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Research and Scholarship

Crystal Bridges museum

Crystal Bridges fosters scholarship in the fields of American art and art history, as well as research that expands our understanding of the power of art experiences to positively impact lives.

This page features reports from research projects, symposia, and reports, as well as results from studies by other institutions regarding art in education, distance learning, and quality of life in our region.

School Visit Study

In 2012, Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform conducted a study on the benefits of a one-time school field trip to an art museum. Their results show critical thinking, recall, tolerance, empathy & cultural interest increases, especially for rural, high poverty and minority students. View the full study report.

Crystal Bridges Symposia

Crystal Bridges is committed to an ongoing symposia series bringing artists into conversation with thought leaders, scholars, and the public around a variety of topics. Symposia reports, interviews, and videos are posted here.

2014 Arts and Culture – The Intersection of Research and Policy

2014 State of the Art Symposium: Discovering American Art Now

2015 International Symposium: Picturing the Americas

2017 Art in Conversation: Environment, Identity, and Memory

2018 Art in Conversation: Soul of a Nation

2021 Thinking, Making, Writing: Indigenous Studies and Art History in the Museum, Classroom, and Community

Audience Research & Evaluation

The Crystal Bridges Research & Evaluation Department works across the organization to study the museum’s impact, as well as how to improve the overall guest experience, exhibitions, and programs. View a selection of reports here or email us with questions at

Guest Experience & Motivation Study (2017)

Border Cantos Exhibition Summative Evaluation Report (2017)

Walton Family Foundation Quality of Life Study

In this survey of quality of life in Northwest Arkansas, conducted by the Walton Family Foundation’s Evaluation Unit and the Survey Research Laboratory at Mississippi State, respondents from Washington and Benton counties answered questions about overall perceptions of quality of life, particularly in the areas in which the foundation invests. View the Quality of Life study.

Arts and Economic Prosperity 5: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Their Audiences.

The fifth study of the nonprofit arts and culture industry’s impact on the economy, which documents the economic contributions of the arts in 341 diverse communities and regions across the country, representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This study puts to rest a misconception that communities support arts and culture at the expense of local economic development. In fact, communities are investing in an industry that supports jobs, generates government revenue, and is the cornerstone of tourism. Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 shows conclusively that, locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business. View the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study.