Tag Archives: Behind the Scenes

Press Release: Museums at Night 2014 kicks off major new BBC Arts strand

Museums at Night logo

Culture24 are proud to announce that Museums at Night, the UK’S annual night-time festival of arts, heritage and culture, is to be the opening subject of the new topical arts strand, BBC ARTS at…

Coverage of the Museums at Night festival, which takes place over the weekend of Thursday May 15 – Saturday May 17, 2014, will be broadcast from museums and galleries across England, Wales, and Scotland with BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz presenting an hour-long programme on BBC Two.

BBC Arts Online will host exclusive coverage including a live stream of key events featuring leading contemporary artists at venues across the country, along with highlights from the BBC archive. There will be coverage of the event on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show (BBC Radio 2) and The Verb (BBC Radio 3) as well as regional and local news across the BBC.

Launching in May, BBC ARTS at will give audiences a front row seat at cultural events across the year – exhibitions, performances, festivals – showcasing the energy and excitement of Britain’s vast cultural landscape when and where it happens. This ambitious new strand will, for the first time, bring TV, radio and online together under a single banner, BBC ARTS at…

Two boys writing on a whiteboard

Visitors at an installation by artist Alex Hartley, who will appear at Market Hall Museum in Warwick for Museums at Night 2014

Jane Finnis, CEO, Culture24 says, “On behalf of the hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage venues that take part in Museums at Night, Culture24 are absolutely delighted that the BBC are using this unique festival to launch its new topical arts strand. The coordinated cross-platform coverage will significantly raise the profile of the festival, giving millions of people the chance to get involved and highlighting the amazing work going on inside our arts and heritage institutions – above all emphasizing the importance of Museums at Night as the UK’s annual festival of culture.”

A group of people in a glowing room looking through telescopes

Visitors discovering the telescopes at Armagh Planetarium after hours (c) Armagh Planetarium

The Museums at Night festival offers the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way. Over three nights in May, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will open up late and putting on a dazzling array of special night-time events: from unique literary talks in castles to star gazing in historic houses; sleepovers in palaces to city-wide culture crawls; bands playing in amongst museum exhibits to science fiction life drawing in galleries.

Now in its sixth year, the Museums at Night festival ties in with the European initiative La Nuit des Musees. It is run by non-profit cultural publisher Culture24 and designed to attract new audiences into museums and galleries, via a whole range of exciting experiences and events.

Museums at Night is funded by Arts Council England.

For further information and images please contact: Pandora George, Bullet PR, pandora@bulletpr.co.uk or tel: 01273 775520 or 07729 469220

Get into BBC History Magazine’s Guide to Museums at Night: register your event by Friday 7 March

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who got in touch because you were away for half term: we’ve extended the deadline to register your events for our brochure until Friday 7 March.

The latest publicity opportunity: your event will appear in BBC History Magazine’s official printed Guide to Museums at Night if you register it by Friday 7 March.

This brochure is our main piece of printed publicity, and is distributed to all readers of BBC History Magazine, various Tourist Information Centres, all UK museums and galleries participating in the festival, and any other arts and heritage venues who volunteer to help with the distribution.

Take a sneak peek at our beautiful front cover for this year’s brochure, designed by artist Stuart Kolakovic:

A colourful design showing museum objects coming to life around a girl with a torch

Museums at Night 2014 brochure cover design by Stuart Kolakovic

Don’t miss out! If you’re already planning an after-hours event in your arts or heritage venue on Thursday 15, Friday 16, or Saturday 17 May 2014 you can simply register double-brand your event as part of the Museums at Night festival to take advantage of all the associated publicity.

Here’s how to register your Museums at Night 2014 event.

Guest Post: Meet Museums at Night Intern Rebecca Hone

A smiling girl in a red skirt standing in front of a painted wall.

Rebecca Hone outside Culture24 offices

Hello! I am Rebecca Hone and I am lucky enough to be the new Museums at Night 2014 festival intern.

My background includes studying History of Art at UEA within the walls of the fabulous Sainsbury Centre, as well as a mixture of experience from galleries and arts organisations. I have been working for the last 6 months as Assistant Curator at Mascalls Gallery, a gallery in the heart of Kent, which has been exhibiting a mixture 20th century and contemporary artists since it opened in 2006.

My first contact with working with Museums at Night was in 2013 while I was a Gallery Assistant at Jerwood Gallery who won the public vote for the Chapman Brothers do an evening event in this gallery by the sea.

Crowd of people looking at life size picture consequence drawing © Pete Jones

Museums at Night 2013 at Jerwood Gallery © Pete Jones

Life sized picture consequences were played through the gallery amidst wine, laughter and a flurry of creativity. The day after, children came into the gallery to tackle to same challenge of these grand sized picture consequences but this time with an injection of colour!

From here my enthusiasm for what Museums at Night do has blossomed and I am thrilled to now be part of a team that helps to shower the UK with such events.

My first few weeks have had me diving straight in and has been hugely varied already! Excitement fills the room every time ideas for events are shared around the office, planned or confirmed.

I look forward to speaking to many of you on the phone in due course and finding out what you are planning for this year’s Museums at Night Festival in May!

Even more authors available to talk at your Museums at Night event

It’s an exciting day here at C24 Towers: tickets have just gone on sale for three Museums at Night Public Service Broadcasting gigs at the RAF Museum in Hendon!

It’s also been great speaking to so many of you about your Museums at Night event plans – over 80 events have already been registered in our database, and we’re expecting many more before our next publicity deadline, Monday 24 February. Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how to register your Museums at Night events.

Still looking for something extra to bring to your museum, gallery or heritage site? How about an author?

We’ve added to our spreadsheet as we now have even more authors happy to waive their usual appearance fees to appear at Museums at Night events – including World War I specialists Judith Allnatt and Max Egremont, pub historian Pete Brown and detective novelist James Runcie.

A smiling man in a jacket

Pete Brown – a British writer and broadcaster who specialises in “making people thirsty”

We also have four authors from the School of Life who are available either to speak individually, or can appear as a group to deliver an hour-long event: Anne Karpf, Oliver James, Jack Fuller and Christopher Hamilton.

A woman sitting on a sofa and man in a red jumper

Anne Karpf, author of How to Age, and Oliver James, author of How to Develop Emotional Health

Download the updated list of authors available for Museums at Night events here.

If you’re interested in bringing any of these authors to your event, please give me a call on 01273 623336 or email rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Newsflash: the BBC will broadcast Museums at Night 2014

Culture24 is close to reaching an agreement with the BBC to broadcast coverage of the 2014 Museums at Night festival on national & local television, radio and online.

At this stage we are working with the BBC to plan the scope of the coverage, but it is likely that some festival events will be covered by the BBC for broadcast on BBC2 with others to be presented on a special new arts website. 

Vital info

We want to hear about every event that is being planned for Museums at Night but we need to know about it now! We are particularly looking for events that fulfil the following criteria:

  • Has a performance, artistic or creative element
  • Is  visually interesting and exciting for a TV audience
  • Will enable privileged access to parts of your venue or collection that are not normally open to the public
  • Demonstrates how you reach out to your local community and invite contributions and participation in new and exciting ways
  • Offers an example of how museums and galleries are responding to current issues the sector faces such as changing revenue models, reduced funding, the challenges of the connected world, and the drive to attract new audiences

Plus, do you have a fabulous and fascinating curator who would be engaging discussing their specialist subject on camera? We need to know!

a mother and daughter with a papercraft project

Family craft activities are always popular (c) Oxfordshire Museum

Please either register your Museums at Night event listing in our database ASAP (here’s how) or email Nick or Rosie with the following info:

  • Name of venue and location (town, city, village)
  • Event title
  • Description – no more than 100 words
  • When – Thursday 15th, Friday 16th or Saturday 17th May
  • Admission – free ticketed, free drop-in or pay-ticketed (if so how much)
  • Your target audience; adults, families etc
  • Tell us why it fits one or more of the 5 vital criteria above in no more than 100 words
  • Main contact details

Send your event details to Rosie Clarke, rosie@culture24.org.uk or Nick Stockman, nick@culture24.org.uk or ring 01273 623279/623336.

The sooner you get us this info the more likely it will be that the BBC can cover your event in some way.

Every year for six years, feedback from participating venues about Museums at Night has highlighted one thing – the need to raise the festival’s profile through national broadcast media. This is your opportunity to make this happen!

First marketing and PR deadline is 31 January

It’s an exciting time here at C24 Towers now that the Connect10 voting period has opened – the amazing outreach that participating venues are doing to reach new audiences is really paying off.

  • In 2012, over 20,000 votes were cast during 3 weeks.
  • In 2013, over 30,000 public votes were cast during 2 weeks.
  • So far this year, over 40,000 public votes have been cast – and the polls have only been open for 10 days!

If you want your voice to be heard in deciding where our ten artists will go to lead Museums at Night events, voting is open here until 5pm on Tuesday 28 January.

A crowd of women gather together

PR makes a massive difference in attracting audiences: a large crowd gathers for a Janette Parris performance (c) Janette Parris

Publicity for your venue

If you’re looking at the publicity and media coverage that the Connect10 venues are receiving, you may be wondering how you can maximise the amount of PR that you’ll get if you run a Museums at Night event.

Our first PR deadline to register your events by is Friday 31 January.

Not sure how to register? Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining how to check whether your venue is listed on Culture24′s database, and how to upload your Museums at Night event listing.

We’re planning our event, but we’re not ready to register final details yet!

Pandora George and the team at Bullet PR are keen to hear from museums and galleries about their plans for Museums at Night 2014. They’re sending out a press release to monthly media in early February, so are very keen to hear what you’re planning – even it it is just an outline – by 31st January for inclusion in the first general release.

Pandora says:

We are particularly interested in events that are quirky, fun and unexpected – the kind of things that don’t normally go on at your venue.

We also compile press releases according to themes, for example –  “the best Museums at Night events for music/garden/art lovers” – so again, if you have any suggestions, let us know.

Finally, are also always looking for really strong press images to accompany your event. The best images will be included in our image library.  Please email any suggestions or images to pandora@bulletpr.co.uk.

We look forward to working with you all and making Museums at Night 2014 the best festival yet!

VanGoYourself – recreate artworks with your friends for Museums at Night!

Today, Wednesday January 22nd, is Museum Selfie Day using the #MuseumSelfie hashtag on Twitter – so what better day to share the news of Culture24′s exciting new online participation idea? (Warning – this idea is really good fun!)

So what’s the idea?

‘VanGoYourself’ (working title) offers venues an opportunity to directly engage visitors with their paintings in playful ways.

Van Go Yourself logo

This responsive website, which is currently being developed, is aimed at museum and gallery visitors who are tired of just looking at paintings, and like the idea of getting inside them instead. Its inherent sociability, playfulness and photographic output also support the behaviour of a group of friends out for an evening together.

Via the website, people choose from a selection of paintings and pick one that they would like to recreate as a photograph with their friends.

They then upload and share their photograph, twinned with the original painting, for others to enjoy.

They can decide how ambitious they feel, then choose to recreate an easy, medium or hard painting from a selection of classics (including paintings from your collection).

The service will be free and simple to use, and will link up to existing digital channels that users already engage with such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.

How ‘VanGoYourself’ can be part of your Museums at Night event

Do you have one or more paintings featuring people (one person to larger groups is fine) that would be suitable for visitors to recreate – perhaps featuring a famous historical figure or a dramatic scene?

A group of people posed as if in a copy of a painting

A VanGoYourself recreation of Rembrandt’s Night Watch. Night Watch recreated by Kennisland and licensed under CC BY 2.0

You will need to choose paintings that are already digitised, and are outside of any copyright restrictions, so that they can be added to the ‘VanGoYourself’ responsive website and shared widely.

Is there space in your museum or gallery to set up a “recreation station”? This could involve a rack or box of costume pieces and props such as hats, plastic swords, capes or toys similar to those that appear in the artwork.

Ideally, groups of people who come through the gallery should be able to look at the original painting to copy their poses, while their photograph is taken.

It will also help if your venue offers wifi to visitors!

Interested?

‘VanGoYourself ’ is currently being developed by Culture24 as part of Europeana Creative, and will be ready in time for Museums at Night in May.

For more information, and to discuss how this opportunity might work in your venue, please contact Nick Stockman on 01273 623278.

Museums at Night 2014 internship – join the team!

In 2013, two interns supported the Museums at Night festival team: Holly Parsons and Amy Strike describe their experiences and what they learned. Nick and I are now looking for a new intern to join us for the 2014 festival.

A group of glamorous people standing by a display of ships' figureheads

Museums at Night interns, part of the Culture24 team at the launch of the 2013 festival (c) Aniko Boholy

Museums at Night 2014 internship

Culture24 is looking for a festival intern to join our small and friendly team at our busy Brighton office to support the delivery of the 2014 Museums at Night festival. We work across the arts and heritage sectors to collect, curate and share information about venues, events, exhibitions, resources and collections. There’s more information about Culture24 here: http://weareculture24.org.uk/about-us/

The festival

Museums at Night is the highly successful, annual, nationwide festival when museums, galleries, heritage sites, historic properties, libraries and archives throw open their doors after-hours and do something different to attract audiences. It explodes into life between Thursday 15th and Saturday 17th May 2014.

If you can contribute one day a week between February and June 2014 and have a real interest in expanding your experience in the cultural sector then this will be the post for you. You will work on an exciting and evolving cultural campaign, gaining insights into participation, audience development, PR and evaluation as you work alongside the project’s manager and coordinator.

We expect you to have a good working knowledge of PC based MS Outlook, Word and Excel and the confidence to work independently by email and on the telephone. We will support you with training and supervision, tailoring your time with us to achieve your aspirations and objectives as well as ours.

The successful candidate will significantly develop their office-based skills and widen their knowledge of working in the cultural sector. The experience of working in a coordinating organisation with an overview across the UK arts and heritage sector will help career development and introduce the intern to a wide range of new contacts.

This internship is designed for a person aiming to develop a career in the arts and heritage sector. We have a highly successful record in supporting previous interns in securing such positions following their internships.

This is an office-based position and does not involve working in a museum or gallery.

Download the Person Spec and Role Description (3 page PDF)

Salary: £57.40 / day. This is the Brighton Living Wage, as assessed by the Centre for Research in Social Policy at Loughborough University.

Hours: day per week
Contract: February – June 2014
Area: Brighton

To apply for this position, please email your CV and a covering letter telling us why you are the right person for this job (with reference to the Person Spec and Role Description) to rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Deadline for receipt of application and cover letter: 5pm, Friday 10 January

Applicants invited for interview will be advised by Thursday 16 January. Interviews will be held at the Culture24 office in Brighton during the week commencing  Monday 20 January.

Rosie Clarke
Campaigns Officer, Museums at Night
Direct Line: 01273 623336

http://www.weareculture24.org.uk
http://www.museumsatnight.org.uk
http://museumsatnight.wordpress.com

For more background information, Museums at Night 2012 intern Beth Hogben discussed the key challenges, highlights and learning opportunities from her time at Culture24 in this video:

Bring Modern Toss or their Cistern Chapel exhibition to your Museums at Night event

This is a very unusual offer of an artist-led Museums at Night event and / or an exhibition for your venue’s toilets! Three venues can host the exhibition, and one can host the event.

This isn’t right for every organisation, but if you think this could be just the thing to attract a different audience to your venue, please contact Nick Stockman: nick@culture24.org.uk or 01273 623279.

MODERN TOSS – THE CISTERN CHAPEL – CHAMBER WORKS

For the first time ever satirical artists Modern Toss (Jon Link and Mick Bunnage) will take their prints on a gallery-tour outside of London to celebrate a decade of their work. This exhibition can be hung at a venue without the other elements of the evening.

The exhibition will reflect the manner in which these works have been displayed in people’s homes up and down the country and will primarily focus on the special relationship between the work, and the room which they traditionally inhabit.

The Cistern Chapel will feature a bespoke selection of classic Modern Toss pieces displayed in the public toilets of three arts or heritage venues, allowing the viewer the opportunity to experience the work in a space appropriate context, whilst hopefully leaving enough elbow room for a pee, if you need one.

To celebrate a decade of their ground-breaking satirical artwork Modern Toss present for one night only:

The Modern Toss Late Night Activity Centre 

Modern Toss has created an event made up of five different elements, including the Cistern Chapel Chamber Works show.

1) The F***YEUX 2 Tapestry – A live drawing event

people creating a large drawing

Modern Toss and gallery visitors creating the first F***YEUX Tapestry (c) Modern Toss

Join Jon and Mick as they try to break their previous world record for the longest single panel cartoon with the F-word in it. This multi-participant drawing event will take place on during Museums at Night 2014; just turn up, we’ll supply the pen. Afterwards see your work immortalised in the commemorative online scrolling tapestry, and in book form.

2) The Living Cartoon

A man in a stage set

Visitor posing a a Living Cartoon (c) Modern Toss

The living cartoon is a unique opportunity to experience what it feels like to be a character in a Modern Toss cartoon.

3) The Modern Toss Portrait Booth

a reworked photo booth

Enter the Portrait Booth (c) Modern Toss

Get your portrait drawn by either Jon or Mick as you sit in their specially constructed Portrait Booth.

4) The Periodic Table Of Swearing

Come and witness the amazing Interactive Periodic Table of Swearing: press a button and it swears back at you. Get a right earful off this state-of-the-art technological miracle.

A desk with lots of buttons

The Periodic Table of Swearing (c) Modern Toss

Interested? Your next step:

Download this information as a 2 page PDF to discuss with your team.

This won’t be appropriate for every arts or heritage organisation, but if you think Modern Toss’s offer of an exhibition in your toilets, or an exclusive pop-up Museums at Night event could be just the thing to attract a different audience to your venue, please contact Nick Stockman on nick@culture24.org.uk or 01273 623279.

1 week extension: Apply for Connect10 artist Spencer Tunick by Friday 29 November

We’re nothing if not flexible at Museums at Night HQ, and in the run-up to the Connect10 competition we’ve had some really interesting conversations with organisations who are interested in applying for photographer Spencer Tunick but need more time to do location scouting and plan their bid.

So, we’ve extended the deadline to apply for Spencer Tunick to be your Connect10 artist until 11am on Friday 29 November.

To apply to host Spencer Tunick, simply fill in this form.

Spencer Tunick

Spencer Tunick stages scenes in which the battle of nature against culture is played out against various backdrops, from civic center to desert sandstorm, man and woman are returned to a preindustrial, pre-everything state of existence.  Tunick has traveled the globe to create these still and video images of multiple nude figures in public settings. Organizing groups from a handful of participants to tens of thousands, all volunteers, is often logistically daunting; the subsequent images transcend ordinary categories and meld sculpture and performance in a new genre.

A group of nude bodies lying in an urban landscape

Installation (c) Spencer Tunick

Given the constant threat of arrest (which has happened several times in his career) Spencer has not undertaken a group installation on the streets of New York in over ten years. In order to make his work without the threat of incarceration, the artist decide to take his work abroad – his most notable installations have been commissioned by Art Basel, Switzerland (1999), Institut Cultura, Barcelona (2003), XXV Biennial de Sao Paulo, Brazil (2002), The Saatchi Gallery in London (2003), MOCA Cleveland (2004) and Vienna Kunsthalle (2008).

Spencer Tunick’s Connect10 event idea:

Given the fact that Spencer’s large scale nude installations generally require big budgets and an enormous time investment, this Museums at Night event will involve a more intimate look at his practice. Spencer’s work with ‘scopes’ (individual miniature viewfinders, like the ones he’s is holding in his self-portrait photograph) allows him a more private way of portraying his nude subjects.

A man dressed in yellow holding flourescent plastic objects on key chains

The artist holding plastic scopes (c) Spencer Tunick

Just as Andy Warhol used to Polaroid cameras to capture his subjects in intimate small spontaneous portraits, Spencer intends to achieve the same thing. The act of carrying around a private portrait that can only be viewed through a small lens is reminiscent of the way we all use our iPhones to take 21st century Polaroids.

The essence of Spencer’s event will be about the nature of people’s interactions with intimate images and how that has evolved and changed (but stayed intrinsically the same) since the Victorian era ‘What The Butler Saw’ peepshows, through to the heyday of the key-chain viewer in the 50s and 60s to the present day iPhone and Instagram generation.

‘Tunick is a fourth-generation photographer. His great-grandfather owned the first Kodak photo finishing plant in downtown New York. His grandfather was a photographer for the United Nations Council on Foreign Relations, photographing heads of state, like President John F. Kennedy and Fidel Castro. And his father photographed guests at hotels in the Catskills in the 1960s and ’70s, selling them back their photos in key-chain viewers.’ (From USA Today)

The key-chain viewer or scope will be the hardware in which the photos taken during this unique event will be delivered. Using real film and the E-6 process to develop the images Spencer wants to explore photographic heritage, the nature of collaboration and the contrast between a fast-moving shoot and the more time-consuming production process.

Using this technique, Spencer is proposing a mass performative portrait shoot, either somewhere in Greater London, or at a coastal venue with access to a beach, within 2 hours drive of London. The exact location will only be made available to participants.

This is not a group work, but a series of quickly taken individual portraits. Spencer is looking for 100-250 volunteers to participate in this unique piece of performance art (an even split of men and women) – the application process will be explored with the winning venue. Once all subjects have been photographed, each image will be inserted into its own individual keychain scope and given to each participant as a gift during a special artist-led event at the venue later that evening.

Location scouting

Because Spencer is based in the US and therefore unable to scout locations himself, this process itself will form the basis of the venues’ proposals. We invite London venues and coastal venues in Suffolk, Essex, Kent, Hampshire and East or West Sussex to suggest a location for this work.

Locations need to be: within 200 metres of the venue, visually interesting, preferably off the beaten track, preferably outside, probably quirky, possibly not and perhaps where there’s little or no regular traffic.

Each venue may submit a maximum of 4 proposed locations – one good quality JPG photograph of the location and a brief description (25 words each max.) required.

This shoot will take place during the day before the evening event. Later that evening Spencer would like to host a special event at the winning venue for all the participants although other non-participants could also attend. It’s during this event that the finished artworks will be presented to each participant. The aim of the evening is for each person to walk away with a genuine Spencer Tunick artwork in their hands. But will they want their own image in the viewfinder or that of a nude stranger? Just one question this event can explore. It would also be interesting to find a way of displaying the complete collection of images taken earlier that day so participants get a sense of the project as a whole. The detail of this finale event is also open to proposals.

Spencer is available to venues situated in the Greater London area or on the coast (with access to the beach) within a two-hour drive from London. The shoot would take place on the day of Thursday or Friday and the evening event on Friday or Saturday.

Up to £1,000 of the venue’s £2,000 prize money is earmarked to pay for the scope viewfinders that Spencer will use for the event.

To apply to host Spencer Tunick, simply fill in this form.