@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
  • scissors
    January 23rd, 2017mardixonCulture, International, Personal

    Re-sharing from MuseumCamp.org: Welcome to Museumcamp – the home of the museums unconference.  With a passion for cake! If you’ve previously attended one of our Museumcamp unconferences you’ll be pleased to know we’re planning more. And if you haven’t – good timing, you will get the chance soon.

    We haven’t had a Museumcamp unconference for a while, although it isn’t for the want of trying. Despite the huge success of the Museumcamps in Birmingham it has been difficult to obtain funding, and unfortunately due to the economic climate we can’t get the same level of sponsorship as in the past. However, funding issues aren’t what I’m blogging about today, rather it is about some thoughts on unconferences that came from a recent Unconference conference and my own experiences at unconferences.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , ,
  • scissors
    January 12th, 2017mardixonCulture, Tech

    Really enjoyed Actually Reality at Royal Academy. It’s opening to the public January 12-14 (yes, a very short run) but if you want to experience art in a virtual world (instead of just walking around it as most platforms allow), this is the perfect exhibition.  I also like the fact that RA worked with graduates – how inspiring!

    From Royal Academy website:

    We’re starting 2017 with Virtually Real, a collaborative pop-up project between the virtual reality platform HTC Vive and our contemporary art school, the Royal Academy Schools.

    Graduates Adham Faramawy and Elliot Dodd, together with third-year student Jessy Jetpacks, have been selected to create works of art using HTC Vive. This virtual reality technology lets you experience hundreds of simulated worlds, where the normal rules of gravity don’t apply. The artists will be using software like Kodon and Tilt Brush by Google, a palette that lets you paint in virtual 3D space to produce installations that you, the visitor, will be able to move through and interact with. You’ll also be able to see their creative processes from start to finish with HTC Vive’s playback technology. As a world-first, we’ll be 3D printing these artworks and exhibiting them, so you will have the chance to interact with them both virtually and in real life. You’ll also be able to try your hand at creating a virtual reality masterpiece of your own.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • scissors
    January 3rd, 2017mardixonCulture, International

    Our first 52 Museums Instagram project has wrapped up for this year and overall it has been a huge success, far better than even expected. At the end of each we ask all participants 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 44 respondents to this, which is amazing, 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 everyone who took part and made 52 Museums 2016 such a success, and now with over 13,700 followers on the account here’s to an even bigger and better 2017!

    [For the 2016 list and sign up information please see this link.]

    Please Note:  I took out the names for the quotes to ensure anonymity.

    52 Museums – Participant Feedback

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,
  • scissors
    January 1st, 2017mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    For the past few months (cough 2016 cough) I’ve been observing the lack of conversations and rise of marketing on ALL social media (I know Twitter gets blame a lot for this but really Facebook and Instagram aren’t much better and Snapchat isn’t really known in the museum world yet and most young people prefer it that way).

    Yes most cultural venues will get involved with hashtags and things like @52Museums but on a daily basis it seems social media has turned into one massive scheduled marketing job and quite frankly it’s doing the sector a dis-justice. If you don’t have the time to spend a few minutes a day being SOCIAL then why should we (the public) find the time to visit? As I said before, I feel the visitors are looking for an emotive experience now (as oppose to academia) and marketing is NOT emotive.

    Yes we understand the burden. You have to tell people what is available so that they visit (and hopefully spend money) but there are ways of marketing in a social tone. The public can smell scheduled updates.

    In fairness, I feel I’m also at fault in this. I’ve been so busy in 2016 that I seem to only post when sharing events for others or hashtags. So I’m putting my money where my mouth is an I’m going to try to chat to at least 3 people a day on social media and respond to as many as I can.

    Sounds simple but like most comms people, traveling, life and hectic schedule sometimes gets in the way but really it shouldn’t be hard for me to reach out and engage.

    Cultural Sector can easily pick three people to say:

    • ‘Did you enjoy your visit?’
    • ‘What was your favourite item/piece?’
    • ‘Thanks for visiting!’

    Even better they can share some of the experience of what is happening in the venue at the time – for example share a few overheard conversations from visitors or staff.

    Stephen Fry once said Twitter is like falling leaves, you catch a few as the come down and admire the beauty of those on the ground. We need to do more of this.

    So who is up for the challenge to #BringSocialBacktoSocialMedia?

    Tags: , ,
  • scissors
    December 20th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    I realise I haven’t updated my website in a bit but it’s not lack of thoughts to share (more of a lack of time from travelling).  This issue has been brewing for awhile as it’s an international issue that not many seem to speak about.  The current ‘hot topic’ is inclusion which I 100% support but only if it’s done with respect and not like the Young People in museum topic (when funding left, the young people were left with nothing to see for their work). However, this topic is even better IMO as without good people, nothing we do it going to matter! 

    Credit: Tijana Tasich

    As a cultural sector we leave 2016 with even more uncertainty than when it started. Lots of events have happened this year that we had no control of, decisions made we might not agree with and the impact of some of those decisions still relatively unknown. 2017 will give us some answers, but will it give us any more security? Doubtful.

    With that in mind as a sector what can we do for the year ahead? Do we just brace ourselves for impact or do we steer ourselves to where we might be in a better position to survive?

    One thing is for sure, we are getting used to being battered. Our sector has taken some of the biggest hits of austerity compared to any other sector of equal size. Each year we deal with less funding, less resources and less staff and I’m pretty sure 2017 won’t be any different.

    The bigger question for 2017 is what have we learnt?

    If we are now so bruised from a tidal wave of cuts, what have we done to prevent absolute catastrophe, (most of you reading this are survivors, still working in the sector and many of you in museums that have not closed) what have we learnt from each other to prevent the next wave hitting us even harder? Hmmmmm

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
  • scissors
    December 10th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    First, a big thank you to everyone who took part, followed, liked, and got involved with @52Museums on Instagram and Twitter in 2016.  It grew bigger than anyone could have expected.  The evaluation will be shared (once there has been time to process it!)

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

    The 2017 schedule (and yes this is draft as changes throughout the year does happen):

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

     

    DateMuseum NameCountryInstagramMuseum NameCountryInstagram
    Jan 2-8Crow Collection of Asian ArtUSA@crowcollection
    Jan 9-15V&A Museum of ChildhoodUKmuseumchildhoodPretend City Children's MuseumUSA@pretendcity
    Jan 16-22Canada's Sports Hall of FameCanadaCansportshall
    Jan 23-29Royal Museums of Fine Arts of BelgiumBelgiumfineartsbelgiumVejen Art MuseumDenmarkVejenkunstmuseum
    Jan 30-Feb 5Des Moines Art CenterUSA@desmoinesartcenter
    Feb 6-12transmedialeGermany@transmediale
    Feb 13-19Westminster Abbey LondonUK@westminsterabbeylondon
    Feb 20-26MAK ViennaAustriamak_viennaClark Art InstituteUSAclarkart
    Feb 27-Mar 5Kalamazoo Valley MuseumUSAkalamazoomuseumMuseum of Latin American Art (MOLAA)USA@molaaart
    Mar 6-Mar 12Museum at FITUSAmuseumatfit
    Mar13-19Women in ArtsUSAwomeninthearts
    Mar 20-26National Museum of American Jewish HistoryUSA@AmericanJewishMuseumHolcaust Museum HoustonUSA@HMHou
    Mar 27-Apr 2Bendigo Art GalleryAustraliabendigoartgalleryMigration MuseumAustraliamigration_museum
    Apr 3-9Lee Kong Chian Natural History MuseumSingapore@lkcnhm
    Apr 10-16The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum)Netherlandshetscheepvaartmuseumsubmarine force libary & museumUSAnautilusships_store
    Apr 17-23Casa BatllóBarcelonacasabatlloMusei di Fermo (Art + archaeology)Italy@museifermo
    Apr 24-30The Postal MuseumUKthepostalmuseumColorado Springs Pioneers MuseumUSA@cspioneersmuseum
    May 1-7Newark MuseumUSAnewarkmuseumMcMaster Museum of ArtCanadamacmuseum
    May 8-14Skagens MuseumDenmarkskagensmuseumAnchers HusDenmarkanchershus
    May 15-21Science MuseumUKsciencemuseum
    May 22-28JFK Presidential Library & Museum (this is the week leading up to the JFK Centennial)USAJfklibraryGeorge Eastman MuseumUSAEastmanMuseum
    May 29-Jun4The Davis Museum at Wellesley CollegeUSA@thedavismuseumMildred Lane Kemper Art Museum @ WUStLUSAkemperartmuseum
    Jun 5-11National Gallery of CanadaCanada@ngc_mbac
    Jun 12-18Museum Tinguely BaselSwitzerlandmuseumtinguely
    Jun 19-25Museu de Arte Sacra de São PauloBrasil@museuartesacra
    Jun 26-Jul 2The Foundling MuseumUKfoundlingmuseum
    Jul 3-9James A. Michener Art MuseumUSA@MichenerArtGlanmore National Historic SiteUSA@GlanmoreNHS
    Jul 10-16The Heckscher Museum of ArtUSA@heckschermuseumDordtYart-contemporary artNetherlandsDordtYart
    Jul 17-23Pera MuseumTurkey@peramuzesiDenver Art MuseumUSA@denverartmuseum
    Jul 24-30Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAKPoland@mocak_krakow
    Jul 31 - Aug 6The Rockwell Museum, A Smithsonian AffiliateUSARockwellMuseumBirmingham Museum & Art GalleryUKbirmingham_mag
    Aug 7-13Chilliwack Museum and ArchivesCanada@chwkmuseumThe Buffalo History MuseumUSA@buffalohistorymuseum
    Aug 14-20Thomas Jefferson's MonticelloUSA@TJMonticelloDumbarton HouseUSA@DumbartonHouse
    Aug 21-27Sharjah Museums DepartmentUnited Arab Emirates@sharjahmuseums
    Aug 28-Sep 3Atlanta History CenterUSA@AtlantaHistoryCenter
    Sep 4-10The Museum of The Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot,Israelbeithatfutsot
    Sep 11-17The National GalleryUK@national_gallery
    Sep 18-24Pasadena Museum of California ArtUSApmcaonlineCraft & Folk Art MuseumUSA@cafam
    Sep 25-Oct 1Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Catalonia) (contact with Cristina: comunicacioweb@bcn.cat)CatalonamuseucienciesChicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature MuseumUSA@naturemuseum
    Oct 2-8Cantor Arts CenterUSA@cantorarts
    Oct 9-15Museion Bozen/BolzanoItalymuseion_bzFreer|Sackler, Smithsonian's museum of Asian art (reopening on October 14)USAfreersackler
    Oct 16-22Houston Center for Contemporary CraftUSA@CraftHoustonUnited by Hand (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/unitedbyhand/) and Future Tradition (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/melissacody/)USA
    Oct 23-29National Museum of Civil War MedicineUSA@civilwarmedClara Barton Missing Soliders OfficeUSA
    Oct 30 -Nov 5Museo JumexMexicoMuseoJumexCONTEMPORARY ART
    Nov 6-12National Museum of the Marine CorpsUSAUSMCMuseumThe U.S. Dept of Defense Museums Nat. Museum of the U.S. Navy & Nat. Museum Health & Medicine would like to share the week with NMMC
    Nov 13-19Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum
    (or Getty Museum USA)
    Russiagatchinapalace_museum
    Nov 20-26Jewish Museum FrankfurtGermanyjuedischesmuseumffmPOLIN Museum of the History of Polish JewsPoland@polinmuseum
    Nov 27-Dec 3Craigleith Heritage DepotCanada@craigleithdepotOshawa MuseumCanada@oshawamuseum
    Dec 4-10The Corning Museum of GlassUSAcorningmuseumHerbert F. Johnson Museum of ArtUSA@hfjmuseum
    Dec 11-17Waterloo Region MuseumCanada@WRegionMuseumColchester MuseumsUK@colchestermuseums
    Dec 18-24Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer KunstGermanysmaek_muc
    Dec 25-31National Puppetry ArchiveUK

     

    Tags: , ,
  • scissors
    October 21st, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    ltd-2#LoveTheatreDay is Back November 16th 2016!  
    –>>>SIGN UP FORM IS HERE<<–

    Please know although this is #LoveTheatreDay we’re asking Museums, art galleries, national trust and ALL cultural venues to get involved and share your theatre collection with us! For more information on how it worked last couple of years, see this article.

    If you choose to share a live video broadcast on Periscope, please send an email to asultan@twitter.com to let the editorial team at Periscope know, as they will be looking for content to feature in the app. 

    How #LoveTheatre Day Works

    Throughout the day, we encourage everyone to tweet using #LoveTheatre and say why they love theatres.  This is open for the general public of course but I want people who have been (or are in) am dram productions to also tweet.  I also asked museums and galleries to share their collection that is theatre related and publishers to share books related to theatres. Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • scissors
    October 21st, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    I’ve always said this site was for when I had more to say in a tweet. I’ve never pressured myself to write as I know my limits. However, this past month so much has been going on that are worthy of articles on their own:

    iwwItalian Wonder Ways: I was invited at last minute to take a friend of a friend’s spot on a Cammino (which means pilgrimage). I wasn’t fully prepared but had the most amazing time! I’ve been to Italy many times but never ever explored the landscape or the people the way we did with Cammino di San Benedetto created by the inspiring Simone Frignani.  As this was a press trip we were met by mayors and lovely locals in each village we walked to – eating their lovely local products.  We even slept in a monastery!  Most who know me know exercise isn’t my thing but I truly loved walking and talking and meeting new friends.  I did things I would never imagine I’d do – including riding on top of a Landrover Defender down a steep dirt road with Simone and Paul (we survived….). And we ended in Rome listening to the Pope.  Truly magical and inspiring.

    top-of-roof

    Related articles from my group: Along Italy’s Cammino di San Benedetto via @AnitasFeast and Find your calling on the Italian Wonder Ways from Rachel Rigby.

    wonderlabScience Museum WonderLab opening: Went to the opening of WonderLab sort of expecting a lot as I’ve been hearing bits and pieces about it over the months/year. I absolutely wasn’t disappointed! The press night had a wonderful mixture of suits, kids and everything in between. The exhibition is totally hands on – lots of things to see, play, learn, do, and slide down – YES there is a slide! It’s all very related to teaching science through fun and it totally works!

    Related articles: Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery; Cabinet Gallery – review

    19princelet19 Princelet Street: A hidden gem in London as it is/was many things over the years but is now dedicated to becoming an immigration museum. I was privileged to have a private view to speak to Susie, one of a few volunteers that are working hard to get the building the monies it needs to be able to the public (the open to the public on very special occasions and ALWAYS has queues around the block when they are open!).

    Related website: 19princeletstreet.org.uk

    Credit: Tijana Tasich

    Credit: Tijana Tasich

    Victoria and Albert Museum Revolution Exhibition: Went to Revolution with friend Tijana. In similar vein to the David Bowie exhibition, we were provided headphones / guide to take into the exhibition. And like Bowie exhibition, RFID technology was used to guide us in the very large exhibition. Revolution is essentially about the swinging 60s to early 2000s and how transformational they were to our lives now. What did hit home was seeing how some protest from the 60s are VERY (sadly) similar to issues we still have today. It’s like we never learn.

    Related website: V&A Revolution

    MuseumID Conference: Attended MuseumID conference at the Science Museum. There was an impressive lineup of speakers from USA, Denmark, UK and Germany. Voting and immigration, fab labs and the need to be open to public ideas, social media and why less is more, and other topics were discussed. Tony Butler made for an exemplary chair for the day too!

    Related website: Museum ID

    Tomorrow I leave for Spain to speak at #MarketingArtes16 in Madrid and Barcelona before flying to New York in November for MuseumNext.  Meanwhile, we’re running #LoveTheatreDay again on November 16th so mark your calendars!

    ltd-2

  • scissors
    September 8th, 2016mardixonCulture, International, Tech

    instagram-1Since launching @52Museums I’ve been amazed to see the growth of museums on Instagram (yes it was happening before but this is my point of view). As the project has been running, more and more museums have contacted me to join in on the list and to say they are starting an Instagram account just because of @52Museums which is brilliant!

    Every museum who host @52Museums is asked to fill out an exit form at the end of their week. I will share the complete findings after we have a year in but the feedback has been very positive. All said they would do it again and all said they felt it was worthwhile. With this account they get the open instructions:

    • If you can post a few for LA time, East coast and Europe time that makes a difference.
    • Post 7-10 times a day – it sounds like a lot but really works with our current audience.
    • Try  things you can’t do on your own account.
    • HAVE FUN!

    Another project I run is @AskACurator Day (September 14th 2016 – eek!). There are over 1200 museums on the list to take part (with more signing up each day). It got me thinking that I should combine the @52Museums list with the @AskACurator list to make a ‘Master List’. Sounds simple enough, right?

    How wrong I was. But it has led to some insight that I’d like to share:

    Please note,Museums on Instagram form with link to list is here (I need to get over AskaCurator day before I have time to combine everything).

     

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , , ,
  • scissors
    August 31st, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    Participation

    It’s a word we tend to use a lot but never really define as we also spend a lot of time pretending to think like the ‘user’ or ‘visitor’ – mapping out ways for the them to see the exhibition/collection with a sprinkle of ‘entertaining’ activities.

    However, us humans, we’re a funny lot. We don’t always behave as we’re expected. That could be due to translation (language barriers), rebelliousness (raises hand), miscommunication or boredom. Actually, feel free to insert your reason as I’m sure I haven’t covered them all.

    As someone fortunate enough to travel internationally and to visit a lot of museums, art galleries, national houses/parks, I get to see a lot of different ways the sector tries to interact with the visitors. Traditionally, we often see:

    • Family Backpacks
    • Maps
    • Audio Guides
    • Trails
    • Signage

    There are more but that’s to give you an idea. (Signage is one of the biggest areas I feel we are failing. Often walking through the front door is a big step but the journey to the front of house or reception is not always as obvious as we like to believe but we’ll leave that for another post.)

    anthropologyI love a bit of anthropology in a museum. Sometimes I’ll stand outside with my headphones in giving the impression I’m waiting for someone. Than I’ll go inside and continue to have my headphones on as I wander around – basically I am listening in on conversations but they don’t know that. It’s amazing how people will talk freely when they don’t think anyone is listening…

    A typical scenario is a family (of various size, for this I also mean grandparents, friends with kids, etc) that enter and try to figure out where the starting point is. Or a map. In fairness to museums, often there are wonderful Front of House that try to assist and breakdown any barriers but it’s often the family that are feeling to awkward to ask for help.

    The HAM Way

    When I was in Helsinki I noticed Helsinki Art Museum (HAM) had post-it notes for visitors to take when they enter. They were in the middle of the room on a standalone pedestal (and yes there are front of house people there also).  No barriers, no awkwardness.  People knew to go and take one.  They were also in 4 languages (Finnish, Russian, Chinese and English as they are the top visitors).

    It was such a genius concept on it’s own but the notes are so clever I had to share! I’m sure HAM wouldn’t mind anyone using these ideas (always best to credit them) or better yet – reach out to them and tell them how awesome they are!

    ham all notes

    ham don't look at the artworkDon’t Look at the Art Works: Look at the frames of the artworks. What would an artwork look like if the frames were different? Or if you’d take the frame off completely? Is the frame part of the piece of not? Read the rest of this entry »

    Tags: , , , , ,
  • « Older Entries

    Newer Entries »