Front of House in Museums was created in 2017 to celebrate and advocate for all of those who identify as working in front of house (FoH). A core purpose of FoHMuseums was to create data which can be used to further the conversation around FoH and the museum sector, and to demonstrate issues that have been up until now anecdotal. The FoHMuseums Survey 2018 went some length in demonstrating the issues of FoH and the current perception from within FoH and from the rest of the sector. This survey indicated that FoH were more likely to feel undervalued than those who identified as working back of house (BoH), and demonstrated the roles which people consider FoH and which they do not. However this survey was only one survey with 197 participants. We wanted more data and repetition of the results. More data will create a greater level of accuracy, repetition will demonstrate that these are repeatable and allow us to understand if change is taking place within the sector, for good or for bad.
Over a series of pieces we will take a look at the survey, looking at every question, discussing the results, and asking questions of the sector. The museum sector is changing, but for many the sector is not changing fast enough and not in the ways it needs to.
The Front of House in Museums Survey 2019 was carried out over period between March and May 2019, the survey was an online survey shared by @FoHMuseums account and through sector wide organisational bodies as Museums Association, Association of Independent Museums and Art Fund. They survey built upon the survey of 2018, the intention was to collect more data and compare to the previous years results. In co-operation the Museums Association the survey was launched on the 29th March at the MA Members meeting for Wales.
In total there were 564 participants, of those 331 (59%) identified as FoH, 199 (35%) as BoH, 9 currently outside the sector and 25 within the sector but outside of the museum environment. All were asked to self-identify what stage of career the participant felt they were at. This method was chosen due to recognition that people do enter careers stages at different points and many change careers. The stages of career were start of career, mid-career, end of career and retired. The break down for FoH was 59.55% early career, 37.76% mid-career and 11.78% end of career and 0.93% retired. The breakdown for BoH was 30.65% start of career, 61.81% mid-career, 7.54% end of career.
A Summary of FoHMuseums Survey 2018
What is Front of House: What does the sector think FoH actually is?
A Career in FoH or a Step to Somewhere Else?
FoH Patterns: How is FoH changing?
Do you Feel Valued?
A Divided Sector: Time for Change