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Madeline Smith

Pronouns: She/Her

Senior Research Scientist
Madeline helps arts & culture changemakers create connection and relevance with their communities.

Madeline designs and oversees research studies that help arts and culture organizations answer strategic questions about public engagement, experience design, and social impact, all through the lens of equity and inclusion. A longtime staff member at Slover Linett Audience Research, Madeline helped guide Slover Linett’s transition to NORC in 2023 and continues to co-lead the practice within The Bridge at NORC. She works on a wide range of community and audience research studies across the cultural sector, partnering with small, community-based organizations and large, internationally recognized institutions. 

Madeline’s projects have included community and visitor studies for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, evaluations of history, art, and STEM experiences for the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Venice Biennale, and audience development and diversity research with symphonies, opera companies, public spaces, and foundations. Madeline co-designed both large-scale waves of Slover Linett’s pandemic-era, equity-focused national research collaboration, Culture + Community in a Time of Transformation: A Special Edition of Culture Track, and co-authored the cumulative report from that initiative, Rethinking Relevance, Rebuilding Engagement (2022). That project, supported by The Wallace Foundation, Barr Foundation, and other public and private funders, was designed to explore what Americans were going through during those challenging, revealing times and illuminate ways that arts & culture organizations could be helpful and relevant. The second survey wave in 2021 focused on understanding the dynamics of race and identity in cultural engagement and the roles that Americans want arts organizations to play in addressing social issues.

Madeline has presented research findings at conferences and webinars of OPERA America, the League of America Orchestras, the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Theatre Communications Group, and The Wallace Foundation’s conversation series exploring how arts organizations can become more responsive to diverse audiences’ needs. She has two master’s degrees, one in modern and contemporary art history and one in arts administration and policy, and has worked in several museums and art galleries.