Monthly Archives: November 2011

Connect10, a new project for Museums at Night 2012: information for venues

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back with a new set of artists – find out more here!


So, this new Connect10 project. It’s part of Museums at Night – but what does it mean for you and your venue?

Connect10 is a new national competition for cultural venues to win an artist to appear at a meet-the-artist event during Museums at Night 2012. One of ten well-known contemporary artists could be on the way to your venue on the weekend of 18th – 20th May 2012.

Three people sketching in a museum

An artist-led Connect10 event could inspire your visitors for Museums at Night. Image courtesy Larna Pantrey-Mayer

How does it work?

You devise an event idea or theme that you think would demonstrate a strong connection between one of the artists taking part and your venue. If your idea is accepted you go through as one of the venues taking part in the competition – up to a maximum of 30. Each artist will end up with either two or three venues vying for them.

Once voting begins, your venue will need to use every communication method available to get as many people as possible to vote for your venue/event/artist combination. The one with the most votes wins!

The prize

Every one of the maximum 30 venues taking part in the competition will receive a bursary towards the running costs of a Museums at Night event. The venues which win will receive £500 towards the cost of holding their event. Even the venues that don’t win an artist will get £100 to put on an event: perhaps featuring a local artist or with a completely different theme.


Culture24 will confirm the artists taking part in the run-up to Christmas, with all ten confirmed by the New Year. During this period we will release more information to venues about how to take part, the terms and conditions, and resources to support you while you’re devising events.

We will accept event ideas in January through a simple online form. The competition will go live in early February. Voting will take place throughout February and close in early March leaving plenty of time for each venue to liaise with their artist about their Museums at Night event in May.

Why take part in this exciting new project?

Exciting artists

We’re not going to give away too much yet but we are leaving no stone unturned to bring you the most engaging contemporary artists to take part in Connect10. This is a unique opportunity to bring an inspiring artist to your town.

Audience development

The competition element provides a valuable opportunity for audience development and advocacy work in your local area, galvanising support and mobilising new fans to go online and vote for your venue to win.

This is your chance to really use Twitter, Facebook and all the other social networking mediums to work hard for your venue. Creating a genuine buzz around the event you are planning will make it more likely that you will win.

Cash support

Each venue will receive a bursary to put towards the event. Each artist will also be paid, and all their travel, accommodation and food expenses will be covered by Culture24.

A special event

An exciting contemporary artist with connections to your venue or your collections will create a special evening event exclusively for Museums at Night, at no cost to you. This is a chance to delight your Museums at Night audience with an ingenious new event you might not otherwise be able to offer.

Museums at Night

Museums at Night is an annual good news story: the only public-facing UK-wide campaign promoting the work of the arts and heritage sector. Whether or not you’ve run Museums at Night events in previous years, we warmly invite you to bid for a Connect10 artist, engage with Culture24 and benefit from the resources and publicity on offer as we shine a positive spotlight on the work of the sector.

By the time Museums at Night weekend comes around, you can guarantee an engaged audience who are keen to enjoy whatever event you put on.


You can expect full PR and marketing support from Culture24. Our independent PR agency will help you to get local coverage of your participation in the competition and of your Museums at Night event. Plus we will maximise any opportunity we get to profile the competition on national TV, radio, print and online.

As part of your bid, you’ll undertake to improve your venue’s entry in Culture24’s DDE database. This will ensure your venue and the programming and services you offer are easier to find online, attracting more visitors.

You’re interested – what do you do now?

Start a discussion within colleagues at your venue about the kind of event you could put on. Make sure the marketing and events people in your organisation all know about this exciting opportunity. Once you see an artist confirmed who you’d like to bring to your venue, start devising an event.

Look out on and here on the blog for further resources to support your event plan. If you have any questions about the competition please get in touch with us: we’d love to hear from you!

Rosie Clarke: 01273 623336 or

Nick Stockman: 01273 623279 or

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the Connect10 information for venues

Connect10 project outline: what’s the big idea?

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back for 2013!


Last week we announced that Culture24 had secured funding for Museums at Night 2012, and that this would include a new project called Connect10. Find out more about our plans here!

Connect10 project outline 

Connect10 will connect contemporary artists, venues, and audiences in an entirely new way. Venues will compete to win one of ten well-known contemporary artists to take part in a ‘meet-the-artist’ evening event during Museums at Night 2012 (18-20 May). The competition is designed to require venues to reach out to their communities, galvanising them to vote to make the event happen.

When the competition goes live in February there will be a minimum of 20 and maximum of 30 venues vying for the ten artists in ten polls. Each venue designs an event specifically with one of the artists in mind and competes against a maximum of two other venues to ‘win’ that artist. Venues will then reach out to their communities using any channel at their disposal (email, Twitter, Facebook, websites and print media) to get as many votes as possible for their event.

Members of the public will be encouraged to go to to vote for their favourite venue/event/artist combination. Venues receiving the most votes at the end of the competition period ‘win’ that artist for their Museums at Night event.

The prize

The prize for the venues is the artist and the prize money. Every one of the maximum 30 venues taking part in the competition will receive a bursary towards the running costs of a Museums at Night event. The venues that win will receive £500 towards the cost of holding their event. Even the venues that don’t win an artist will get £100 to put on an event, perhaps featuring a local artist instead, or with a completely different theme.

Each artist gets to embark on an exciting journey with the venue, devising a unique event, interacting with a special collection and connecting with a particularly engaged audience. As each event is likely to be small and intimate and demand for tickets high, those people who have voted will be entered into a ballot to win tickets to attend.


Culture24 will confirm the artists taking part in the run-up to Christmas, with all ten confirmed by the New Year. During this period we will release more information to venues about how to take part, the terms and conditions and resources to support you while you’re devising events.

We will accept event ideas in January through a simple online form and the competition will go live in early February. Voting will take place throughout February and close in early March, when the results will be announced. This should leave plenty of time for each venue to liaise with the artist about their event in May.

How are the project’s stakeholders engaged?

The three primary stakeholders in this project are the venues, the audiences and the artists. Culture24 will create an online environment hosted within our family of sites where the three primary stakeholders will be able to interact.

Each of the venues will have an area to promote their bid, which will include a venue image, an event description and a link to their chosen artist’s profile. Venues will encourage members of the public to go to a Connect10 platform and ‘love’ the artist they want to win. Venues will be able to keep tabs on the status of their poll through the real time poll widget.

Audiences will be able to vote for their favourite venue/event/artist combo. When this vote has been registered the voting widget will flip to a current poll status display and there will be an opportunity to share their voting decision through a range of social media channels.

Artists will have the opportunity to read and input into the venue’s event suggestions, veto any that they are not prepared to engage with and confirm they are happy with the two or three events which will go ahead to the competition. Artists will be represented by an image and short biography on the Culture24 site.

Culture24’s specific aims for the Connect10 project are:

– To raise the profile of participating venues and the campaign

– To increase the involvement of practising artists in the Museums at Night campaign. Museums at Night has been successful in breaking down silos between the museums and galleries sector and this project will combine both in a new and exciting way.

– To connect these venues with their networks and wider communities through advocacy exercises conducted mainly through social media. As venues reach out to the public to get as many votes for their artist event as possible, they will create ambassadors and learn about social media as a marketing tool

– To build capacity in participating venues, developing their confidence in planning and marketing successful events

– To produce 10 superb events, giving members of the public the opportunity to spend time with cutting-edge artists

– To create culture-loving ambassadors for local venues

– To reinforce the work Culture24 has already done in measuring the success of online engagement

For more information on the project, please contact Nick Stockman:

01273 623279 or

For press enquiries and images, please contact Pandora George:

07729 469220 or

Click here to download a printable PDF version of the Connect10 project outline

Museums at Night’s Rosie Clarke in Guardian livechat about social media for culture and the arts

A quick newsflash: I’m going to be one of the panel in the Guardian Culture Professionals Network livechat today!

The discussion will take place between 12 and 2 – if you log in, you’ll be able to ask any questions about how your organisation could benefit from using social media channels.

The Twitter hashtag is #artschat – wish me luck, and if you’d like to, drop by and ask me questions!

The discussion will be archived afterwards, so you’ll be able to go back and read everyone’s insights.

The link again:

Culture24 announces funding and new national competition for Museums at Night 2012

Culture24 is delighted to announce that Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will be funding Museums at Night 2012. The Arts Council will fund the core campaign and Connect10, a new initiative bringing contemporary artists into a range of venues across the UK. The HLF will fund new clusters of events in North Lincolnshire and North Norfolk.

Children in a tent in a museum at night

Children discovering a museum at night (c) Pal Hansen

Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration of arts and heritage which explodes into life over the weekend of Friday 18th – Sunday 20th May 2012.

Museums at Night events take place in hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites, which throw their doors open after hours, giving visitors the chance to discover their collections in a new light. Culture24 has coordinated the rapidly-growing campaign since 2009.

The popular festival aims to attract people who might not normally visit museums or galleries to discover the fantastic arts and heritage offer on their doorstep. In 2011, 352 venues staged 467 events in 169 different towns and cities across the UK. Over 100,000 visitors attended an event, while the campaign attracted media coverage worth over £1.1 million.

Hedley Swain, Director of Museums, Arts Council England said:

“The immense variety of venues involved in Museums at Night shows that there is a great willingness amongst cultural organisations to work together, and also the incredible culture we have access to in this country. This initiative extends this access and offers a unique opportunity for people to explore institutions in a new way – and we are thrilled to support it.”

 Download the full Museums at Night press release here

Arts Council England to fund Connect10

Connect10 pitches ten of Britain’s most exciting contemporary artists into a competition to see which venue can get enough votes to win them for a night!

Culture24, together with Love Art London, will source 10 contemporary artists to lead an exclusive event in any UK arts or heritage venue.

The full list of artists will be announced early in the New Year. The competition will be open to any publicly-funded UK cultural venue.

Venues will seek out connections with the work of the 10 artists, and pitch related event ideas to Culture24. When the competition goes live, venues will reach out to their local supporters asking them to vote to bring the artist to their town. For example, will A. N. Artist go to Warwick, Worcester or Worthing? This powerful advocacy and audience development opportunity will be fully supported by Culture24’s PR agency.

Each venue that wins an artist will receive £500 to support their event, while each runner-up venue will still receive £100 and event-planning support from Culture24 to enable them to run an alternative Museums at Night event. Everyone wins!

Jane Finnis, Culture24 CEO said:

“Culture24 is thrilled to be working with the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England again in delivering this flagship audience development campaign for arts and heritage. In 2012 Museums at Night will connect some of the country’s most exciting contemporary artists with museums, galleries and heritage sites in a way that’s never been tried before. We think the competitive element of Connect10 will give venues a playful way to reach out to their local communities, asking them to vote for and secure a visit from a top artist who has a connection to their specific collection or building.”

Heritage Lottery Fund to fund new event clusters in North Norfolk and North Lincolnshire

Every year clusters of venues in the same geographical areas work together to offer combined programmes of events. For Museums at Night 2012 the HLF is funding events in two areas of the country which will also help forge long-term partnerships between venues.

One project will support a cluster of 9 venues in three towns in North Norfolk: Cromer, Sheringham and Wells-next-the-Sea. They will stage 8 events inspired by Victorian history, including the restoration of a historic lifeboat. This cluster is also supported by the Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service.

Two children looking at a historic boat in a museum

Children discover a historic boat at The Mo, Sheringham Museum

The HLF will also be funding a group of 31 venues in North Lincolnshire, led by North Lincolnshire Council and centred on the city of Scunthorpe. This will support a cluster of heritage venues in towns and villages as they stage at least 27 events, ranging from blacksmithing by twilight to night-time tours of historic railways and airfields.

Both cluster projects include associated initiatives such as the creation of new historical guides and marketing materials, and the development and training of a large number of new volunteers, which will leave a long-term legacy of skills and resources in the local area.

Fiona Talbott, HLF’s Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives said:

“People are at the very heart of everything we do and these two projects will attract new audiences to visit and explore a whole range of heritage sites across the regions. By working together to host an amazing number of exciting events, these varied locations will pool their resources to give many more people the chance to explore their past and learn more about the history and stories of the places they call home.  What is equally valuable is that the benefits of our funding will have a lasting legacy way beyond the celebratory period as volunteers learn new skills they can use well into the future.”

 Download the full Museums at Night press release here

For press enquiries or images, please contact Pandora George on 07729 469220 or

For project and partnership enquiries, please contact Nick Stockman on 01273 623279 or

To discuss planning or marketing your Museums at Night events, please contact Rosie Clarke on 01273 623336 or

Festival of Museums grants scheme will fund Museums at Night events in Scottish museums and galleries

For the second year running, Culture24 are delighted to work together with the team from Museums Galleries Scotland, who coordinate the Festival of Museums north of the border.

This takes place over 18-20 May 2012, the same weekend as Museums at Night across the UK, and Nuit des Musées across Europe – so by collaborating we can reinforce the message that wherever you are, this weekend is the perfect time to visit a museum, gallery or heritage site.

Culture24 and the Festival of Museums share data with each other, meaning that all event listings are seen by a much wider audience.

If you’re from a Scottish venue and you register details of a daytime Festival of Museums event, it will appear in Culture24’s event listings too. If your event takes place in the evening, it will also be double-branded as a Museums at Night event – bringing you even more publicity!

Two girls dressed as Alice in Wonderland playing in a formal garden

The Festival of Museums - and Museums at Night - give everyone the chance to discover the fantastic culture and heritage on their doorstep. Image courtesy Museums Galleries Scotland

Festival of Museums grants scheme now open

The next Festival of Museums will take place 18, 19 and 20 May 2012 and all museums and galleries in Scotland are invited to get involved.

Once more, Museums Galleries Scotland are offering grants between £150 and £1500 per venue to stage an event as part of the Festival of Museums programme.

Applications where non-member organisations are working in partnership with full members are also welcomed.

Submissions are being accepted from 1 November until 1 February 2012; however, as grants are assessed on a first-come-first-served basis, getting an application in early is advisable.

Festival of Museums is one annual weekend (Friday to Sunday) of exciting, entertaining and surprising events in the country’s museums and galleries, with museums tailoring events to their own requirements, objectives and audience development criteria.

Museums Galleries Scotland supports the Festival with a national and regional promotional campaign, while strengthening the publicity work done by the museums themselves and offering advice and funding to the museums taking part.

The inaugural Festival of Museums event in 2011 saw 70 museums and galleries holding day and night time events across the country. The eclectic programme included concerts, fashion shows and workshops and attracted almost 20,000 visitors – a third of whom were on their first visit to their chosen venue.

Museums Galleries Scotland work with Culture24’s Museums at Night and the Europe-wide celebration, La Nuit des Musées. These events are all timed to take place over the same weekend, making Festival of Museums part of a Europe wide celebration of the fantastic experiences that museums and galleries have to offer visitors.

For more information on the Festival of Museums programme and grants scheme visit

You can download information about taking part in the Festival of Museums here, and download Festival of Museums case studies here from the Museum of the University of St Andrews, the Scottish Fisheries Museum, and Timespan.

To receive regular updates from the Festival of Museums, you can follow them on Twitter @FestofMuseums and connect with them on Facebook

Read the evaluation of Museums at Night 2011!

The evaluation is out at last! Thank you for helping to make 2011 the most successful Museums at Night ever. 352 venues staged 467 events, in 169 different towns and cities across the UK. These fantastic events attracted over 100,000 visitors, and attracted media coverage worth over £1.1 million pounds – an extraordinary result, based on direct campaign funding of only £95,000.

A child asleep in a museum clutching a mask

Sleeping over in a museum (c) Pal Hansen

The most flattering statistic for Project Manager Nick Stockman and myself is that 94% of participating venues said they’d take part again – we look forward to working with you all on the 2012 campaign.

The 6-page Executive Summary contains the top line statistics, and takes five minutes to read.
Download the Executive Summary here

The 42-page Evaluation Report contains the results of our research over the course of the campaign, along with a series of case studies from participating venues.
Download the full Evaluation Report here

If you just want to find out how participating venues thought the Museums at Night experience went, you can read the case studies on their own.
Download the case studies here

We emailed this news to our Museums at Night mailing list last week – are you receiving email updates from the campaign? If you’d like to receive our monthly updates, giving you news of partnerships and promotional opportunities you can take advantage of, simply sign up here: