@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 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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    July 1st, 2018mardixonCulture

    To celebrate what would have been Michael Jackson’s 60th year (his birthday would have been August 29th), National Portrait Gallery has a blockbuster summer exhibition called Michael Jackson On The Wall.

     

    Curated by Director Dr Nicholas Cullinan, the exhibition is spread over 14 rooms, each named appropriately like:

    • King of Pop (6)
    • Off The Wall (11)
    • Man in the Mirror (13)

    Overall there are over 48 artists are featured including my favorites Andy Warhol, Keith Haring and Grayson Perry. While I must admit I was never a huge fan on Michael Jackson (although did have tickets to the first night of what would have been his ‘last concert’), NPG has done a really good job in showing the many layers of Michael Jackson, from personal to professional. Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 1st, 2018mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    Lately I’ve been busy talking at conferences about social media and running workshops on the same. Why? Because I think many places have now started to realize giving marketing departments or people full time control over social media wasn’t, in many cases, the best move.

    The most important aspect of social media – no matter what subject – is to be social. Constantly telling people of events and not responding to them, or, perish the thought, actually reaching out to people who are tagging you is all one way, and it gets old. Let’s be honest, there is a lot of content out there that people can be sharing, it’s a buyers’ market for the social media user and we should therefore treat those who do tag us with enough respect to acknowledge them or at least some of them (ok for those who get 1000s of tags it might be hard, but one or two responses a day isn’t difficult). It’s another aspect of customer service, we wouldn’t totally ignore someone who came up to the counter, or visitor information desk would we? Yet we think its ok for those who reach out to us on Social media to be ignored. Read the rest of this entry »

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    May 15th, 2018mardixonCulture

    On May 19th 2018, The Royal Academy will open it’s doors once again to celebrate its 250th Anniversary but we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek this week.

    Arriving for the press preview with Laura Porter on a very sunny day, the RA was doing it’s best from the outside to show off despite some of the construction still going on but it was really the inside I was interested in because the RA recently has a major redevelopment to expand the physical space and also their programming.  Now, there truly is something for everyone!

    Let’s be clear, the RA has been and always will be for everyone, but because it was always ticketed events, not everyone felt they could afford to go.  The new Weston Bridge between Burlington House and Burlington Gardens completely transforms it! There is now 70% more public space.

    I personally loved how architects David Chipperfield managed to be sympathetic to the old of the building whilst folding new and progression throughout, details of which could be seen throughout the RA.

    There were many highlights:

    Collection Gallery – which is completely free to the public – will show a lot (obviously not all) art that used to be behind the scenes or in storage.  For example:

    Michelangelo’s Taddei Tondo

    Full scale copy of Leonardo’s Last Supper (which when Laura and I were looking at it a lot of press asked us to stay and take more pictures …

    Maurice Davies, Head of Collections in a recent interview said they wanted the Collection Gallery ‘There’s a great temptation to use the Collection Gallery as an opportunity to teach art history, but the most important thing I want people to do is to look closely at the works of art. Teaching history and telling stories should be done in a way that encourages people actually to look at the works.’ (RA250 magazine)

    Benjamin West Lecture Theatre – an amazing space that didn’t exist before.  Actually there was a floor that ran over the top before the architects managed to create this amazing theatre! Creating a space where people can have discussions which is engaging and open will make such a difference! There are 259 seats and very accessible (despite the steps).

     

    I was also impressed that right next to the Dorfman Senate Cafe you can find the Architecture Studio. A creative space that will involve and invite audience engagement. It was still being set up when we were there but we were told the program will allow people bring their coffee or wine to see art.  Again, open, not barriers!

     

    I failed to take pictures of the new learning center but once a month they host free drop in sessions for children of all ages!

    Also, lets all admit, RA has always been good about picture taking.

    I’m going to end with the most impressive press release ever – a ‘Royal Academy of Arts in Numbers’

    • 1 Annual rent for Burlington House is £1 on a lease for 999 years
    • 2 Female founders of the RA
    • 3 Number of years students in RA schools study (and was it mentioned they go for free?)
    • 4 Officers of the RA
    • 5 Top 5 paid for exhibitions in London in the last 10 years
    • 12 Red Collars, RA security team
    • 10 Temp exhibitions for 2018
    • 12.7 Million pounds from National Lottery for redevelopment
    • 13 Royal Academicians sit on the council
    • 17 Artists are the maximum number per year admitted
    • 22 Artists and architects signed a petition calling for King George III to support RA
    • 26 26th President is currently Christopher Le Brun
    • 36 Artists and Architects signed Instrument of Foundation to establish RA December 10 1768
    • 50 Students taking part in only free 3 year postgrad art course
    • SKIPPING SOME
    • 230 Objects from RA Collections will be on free display from 2018
    • 250 Obviously years of the RA

     

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    May 6th, 2018mardixonCulture, International

    Recently, I seen a post about Murder at the Mütter® from Gillian Ladley Media & Marketing Manager @CollegeofPhys, home of @MutterMuseum pointing to an Instagram Story.  As someone who loves Mütter Museum I was really intrigued.  How could an Instagram Story be integrated in a fun, unique way, participatory way? I clicked on the link and was truly blown away so contacted Gillian and asked her for a bit more information to be able to share.

    Guest Blog Gillian Ladley:

    Murder at the Mütter® (it’s a registered trademark) is an event that we have hosted since 2011. Every year the “Murder team” create a new scenario, collaborating with scientists to include tasks that involve real crime scene and forensic analysis. Tickets to the event are very limited and sell out in minutes, so every year we have discussions about how to expand the reach and impact of the event and all the work that goes into it. We’ve talked about video, web content, digital exhibits etc… but like many nonprofits, struggle to get the time and resources to make something happen. Read the rest of this entry »

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