Vision & Planning for Audience Engagement Zone

Vision & Planning for Audience Engagement Zone

The MCA (Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago) has been engaging Bespoke on an ongoing basis since 2012 to work on communications, cultural planning and to strengthen audience engagement. 

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA) is a thought-provoking museum devoted to the art of our time. Most recently, Bespoke worked with the MCA’s senior leadership to develop the vision for a major renovation and capital campaign. We spearheaded research and consultation focused on how cultural spaces will engage audiences in the future. This work culminated in an intensive design charrette that brought together world-leading cultural experts, senior staff and the architecture team who participated in a day long planning session mapping out new strategies for audience engagement. Bespoke then delivered a final report that identified spatial qualities for the design, as well as guiding principles to ensure the integrity of the visitor experience. 

A rendering of the Commons, a hybrid lounge-workshop-performance space,  designed by Pedro y Juana, c/o New York Times.

Communications & Vision for a New Program

Communications & Vision for a New Program

We worked with the education team and took a close look at their programming to develop targeted messaging across specific audiences—families, creative professionals, youth, artists and culturally curious locals. At the same time, we worked with the education team on identifying what the common ground was for communications across their broad range of programming.

We recently worked with their Schools & Teachers Program 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 over the next five years. Through a deeply collaborative process, we supported their education team in developing a vision statement, strategic goals, a programming model, implementation plan and one million dollar budget.  We then worked closely with the MCA’s development team to create a clear and compelling turnkey presentation that successfully secured fundraising targets.

Interpretation & Visitor Research

Interpretation & Visitor Research

When the MCA launched a conceptually challenging contemporary group exhibition—Bespoke was hired in 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 exist 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 and we also designed a research methodology for how MCA could continue to conduct research internally.