@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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    January 7th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Our third 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for 2018 and overall it has been another huge success! At the end of each week all participants are asked to complete a survey, give us their thoughts on how it went, what went well and what could be done better in the future. We had 27 respondents to this – not as much as previous years.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to send in their feedback it really does help us to make it even better for everyone each year.

    Finally, a big thank you to all of you who took part and made 52 Museums 2018 such a success, and now with over 18.800 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2019!

    For the 2019 list and sign up information please see this link.

    In the beginning of the year we lost quite a few followers (over 3000) but climbed back up throughout the year to end with an additional 1,200.  We are seeing a lot of likes but not as many comments.  Looking over the account, it seems there wasn’t a lot of questions or post that encourage engagement/interaction with the public.  Post that were longer and had more substances (eg story behind the item in the collection) were popular.  But for 2018 – Stories were the favorite.

    Please note:  The selection of quotes are anonymized as much as possible.

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    January 5th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Thank you to everyone who took part, followed, liked, and got involved with @52Museums on Instagram and Twitter in 2018.  It grew bigger than anyone could have expected.  The report for 2018 can be found here.  The year is almost full but there is a waiting list.  The gaps are there as waiting for a few to respond.

    You can find more information about what it is and how it works here.

    The 2018 schedule (and yes this is draft as changes throughout the year happens):

    Please note: if you would like to be on the waiting list, please sign up here

    To see the Google doc of the schedule click here

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 4th, 2019mardixonCulture, International

    Recently, I’ve seen a bunch of articles promoting the best exhibitions to see in 2019 but it seemed most of them were around London (see Londonist and Maxwell’s list) so I decided to crowdsource ideas and promised to share here. I posted this question on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. Surpringly, no responses on Instagram….

    While I’m not doubting that London has a lot of create exhibitions (because they do) I always want to see what else is happening in the world and I know I’m not alone with this.  We seem to have the Top 10 in the world, which are usually nationals but nice to see some local museums on some list also.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 27th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    As 2018 is almost over, there have been a few hot topics for museums this year I’d thought I highlight. Now some of these issues have been going on for years/decades but were brought to the limelight again thanks to social media and media being forced to acknowledge the issues. Hopefully, they can be resolved in 2019…

    Museums Need to Change Their Hours

    Once again, there were a few articles related to museums needing to stay open late. We know this. Museums that stay open ‘late’ (and I mean until 8pm on a Thursday) find an impact. Lets face it, when you work 9–5 the last thing you want to do is spend your weekend at a museum or art gallery. Museums run the risk of becoming just for school trips and corporate hire if they are not careful.

    There are some simple solutions such as opening later on a Tuesday (say 11.30 instead of 10) and staying opening until 8pm on a Thursday to help shift the workload for staff.

    It was also mentioned on Twitter that staff has to have their well being looked after and can’t change too much from 9–5 hours. I understand the sentiment there but honestly, every sector has had to change with society to fit in. Even the majority of banks have Saturday hours and one late night.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mag3737/6087462178

    Yes there are a lot of late night events but they are usually once a month and run around bigger activities which are great! I absolutely love them. But sometimes, people just want to pop into a museum for a bit of culture on the way home after work. There has to be a better balance than what is available right now. And that is going to be probably more complicated for council-run museums however I truly feel a compromise is out there. Monday closure and late Thursday (as mentioned before) works for some but you need to look at your community/demographic and see if maybe early mornings might be better. Read the rest of this entry »

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    November 19th, 2018mardixonCulture, International, theatre

    As many know, #LoveTheatreDay this year was run without a media partner. I knew the workload was going to be heavy but that people who love theatre would really be running the show…

    And I was right.

    Once again, the hashtag #LoveTheatreDay was world trending by 11 am and remained on the list for 5-6 hours. It stayed top trending in the UK pretty much all day.

    World Trending

    But trending does not matter to me. What does matter is people participating. And they did. From students to professionals, people were very open about sharing why they love theatre. Or Theater. (I noticed that both were being used as was #LoveTheatre #LoveTheatreDay2018 etc).

    Read the rest of this entry »

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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?

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