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A Descriptive study of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel: Who visits and why? . Dr. Wanda M. Costen, Asst. Professor (wcosten@utk.edu) Dept. of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management The University of Tennessee- Knoxville

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a descriptive study of the national civil rights museum at the lorraine motel who visits and why

A Descriptive study of the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel: Who visits and why?

Dr. Wanda M. Costen, Asst. Professor (wcosten@utk.edu)

Dept. of Retail, Hospitality and Tourism Management

The University of Tennessee- Knoxville

Dr. Steven N. Waller, Asst. Professor (swaller2@utk.edu)

Dept. of Exercise, Sport, & Leisure Studies

The University of Tennessee- Knoxville

Dr. Phyllis Qualls-Brooks (Phyllis.Qualls-Brooks@tn.gov)

Assistant Commissioner, Community & Industry RelationsTennessee Dept. of Tourist Development

topics of discussion
Topics of discussion
  • Background information
  • Data presentation
  • Applications
  • Future directions for research
  • Q & A
ncrm at the lorraine motel
NCRM at the Lorraine Motel
  • Located at the assassination site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Chronicles key episodes of the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Uses its collections, exhibitions, and educational programs to inspire participation in civil and human rights efforts globally.
  • The Museum’s initial purpose was to preserve the place where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spent his last hours, and to secure his legacy and that of the Civil Rights Movement as a whole (http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/mission.htm).
ncrm fast facts
NCRM Fast Facts
  • Gross  square footage - 47,303
  • Exhibition square footage – 36,093
  • Land – 4.14 acres
  • 2 primary structures (main Lorraine building, plus expansion building)
  • 18 exhibits in main Lorraine building, plus AARP Voices of Civil Rights kiosk and Mohatmas Gandhi timeline and video
  • 11 exhibits in Exploring the Legacy expansion building, plus permanent installation of Ernest C. Withers “I Am a Man” photo portfolio (http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org/factsheet.htm)
methods
Methods
  • NCRM Performance Management Report Visitor Survey 2008
  • 4-page, 60-item self-administered survey administered by the Center for Non-profit Management
  • N=353
  • Likert-type scale with responses rated 0-10 (0=strongly disagree, 5=neutral, 10=strongly agree)
survey demographics
Survey Demographics
  • Overwhelming majority of respondents were women (70.0%) and African-American (59.0%).
  • 21% visited with one child.
  • Respondents were highly educated (82% had more than a high school education).
  • 41% had an annual household income >$60K.
  • 71% of respondents traveled more than 120 miles.
performance relative to other museums
Performance relative to other museums*
  • NCRM visitors rated their visit to NCRM higher than other museums*.
  • Visitors reported NCRM performed higher than their expectations.
  • Visitors were more likely to return and recommend NCRM to others.

* Museums evaluated by Center for Nonprofit Management

knowledge dissemination and programming
Knowledge dissemination and programming
  • 70% indicated they learned best from a chronological approach versus a thematic approach.
  • 50% of visitors found movies and video clips most helpful.
  • 78% of visitors requested high tech exhibits.
  • 45% of visitors that resided within 120 miles of NCRM would return if the museum hosted ethnic and cultural events.
key exhibits primary attractions
Key exhibits & primary attractions

“I am a Man” Exhibit

Lorraine Motel balcony

applications
Applications
  • Visitors are middle to upper middle class African-Americans, who most likely benefited from the Civil Rights Movement.
  • Recommend NCRM develop strategies to attract other racial/ethnic groups to help expand knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. and the work of M.L. King, Jr.
  • Recommend NCRM conduct an in-depth study to fully understand visitors’ motivations.
future directions for research
Future directions for research
  • Conduct an in-depth visitor motivation study in collaboration with NCRM.
  • Further analysis of NCRM as a “dark tourism” site/attraction.
  • Explore & document recruitment & selection processes.
slide13
Q & A
  • Thank you!
  • Questions/comments