09/22/12 — Results in from Air Force museum survey

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Results in from Air Force museum survey

By Ty Johnson
Published in News on September 22, 2012 11:41 PM

Members of the Air Force Museum Citizen Committee had their first look at the results of the extensive community survey performed in May and June during their meeting Wednesday in the anteroom of Historic City Hall.

Kathleen Tinworth of ExposeYourMuseum consulting went over key findings with members, who were given a sneak peak at a draft report of the full results.

Ms. Tinworth was surprised at finding that more than 82 percent of the 513 people who responded to the survey were aware of the plans for the museum, a fact committee member Martha Bryan attributed to newspaper coverage of the proposal and the signs at the city's proposed building for the museum.

She also was impressed by how informed respondents were, particularly about the specifics of the building.

More than half of respondents had a positive view of the plan to create an Air Force Museum, at 51.5 percent. A little more than a quarter of respondents, 27.1 percent, viewed the plans negatively while 21.4 percent were indifferent to the plans.

Of those who answered the survey, 57.3 percent supported the plan, with 35 percent not supporting it and 7.8 percent with no opinion.

Ms. Tinworth found that 28.7 percent of those surveyed felt the museum should be focused on history with 29.4 percent saying it should focus on Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. More than a quarter of respondents, 26.1 percent, said they expected actual airplanes to be on display.

More than three-quarters of the respondents voiced concerns about the museum, with the most frequent issue expressed being the use of public funds to support it, with 45.8 percent of people citing that concern. Location, sustainability, execution, planning and admission cost were other concerns. 23.3 percent of respondents voiced no concerns about the new museum.

More than 70 percent of respondents said they would visit the museum if it opened and more than half said that having space for events was important. Those surveyed also offered dozens of examples of ways to make the museum one that would inspire multiple visits, from focusing on children to interactive and changing exhibits.

The full report will be available in October.

The committee will meet Wednesday to discuss the institutional requirements associated with a museum, particularly with creating a board of directors.