Wow – and no I don’t mean Team 5s Wonder of Water – I mean WOW! We did it!
Last year, I came back from Museomix knowing I had to bring this experience to the UK. Would people understand? Would people show? Would they get what I got from the experience?
The answer is YES!
I think I speak for all of Orga team when I say ‘Holy Smoly!’ Or Beeep beep beep beep!
The following is a fast forward version of MuseomixUK. There are going to be people who read this thinking I forgot this part, or missed this part – rest assured I didn’t forget anything! Anyone who is trying to capture MuseomixUK in a post will know the struggle of adding everything.
On Friday, I witnessed people from all over the UK travel to Ironbridge Gorge Museum in the gorgeous Shropshire. Many had the ‘deer in headlights’ look that I sort of knew was going to happen. To avoid this as much as possible, I put three very friendly Shropshire faces on registration (huge thanks to Susan, Marissa and Theresa!)
During the introduction we warned people that their name badges made them part of the MuseomixUK community. I’m sure no one understood what that meant.
First step (in this fast forward version of Museomix) was a brief update to everyone on Museomix (I know they were still confused but they nodded in the right places). We also asked the Tech Shop and Fab Lab crew to talk about supplies and equipment available for teams to use (oh yes, this was met with massive blank stares but that’s ok as it made sense eventually).Tags: IGMT, museomix, Museomix2013, museomixuk
In 2011, I caught the hashtag #museomix on Twitter and immediately wanted to know more. One little problem – it was on in French, a language I can’t read or write. But I could tell from the 140 characters that this was something magical I was witnessing.
In 2012, I attend MuseumNext in Barcelona and heard Samuel Bausson speak about Museomix. He explained it came out of frustration – that real changes need to be done but it had to be changes made WITH people and museums.
I was hooked, I knew I wanted to get involved. I was invited to help on the web team (social media) at Museomix in Lyon, France. Again, I don’t speak French so this was going to be a challenge – or so I thought. My job was to report and watch the hashtag for English input.
What happened in those 3 short days was amazing. People who met each other on the Friday spent long hours all weekend to build a prototype as a team. It took a huge leap of faith from everyone involved: team members, coaches, organizer, the museum and more. This is not just about the prototypes – actually, it ISN’T about the prototypes – it’s about a platform for sharing, engaging and openness to happen in a positive way.
I knew I had to bring this experience to the UK. I live in Shropshire and spent a lot of time at Ironbridge Gorge Museums (I have a tendency to call it ‘my’ museum even when talking to staff). Ironbridge was the perfect choice as it’s home of the industrial revolution and Museomix is about taking things to the next level.
It was a perfect marriage.
I then decided to talk to the museum *ahem* and luckily they agreed. We knew last year when we started this process that it was going to be a long journey. At the time, IGMT didn’t have wifi (or very good mobile signal) and we had to worry about getting people to the venue as many (not looking directly at Londoners but near enough…) do not like to travel outside cities.
The museum has embraced the challenges and not only had Wifi installed throughout the location, but they are the first museum on the Global Fab Lab network. That’s right, a permanent Fab Lab has been installed in Enginuity which will be available to the public, schools and private hire long after Museomix UK leaves.
A year later and with a lot of support from an amazing Orga team, we are here.
Museomix UK kicks off on Friday, November 8 with people travelling from all over the UK, France and Russia to join us in remixing Coalbrookdale (Museum of Iron, Enginuity, The Old Furnace and the land) at Ironbridge. But it’s not just here, Museomix is a Global event happening in 6 locations: 4 in France, 1 in Quebec and us.
We will work 8am to 11pm Friday and Saturday with prototypes ready to view and be tested by the public on Sunday from 3pm – 5pm.
There will be laughter, arguments, tears, ideas, thoughts, dreams, wishes, and cake.
We have no idea until Friday at lunch what we are up against. It’s a mixture of excitement and quite frankly, fear. But I’m not worried. I know the people who are coming are bringing the most important thing: an open mind and a will to make a difference.
What more could we ask for?
If you would like to join us Sunday for the Open Day, please let us know here.
I’d like to do a big shout out to my Orga team:
Special Mention to Teresa M & Susan P for volunteering to bring smiles, we’ll need them!
And of course, the very brave Museum:Tags: museomix, museomixuk, open, sharing
Anna Brennand, CEO
John Hughes, Museum Project Coordinator MuseomixUK
Paul Gossage, Press
October 8th, 2013Culture
MuseumCamp 2013 is now over. I can not thank everyone enough for not only attending, especially when many hadn’t a CLUE what they were doing there, but also for really taking part and throwing yourself into the spirit of MuseumCamp.
It was brought to my attention that I tend to ask people to trust me. A lot. Or at least trust the cake. Both Museumcamp and Museomix are very hard to explain – I guess it’s because they are both more of an experience.
Still, to all those that that got involved both online and in real life – THANK YOU!
I didn’t get to attend many sessions but did managed to keep up thanks to our Live Tweeters and from the many brilliant conversations I had throughout the day.Tags: cake, museumcamp, museums, unconference
TAKEAWAY AND THOUGHTS
The name Askacurator can’t change but it is open to ‘Museums’. #AskaMuseum might alienate Art Galleries in some countries. How about we get the word out now that #askacurator 2014 is open to EVERYONE in museums – sound good?
The museums who jumped in and answered questions got more out of it. You can’t wait around to be asked questions. There are plenty of general questions that are waiting to be answered. Also, feel free to ask questions!
It was great seeing:
Museums/curators talking to each other. For some reason, 2013 saw a rise in conversations between museums of all sizes and topics chatting with each other.
Museums asking questions themselves. I saw a few museums asking questions that they were curious about – not just related to their own museum but to the sector globally. It was fantastic to see them recognize this day was a chance for them to find out things too!
A very heartfelt thank you to everyone who took part. #AskaCurator is participatory and only works when we all get involved.
KEEP READINGTags: Ask A Curator, AskACurator
The following is the list of museums who have signed up via the simple form. Any museums, art gallery, national trust, etc can sign up.
Want to know how to Take Part? There’s an article for that!
MUSEUMSYou might want to tell your followers the time your curator will be available. Some museums write it on their events page, others leave it open to see what questions they receive.However, to get your name out there – it helps to jump in to general questions and not just wait to be asked a specific question. Some people will use the hashtag to ask questions such as how to know what to collect, what skills are needed, what are the unknowns of being a curator etc. We also have a few #Askacurator people who have questions like ‘do you have a teddy bear in your collection’ or ‘what’s the funniest thing you heard in your museum’ etc. These questions usually make it to a blog/tumblr etc that people LOVE.Tags: Ask A Curator, AskACurator, museums
When is Ask a Curator?
It’s an all day event on September 18th
What is Ask a Curator?
It’s a way to talk to curators and people who work in cultural venues you normally don’t have access to. #Askacurator is open to everyone: Museums, galleries, National Trust, Theatres, and more. You can ask anything that you’re curious about or want more information on.
- What’s it’ like to be a curator?
- How do you decide what to display?
- What is the most unique object in your collection?
As some curators won’t know *all* the answers straight away, it might be they have to get back to you if it is a specific question about the museum/gallery. However, if it is a general question, you might find another museum’s curator could answer it.
How to get involved?
Use the hashtag #AskaCurator on Twitter. You can ask questions to specific museums using the @MUSEUMNAME or you can ask general questions using #AskaCurator.
Please fill out this simple form which will export your information to a spreadsheet to share. On the day you can schedule the time you are going to be there or you can dip in and out and answer questions when you get them. Others also decide to spend the day asking questions not just to their Museum but the general questions that are asked (last year, Bears in Museums asked who had Bears in Museums…. it was one of the top questions!)
In other words, curators spend as much or as little time as they want.
It’s also a good idea to let your followers know you’re taking part. Some curators will write a blog or tweet they are taking part in #askacurator.
Just come to twitter on the day and ask the questions. What I like to do is keep an eye on the countries and museums taking part and find a few unique ones that I want to know more about. You can set yourself a goal of asking a question to every country even!
Who can get involved?
EVERYONE! You just need to sign up for Twitter account if you haven’t yet. Curators can answer questions to other museums and/or general questions (how to questions, etc). Everyone is allowed to interrupt – this is Twitter after all!
I find using Tweetdeck or HootSuite makes following the conversation easier.
Hope this write up helps with some of the questions about what Ask A Curator is. If you still have questions please ask away or you can tweet using the tag
Why should you take part?
Many museums and art galleries who took part back in 2010 will testify to the great platform it gave them and large exposure that they would not have been able to achieve without #AskACurator. This is true for both large and smaller venues.
I’m always ask who people should follow on Twitter in different sectors. Usually, I’m like a deer in headlight – I know there are key people everyone should follow but I seem to forget ALL of them when I’m asked.
So I want a list of people you think should be on the Top Ten to follow in the following areas:
- Social media
Please feel free to add your own category too.
If replying on Twitter – please use #MarTop10
August 6th, 2013Culture
Saturday, 27th of July was a stepping stone for the new YAC (Young Archaeologist Club) branch at Ironbridge, Shropshire. A Young Archaeologists Club Taster Session was organised to celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology and to introduce the new Club to children aged between 8-17.
First of all, do we all know what YAC is? Who is YAC for? What does it represent? Well, just in case allow me to tell you a little bit more…
The Young Archaeologists’ Club is the only UK-wide club for young people up to the age of 17 interested in archaeology. YAC’s vision is for all young people to have opportunities to be inspired and excited by archaeology, and to empower them to help shape its future.
The free YAC taster session was really all about inspiration, excitement, discovery and involvement. The activities were organised and supervised by our YAC team leaders and assistants. This is really a joyful team of professional archaeologists fond of education and involvement and, most importantly, the result of cooperation between museum staff and community archaeology volunteers.Tags: Archaeology, Guest Blog, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, YAC
July 31st, 2013Culture
Charlotte and I were able to take the Buckingham Palace State Room Tour last week with Laura from AboutLondon and her 7 year old daughter. Charlotte and I have never been inside Buckingham Palace so were very excited to have a tour let alone a tour which was also exhibited the special exhibition to mark the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty’s Coronation.
Having been on the Windsor Castle tour, we knew to get the Children’s Audio guide (and we convinced everyone in our party to do the same). The Children’s audio tour deals less with dates and facts and more with fun facts and trivia.
The audio tour allows you to go through the State Rooms at a good pace and ensures you see the interesting paintings and other objects within the rooms. The ushers are very sweet and mindful of dealing with children.
What was very hard, but understandable, was the No photo policy in all but the exhibition room. I’m a culture snatcher and love to take photos of everything! However, this allowed me to put my phone away and appreciate the tour more. Read the rest of this entry »Tags: Buckingham Palace, Kids in Museums, museums, review
Closing date for Applicants is JULY 15thI’m Project Coordinator for Museomix UK, the only global Museomix happening in the UK and the only one that’s in English (4 locations in France, 1 in Quebec and us). The concept is not easy to explain as it’s an experience, not an event (although I tend to use both words).MuseomixUK will take place in Ironbridge (Shropshire, West Midlands) – the idea is it’s home of the Industrial Revolution and we’re trying to take things into the next revolution. I also wanted a location outside London, Birmingham, Manchester to prove that any museum could use maker communities to push things to a different level.The concept is this:3 days for different communities to come together to create:- An open museum with a place for everyone- A living lab museum that evolves with its users- a networked museum in touch with its communitiesBasically, we use the museum as a sandbox for people to create/remix a museum the way THEY want to do it.