@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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    August 18th, 2012mardixonCulture

    What is the first thing that pops into your head when you think of the Tower of London?

    • Anne Boleyn?
    • Blood?
    • Ravens?
    • Crown Jewels?

    You’re right, of course, but it’s so much more than that.  Its traditions and value to the UK history are something that the Yeoman Warder (aka Beefeaters) manage to maintain to this day.

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    July 6th, 2012mardixonCulture

    I recently had the honor of attending Our Londinium 2012, The Roman London gallery at Museum of London.  Londinium is a project that was born in 2010 via national Stories of the World programme, the museum sector strand of the Cultural Olympiad.  While the project was spring-boarded by Cultural Olympiad, it seems to me the project is not going to go away anytime soon.

    The Junction (Museum of London’s Youth Panel) has created an exhibition that if I wasn’t told otherwise, I would have struggled to see the lines of curator versa Youth panel. The displays were set in a traditional way.  At a glance you didn’t really see any significant indication of the Junction’s involvement.  My first indication was the green labels next to the white labels. Read the rest of this entry »

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    June 25th, 2012mardixonCulture

    Did you know that Westminster Hall is open to the public and you can even take tours of the historical building?  This surprised me as I always assumed it was visit by appointment only.  However, recently I heard about UK Arts in Parliament and wanted to know more about it.  You do have to go through security to get into Westminster Hall but it was pretty quick and painless (and the security is very friendly).

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    October 22nd, 2011mardixonCulture

    On Thursday, 20th of October I traveled to London for a packed Cultural-filled day which started at the Natural History Museum, moved to V&A, British Museum, Convent Garden and finally Royal Society of Artists.

    The day started with meeting Laura Porter, London Travel Guide (@AboutLondon) and very good friend who I was taking as a guest to the Natural History Museums Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year preview event. Simon Quicke (@Insidebooks) met us at the event.

    The exhibition is the top selection of International wildlife photographers from amateurs to professional.  The preview gave us an opportunity to see all the fabulous photographs before it opened to the public, and also discuss the works with some of the photographers.

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    August 29th, 2011mardixonCulture

    Anyone who knows me, knows my passion and love for the Natural History Museum.  Through the power of social media, I’ve been able to build my relationship with the internationally renowned museum.

    I had arranged to interview Ian as Charlotte and I were in London to attend our first proms together.  Ian was kind enough to make time with short notice.

    How long have you been Manager?
    Five years, but been at the museum for 14 years

    What is your biggest achievement?
    It may seem strange, but putting the accessibility toilets and baby changing facility in (located by Exhibition Road).  It was 2004 and the Disability was passed and although we met the guidelines, I wanted to do more.

    What is your proudest moment?
    The Launch of the Darwin Centre in September 2005.  Seeing all the different elements of Natural History Museum come together – visitor services, tours, presenting, etc.

    What is the vision for the future?
    Our focus for the next 2-3 years is to increase visitor focus within our organization.

    How many visitors did you have last year?
    4.2 million and another 120,000 that visiting Tring.

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    July 2nd, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    On Friday, July 1st I had the honor of spending the day with director of the Pop Up Festival Dylan Calder.  With a sponsored train ticket from London Midlands, I was able to see three amazing authors as they inspired 3 different classes from 3 different schools at 3 different events in one day. 

    I originally heard about Pop Up Festival when we attended the Children’s Laureate announcement as they had two Pop Up Festival Ambassadors at the BookTrust event.   I was able to talk to them and their usher for the day and that is when I found out about this incredible literacy program which works with inner city schools over several months with the assistance of, well, a lot of people (authors, illustrators, publishers, volunteers, etc). 

    The premises is schools are invited to choose a book they would like their class(es) to work with.  The teacher is then provided with assistance/resources to help with getting the kids to really digest the book – this could be in form of workshops, creating design & technology lessons, etc.  The culmination is the children then being invited off site (really cool off-sites like the British Library or Foundling Museum) to meet the author and discuss what they learn and for the author to also learn what the kids learnt from their books.

    At the end there is a huge two-day event called Festival of stories that has so many amazing authors and activities that I would challenge anyone to not find at least one activity that didn’t amuse them!

    This Post is about my Day with Pop Up Festival (click Read More).

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