@MarDixon

Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    September 3rd, 2020mardixonCulture

    This year #AskaCurator is celebrating its 10th anniversary and so pleased that Jim Richardson from MuseumNext who originally created the hashtag is back on the team to help support it.  I’m copying from his website as there are resources and more information you can find there. 

    Ask a Curator is back on 16th September 2020. As a previous participant in the event, we’d love you to join in on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or wherever your museum is active.

    You can find out more about this years event here.

    As with previous years it is open to any museum, gallery, library, archive, zoo or independent curator. It’s free to participate and sure to attract lots of attention across social media.

    You might want to prepare some content before 16th Sept, for example you could ask a curator to film answers to some of the questions on the previous page. You can download a design pack with graphics to use both on the day and to promote your participation here.

    If you’ve not yet told us that you wish to take part, you can let us know using this form. This just makes it easier for us to give people updates and communicate the scale of the project to press. We look forward to having you be part of what promises to be another very successful Ask a Curator.

    We look forward to seeing everyone sharing questions and answers but most importantly, having fun!  

    And thanks Jim Richardson and everyone else helping this year!

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    May 4th, 2020mardixonCulture

    With some countries starting to ‘open’ again I have some questions. I’m sure it’ll be different depending on the size of the museum/gallery and indeed the procedures and policies will be different country to country but thought it would be good to have a conversation around them.

    • What does a re-open look like?
    • Will staff (and eventually visitors) have their temperature monitored?
    • Will the museum have a deep clean and what does that involve?
    • Will you keep the interactives and touch screens or change the policy around them (eg will visitors need to wear gloves)?
    • Will all staff be coming back?
    • What changes can we expect in cafes and shops?
    • What difference will be made to Front of House if any?

    I’m sure I’ll have more questions but just wanted to say how amazing all staff have been throughout this ordeal. Furlough staff still volunteering, other staff keeping content online going, others just checking in and making sure anxiety levels stayed low. It’s a great sector to be involved with!

    Stay safe!

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    March 23rd, 2020mardixonCulture

    I haven’t updated my site in a while as been busy doing things (MuseumSelfie was brilliant, WhyILoveMuseums was at the right time and now there will be continuous hashtags to sink our teeth into).

    However, now that everyone is using social media again I felt it was important to share something. I’m really struggling not to be smug and remind people of all the times I reminded you to use social to be social so that when you need the community they would support you! I see many brands struggling because they always just scheduled and push out information and never responded or cared.

    Ok, I feel better.

    Museums are Closed (not sure who to credit)

    How are museums, art galleries, libraries and others surviving? We’ll we’re all pulling together. There are lots of list going around but these are the key ones for Virtual tours, resources, e-learning and kids resources. I will also add that MuseumNext has been adding A LOT of great and useful content!

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    October 25th, 2019mardixonCulture

    I was privileged to be Keynote Speaker at the Visitor Experience Group conference near my home town in Philadelphia recently and one of the things I mentioned was museum signage. My statement was around why they were always negative – DO NOT TOUCH or DO NOT SIT when the same statement could be said in a fun positive way.

    New visitors are always nervous about doing the wrong thing or feel judged for not staring at the art for the right time etc and if we changed our signage to a more positive approach that could really help ease the tension and break some barriers. The only example I could think of was one that said ‘You can touch, but it’ll break’ but I know there are so many clever ones out there so I ask the museum community to share.

    Credit Twitter: Froschauer_AF

    And share they did!

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    September 26th, 2019mardixonCulture

    First, a huge thank you to everyone who took part and kept the spirit of #AskaCurator going for another year. I truly hope everyone had as much fun on #AskACurator Day as I did – it was really positive and active for 36 hours (thanks to New Zealand and Australia for always kicking things off and setting the fun, active tone for the day!).

    I didn’t care much about the signups or countries because lets face it, they are just numbers that mean nothing. The real stats that matter is if people were happy and overall I received only one or two negative responses next to the 1000s of positives. (And yes, once again the tired conversation of ‘A curator isn’t the most important and this day doesn’t represent people who work in a museum’ was brought up again which my reply is – start your own hashtag. The @Askacurator name has been going for 9 years and everyone pretty much knows that they can talk to any staff and they do. I have worked the people behind @AskAnArchivst and @AskAnArcheologist to help build their days up as I would help anyone doing things for free.

    Before I share a selection of topics and quotes, a friendly reminder that next year AskACurator will be on September 16 2020 and it’ll be the 10th anniversary! Also one last big thank you to Jim Richardson for trusting me with this campaign after he created it in 2010 and Jamie (@okayjamie) for creating the new logo and banner for the social media channels.

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    August 4th, 2019mardixonCulture

    Recently, I ran a quick survey on Twitter related to museums and social media. I think it’s good that we look at these questions on a regular basis as social media, like all technologies is fast pace.

    There was a bit of an issue with the survey (I did it as a thread but for some reason, the first try only tweet 1/2 the questions) but I managed to find out the results.

    https://twitter.com/MarDixon/status/1155014534337302529
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    July 21st, 2019mardixonCulture

    This year, Buckingham Palace is opening their doors again for a special summer exhibition to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of Queen Victoria.  We were able to visit before the doors officially opened and really enjoyed the story of Queen Victoria, her family and Buckingham Palace.  I asked my daughter, Charlotte Dixon, to write this review:

    To enter you have to go through airport security but it wasn’t that bad and I recommend getting the multi-media guide (created by ATS). I set mine to family-friendly as it has more options than that of the adult version.

    No pictures are allowed except in certain areas but they will let you know (and you can buy postcards and books from the shop after).

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    June 24th, 2019mardixonCulture

    Every few years, a question reappears on social media regarding museums and young people in museums by themselves and just like clockwork, the Scotsman ran another article title: Why we need to give kids the freedom to learn for themselves by Cameron Wylie was published.  The issue was around allowing a 10 year old into a museum on their own. 

    There is always much debate around this so I ran a Twitter Poll

    https://twitter.com/MarDixon/status/1140515156906205184

    Now two things:

    1. I’m an idiot.  I said I was going to run the poll for 5 hours and ran it for 5 days.
    2. I knew it was going to be contentious so decided to not get involved in discussions as I didn’t want to sway any opinions.
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    June 23rd, 2019mardixonCulture

    The current exhibition at The Queen’s Gallery in London is all about Leonardo da Vinci this summer.  Having been to a few da Vinci exhibitions over the years, I wasn’t sure what this one would bring that I haven’t seen before but I was utterly surprised.  

    Curator Martin Clayton, the Head of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust pulled together the largest exhibition of da Vinci’s work in over 65 years.  There are more than 200 drawings and the exhibition explores Leonardo’s interest (in both chronologically and thematically order): painting, sculpture, architecture, anatomy, engineering and more.  There were also pieces by Leonardo’s contemporaries which was exciting to see.

    I was fortunate to go first thing in the morning and whilst there was a queue to get in (you have to go through security) there is so much to see the crowd soon thins out.  I was sharing on Twitter as there were so many key items I really appreciated.

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    June 21st, 2019mardixonCulture

    There are currently exhibitions running at Wellcome Collection which I was able to see on different days

    Smoke and Mirrors The Psychology of Magic on from 11 April 2019—15 September 2019

    I popped into this exhibition on my way to the train station and was so glad I did! It’s a fabulous exhibition that researches the history dating back to the 19th century on human psychology that is used with magicians. 

    As soon as you walk into the exhibition there is a dark playfulness that hits you.  Maybe it’s the large Carter The Great Banner or the variety of unique objects such a Wheatstone’s portable ABC Telegraph from 1858 (to send telegraphs to the deceased) or a homemade Ouija board.

    The first room was centered around The Medium which seems to have started during the late 19th and early 20th centuries when war and disease caused a lot of deaths.  Mediums seems to have started during the late 19th and early 20thcenturies when war and disease caused a lot of deaths.  Many people started to believe other people could communicate with the dead and this was exploited by a lot of people (mainly trying to make a quick buck or two).  

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