Tag Archives: Culture24

Notes to Editors: press release boilerplate text for Museums at Night 2014

I’ve just had an enquiry from a venue sending out press releases to promote their event, who wanted to know whether there was any specific information to include about the Museums at Night festival.

Our standard boilerplate text explains what the Museums at Night festival is, and introduces Culture24 (the non-profit online cultural publisher that coordinates the festival) and Arts Council England, the core funder of the festival.

Here’s the Notes to Editors text: you can also download this as a 1 page Word document.

Notes to Editors:

1. Museums at Night is the annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. It takes place over the weekend of Thursday 15 to Saturday 17, 2014. www.museumsatnight.org.uk

2. Culture24 is a non-profit cultural publishing organisation supporting arts and heritage venues to reach audiences across digital platforms. We collect and share cultural data, publish websites, run the national Museums at Night campaign and lead action research projects. www.WeAreCulture24.org.uk

3. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk

Museums at Night logo

You can also download many variations on this Museums at Night logo - along with poster and flyer templates you can customise to promote your events – over on our Resources for Venues page.

If you have any questions, please call Rosie on 01273 623336 – we’re here to help!

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

Attract new visitors and generate income with Culture24′s Activity Superstore partnership

I’m cross-posting this information here because if you’re reading the Museums at Night blog, you’re probably interested in attracting new audiences and generating income for your museum, gallery or heritage site – and Culture24′s new partnership may well be relevant to you!

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Culture24 is collaborating with the UK’s leading gift experience company, Activity Superstore, to create an innovative and unique range of science, arts and history-themed experience gifts for Christmas 2014.

This is a fantastic opportunity for museums, galleries, historic houses, science centres and any other venues within the Culture24 network to access new markets and promote their offer to a wider audience.

The new range of experience gift packages will be sold in major high street retailers as well as online. Each gift will be packaged in a box and include a voucher to be used in the next year (i.e. 2015) and be priced between £20-£100 dependent upon the experience.

Two colourful printed cardboard boxes

Activity Superstore gift experience boxes

The new range will be aimed at families, adults and young adults and feature cultural experiences such as curator tours, behind the scenes access, talks, workshops and other activities that offer added value. They will cover subject areas such as science, history, archaeology, art and literature and natural history.

The proposed new gift experience packages:

Museums at Night
After-hours in the nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses can be the most magical of all – when the lights are dimmed, the crowds are gone and the venue does something different. Choose from an eclectic mix of evening openings featuring music, art, science, drama, poetry and more, with a glass of fizz or a cocktail to add sparkle to your evening. Over-18s only.

Family Night in the Museum
Ever wondered what really happens when they lock museum and gallery doors at night? Pack those torches, sleeping bags and pyjamas and choose one of our amazing venues for a night you won’t forget in a hurry. Whether the sleepover companions are dinosaurs or suits of armour, Egyptian mummies or priceless works of art, there will be special family activities to keep everyone busy until lights out.

Live Science
Watch a live science demo, meet a scientist, get stuck in to hands-on science activities or take a peek behind-the-scenes in a range of amazing science-focussed venues, from historic science heritage sites and museums to cutting edge technology centres. This gift will delight science-lovers of all ages.

The Night Sky
Turn your gaze to the heavens and discover the secrets of the stars with this astronomy-themed family gift. Settle down to an awe-inspiring planetarium show or wrap up warm and head for the great outdoors to scan the night skies with an astronomy expert.

Lost Traditions
Traditional arts and crafts are thriving, if only you know where to look. This gift gives two people the chance to try out one of a wonderful mixture of workshops or taster sessions from weaving, quilting, or crochet to milling, calligraphy, pottery and more, all taking place in museums, galleries and historic houses.

Inside Design
Packed with expert tours of museum collections featuring design and fashion classics, or of buildings that are architectural gems, this gift is perfect for anyone with an eye for style. Curators, artists and designers lead special tours of some of the country’s most stylish collections, interiors and buildings, sharing their expert knowledge and love of their subjects.

Family Fun: Hands on Discovery
Know any youngsters who love discovering and finding out new things? Whether they’re into dinosaurs, dragons or the natural world; knights, princesses or castles; painting or making; stories or dressing-up, these hands-on family activities in museums, galleries, heritage sites and science centres will delight and inspire the under-12s.

Tales of the Horrible
Blood and guts abound in the true-life tales of derring-do, murder and mayhem through history that our nation’s museums, galleries and historic houses tell. Curator’s tours and storytelling sessions will bring our often grisly, gruesome history to life. Not for the faint-hearted or under-5s.

Inside Art
Discover art alongside the expert eye of an artist or curator. From old masters to the latest contemporary installations these special art-themed tours will bring collections to life. The perfect gift for art-lovers or for anyone keen to find out more about the amazing artworks in one of a range of galleries and museums.

Wheels, wings and water (working title!)
If you love planes, trains and automobiles, engines and industrial heritage, then this is the gift for you. Join a curator or expert for a behind-the-scenes or hands-on tour of some of the UK’s most fascinating museums and heritage sites and to take a close-up look at some marvels of engineering.

Want to find out more or talk to someone?

If you have any questions about the partnership, what’s involved, or want to discuss  taking part, please email Culture24 Listings Co-ordinator Richard Austin: richardaustin@culture24.org.uk or phone him on 01273 623357.

You can also download the Activity Superstore application form to register your interest now in this exciting new partnership opportunity.

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!

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!

More authors available for your Museums at Night events!

Thanks for your feedback on the list of children’s authors we shared in November – at least eight venues have now been matched up with writers who’ll be giving readings as part of their Museums at Night events.

Book cover

We’re pleased to share an updated list of authors available for your Museums at Night 2014 events: some write for children, some for young adults and some for adults.

The list includes authors who focus on a range of subjects which could tie in with your venue’s collections, such as Victorian Gothic novelist Essie Fox, World War I writer Louisa Young, and Viking fantasy writer Snorri Kristjansson.

You can download the latest list of authors willing to speak at Museums at Night events here.

If you are interested in a particular author, double check their restrictions – some are only able to go to venues within a certain geographical area, most have specified the age groups their books are intended for, and many have set the minimum or maximum number of people they prefer to come and perform for.

Be aware that all events featuring these authors will usually end with a sale of their books, and in many cases a book signing session for visitors – do you have the space and staffing capacity to deliver this successfully?

Read our case study on delivering a successful author event to gain more of an idea about how this can work.

Your next step

If you’d like to invite one of our latest list of authors to your venue for Museums at Night, please call Nick or Rosie on 01273 623336.

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:

Can a small venue take part in the Connect10 competition?

A man clinging on to the column of a building, with a streak of glowing neon

Connect10 artist Alex Hartley shinning up the columns at the Bank of England – how might he engage with your venue’s architecture? (c) Alex Hartley

A very small museum recently got in touch to ask whether they had any hope of taking part in the Connect10 competition to win an artist for their Museums at Night event. My response was a resounding “Yes!”

Take a look at the list of Connect10 artists available for Museums at Night 2014: we encourage venues of all sizes to think whether there might be a connection between one of the artists and your venue, collections or location. The artists’ ideas are very approximate and are intended to give you some background about the sort of things that inspire them and the way they like to work.

Going outside

Events don’t have to take place inside your building! Susan Forsyth’s Zusammen choir procession around the streets of Rochdale was a great example of community outreach, touring around significant places from the town’s history, pausing by sites of interest and ending up outside the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, before inviting everyone into the historic church across the street for tea and biscuits.

Size is no object when it comes to attracting votes

A man holding a sign with his name on in a library, with a t shirt hanging up behind him

One of the campaigners Connect10 artist Simon Roberts recorded at the Working Class Movement Library’s Museums at Night event in 2012 (c) Simon Roberts

Connect10 artists have been won by small venues in the past, for example, the Working Class Movement Library in Salford, which incidentally attracted the largest number of votes ever counted in the whole competition!

Internal marketing

However, it’s important that you’re aware that being part of Connect10 takes up a considerable amount of staff time, in reaching out to new audiences for votes during the competition stage, planning the event in collaboration with your artist if you win, maximising the amount of publicity you get and ensuring everything is in place for a successful event on the night. Talk with your team of staff and volunteers to see if they’re enthusiastic about the possibilities, or not.

Getting stakeholders on board

It could also be helpful to talk with other local arts or heritage venues, your Museum Development Officer, or your local communications team if you’re a council-run venue, to get any key stakeholders on board.

Joint bids

If you think your organisation would be taking on too much by applying for a Connect10 artist on your own, you might like to consider working together with another local organisation on a joint bid.

Connect10 artists and winning venues shared their experiences here - these presentations may be helpful to have a look at as they share the challenges and successes encountered by people involved in the competition in previous years.

We’ve put together this page with all the Connect10 links and helpful resources in one place.

Nick and I are always happy to have a chat on the phone with you, if that would be useful – we’re here to help! The direct line is 01273 623336.

Finally, if you’re keen to go ahead and apply to win a top Connect10 artist and a £2000 bursary for your Museums at Night event, here’s the 2 page entry form you’ll need to fill in by 5pm on Friday 22 November.

Team Museums at Night meet Neil Gaiman

We love working in partnership with all kinds of organisations to help make the Museums at Night festival a success, and for the last few years we’ve collaborated with the Reading Agency to connect authors with arts and heritage venues for exciting after-hours events.

Nick and I were delighted to be invited along to their annual lecture at the Barbican this week, given by one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman. He gave a compelling description of the value of libraries, with examples from his own life, and the importance of reading – you can read the full text of his lecture here.

A very excited lady meets a suave chap

Meeting author, book-lover and all round hero Neil Gaiman

It was amazing to meet the man himself afterwards – and also to talk to all kinds of authors, publishers and librarians, and to hear about the diverse types of events that libraries run all year round.

two handsome men with a book

In a blur of excitement, Neil Gaiman signs a book for Nick Stockman

Thanks to the Reading Agency for inviting us along: we’re looking forward to working together on even more exciting collaborations for Museums at Night 2014!