Monthly Archives: January 2012

Connect10 competition closes at 5pm today!

UPDATE 22 January 2013: The Connect10 competition is back this year – find out more!

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It’s been a crazy busy couple of weeks – Nick, interns Beth and Rosie G and myself have been speaking to lots of museums, galleries and heritage sites about our Connect10 competition, and we’re blown away by the creative event ideas we’ve received.

If you’ve been considering entering the competition – bear in mind, you could win a top artist and £500 towards your Museums at Night event on May 18, 19 or 20 – you have until 5pm today to submit your event pitch through this simple form!

Meet the ten intrepid artists you could win:

a photo of Claire Barclay

Claire Barclay, futuristic Scottish sculptor whose carefully balanced installations have been exhibited in Tate Britain and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery.

a photo of Sam Bompass and Harry Parr (Image and Illustration Credit Carl Palmer and Emma Rios)

Bompas & Parr, the Jellymongers, create spectacular culinary experiences ranging from architectural jellies to lakes of cocktails.

a photograph of Ryan Gander

Ryan Gander, provocative installation artist whose Artangel commission in a Hoxton warehouse provided clues for visitors to solve a mystery.

a photograph of John Mcgregor

Jon McGregor, award-winning novelist and short story writer, author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even The Dogs.

a photo of Polly Morgan

Polly Morgan, contemporary taxidermist whose poignant installations have been collected by Kate Moss.

a black and white portrait photograph of Terry O'Neill

Terry O’Neill, fashion and rock photographer renowned for iconic images of Hollywood stars and bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.

a photograph of Martin Parr at Butlins in 1998 Courtesy Martin Parr

Martin Parr, Magnum documentary photographer whose pictures tell stories of leisure, consumption and communication.

a photo of Simon Roberts ® Francesco Niccolai

Simon Roberts, landscape and documentary photographer who spent a year crossing Russia and was Official Artist of the 2010 General Election.

a photo of Bob and Roberta Smith at an event at the Barbican Courtesy Bob and Roberta Smith

Bob & Roberta Smith, sign-painter, activist and installation artist who uses text on recycled signs and floorboards.

a photo of Susan Stockwell smiling in front of one of her artworks. Courtesy INIVA

Susan Stockwell, creator of beguiling installations, drawings and films commenting on globalisation and colonisation, often using recycled materials.

Ready to enter the competition? Here’s the form to complete by 5pm today http://bit.ly/wECRYB – best of luck!

Register your event details by the end of today to join our first big PR push!

Just a quick reminder: we’re pulling together our first big Museums at Night PR push into long lead glossy magazines on Monday, so if you want your venue to be included, you need to register your event details by the end of today!

Even if you’re not 100% certain about the event you’ll be doing, log in to your venue’s record on Culture24’s DDE database, tell us the date and start time of the event, and use the event description field to tell us that an exciting evening is being planned. You can always log in again later and update it once you’ve confirmed the details.

Need a quick reminder of how to register your event details?

Make sure your venue is listed on Culture24′s website.

Our listings service is free to use for all UK gallery, museum and heritage venues that are publicly owned or funded. If your venue isn’t listed on the Culture24 site, you can request to be added here:

https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/join-our-network/

Need reminding of your username or password? 

If you are listed on the Culture24 site, but don’t yet have your username, you can get it here:

https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/new-dde-username/

If you’re already signed up, the link to log in is here:

http://update.culture24.org.uk/dashboard 

Click ‘Add a new event or exhibition’ and use the form to add as much information as possible about your event. Don’t forget to make the event description sound as interesting as possible!

When you get to the yellow Tagging bar, the first option is Programmes. Click the ‘Add’ button, and tick the box marked Museums at Night 2012. Scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Save’.

A screenshot from Culture24's DDE database showing how to tick the Museums at Night Programmes box

Make sure to tick the Programmes box marked Museums at Night 2012!

Any questions or problems, please give me a call on 01273 623336 or drop me an email: rosie@culture24.org.uk.

Finally, the photos for our media image library are rolling in thick and fast – thanks to everyone who’s emailed me high-res pictures of people having a good time at arts and heritage after-hours events! If you have good pictures and you’d like a bit of extra publicity, email them across to me at the address above.

Phew, what a week – finally, I’d like to wish everybody a peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Guest Post: Essex Havard from NIACE introduces Adult Learners’ Week 12-18 May 2012

Today’s guest post comes from Essex Havard from the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).  Adult Learners’ Week runs from 12-18 May 2012 – this means that an Adult Learners’ Week event on the evening of Friday 18th May could also double as your Museums at Night event!

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Why get involved with Adult Learners’ Week?

I’m tempted to say “put the kettle on, this may take some time” but I’ll try to be brief…

Adult Learners’ Week is a “celebration of adult learning” of all sorts, by all sorts of providers and in all sorts of venues: Local authority adult education departments, Higher Education and Further Education institutions, voluntary and charity sector providers (e.g. U3A), museums, libraries, archives and Uncle Tom Cobley and all…

Museum-specifically, it’s a time for you to trumpet your successes over the previous year (exhibit adults’ work, have a certificate presentation evening etc), highlight projects coming up in the near future and also organise short, bite-sized, have-a-go type learning events for adults and family groups.

The UK population is ageing and lifelong learning ought to be a more important part of all our lives. Actively engaging with learning as an adult leads to many direct and indirect positive benefits:

·         improved self confidence
·         decrease in reliance on health services
·         increase in racial tolerance
·         increase in detection of life-threatening illnesses
·         improved social cohesion
·         improved chances of gaining employment

and many other benefits too numerous to mention here.

Museum education services are usually, but not exclusively, staffed by primary school-experienced professionals. So, if you are less confident in developing an adult “offer” for Adult Learners’ Week (and beyond) why not liaise with a local adult learning provider? In my experience the best adult learning projects in museums have done this (for example, the “In Touch” volunteer programme in Manchester Museum and The Imperial War Museum North).

Why not use Adult Learners’ Week to try something new? Push the boundary. Be innovative!

If you join in with this UK-wide promotion you will be joining with thousands of other events and gaining from the publicity that is currently being organised by NIACE (England and Wales) and SALP (Scotland). For colleagues in Northern Ireland I’d recommend contacting EGSA.

NIACE (England): www.niace.org.uk
NIACE Dysgu Cymru (Wales): www.niacedc.org.uk

Contact us, let’s develop a dialogue. I’d love to field questions about Adult Learners’ Week. My e-mail address is Essex@niacedc.org.uk. I’m happy to answer your questions and/or point you in the right direction.

If you are a museum in Wales then you can gain access to some small funding to facilitate your events. This money is only available if you join one of our 22 (one per county) Learning Festival Planning Groups. Again, drop me a line and I’ll tell you who your local contact is.

So wherever you are in the UK, get stuck in and show that museums are for adults too!

Good luck with your plans.

Gentleman with glasses

Essex Havard

Essex Havard works for The National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) where he is Campaigns and Fundraising Coordinator for NIACE Dysgu Cymru (NIACE’s Wales arm). He is NIACE (England and Wales) contact for adult learning in the museum sector. Prior to his joining NIACE (in 2004) Essex worked in the museum education sector with periods as Events Officer at National Museum Wales, Museum Education Officer for Bath City Council and Education, and Education and Access Officer for The Council of Museums in Wales.

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Thanks very much, Essex! If you’d like to write a guest post or case study for this blog about any aspect of event planning or marketing in arts or heritage venues, please drop me a line at rosie@culture24.org.uk or call me on                01273 623336.

Send us your Museums at Night photos for maximum publicity!

Eye-catching, enticing images of people discovering the fun and excitement of Museums at Night hugely increase the impact of our PR campaign – meaning that more people will want to come to events in this year!

two girls dining in museum

Late Night Dining in the Victoria and Albert Museum

Our PR campaign is built around the stories and images from your events: the stronger these are, the more media interest and coverage the festival will get. So, please send us your photographs so that we can create the most eye-catching publicity material possible!

We need images that are high-resolution – at least 300dpi – and ideally which are taken at sunset, dusk or night-time. The pictures could be of the outside or inside of your venue, but should ideally involve interested people having a great time interacting with objects, collections or exhibitions at your venue.

Remember to ask parents’ permission before photographing children.

The images we receive which capture the spirit of the weekend could be featured in:

  • local, regional and national press coverage
  • the Culture24 website and Facebook page
  • this blog
  • BBC History Magazine’s printed Guide to Museums at Night
  • in presentations given by Culture24 staff
  • and in many of the other ways we promote Museums at Night events

Email images to Rosie, rosie@culture24.org.uk

To be included in our first big PR push into long-lead glossy magazines, your Museums at Night events need to be registered onto the DDE database by 5pm on Friday 20th January.

You’ll find information about how to register your event here. Any questions? Want to discuss your plans? Give me a call on 01273 623336!

Guest post: Kate Webber from Oxford’s Pitt Rivers Museum on planning and publicising after-hours events

Today’s guest post comes from Kate Webber, Press and Marketing Officer at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.

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The Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford University Museum of Natural History began a late night event as part of Nuit de Musées. My colleague Kate White initiated this annual event to encourage new visitors, and it grew and flourished from 1300 attending the first event in 2005, to 3000 visitors attending a 3-hour event in 2007. As if one event a year wasn’t enough, we now also do a similar event in December as part of the Oxford City Christmas Light Night, so we are well practiced!

Torchlight trails showing where visitors have walked through museum display cases

Torches light the way through the Pitt Rivers Museum (c) Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford

In a Different Light is an eclectic mix of live and recorded music, colourful lighting, the Pitt Rivers by torchlight and a bar – any profits are ploughed back in to the next event. It has also featured traditional world dance, glowing bugs, group art activities, Future Cinema, ethnographic films, projections and music workshops.

Visitors admiring sparkling lights on a curving ceiling in a historic building

A view of the Pitt Rivers interior in a different light (c) Alex Melville, Oxford Giclée

Neither of the Museums have an events officer, so the event is planned and run by committee and relies on volunteers on the night. About 10 staff from admin, education, front of house, marketing and technical departments come together in January to begin the planning. All the staff have been involved in many events, so the knowledge base that has built up is invaluable. We have a very small budget, and planning has to fit around all the usual demands of our jobs.

As the Museum’s Press and Marketing Officer I promote the event, but having formerly been the Front of House Manager and also being a designer I am in a fortunate position of being able to create all steps of the promotion from designing banners to writing press releases and creating signs and programmes for the night.

A flyer for an evening event with orange lanterns on a black background

The flyer Kate designed for the Pitt Rivers' Winterlight evening event in 2011

The enormous popularity of this event is due to the combination of stunning collections and architecture, and our dedication to keeping this event free, relying on word of mouth recommendation.

A flyer advertising an evening event, with bright lanterns on a pastel background

Kate's flyer design for last year's Museums at Night evening event, reusing the lantern design from her winter flyer with a different colour scheme

We do not do any paid advertising, instead promoting the event through our websites, e-newsletter and viral emails, free online listing, posters (printed in-house), local press, Twitter and a banner outside.

A banner advertising a museum event from 2011

The banner Kate designed to promote In A Different Light last year

We always debrief after every event, to help iron out the hiccoughs and tweak the format. From our experience, if you are starting a new event try to keep it simple! Play to your strengths, showcase your collection and embrace the often hidden skills of your staff.

This event is time heavy, relies on goodwill and indirectly costs us money. However, it is great fun (even when we’re working), has created some very happy visitors and has helped to raise the Museum’s profile considerably.

A woman smilingKate Webber studied to be a silversmith, and has worked at the Pitt Rivers Museum since 2002, managing the Front of House. She unleashes her creative streak to create books, exhibition promotional print etc, and tweets for the museum as @Pitt_Rivers.

 

 

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Thanks very much, Kate! If you’d like to write a guest post or case study for this blog about any aspect of event planning or marketing in arts or heritage venues, please drop me a line at rosie@culture24.org.uk or call me on 01273 623336.

Eastbourne’s Towner Gallery asks fans for Connect10 artist ideas

Wow, what an action packed 24 hours! Since publishing the details of our ten intrepid Connect10 artists and sharing the competition announcement yesterday morning (it’s even on the Arts Council website), project manager Nick and I have been overwhelmed by the response. We’ve received lots of interested emails, seen a flurry of excitement on social media, and within one hour venues had started submitting event ideas.

I was particularly interested to see this discussion taking place on the Towner Gallery’s Facebook page – they’ve asked their fans, who are already interested in their venue, which of the artists they would most like the gallery to bid for. It’s great to see this kind of engaged discussion: so far it looks as if the people of Eastbourne are most keen on Polly Morgan and Susan Stockwell.

A screenshot of a discussion on a Facebook page, with fans suggesting which artists they'd like to bring to the Towner Gallery

A lively discussion on the Towner Gallery's Facebook page about which Connect10 artists their fans would like to win

Which of the Connect10 artists would appeal to your audience? Can any of your fans and visitors suggest ideas for events they’d like to experience? A quick reminder: the ten intrepid creatives you can win for your event are:

Claire Barclay, futuristic Scottish sculptor whose carefully balanced installations have been exhibited in Tate Britain and Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery

Bompas & Parr, the jellymongers, who create spectacular culinary experiences ranging from architectural jellies to lakes of cocktails

Ryan Gander, provocative installation artist whose Artangel commission in a Hoxton warehouse provided clues for visitors to solve a mystery

Jon McGregor, award-winning novelist and short story writer, author of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even The Dogs

Polly Morgan, contemporary taxidermist whose poignant installations have been collected by Kate Moss

Terry O’Neill, fashion and rock photographer renowned for iconic images of Hollywood stars and bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones

Martin Parr, documentary photographer whose pictures tell stories of leisure, consumption and communication

Simon Roberts, landscape photographer who spent a year crossing Russia and was Official Artist of the 2010 General Election

Bob & Roberta Smith, sign-painter and installation artist who uses text on recycled signs and floorboards

Susan Stockwell, creator of installations, drawings and films commenting on globalisation and colonisation, often using recycled materials

You have until Tuesday 31 January 2012 to pitch an exciting Museums at Night event idea involving your chosen artist to Culture24 using this online form.

Culture24 will then select the two or three event ideas for each of the 10 artists, and open them up to an online public vote. Each successful venue will receive a £500 bursary for their event, and those selected venues that don’t win an artist will still receive £100 to support an alternative Museums at Night event.

Exciting times!

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UPDATE 7th February 2012: The Connect10 competition is now open – vote to send the 10 artists to venues across the UK here!

Introducing new Museums at Night campaign intern Rosie Gore

My name is Rosie, and I have just begun an internship with Culture24 working on the fantastic Museums at Night Festival.

A photo of a woman in a tree

Rosie Gore

I graduated last year from Manchester University where I studied History and Sociology. Although I didn’t study a degree specifically related to the arts sector, since graduating I have undergone various work placements at galleries and museums such as Somerset House and Manchester Museum.

I also took part in a work placement with the BBC on their radio 4 show Front Row, which highlights upcoming cultural events, shows and exhibitions. Having absolutely loved these different experiences I now know this is the sector I wish to continue working in and am therefore trying my hand at everything!

Having grown up in London I have always had London’s galleries and museums at my fingertips and thus many are old favourites. The Natural History Museum  has proved the test of time and still remains my favourite: one can spend a whole day wandering around mesmerised!

I can’t wait to get started working on Museums At Night as I think it’s an amazing opportunity for all museums, galleries and heritage sites to open up their doors and entice the public in with exciting and unique events to really give visitors an idea of all the things these venues have to offer.

I look forward to working with you all over the next few months!