“I am so excited to see all the ways our work with Aurora is affecting staff in really profound ways.”


The Bell Museum is Minnesota’s official natural history museum since 1872. The Bell completed a new state of the art campus in 2018 and expanded their visibility, operations, and visitation greatly. Aurora is proud to have been a partner with the Bell consistently since the opening. In addition to providing visitor studies evaluation services over the years, Aurora recently facilitated a museum-wide culture change initiative with Bell staff. Our experience in the Facing Change national initiative to advance museum board diversity and inclusion made Aurora a perfect fit to continue work the Bell had already started as a member of this project. We  enjoyed partnering with our friend and colleague Levon Willams on this important project with the Bell.

From the client

“Sarah led a series of all-staff discussions to explore and change museum-wide practices related to communication, conflict, and culture that do not support the museum’s DEAI efforts or effective and productive communication and collaboration. Through five 2-hour discussions, we examined our individual and organizational culture, our perceptions of the museum’s cultural values, power and identity, perfectionism, and navigating conflict. In an all-day retreat, we put all of these learnings and discussions into practice by naming the Characteristics of Bell Culture that we are striving to embody. This work has led to changes in our team meetings, regularly reflecting on our practices, and a working document that helps us remain accountable to one another. For example, when staff get “stuck” in a difficult conversation, they are pulling out the Bell Culture document to guide their next steps and find a path forward. And it’s working! I am so excited to see all the ways our work with Aurora is affecting staff in really profound ways.” – Denise Young, Executive Director, The Bell Museum

Photo courtesy of the Bell Museum and University of Minnesota