A Case for Extroverts in Museums

Carly Syms

Carly Syms
VIP + Marketing Manager

As firm believers in the Myers-Briggs typologies (everybody who works here takes ‘em!), we at Museum Hack like to view the strengths and preferences of our audience as assets to the museum-going experience. There are 16 personalities that make-up the traditional Myers-Briggs models, and finding out which one you are makes for great fun in assessing your interactions with others.

Today, we’re gonna focus on extroverts.

The Museum Hack team
We believe museums should be spaces that spark conversations, encourage inspiration, and allow people to have a little fun.

As much as 74% of the population is thought to be extroverted. They like action. They like to walk fast and talk more than listen. They take ownership of things and situations. They love being around people and making a connection. Because of this, extroverts will essentially walk by a museum on a Friday night or Saturday in favor of hanging out at the bar, spending a day in the park, or heading to brunch with friends. Any museum-lover has shared a moment of negotiation involving unwilling friends and a new exhibition that can’t be missed.

Museum culture insists upon quiet reflection, adoration, and contemplation. The museum is designed to overwhelm your senses, but limit your interaction. No touching, no yelling, no running. To most museum visitors, these rules are commonplace. But when considering those who are not museum visitors — the demographic museums try hard to reach — that sort of atmosphere is just as fun as visiting Grandma and her plastic-lined furniture. (Note: We at Museum Hack love our grandmas and think everyone should visit her, as well as museums, as often as possible.)

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are so many reasons for these rules (see whenyouworkatamuseum for constant reminders as to why we need rules in museums) but at the same time, we have to admit that they are stifling an entire audience that would rather do anything than visit a museum.

Whereas museum-going rules are important, we believe the museum culture can be adapted to its various audiences and purposes. We want to be the negotiators for your non-museum-going friends by saying that it’s fine to have overt fun in a museum! We believe that laughter should fill the galleries with joy, instead of hushed whispers and shuffling shoes. Museum Hack encourages courageous storytelling in museum spaces. We want to talk about the things everyone is thinking and no one is saying! Curse, talk about sex and death, and use your own creativity to respond to the artwork in front of you!

Museums, this is an untapped audience! Extroverts want to be around people, and museums are filled with people. Extroverts want to have their senses stimulated and to engage in meaningful, personal, and passionate discussions. Extroverts crave ownership over their interests and projects, and as museums increasingly see the need for Young Patrons programs, we see the synergy between engaging those extroverts and the success of museums to come.  

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