  • Museum Education Roundtable Annual Reception: presentation on Fall 2008 Journal theme on Interpretive Planning
  • CARE DIY Workshop: Audience Panels as a Useful and Practical Tool for Practitioner-Led Evaluation.

April 2009
National Art Education Association (NAEA) Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN
  • Breaking New Ground: Traveling the Rocky Road of Innovation, University of Michigan Museum of Art's DialogTable Development
  • Generation Y & Museum Education: Who is Gen Y and how do they influence museum education practice?
  • Intergenerational Learning in Art Museums - Year 1 Progress Report
  • Choose Your Own Adventure: An Object-Based Learning Website for Families

Museum Educators of Southern California (MESC) Spring Seminar, San Diego, CA
  • Action Research: Making Informed Decisions

March 2009
Canadian Art Gallery Educators (CAGE) Annual Conference, Ottawa, ON
  • How Do We Think About Audiences?: Interpretive Planning and Audience Evaluation

Recent Publications

Adams, M. (2012) Museum Evaluation: Where Have We Been? What Has Changed? and Where Do We Need to Go Next? Journal of Museum Education.

Family Learning in Interactive Art Galleries, IMLS-funded research collaborative with Audience Focus, Institute for Learning Innovation, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, the High Museum of Art, & the Speed Art Museum, 2011,

Ancelet, J., Butler, S., & Ong, A. (2011) Exhibit Review: Object Stories. Museums and Social Issues, 5(2).

Adams, M., Luke, J., Ancelet, J. (Spring 2010) Family Learning in Art Museum Interactive Spaces: A Literature Review. Engage: The International Journal of Visual Art and Gallery Education: 25, 19-30.

Koke, J. & Adams, M., eds. (Fall 2008) Institution Wide Interpretive Planning. Journal of Museum Education: 33, 3.

Luke, J.J., & Adams, M. (2008). What Research Says about Learning in Art Museums. In P. Villeneuve (Ed.), From periphery to center: Art museum education in the 21st century. Reston, VA: National Association of Art Education.

Stein, J., Adams, M., & Luke, J. (2007). Thinking Evaluatively: A Practical Guide to Integrating the Visitor Voice. Nashville, TN: Association for American and State Local History;

Adams, M, & Luke, J. (June 2005) "From Heart to Head to Hand: A Synthesis of Issues & Strategies Raised at the From Content to Play Symposium ." Web publication of closing keynote address at From Content to Play: Family-Oriented Interactive Spaces in Art and History Museums, sponsored by the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA.

Adams, M., Luke, J, & Moussouri, T. (April 2004) Interactivity: Moving Beyond Terminology. Curator: The Museum Journal, 47, 2, 155-170.

Adams, M., Moreno, C, Polk, M, & Buck, L. (September 2003) The Dilemma of Interactive Art Museum Spaces. Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education Association, 56, 5, 42-52.

Adams, M., Falk, J.H. & Dierking, L.D. (2003) Things Change: Museums, Learning, & Research. In: M. Xanthoudaki, L. Tickle & V. Sekules (Eds) Researching Visual Arts Education in Museums and Galleries: An International Reader. Amsterdam: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Owens-Renner, N. with Adams, M. (Spring 2003) Learning by Doing: Exhibit Evaluation at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Visitor Studies Today! VI(I).

Adams, M. with Owens-Renner, N. (2002) Case Studies: San Diego Natural History Museum. Museum Practice. Museums Association of United Kingdom (Issue 21. 7(3).

Adams, M. & Moussouri, T. (17 May 2002) "The Interactive Experience: Linking Research & Practice." Web publication of keynote address at the Interactive Learning in Museums of Art & Design: An International Conference, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK.

Adams, M. (April 2002). Promoting a Research Agenda. School Arts. 101(8): 12.

Witmer, S., Luke, J. & Adams, M. (2000). Exploring the Potential of Museum Multiple-Visit Programs. Art Education: The Journal of the National Art Education Association. 53(5): 46-52.