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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program


Degree Type

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Community engagement and relevance are topics prominently discussed in the museum field. Conversations about public history and social justice, however, are less common. Combining these two ideas and thinking broadly about how museums, particularly historic houses, can stay relevant in their community by adopting a community-centered mission, this thesis uses Casey Farm as a case study. By conducting interviews with the site managers and market manager alongside surveying market vendors and visitors, this thesis compares the museum’s perspective of their relevance with the lived experiences of visitors. Ultimately arguing that historic houses should prioritize community interests when creating programming to retain audiences to the museum. Studying how Casey Farm partners with Coastal Growers’ Market to increase community relevance by aligning with the goals of the Food Movement, this example can encourage other historic house museums to use the resources at their site and seek out possible partnerships in their community.


First Advisor

Samuel Redman

Second Advisor

Emily Hamilton