@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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    November 12th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    I really want to write up about the who conference but this is vital for everyone going to any conference – BE SOCIAL and take a risk to explore new areas! Thank you so much Ann Vanrolleghem for letting me explore @8500Kortrijk

    From Ann:
    I never felt the urge to write a blog post. No, that’s not 100% true. I already felt the urge before, but this time, I feel I really have to do it. I have to write this down. I have to share this. This is my story of how one tweet at a conference can make a difference.

    ***

    Last Friday I attended a conference about participation in Brussels organized by FARO, the Flemish interface centre for cultural heritage. In the afternoon I attended the workshop “yes, you can, participation through social media” by Mar Dixon, a well-known social media star within the cultural world. For us, museum people, she is divine. Trust me. It was an inspirational and hands-on session and I left Brussels to head back home to Kortrijk with great enthusiasm.

    The following morning, I checked Twitter. Part of my morning routine as a social media lover I suppose and there I saw a tweet of Mar Dixon. Saying she wanted to visit some museums and if anyone hanging around #faronet wanted to join her…

    Me, being more impulsive than I thought, replied, saying she should come over to Kortrijk to visit Texture, the museum of flax and river Lys where we have a great temporarily exhibition called BIOLACE. And also to sniff the ambiance of the last weekend of our city festival PLAY. I suggested to come play in confetti…

    And I don’t know if it was the confetti that pulled her over, or that is was something else… but she quickly replied… and in just mere minutes we talked about how she could come to Kortrijk by train and how to organize it all. It was just one tweet that started a rollercoaster of events.

    ***

    In the afternoon Mar arrived by train in Kortrijk. And you are not gonna believe this. But she stepped out of the doors of the train, exactly where I was waiting for her. It was surreal… and that was just the beginning of a great afternoon! Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 9th, 2018mardixonCulture, theatre

    Through the Eyes of a Volunteer, Blog Part 2

    Who are a theatre’s target audience and how to attract more younger people? These were some central topics that came up on the 7th of November, at #Unconference2018.

    Regarding these matters, from a personal view, I have always considered theatre plays to be directed at a more “upper-class” audience. This is because usually, the ticket price is expensive and not very affordable to students or young people with a part-time or occasional work or to those that do not have a job at all.

    Also, another problem related to the younger generation could be represented by the idea of having to dress up smart for the occasion. Often, the stereotype of going to the Opera with a smart dress might raise uncomfortable feelings and it is something that could get people less close to a theatre environment.

    All these concerns are viewed like real barriers from different types of attendees, especially the youngest one.

    Plus, there is also the fact that some theatres often are not offering innovative programmes, or mostly, interactive plays which might stimulate the audience to a more active participation.

    Interesting were also other important aspects, approached during the #unconference2018, which was the accessibility to theatres inside big cities like London, and the majority of shows in the metropolis compared to a lack of shows in the countryside.

    Some of the main issues discussed during the day were the evolution of certain barriers or etiquettes that the theatre has developed over the time. I think that theatre has to promote itself like a more open and social space, in which to have fun, meet new people and to get a close insight. Theatre is history, culture, community and place-making, which belongs to locals and to all the people who have passion for it.

    Speaking about having fun, another interesting concept talked about was if theatre could be seen as an escapist experience or simply act to make pure critical and political remarks. In my opinion, I prefer to think that going to the theatre could be both, but not at the same time. Experiencing a show is an escapist moment in which attendees might be engaged by the environment and transported into a different place, the attendance might implies judgement about the experience.

    Interestingly, and naturally, theatre might create educative moments, in which people could develop more knowledge about their culture and heritage. Especially, this aspect could represent a great opportunity to attract people who are not really informed about the theatre or see it as a place very far from their interests.

     

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    October 26th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    Recently I was able to do another whirlwind international tour and something was highlighted once again – people love museums. And people who work in museums love museums.

    So why do you keep working against us?

    The issues are usually very similar:

    • Lack of money
    • Lack of resources
    • Lack of management support
    • Low Morale

    While these issues might possibly always be there, some things you can change to help elevate these issues.

    Lack of money: For argument’s sake, we’ll take money off the table because lets be honest, it’s a common denominator worldwide. If we can sort the other issues, the money issues might actually be less of an issue. Read the rest of this entry »

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    October 21st, 2018mardixonCulture, Personal

    A guestblog post from Zsofia Szendre

    To sign up for #LoveTheatreDay Unconference 
    To sign up for #LoveTheatreDay

    Perhaps an event from the perspective of a volunteer is not something you have thought you’de be interested in, but let me tell you, it’s worth it. So hang around while I leave you with the promise of taking you “backstage”, readying the scene for more to come.

    Let me introduce myself first, I’m Zsofi, I worked on the LoveTheatreDay Unconference last year. I helped out as a student from Goldsmiths, so you know I loved it enough to be back again. Having now finished my studies I am still just as dedicated to #LoveTheatreDay and working with the amazing Mar Dixon as ever before.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 16th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    During #AskACurator 2018 I tried to capture some of the different conversations.  This is more for me than for anyone to think this is an overall statement of the day (because I am not the one that can or will ever capture everything!)

    Highlights: 

    Museums talking to each – Australia and New Zealand really set the tone for 2018 as there weren’t a lot of questions at first so they took the bull by the horns and starting asking questions amongst themselves – then the public got involved and next thing you know it’s trending 2nd in all of Australia.

    First Tweet from @MOTAT_NZ 9:13pm 11-09-2018

     

    By the time I jumped back Russia and Europe were in full swing (not so much UK at that point) and the tone remain positive, light, inquisitive, fun, interesting and most importantly educational.

    Questions:

    I usually try to ask a few general questions to get things going.  This year they were mostly ignored which to me is AMAZING because that meant there were so many other questions being asked mine weren’t needed!

    https://twitter.com/MarDixon/status/1039646722090303488

    What do you Wear?

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 6th, 2018mardixonCulture

    Since I first heard about ##IObject at the British Museum I knew it would be one I had to see.  History folded with satire and curated (ok, co-curated) by the one and only Ian Hislop – what would not be to love!

    My expectation were high – very high but from the second I walked in I knew it was going to be a brilliant exhibition!

     

    There were many highlights in the exhibition but meeting Ian Hislop and curator Tom Hockenhull and talking about Spitting Image and National Puppetry Archive was pretty special.

    And of course seeing the Banksy.

    For me it was ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.  I invited Josephine Walsh to write a guest review (her details are at the end of the article).

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 2nd, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    On August 22, @CultureThemes ran #MusMeme for the monthly hashtag.  As I often talk about, finding a hashtag once a month isn’t always easy and there is a balance of finding a hashtag that works with the public and culture venues alike.  For August, I usually try to find a hashtag that will be quirky-ish but light as September is always busy with #AskACurator Day (September 12th 2018)…. did I get that one wrong!

    All I put was:

    Our next CultureThemes is going to be #MusMeme – a day to share memes all about museums, galleries, art, collections, etc. on August 22!

    The general idea is to let the public and museums have a bit of creative license and fun with collections.

    Simple, right? If people got involved, great! If not, that was ok to!

    They got involved.  A LOT.  By 11am it was trending in the UK and pretty much stayed there all day almost into the evening. This screenshot is from 2.30pm

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    August 2nd, 2018mardixonCulture

    UPDATE:  Chris McCrudden had a great Twitter thread about this which I’ll add to the bottom of this post.

    via VITAL DATA: What every comms person needs to know about the Ofcom communications market report 2018

    Please read @danslee excellent article.  I wanted to share here to highlight two graphics:

    ofcom-reach.jpg

    We are maintaining social media

    In the UK in 2018, 77 per cent have a social media account.

    Comscore research, which is referenced in the report shows the league table of UK users:

    YouTube 44.3 million

    Facebook 41.8 million

    Twitter 27.5 million

    Snapchat 22.7 million

    Messenger 22.3 million

    Whats App 21.0 million

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    July 30th, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    SAVE THE DATE:

    SEPTEMBER 12 2018 FOR OUR NEXT #ASKACURATOR DAY!

    This list will be updated due to GDPR regulations. This is the list of all museums who signed up since 2015 when I started the new sign up.

    SIGN UP FORM

    Please note:  @AskACurator is also on Instagram AND Twitter so feel free to use the tag on there!

    How to take Part: Participants  Want to know how to Take Part? There’s an article for that! (Please note the date has changed!)  Most importantly is just have fun on the day! Ask questions, or if you’re in the field and don’t work in a museum feel free to answer.

    How to take Part: Museums  First, the word museum to me is broad.  Any culture venue who want to take part can! Museums, Archives, Libraries, estate homes, archaeological venues, private museums etc can take part! And Curator can be anyone with the knowledge – they don’t have to have a degree to answer! 

    You 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.

    Who to Ask: 

    The list for those who signed up can be found via this link (it’s a Google Sheet).  I can email to anyone that needs it or can’t access it.

     


    Just wanted to add that I do not get paid for these hashtags, I love bringing my social media expertise to these days to promote the sector and have fun! I am freelance and a consultant so if you are interested in hiring me please get in touch – I work internationally so there are no boundaries!

    There is more information on the About Me page:
    Email: Mar@MarDixon.com
    Phone: +44 (0)7800 539065
    I’m on WhatsApp, iMessage all social media etc. 
    In addition to many things (speaking at conferences, etc) I run/facilitate day or 1/2 day workshop based on:
    • Remixing Museums
    • New Technology
    • Digital Media
    • Social Media
    • Young People and Museums
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    July 24th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal, Tech

    As Charlotte finally had a summer where she didn’t have to study for anything, we decided a few days in Paris was long overdue. (a huge thanks to Aube and family for letting us stay in the gorgeous flat near Notre Dame!)

    Day One:

    Walking Paris. We had a little idea of what we wanted to do in Paris but seeing Eiffel Tower was of course on the list. As it was so sunny out, and the best way to see any city is to walk, we decided a stroll through Paris would be perfect. And it was even if it was a day with almost 16kms… Seeing all the cute side streets that we would have missed on the bus (or the newest fun mode of transport is the electric scooters) was a bonus.

    Have to say there was a huge difference from the last time we went to see Eiffel Tower as not as many pushy sellers. They also changed the way you access it if you wanted to go up (we’ve been up a few times so just wanted to see it).

    Day Two:

    Another full on day with walking but Charlotte was saved as we had to get back to watch the World Cup. We started at Notre Dame which is free to enter and the queue moves rather quickly.

    We then headed to Saint Chapelle, a Holy Chapel that was intended to house Christian relics including Christ’s crown of thorns. The stained glass have 1,113 scenes from the Old and New Testaments. Read the rest of this entry »

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