A tale of two museums : cultural museums in Austin, Texas
Cultural museums in the United States have a long history of promoting and celebrating the history, traditions and culture of various ethnic and racial groups, typically excluded from the fine arts. Demographic changes in the United States have made the need for cultural museums even greater as they not only serve as a repository for information but also as a place for education and personal growth. Museum attendance and membership is, however, on a steady decline. This drop in community participation is in part due to institutions losing touch or failing to develop a relationship with a growing minority-majority population while continuing to serve a demographic that no longer constitutes a large percentage of the population. Despite major changes in the country’s make up, two such museums, Mexic-Arte Museum and the George Washington Carver Museum in Austin have managed to continuously promote the art, histories, traditions and personal stories of the minority groups that they represent.