Skip Navigation LinksHome > Visit > Director's Welcome

Director's Welcome

The Year In Numbers

Our final 2016 numbers in all areas of the Museum are just in and it is a perfect time to review how

we did. I am happy to report that 2016 saw growth in a number of important arenas. We expanded

the number of exhibitions this year from our normal 14 to an amazing 19, which included

opening three new permanent collection galleries dedicated to Grant Wood, Marvin Cone, and

other Midwestern artists. Our tour program remained strong, welcoming 2,218 people, and we saw

a significant increase in visits from school groups (up 63%) and the number of students we

served (up 80%)! Our educational programming remained strong and we witnessed a significant

increase in our adult programs in particular, which were up 31% in number and 38% in attendees

over last year’s numbers. Overall, combining tours, school groups, adult programs, and family

programs, we presented 284 educational offerings in 2016 (5.5/week) engaging 8,832 individuals,

averaging 31 people per program. Our website users remained steady and we witnessed a 9%

increase in our followers on social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus).

There are also a few areas in need of analysis and improvement. While membership is holding

steady, we would like to see it grow. Nationally, art museum membership has been the topic of

much discussion and a number of new and innovative membership programs have been launched

around the country. Art museum membership has become less about free entry into the galleries and discounts on museum

programs (most of ours are free already) and more about affinity groups and experiences. In 2017, we plan to revamp our

membership program to better align with current practices in the field. Also needing some work is the area of our family programs.

While we presented a similar number of family programs as in 2015, we saw a decline in attendance. One of our goals in 2017 is to

develop a better feedback system for all our educational programs to assess our current offerings and to determine what sorts of

programs people would like to see offered and would attend. This happens to be one of our goals in our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan,

ratified in November 2015.

So while the overall numbers are good and demonstrate some impressive growth, we still have important areas to work on.

As always, we are happy to hear from you and receive your feedback about what you like (and dislike) about the Museum and the

programs we do here. Please feel free to reach out to me directly at 319.366.7503 or via e-mail at

-Sean M. Ulmer, Executive Director