@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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    August 20th, 2011mardixonCulture

    This summer, my family and I travelled to France to for our summer vacation.  Prior to leaving, I tweeted that I was going to Paris and would love to interview museum people.  Via the power of Twitter (and some great friends), I had arranged to not only interview, but also film curators for AskACurator.com.

    Over the course of the week, I was able to see a variety of museums, both to interview and some just to visit.  However, my social media radar was always active.  Prior to attending a museum, I would check to see if they had a Twitter/Facebook/ website.  Did they?  Most, but not all.

    This surprised me.

    France seems to be a country on the cusp of grasping the true value of social media.  Some museums, such as Musee de Cluny (@museecluny) and Musee des arts et metiers (@ArtetMetiers) are prime examples of museums that have empowered themselves via their social media usage.

    How did they do it?  By engaging with not just their target audience but everyone that gets in contact with them.

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    August 17th, 2011mardixonCulture

    If you never been to the Ikon Gallery, you’re missing a real treat.  The building itself is a piece of art that never fails to fascinate.  Originally built in 1878 for an infant school, it has had a few other responsibilities before its current (and hopefully permanent) position as home of the gallery.  The artist journey begins as you walk in and see this very prominent but non-busy sign:

    I met Director and Jonathan Watkins, a busy man who’s passion for Ikon was evident from the start along with Kate Self who is the essentially their Educational Officer (although it’s technically Ikon Youth Programme (IYP)).

    After explaining the many hats and angles this interview was going to take (blog, AskACurator.com, Kids in Museums), I quickly got into the questions as I knew time was precious for both.

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    August 10th, 2011mardixonCulture

    A few weeks ago, during one of my many Tweets about AskACurator one tweet led to another and I was soon making arrangements to go to Birmingham Art Gallery.  After another few emails and tweets, it was narrowed down to me meeting the Fine Art’s Curator Victoria Osborne.

    I was told that Victoria had a few questions ready for our meeting.  Upon meeting Victoria, she also explained that she had read my blog on the French AskACurator (herehere and here).  Victoria was clearly well prepared.  But unfortunately for her, she soon found out I don’t really work that way.

    We started with a few general questions which I was hoping led to the right Ask A Curator question – and I wasn’t disappointed.  My journey with these interviews has been fascinating as each one is different so no template can be used.

    Victoria has been at Birmingham Art Gallery for ten years. She is clearly very knowledgeable which was evident from our conversation.   We agreed the best approach for this interview would be for Victoria to speak for herself as role of Fine Arts Curator, and not representing all of BMAG as their collections are numerous and diverse.

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    August 8th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Musee Guimet and Musee d’Art Moderne

    Charlotte and Michael decided to have another trip up the Eiffel Tower which allowed me a morning to explore. I originally planned to head to Musee d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris but along the way, I managed to find this quaint, very French market.  There was something special about stumbling upon this very established market that made the event special. The market had very fresh food, along with traditional market-style items.

    While wondering through,I noticed this fabulous building on the corner that clearly looked like a museum, so I headed in.

     

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    August 8th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Versailles and Musee de’ Cluny 

    We started off early as our first stop was to Versailles.  However we made a stop on the way at Javel, where we walked over the bridge to take pictures of the Statute of Liberty as we have a very fond attachment to the monument, even more-so now after yesterday’s discussion on the topic at Musse des et Metire.  I do feel that its unplanned stops along the way that really make a holiday personal.

     

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    August 8th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Musee d’Orsay & Muse des arts et metiers

    Today we started off early to get to the Louve before attending an appointment at musee des de metires.  The weather was shining brightly on us and we managed to take lots of gorgeous, typical tourist photos of both the external Louve and the Jardin des Tuileries.  Then we went to queue for the Louve … except it was closed.  Our initial disappointment and annoyance at not checking on that prior to leaving was soon squashed with the decision to go to Musee d’Orsay.  And we were very pleased we did.

     

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    July 31st, 2011mardixonCulture

    Don’t let the title fool you, this was another fascinating event coordinated by Shane Kelleher, Archaeologist Management Officer for Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust as part of the UK wide Festival of British Archaelogy (@festivalofArch ) which was one theme this month for @CultureThemes.

    The exploration of the Old Furnace, which is located in Coalbrookdale started with a short presentation which is where I learned:

    • The Old Furnace (as opposed to the new one that Abraham Darby built) was built in 1658.  Interesting, it has the date 1638 on the beam but this is believed to have been an error done in the renovations of the 1950s.  From 1638 to 1708, the Old Furnace was leased to various people.
    • Abraham Darby leased the furnace in 1708 where he first smelted coke.
    • This is probably THE most important industrial monument in the world.

     

    Please Keep Reading:

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    July 30th, 2011mardixonCulture

    Please take this very short and quick survey to help us evaluate the impact of social media within the Cultural Sector.

    Social Media in the Culture Sector:   http://t.co/iTJkFtU 

    Please note:

    • This survey is being run by Mar Dixon (@MarDixon) to be shared with everyone.
    • All data recorded will be kept anonymous, however, some data might be shared (such as quotes, etc).
    Thank you!
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    July 23rd, 2011mardixonCulture

    Ever wanted to try rock climbing? Maybe see what it was like to have a go at archery?  Or wonder what it was like to wear a mask and fence?  Charlotte and I were able to do all that and more this weekend at Ironbridge Gorge Museums Science, Sport, Life Festival at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and ALL for free.  

    The first activity Charlotte tried was rock climbing. She wasn’t too sure about this at first, but soon got the hang of it and was reaching the top of the fabulous portable rock climbing wall provided by Wolf Mountain. 


    We then went inside Enguinity’s lecture hall to listen to an inspiring talk by Anna Turney, Paralympian Alpine Ski Racer.  She described her courageous career change from able-bodied snowboarder to Paralympic skier after being paralysed while snowboarding.  She is a true inspiration not just to athletes but to everyone.

     

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    July 21st, 2011mardixonCulture

    About a week ago, Natural History Museum (London) emailed to let me know they were going to be asking people on Twitter to come to the museum for a ‘special’ mission.

    Immediately intrigued, I waited for more information.  I didn’t have long as I soon found out they were asking people who love the museum to come in on July 20th to be filmed.  But that’s all that was said.  Sadly, getting to London is not an easy task so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go but, luckily, it was offered that I could film Charlotte and I, then send it into them.

    However, when I told Michael about the event, he purchased train tickets for me to go as he knows how passionate I am about NHM.  [Charlotte is going to film a separate bit to be added.]

    Natural History MuseumSo on July 20h, I arrived in London in time to meet with the other Tweeters who responded to the Museum’s quest for volunteers.  We were given a bit more information – but not much.  On arrival, we were taken to the gorgeous CentralHall, where a camera crew were set up near Dippy the Diplodocus (@NHM_Dippy).  We were asked to make a sign (which I spent *way* too much time on creating..) then each of us were filmed saying why we loved Dippy and our memories of the museum.  I babbled on and actually had to say it all again as my enthusiasm was a bit hurried for them.  If allowed, I probably could have spoken for an hour on my love of the museum.  I did mention something about wanting to marry it if allowed.

                          

    When we were done, I still had another hour or so to look around before the museum closed.  I immediately headed over to the Attenborough Studios and watched two very brilliant films.

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