@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.
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    February 16th, 2017mardixonCulture, International

    February 15th – the day after Valentine’s Day.  The perfect day to ask the public,  museums and culture venues internationally to share items they would like to see go into #Museum101 (like George Orwell’s 1984 book and Room 101).

    The idea came when I mentioned to Linda Spurdle I was trying to think of a hashtag that would acknowledge the current issues *cough politics cough* but didn’t create a platform that could be turned into something personal. #Museum101 was a perfect solution.

    With every CultureThemes, I try to keep the ‘this is what it is/mean’ statement to a minimum to allow people to make it what they want.

    Who knew that for over 8+ hours #museum101 would be trending?

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    July 21st, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    First, thank you to everyone who took part in #QueerMuseum on July 20th. It’s a topic that has been on my radar for a while and when asked to run it (by the lovely folks at @QueeringMuseum – follow them!) I felt now was the right time. Why? Well since starting CultureThemes, the world has progress in so many ways.

    My first time with a related exhibition was back in 2011 at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery with Matt Smith’s QueerMuseum exhibition. I admit, I didn’t know what it was about at first, I just remember Lucifer in green carnations and the WOW factor it had. Then I found out more and was so impressed with how Matt put on a Queer exhibition by selecting items in the collection that have always been on display.

    Last month was Gay Pride so July seemed the perfect time to run #QueerMuseum. Leeds had just ran a LGBT exhibition, BMAG has been a supporter and other museums had run LGBT exhibitions in the past so knew there’d be content.

    As always, I tried to leave interpretation to the sharer:

    Pride 2016 saw many museums take place (especially in London where the Museums Association (MA) team joined a host of other museum, archive and heritage professions to march at the London Pride parade)

    The idea, as ever, is open.

    • Have you had a LGBTQ+ exhibition or talk?
    • Do you feel there is something in your collection you feel could be #QueerMuseum related?
    • Are you part of a group is part of LGBTQ+ that wants to do more with museums and art galleries?
    • Or maybe you take Matt Smith’s approach and find ideas in a collection and explain why it looks like it could be in a #QueerMuseum exhibition.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 18th, 2016mardixonCulture, International

    Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 14.28.33[EDIT TO UPDATE FOR 2016]

    This post has been re-purposed from another one created in 2014

    #MuseumSelfie day is on January 20, 2015
    Twitter: @MuseumsSelfie Day
    Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay
    Hashtag #MuseumSelfie
    See CultureThemes write up: It’s back! #MuseumSelfie Day on January 20th @MuseumSelfieDay official account

     Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.  

    On January 20, CultureThemes is running #Museumselfie.  I’ve been asked what it is all about so thought I’d explain the background a bit (borrowed from previous post in 2014/15):

    I’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it!  I take after my mom who is never without a camera (remember Kodak Disc?  I do.).  When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing.  While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.

    CultureThemes is a monthly hashtag I help create on Twitter. The idea behind CultureThemes is to have a positive event once a month on Twitter to highlight the fun and ‘unstuffiness’ of museums/culture.  Previous tags included: #WhyILoveMuseums, #MusSocks, #MusMovember, #AskACurator day and more.  We’re also behind @52Museums which you should check out if you haven’t heard about it.

    The idea is simple, people around the world have been asked to take selfies at museums for the past month and they will share on Twitter/Instagram using #MuseumSelfie on January 20th.  The pictures could be current or from previous trips. Tag the museum if you remember!

    So if you’re visiting a museum this weekend, make sure you take a #MuseumSelfie and share with @CultureThemes this Wednesday!

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    November 16th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    #LoveTheatre (1)#LoveTheatre Day is this Wednesday, November 19th.  While many know of my advocacy work with museums, art galleries and tech, this one theme has confused people as I never speak about theatres.

    It was right after AskACurator Day in September when I was chatting with Matt Caines from Guardian Cultural Professional Network. He mentioned theatres were going to be going through a rough patch.  I immediately said ‘What can we (CultureThemes) do to help?’  I suggested I could run a #LoveTheatre Day to give people a chance to talk about their love of theatre.  Matt said he was willing to support it.  Great!

    IMG_6588Next up was to convince TwitterUK to support the initiative.  I worked with them on the incredibly popular #MuseumWeek initiative so thought they would be up for it.  Not only were they very supportive, they even offer to help with running a webinar for theatres that might not be used to Twitter as a platform.

    The three of us met up and worked out how to go about making the day painless for the theatres while exciting for the public.

    Now it might seem unlikely that someone who hasn’t been to many productions would be involved in this initiative but to me theatres and museums/galleries are very similar. Both have the stigmatism  (right or wrong) of only being for ‘certain people’.  I’m just going to use the word elitism and get it over with.  It’s not right, but that is how the general public sees it and you really can’t tell everyone they’re wrong.

    _DSC0240You can, however, prove that there is a spark in everyone for theatre (or museums) but giving them a platform to share their memory or something they saw/did while at a production or even better, involved in one.

    Taking this concept, Matt, TwitterUK and I devised a day-long program that we hope will allow everyone at some point to get involved.

    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.

    During the day, we have 3 sub-hashtags:

    #BackStage (10am-12pm) will offer audiences and other arts professionals a glimpse into how a production comes together in the weeks and months leading up to the big night.

    • #AskATheatre (3-5pm) will offer a unique opportunity for theatre aficionados and aspiring actors to hear first-hand from the individuals and groups that make the magic happen.

    • #Showtime (7-10pm) will give those who can’t make it to a theatre the chance to sit in the “virtual stalls” to experience the a performance, or several, via Twitter.

    The most important message for me is, like museums, theatres do SO much within their community that goes un-noticed.  With further cuts looming, lets highlight all the brilliant work that is done outside of the 2 hours show.  Theatres worldwide work with kids, teens, adults and older generation. The community outreach is amazing. I personally know that Wolverhampton Grand Theatre works with Wolverhampton College creative arts department – not just with performing art students but with music, sound and lighting technicians.  They offer £5 tickets to students. They run workshop for others who want to get involved with drama but can’t commit to a full production.

    This has turned into an international event with theatres in Prague, US, Canada, Chile and more signing up. Just proves how many worldwide #LoveTheatre!  See full list here

    Let’s make November 19th #LoveTheatre a Day for everyone to remember! 

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    January 26th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    Wow – what an amazing day #MuseumSelfie was! 

    ctI’ve been running @culturethemes now for almost 3 years (we’re 3 in March).  [A little background on CultureThemes: it was started when there were massive cuts to funding which caused a lot of negativity on social media.  This was not helping the sector at all.]  The first CultureTheme was #WhyILoveMuseums and went world trending.

    Why?  Because people love museums!  What they don’t like is listening to moaning about funds/money.  Who does? Read the rest of this entry »

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    January 17th, 2014mardixonCulture, International

    [EDIT TO UPDATE FOR 2015]

    This post has been getting more hits so just to clarify:

    #MuseumSelfie day is on January 21, 2015
    Twitter: @MuseumsSelfie Day
    Instagram: MuseumSelfieDay
    Hashtag #MuseumSelfie
    See CultureThemes write up: It’s back! #MuseumSelfie Day on January 21st @MuseumSelfieDay official account

     Objective:  A day to share selfies either in museums or around museums.  These can be on the day or ones from previous visits.  This is a FUN DAY to encourage people to visit museums and participate a bit with art or collections.  

    Back to Write up from 2014

    A little break from Google Explorer updates 🙂

    On January 22, CultureThemes is running #Museumselfie.  I’ve been asked what it is all about so thought I’d explain the background a bit.

    discI’m a Cultural Snatcher – I can’t help it!  I take after my mom who is never without a camera (remember Kodak Disc?  I do.).  When I visit and explore a museum, I love sharing what I’m seeing.  While I’m not a huge fan of taking pictures of myself, I can see why people like a good old selfie.

    CultureThemes is a monthly hashtag I help organize on Twitter (we’ll be 3 in March). The idea behind CultureThemes is to have a positive event once a month on Twitter to highlight the fun and ‘unstuffiness’ of museums/culture.  Previous tags included: #WhyILoveMuseums, #MusSocks, #MusMovember, and support #AskACurator day.
    museumselfie
    When I was coming up with new ideas for January, I happened to catch a conversation on Twitter with Adrian from Horniman talking about creating a Pinterest for Selfies with the Walrus.  Horniman has a lovely, but not-the-best-taxidermy Walrus which people love to see on a visit.  The idea of the Pinterest board reminded me how many people I see in my own travels taking selfies at museums and art galleries.

    Suddenly, #MuseumSelfie was created. 

    The idea is simple, people around the world have been asked to take selfies at museums for the past month and they will share on Twitter using #MuseumSelfie on January 22nd.  The pictures could be current or from previous trips.

    We’ve museums in Catalan, Russia, South Africa, America, UK, France and more who pledged to take part.

    So if you’re visiting a museum this weekend, make sure you take a #MuseumSelfie and share with @CultureThemes this Wednesday!

     

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    August 30th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    I wrote this for  CultureThemes.com

    A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our August theme #CultureAccess.  The theme was related (loosely) to the London 2012 Paralympics and our acknowledgement of the tremendous progress that has been made over the years (admittedly still a way to go).

    One thing we didn’t want was for this to be a topic to point fingers and/or embarrass cultural venues that aren’t provided access to everyone and I’m pleased to say we didn’t have to worry!  Museums and art galleries are doing their best to recognize issues and make adaptable changes where (and when) they can (finances being a huge hurdle still).

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    April 6th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    The following was originally posted on CultureThemes.com:

    Yesterday, we celebrated our First Anniversary of CultureThemes with a re-visit to our first tag #WhyILoveMuseums.  To say it was a success would be an understatement.  To say we’re proud of our first year would also be an understatement.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 8th, 2011mardixonCulture

    Anyone who has read my website knows how passionate I am about  Wolverhampton Art Gallery (see examples here and here) so having an opportunity to interview the curators was a real treat for me.  Wolverhampton has the second biggest pop collection outside of London but also embraces local and social history in addition to Georgian and Victorian art.  It’s a delicate balance to combine all of these under one roof but they have never disappointed.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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  • I posted this over at www.culturethemes.com but wanted to put it here also.  

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    June 16th, 2011mardixonCulture

    #MuseumNext Blog

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