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Collaborative Change: A Survey of Collaborations in Museums to Address Social Issues

Thesis by Calie Holden (2016)

In recent years, museums have made a commitment to address social issues that impact their communities. One of the essential tools to do this is for museums to form collaborations with other community organizations. The purpose of this study was to determine the characteristics of these collaborations. To do so, this study analyzed eight IMLS funded grant narratives using a framework based on collective impact. Collective impact is a particular type of collaboration that has not only found success addressing many of the same problems, but fostered research that defines its characteristics clearly. These are characteristics shared by most collaborations. Through this analysis, it was found that, these collaborations addressed a variety of issues, tended to be data-driven with a strong common agenda. However, they lacked internal logistics and had limited collaborative leadership.


Keywords: research, document analysis, social change, collaboration, collective impact, partnership, social issues


Holden, C. (2016). Collaborative change: A survey of collaborations in museums to address social issues (Order No. 10138715). Available from Dissertations & Theses @ University of Washington WCLP; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1804413990). Retrieved from