Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Year Completed

Type of Work
Visitor Research

Programming, Communications & Engagement

The MCA is a leading edge contemporary art institution with a commitment to pushing boundaries. Over a five year period Bespoke has worked with them on a number of projects that include: communications and core messaging, educational programming design, a visioning design charrette for a major renovation, alongside visitor research and interpretive planning for a major contemporary exhibition.

For the development of an audience engagement zone, we facilitated a daylong design charrette that brought together over 50 people from senior management, world leaders within the museum space, architects as well as artists from Chicago’s creative community. We also worked with their education team to clarify their mission statement and develop targeted messaging across specific audiences—families, creative professionals, youth, artists and culturally curious locals.

In 2015, we worked with their Schools & Teachers Program to secure $1.2 in philanthropic funding to develop a bold, groundbreaking and radical vision for a long term educational program that will be rolled out across fourteen high schools in Chicago. Through a deeply collaborative process, we supported their education team in developing a vision statement, strategic goals, a programming model, implementation plan and budget.

When the MCA launched a conceptually challenging contemporary group exhibition, Bespoke was hired to develop a clear interpretation strategy and ensure a strong editorial voice for the show. During this time we conducted visitor research to better understand the needs of audiences in attendance. Through exit surveys, in-gallery observational research, one-on-one interviews and the use of a net promoter score we assessed the overall quality of the visitor experience. From this research we provided baseline recommendations for how the museum could improve their offerings.