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Minority Leaders
Individual Interviews Discussion Guide

December, 2001


I. Introduction/Warm Up - 5 mins.
Purpose is to introduce respondents and interviewer, obtain background information, begin to establish rapport.

  • Explain purpose
  • Name, organization, role within the organization, tenure in job

II. Personal Use and Perceptions of the Museum - 15 mins.
Purpose is to understand the usage and perceptions of the Museum currently.

  • How often do you, yourself, visit Museums? Which do you tend to go to most frequently? Why is that?
  • How do Museum visits fit within your general patterns of how you spend your leisure time? Probe role of Museums vs. other leisure time activities.
  • How about the San Diego Natural History Museum: how often, if at all, do you go there? Why is that?
  • What do you see as the barriers to visiting SDNHM more (cost, transportation, relevance, time, etc. Be sure to probe for cultural barriers.)
  • How does that compare to barriers for visiting other Museums? Are they the same barriers, or are some unique to SDNHM? Why do you say that?
  • How do you feel about the Natural History Museum currently? Is it interesting, welcoming, relevant, exciting?
  • What, in your opinion, could be done to make the SDNHM be more welcoming and interesting to you and your family? What’s your understanding of what the SDNHM is all about?
  • In fact, the Museum focuses on environmental education, that is, they strive to advance understanding of the natural world. How do you feel about that focus? (Probe interest, relevance, etc.)

III. Museum and the Community — 15 mins.
Purpose is to understand perspective on how the Museum can relate to the minority communities.

  • Are there organizations in your community that share that focus on environmental education? If so, could you see any of them linking to the Museum? Why do you say that?
  • How does your community relate to nature, if at all? Is there significant interest or concern? Why do you say that?
  • What ways can you think of to make the SDNHM more relevant to your community? Why do you say that?
  • Did you know that the Museum has a bi-national mission, that is, to pursue research and environmental education in both Southern California and Baja California, Mexico? How do you feel about that mission? Probe interest and relevance.
  • What organizations link your community? Might the Museum connect with any of them to generate more interest in the Museum and its activities? Why do you say that?
  • What ways would you suggest the Museum use to communicate with people in your community about its exhibits, programs and events?
  • For Hispanic/Latino leaders: How important are Spanish building signage, exhibit labels, audiovisual narrations (e.g., for a movie), and publications to your community? Why do you say that?
  • For groups other than Latino: If you encounter signage in the Museum in English and Spanish but not your native language, how would you respond? Why do you say that?

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