It’s something we’re all too used to – funding cuts & threats in the culture sector. Whether it’s museums, libraries, art galleries or theatres (and everything in between), culture seems to have been the easy hit for most of the people with the purse strings.
It’s been happening globally for more years than necessary and recently the new American administration has threaten NEA, PBS and other vital funding streams many of the museums and art galleries in the states rely on to survive. [NB See #ThankyouIMLS #StandUpForMuseums #SaveTheNEA #SaveTheNEH and #ThankyouNEH]
As many may or may not know @CultureThemes was created purely out of the funding cuts that happened in the UK. While it was great for many museums (and social media managers) to discuss what this meant, it was vital that the conversations were open for all (eg young people and other ‘groups’ that are hard to reach, etc). The first hashtag with CultureThemes was ‘WhyILoveMuseums’ and went world trending – why? Because people do love museums and art galleries but we need to ASK THEM every once in awhile WHY. This goes for staff also!
Recently I decided to do the same thing in a subtle way. (Any sadly the day I asked it my phone broke so apologies for the delay in getting this shared).
For the Twitter & Instagram responses I was able to do a Storify which you can find at the bottom of this article or link is here. For those that prefer infographics, there’s a free site for that …The over-arching ideas is for museums to share stories from past, present and the future. Being there for the next generation to learn from is also highlighted.Tags: funding cuts, International, museums, social media, what are museums for
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?Tags: #fun, #museum101, CultureThemes, hashtag, museums, trending
My concern is we are going to dilute the message and overwhelm the same people we want to support. We also have to remember that not everyone wants to campaign and just want to escape to visit to see art, parks, museums etc.
Being international I’m also fully aware that not everyone can (or should) get involved in some of these campaigns – either it just doesn’t make sense politically or with their collection.
So while my personal account will support many, I am not sure I feel comfortable using Culturetheme, MuseumSelfieDay or AskACurator for all these events. I hope I don’t sound old and cranky! I’m just trying to respect the diversity of followers that have come to follow for fun, weirdness and escape the norm of how culture is perceived. Hope that makes sense.
And don’t forget #Museum101 is Feb 15 🙂 a bit of fun for people to say what they’d add to their ‘Room 101’
For more information, this is from CultureThemes:
For February, we’re shifting gears just a bit for #Museum101 theme on February 15th. What is #Museum101? Well if you ever heard of George Orwell’s book 1984 he talks about Room 101 where you can put things you fear or don’t like/understand in the room (ok it’s more about torture but we’re not getting into that for our theme).
Lets remember that CultureThemes exists to highlight and spotlight the need for culture in our society, internationally.
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.Tags: cake, Culture, museumcamp, museums, unconference
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:
Tags: #3dprinting, art, fine art, musetech, museums, tech, Tilt Brush, virtual reality
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.
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 FeedbackTags: #52Museums, #musesocial, feedback, Instagram, museums, project, social media, survey, Theatre, twitter
— Mar Dixon 🍰 (@MarDixon) January 1, 2017
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: Culture, museums, social media
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!
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? HmmmmmTags: Government, issues, management, Museum, museums, problems, staff, workers
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.
Date Museum Name Country Museum Name Country Jan 2-8 Crow Collection of Asian Art USA @crowcollection Jan 9-15 V&A Museum of Childhood UK museumchildhood Pretend City Children's Museum USA @pretendcity Jan 16-22 Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canada Cansportshall Jan 23-29 Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium Belgium fineartsbelgium Vejen Art Museum Denmark Vejenkunstmuseum Jan 30-Feb 5 Des Moines Art Center USA @desmoinesartcenter Feb 6-12 transmediale Germany @transmediale Feb 13-19 Westminster Abbey London UK @westminsterabbeylondon Feb 20-26 MAK Vienna Austria mak_vienna Clark Art Institute USA clarkart Feb 27-Mar 5 Kalamazoo Valley Museum USA kalamazoomuseum Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) USA @molaaart Mar 6-Mar 12 Museum at FIT USA museumatfit Mar13-19 Women in Arts USA womeninthearts Mar 20-26 National Museum of American Jewish History USA @AmericanJewishMuseum Holcaust Museum Houston USA @HMHou Mar 27-Apr 2 Bendigo Art Gallery Australia bendigoartgallery Migration Museum Australia migration_museum Apr 3-9 Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum Singapore @lkcnhm Apr 10-16 The National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) Netherlands hetscheepvaartmuseum submarine force libary & museum USA nautilusships_store Apr 17-23 Casa Batlló Barcelona casabatllo Musei di Fermo (Art + archaeology) Italy @museifermo Apr 24-30 The Postal Museum UK thepostalmuseum Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum USA @cspioneersmuseum May 1-7 Newark Museum USA newarkmuseum McMaster Museum of Art Canada macmuseum May 8-14 Skagens Museum Denmark skagensmuseum Anchers Hus Denmark anchershus May 15-21 Science Museum UK sciencemuseum May 22-28 JFK Presidential Library & Museum (this is the week leading up to the JFK Centennial) USA Jfklibrary George Eastman Museum USA EastmanMuseum May 29-Jun4 The Davis Museum at Wellesley College USA @thedavismuseum Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum @ WUStL USA kemperartmuseum Jun 5-11 National Gallery of Canada Canada @ngc_mbac Jun 12-18 Museum Tinguely Basel Switzerland museumtinguely Jun 19-25 Museu de Arte Sacra de São Paulo Brasil @museuartesacra Jun 26-Jul 2 The Foundling Museum UK foundlingmuseum Jul 3-9 James A. Michener Art Museum USA @MichenerArt Glanmore National Historic Site USA @GlanmoreNHS Jul 10-16 The Heckscher Museum of Art USA @heckschermuseum DordtYart-contemporary art Netherlands DordtYart Jul 17-23 Pera Museum Turkey @peramuzesi Denver Art Museum USA @denverartmuseum Jul 24-30 Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow MOCAK Poland @mocak_krakow Jul 31 - Aug 6 The Rockwell Museum, A Smithsonian Affiliate USA RockwellMuseum Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery UK birmingham_mag Aug 7-13 Chilliwack Museum and Archives Canada @chwkmuseum The Buffalo History Museum USA @buffalohistorymuseum Aug 14-20 Thomas Jefferson's Monticello USA @TJMonticello Dumbarton House USA @DumbartonHouse Aug 21-27 Sharjah Museums Department United Arab Emirates @sharjahmuseums Aug 28-Sep 3 Atlanta History Center USA @AtlantaHistoryCenter Sep 4-10 The Museum of The Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot, Israel beithatfutsot Sep 11-17 The National Gallery UK @national_gallery Sep 18-24 Pasadena Museum of California Art USA pmcaonline Craft & Folk Art Museum USA @cafam Sep 25-Oct 1 Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona (Catalonia) (contact with Cristina: firstname.lastname@example.org) Catalona museuciencies Chicago Academy of Sciences / Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum USA @naturemuseum Oct 2-8 Cantor Arts Center USA @cantorarts Oct 9-15 Museion Bozen/Bolzano Italy museion_bz Freer|Sackler, Smithsonian's museum of Asian art (reopening on October 14) USA freersackler Oct 16-22 Houston Center for Contemporary Craft USA @CraftHouston United by Hand (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/unitedbyhand/) and Future Tradition (https://www.crafthouston.org/exhibition/melissacody/) USA Oct 23-29 National Museum of Civil War Medicine USA @civilwarmed Clara Barton Missing Soliders Office USA Oct 30 -Nov 5 Museo Jumex Mexico MuseoJumex CONTEMPORARY ART Nov 6-12 National Museum of the Marine Corps USA USMCMuseum The 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 13-19 Gatchina Palace and Estate Museum
(or Getty Museum USA)
Russia gatchinapalace_museum Nov 20-26 Jewish Museum Frankfurt Germany juedischesmuseumffm POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews Poland @polinmuseum Nov 27-Dec 3 Craigleith Heritage Depot Canada @craigleithdepot Oshawa Museum Canada @oshawamuseum Dec 4-10 The Corning Museum of Glass USA corningmuseum Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art USA @hfjmuseum Dec 11-17 Waterloo Region Museum Canada @WRegionMuseum Colchester Museums UK @colchestermuseums Dec 18-24 Staatliches Museum Ägyptischer Kunst Germany smaek_muc Dec 25-31 National Puppetry Archive UK
Tags: #52Museums, International, museums
Since 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).