|Title:||The Art of Storytelling: Enriching Art Museum Exhibits and Education through Visitor Narratives|
|Authors:||Beth Twiss-Garrity, Matthew Fisher, Alexandra Sastre|
|Publication:||MW2008: Museums and the Web 2008|
At a time when both museum visitation and art-based, K-12 curricula are on the decline, some art museums are turning to new and innovative storytelling programs to engage visitors and instruct students. Combining visitor-created narratives and literacy education programs, museums are enticing visitors to experience their collections through the power of storytelling. This paper will explore a variety of programs, from larger-scale literacy program partnerships between public school systems and prominent art museums to smaller, more unconventional programs at a series of other museums. While some of these programs are more conventional in nature, a few employ both on-line and handheld technologies to facilitate visitor storytelling, enriching and extending their museum experiences. Allowed to create and share their own stories alongside the authoritative museum narrative, visitors come away with a more vibrant, engaging and inspired experience. In greater depth, we will explore the case study of the Art of Storytelling project at the Delaware Art Museum. Our evaluation addresses both the impacts of both the original storytelling experience on the participants, and the educational activity on students, the results of which are further explored in this paper.