@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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    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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    April 27th, 2018mardixonCulture

    I just moved to London, so when Mar pings me asking if I’d like to head along to The Courtauld Institute’s #ResFest on Wednesday 25th April, I jump at the chance to mingle with some like-minded culture lovers.

    The programme promises discussion on how the London Fatberg is a metaphor for Brexit, a free G&T on arrival and an evening jam-packed with interesting talks on the future of art history. I’m intrigued.

    #ResFest is a night festival celebrating the connection and the collaboration between The Courtauld Institute and The Courtauld Gallery, both of which are part of Somerset House. The program includes lightning talks, performances, exhibits, bars and food trucks, and the overall goal of the event is to demonstrate how crucial art history is today. It’s a night where some of the best and brightest in the academic and cultural sectors ask big questions about the state of play in the art world, and how the future health of culture and society hinges on our ability to address and confront these questions head-on. Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 18th, 2018mardixonCulture, Personal

    Back in December, I was looking at loads of things: my 2018 schedule, the museum sector, London, etc etc.  I noticed the museum sector was looking a bit – well there are a lot of changes happening (some for the good, some not so good) and wanted to inject some energy back into the sector.  So I took to social media:

    I decided to run a #MuseumMarathon – where anyone who signed up would walk to 26+ museums on the day to raise money for charity.  I didn’t know what museums or what charity but shared the idea anyway.  There was over 70 people who showed interest that week!

    Within a few weeks (ok maybe it was February?) things started to take a bit more shape.  Original charities such as raising money for Gay Pride and Arts Emergency (both great causes) were put aside for Autism in Museums – it’s not a charity but a very worth cause! (For the record, Gay Pride would be to raise money for museum people walking in the parade but found out that is sorted.) Read the rest of this entry »

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    March 14th, 2018mardixonCulture, Tech

    Day 1 Round up has been written by Goldsmiths University of London, the MA Events and Experience Management student Zsofia Szendrei.

    Roll up, Roll up, the Remix has begun!

    Fresh faces, anticipation, enthusiasm and a great deal of curiosity greeted us on the first chilly morning of the #2017HullRemix! We definitely were in for an exciting process, witness to some great journeys in just one short, productive day and ready to tackle Day 2 with the panache only Hull, 2017 City of Culture could bring.

    A courageous group of stakeholders met each other ready to get into the nitty-gritty of the evaluation process. Starting off with a lively welcome by Mar Dixon and then an introduction by the City of Culture Team. We headed onto some exciting, unpublished data (shown for our eyes only) and a presentation on how the whole year panned out. It must be noted that considering the preparations and post-work efforts put into such a scheme the “year” does not actually start and end at 2017.

    “Once you’re the City of Culture, you’re always a City of Culture.”
    Phil Batty

    What is a Remix though, you may ask?
    We surely could sense some curiosity around the title. For those who have not attended one let us give you a quick overview. A Remix, unlike a hackathon, looks at taking datasets, analysing and translating it; finding a way to produce a creative output. This all revolves around topics that individuals are most interested in. As you might often find in life, the more passionate you are about a topic you’re exploring the better. Posters are great, but how else can you push the boundaries?

    After getting this little piece of “housekeeping” out of the way, and taking all the juicy information from Pippa Gardner’s and Phil Batty’s presentations on City of Culture the participants went onto forming groups.

    First they shared their main interests and then went onto forming groups. As their reflections will show everyone arrived with unique ideas and interests.

    REFLECTIONS:

    Stephen Grey: “It was good to get into different groups, finding out about what the task was, forming teams and then getting on with the task at hand. The best moment was our breakthrough, when we settled with an idea finally.”

    James Coatsworth: “It was great meeting and working with so many different people, it made me think of City of Culture in a new way, I had my own idea of it, but hearing from everyone that worked on it, from the volunteers, made me see it from a different perspective. Even though it’s over people are still thinking about it and incidentally making us think about it differently.”

    Alana Ennis: “It was good to get an overview of the evaluation data and to find out what everyone was interested in. Initially getting into teams, learning who everyone is, why people came and what people want to get out of the Remix. My group is looking at disability and it’s interesting because it’s not the focus of my research, so it’s a completely new land of inquiry.”

    Amy Finch: “The first thing that comes to my mind is our Eureka moment. The whole table came into the group, very open minded, not wanting to make an assertion about the data and what they would look at. We wanted to look at what the data said and where it would take us, which meant we had to throw out a few ideas and data that didn’t lead anywhere. So we changed our idea a lot. Our Eureka moment was finding a seemingly large difference between 2 wards, and finding what that difference was.”

    The teams formed and went from one idea to another, the initial four topics were:

    • Civic Pride
    • Legacy Hangover
    • Audiences
    • Young People

     

    And from these great ideas the groups went on their own versions of a roller coaster ride settling at:

    • Communities and how different wards were affected by the City of Culture
    • The impact of volunteer participation
    • The extent to which disability was present
    • Young People

    You may find the group exploring young people stuck to their theme, but not to worry they had their own version of multiple loop de loops while considering their final output.

    After a hard day’s work #2017HullRemix presented to each other how far they got and what their ideas cemented into. Revealing what their output of choice would be for the next day, let’s just say there was no worry of post-it-note posters with this lot!

    Let us leave you here by introducing the fantastic group members:

    ComX2017:
    Victoria Bissett
    Amy Finch
    Michael Howcroft
    Rich Morfitt
    Paul Tempest


    From COMFY to CONFIDENT:

    Alison Kathleen Boyes
    Stephen Grey
    Rachael Kerr
    Duncan Macintyre
    Syeda Nudrat
    Pamela Taylor

    Jellybeans:

    Alana Ennis
    Jade French
    Maria Kapsuli
    Matt Ralphson

    YOUNG- at the Heart of Hull:

    Erica Anderson
    James Coatsworth
    Belinda Garry
    Rose Jackson
    Victoria McDermott
    Paul Route

    If you want some suggestions on how to run a Remix, Mar Dixon is your lady, she has a sixth sense when it comes to working with people and events! She knows how to boost enthusiasm and bring her energy to everyone, between the two of us the secret is in the Jazz Hands! 

    Another tip we have is: music. Thank you Erica Anderson for that great idea! Your suggestion as we introduced everyone on slack last week made a huge difference these past two days. Having something to hum along to sure made -what may have seemed like- a hard day’s night pump up our jam!

    Of course, we have to give a shout to Mar’s lovely volunteers from Goldsmiths University of London. Referred to us by Sara Lindén, Lecturer in Tourism and Cultural Policy and Course Convenor of the MA Events and Experience Management. Veronica Di Claudio, Kristina Kratochvilova and Zsofia Szendrei ensured the smooth running of the event, captured the key moments of the Remix and oversaw our slack. To see their posts check out one of our social media platforms, browse through our Instagram and Twitter for some inspiration.

    And thank you Pippa for #2017HullRemix!! Day 1 was great! As you said:

    “There was a lot of information for the participants to get their heads round, but after lunch the creativity definitely started going!”

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    February 26th, 2018mardixonCulture, Personal

    If you haven’t heard there will be another #MuseumMarathon in London on April 15th 2018.  We will be raising funds for Autism in Museum run by Claire Madge.  Here she explains why – and if you’d like to donate please see our Go Fund Me Page

    It was back in the mists of time, 2013 to be exact, I had barely gotten sucked into the museum world when I took part in the first Museum Marathon. I met Mar Dixon for the first time, along with a lot of other museum devotees.

    We walked to 26 London museums in one day, many of those museums I never even knew existed and we raised money for Guide Dogs for the Blind a charity chosen by the organiser David Mentiply. It was a tiring, fun filled, sore footed day and luckily for all you who missed out the first time we are going to do it all over again! 

    On the 15th April 2018 we will be visiting another 26-31 museums in one day (shout out to Mikaela Webb for working on the map!). Mar has decided to raise money for Autism in Museums which is fantastic. But since I am not actually a charity this has raised a few problems. After much careful thought and consideration any money raised will purchase sensory equipment that museums can apply for to either supplement their existing autism offer or support a more inclusive approach to welcoming autistic visitors. The money will also go towards supporting work experience placements for young autistic adults in museums.

    I will be putting together a panel of young autistic people aged 18-25 who will help decide how the money should be spent and where. I hope this will foster some long-lasting relationships between the autism community and the museum community.

    For those who know me this is a very important issue to my family. I have two autistic children and we visited museums for the first time because of the supportive autism programmes they run. I wrote a blog about our first visit to the Science Museum Early Birds Autism event – you can read it here, I hope it shows why autism in museums is so vital.

    Museum Marathon is going to be a great opportunity to meet new people, reacquaint yourself with old friends, visit a whole load of museums and have a truly amazing (tiring) day. If you are museum obsessed then this is the ultimate experience for you. If you do want to raise money for Autism in Museums please see the link Mar has set up, if you just want to join us on the day please don’t feel you have to donate money to be a part of Museum Marathon.

    I have spent the last five years working really hard to raise awareness of Autism in Museums because I can see the difference it makes to families who often feel isolated. I will be writing a series of blogs about how to apply for sensory equipment and how the money will be spent. If you are interested in getting involved in any way please get in touch with Mar or you can email me at TinctureofMuseum@gmail.com

     Thank you so much and see you on the 15th!!!!

     Claire Madge, Tincture of Museum

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