@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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    October 21st, 2012mardixonCulture, International
    Day two started at 8.30 with many have been here since doors opened at 8.  A slow start was not an option – creative juices were already flowing and needing the outlet that the good night’s rest clearly instigated.The morning (and majority of the day) saw all the times transforming their presentations with Playmobil into realistic objects. In other words, this is when things got serious.Throughout the day teams went from conceptual and theory to tangible and workable.  Not every project pushed boundaries, and that was ok!  What I liked is some teams knew when less was more – a value we often forget in today’s fast pace, hyper-technological world.  Could some teams reached higher?  Possibly but they are dealing with time constraints – another factor that is known but not appreciated until day 2.There are 10 teams, each working with a mixture of diverse personality and knowledge.  Day One was all about collaboration and agreeing on a project.  This included coming to a decision on which of the 10 issues identified by the museum and museomixers to choose from. Cross-over is allowed, in other words, 2 teams can work on the same project. Read the rest of this entry »
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    October 20th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    The conference started off with the usual sign-in procedure.  However, the badges were made via laser cut printers which are part of FabLab… what is Fablab?  They are part of the Resource team…. Yep, this is Museomix – and the ethos gets thrown at your straight away.

    The concept is simple:  Provide a venue that needs a good shake up in it’s collection/exhibition and way of thinking, invite museum people from around the country to apply to volunteer for 3 (long) days to create a better space, better way of thinking and better visitor experience. Chuck in some cutting edge technology (not that expensive), a few specific issues (via the Museum itself), a blank canvas and Playmobil.

    Ok, perhaps it’s not that simple – it is very much under the same umbrella as an Unconference but on a much grander scale.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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    October 14th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    This week, I’ll be heading to Lyon, France to take part in a revolutionary approach to collaborative thinking.

    Museomix is a 3 day event which brings diverse participants from all over France together to brainstorm on new thinking.  What would happen if you were provided a blank canvas to create a new visitor experience?

    Museomix allows free thinking without restrictions. 

    Participants will be put into various teams: thinkers, creators, testers – a true visionary process with no rigid outcome to aim for (the teams will set their own goals which I’m sure will be higher than anything anyone could set prior to starting). Each team will have a mixture of makers, developers, designers, museum people –producing a true Dream Team of creative thinkers.

    I first heard of Museomix last year when I caught a few Tweets from Claire Seguret  from Musee de Cluny who was taking part.  I tried my best to follow along with my limited (ok, non-existent!) French as it sounded like an amazing event.

    Fast forward to MuseumNext 2012 in Barcelona where I was able to hear Samuel Bausson from Museum de Toulouse share Museomix: remix your museum.  Samuel talked about how Museomix 2011 was about this euphoric museum – where visitors are at the front of the design, not an after-thought.

    I knew I wanted to learn more about Museomix. 

    I am very fortunate to have a place at Museomix 2012 where I’ll be sharing my findings via social media (Twitter via #museomix, Facebook and blogging on Museomix Tumblr.  I’ll be translating the participant’s adventures over the three days – along with sharing my own thoughts on my site.   Hopefully, I will be the eyes for those that can’t be there.  Please feel free to contact me if I’m clarification is needed.  I remember what it was like last year to follow along not knowing what it was about but knowing it was something exciting.

    MuseoMix is taking place at Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon.  For those in France, there will be a chance for professionals and students to come to see the progress (please see website for more information).

    Looking forward to taking you on this amazing journey with me!

     

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    October 8th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    **Click here for Survey**

    Last August 2011, I ran a simple survey called Does Social media work for Cultural Sector. At the time, I had no idea that Cultural 24 was working on their large scale research Let’s Get Real. Nor did I know what difference it was going to make (if any).

    The results were intriguing and I mentioned I might run it again in a year.  Fast forward a year and a kind reminder by Ann that it was again time for the survey.

    RT @ann_les: @MarDixon, hi! Have you carried out the same survey (http://www.mardixon.com/wordpress/2011/08/does-social-media-work-for-cultural-sector-survey/) this year?

    Although I recognize that much has changed in the past year, I decided to leave all the questions the same as 2011.  I *really* want to ask more prying questions but realize that would skew results if we are to honestly compare the data from 2011 to 2012.

    Like last year, it shouldn’t take much time to answer the questions and I’ll share all the results. There are 8 questions from 2011 with the option to add a comment in this years survey.

    Please share this survey with everyone.

    Does Social Media Work for the Cultural Sector 2012

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    September 27th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Teenagers are a hard to label group, although many have tried: Millennials, Generation We, Global Generation, the Millennial Generation, and Generation Next.  Regardless of the title we or anyone else give them, the fact is they are currently a stealth group in the cultural world — but this, happily, is changing.

    Internationally, Teens in Museums and Culture are slowly getting the respect, time and resources needed to help build programs that they want, rather than programs that we think they want or that tick boxes. This is due to an influx of dedicated personnel who are inviting teens in to museums, taking the time to listen, and providing them the space and opportunity to let them create their own programs, to be involved in new exhibitions, and to have an impact on institutions and culture in their communities.

    Donnie gives a presentation on Robert Gober’s “Untitled.” He created a painting and poem in response to the work. Photo by Jessica Janzer (MAM)

    At the very least, every program should provide a platform for teens to share their thoughts, ideas, and passions.  If resources allow, progressive programs should assist the teens in providing them a channel to convert the ideas into a reality. For example, let them take over an area in the museum or gallery and listen to where they want the placement of artefacts. Or allow them to change the labels to be teen friendlier (and in ‘Plain English’). Share their voices with those of senior staff members and vice versa.

    Many of us know of, or have at least heard of, programs like this.  The real challenge is sustainability.  How can we ensure the ‘Millennial Generation’ are allowed to forge their mark in the cultural world in a way that is both meaningful and realistic but also provides value to museums and galleries, as well as their visitors?

    This challenge is different for each venue.

    Excellent examples in the United States include Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum Teen Summit, and the Smithsonian EdLab; here within the UK, the Museum of London’s Youth Panel and Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Art Forum each provide a dedicated platform for teens to work with the venue on a long-term bases, and most importantly with purpose.

    Purpose, we feel, is key.

    Being a teenager is difficult; you’re finding your feet. You’re not a child anymore, but you’re not quite an adult. You don’t want to be patronised, but you still need guidance while you establish yourself and gain confidence. So purpose and value is crucial. If what you are doing has a result and will change, enhance, or enrich yourself, the cultural institution, and/or the local, national, or global community, then it has purpose. It’s not an easy balance to achieve but it can be done, and we’ve seen it being done well.

    With all this in mind, we felt an International Teens in Museum Decree/Manifesto was required.

    1. Listen to what Teens are saying. Answer their questions, question them, and work together to find answers and solutions.
    2. Engage with Teens; don’t patronize them.
    3. Provide achievable challenges which can created sustainable solutions.
    4. Promote learning as a challenge for Teens to solve.
    5. Create an environment where Teens can explore digital media where appropriate.
    6. Bring teens into projects from the start, not as an after thought.
    7. Provide adequate space and time for challenges to be achieved.
    8. Be flexible.  Many teens can’t commit to meeting same time every week.
    9. Don’t make assumptions. (For example, not all Teens have Facebook or iPhones.)
    10. Let teens actively build your institution’s assets.

    What are your thoughts? Are you working with teens?  If so, we’d love to hear from you!  

    Please note: a website and Twitter account are coming soon so watch this space! 

     

    Teens in Museums is a coalition with Mar Dixon, Milwaukee Art Museum, Museum Teen Summit, and the Smithsonian EdLab. If you would like your venue to get involved, please email. 

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    September 21st, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    These are trends captured along the way.  If anyone has any other data we can add, please let me know.

    I’ve managed to capture over 12K tweets from 8am-11:30pm UK Time (closer to 13K as I missed some).

    Trends

    08:00 @erikajoy fabulous Pinterest created from asking  What makes object/artwork in your collection makes you laugh?  already popular. Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 6th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    This Guest Blog from Claire, Musee de Cluny @museecluny, explains the benefits for Museums who are still on the fence about taking part in in Ask A Curator.

    Still hesitating? Asking yourselves why and how? As a community manager, a head of the educational team, or simply as the member of an (obviously) great museum’s staff, there are plenty of reasons to take part in Ask a Curator on September 19th.

    Claire Séguret, deputy manager of the Communication Department at Musée de Cluny (French national museum of Middle Ages), is giving you three.

    Read the rest of this entry »

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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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    June 10th, 2012mardixonCulture, International

    Barcelona has a rich cultural scene that I only managed to visit for a few days while in Spain for MuseumNext 2012. While I also did a walking tour and realize there are many non-museum cultural aspects of Barcelona, I limited this post the museums visited.

    Museu Olimpic de l’esport

    The first museum I went to was the Museu Olimpic de l’esport – The Olympic museum as it seemed appropriate with London 2012 and because I’m on the Wenlock Olympian Society. I must admit when I first went in, I was a bit disappointed.  There was a large room with standard museum type walls with lots of information (in 4 languages which was nice to see).  However, when I thought I was going to exit, I found there was so much more to explore – several floors worth!  The Museum is designed to walk down a ramp with the center showing video of sporting highlights – in other words, they used all space without it being too in your face. Read the rest of this entry »

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    September 28th, 2011mardixonCulture, International, Literacy

    During the last few weeks, I’ve noticed peaks and troughs with the diverse industries I follow.   I contemplated how I could capture this data and felt the best way was to track Twitter for 12 hours over one day.

    I started tracking at 8:00 am on September 27th 2011.  My account (@MarDixon) currently stands:

    3,156 followers
    1,887 Following

    The key industries I follow could be broken into the following main sectors.  Other sectors are mentioned through the report.

    Literacy:  This includes publishers, writers/authors, marketing, eBook
    Museums: Including Art Galleries, Heritage Venues, people working within the industries.
    American Museums: As above
    Science: Groups or persons who promote the science industry
    Personal tweets: Tweets, while not exclusive of the above personnel, were clearly on a non-professional basis.
    Other: Tweets that didn’t fit into the main categories

    There were some obvious times to tweet and not tweet and it seems different industries have slotted themselves into times that work best for them.  I seen minimal clashes of tweets vying for audiences attention.   This was interesting as it pinpoints times throughout the day where tweeting is more effective for certain industries.

    This data is raw and obviously not scientific.  The notes were taken as and when I saw trends shifting and are only estimates.

    Click chart:

    I also tried to take notes along the way to help gauge where trends where leading.  Please see them here

     

     

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