We’re delighted to announce our latest partnership for Museums at Night 2015: we’re working together with Voluntary Arts, organisers of the annual Voluntary Arts Week!
In previous years, we’ve connected artists and authors with museums, and we’ve been delighted to see some terrific event partnerships springing up between local voluntary arts groups and cultural and heritage organisations.
A jazz band prepare to play in a historic house. Picture courtesy Voluntary Arts
However, we really wanted to widen the opportunity to all arts and heritage organisations who’d like the chance to link up with a local creative or performing group to collaborate on interesting joint events as part of the festival. Voluntary Arts Week is all about giving these groups the opportunity to showcase their practice to new audiences, so this is an ideal partnership.
I was interviewed by Cassandra from Voluntary Arts Scotland about our hopes for this partnership: read on to find out the cinematic guilty pleasure which I’d love to recreate in a gallery! http://voluntaryartsweek.org/creative-collaborations/
Why not take advantage of this opportunity to discover which voluntary arts organisations exist in your local area, reach out to them, and find a way of collaborating on a Museums at Night event?
Kelly Donaldson from Voluntary Arts Scotland explains more:
Voluntary arts groups, like museums, come in many shapes, sizes and genres. From amateur dramatics companies to knitting circles, choirs to embroidery groups. The one thing they all have in common, is passion. Nobody pays them to do it, they meet, share and create purely ‘for the love of it’ (which, in case you didn’t know, is the original definition of ‘amateur’).
By connecting with a local voluntary arts group, and working with them on a Museums at Night event, museums and galleries can come to life in a whole new way. Imagine a dance group drawing a crowd outside your venue, a choir singing in your foyer, a drama club creating a short scene inspired by your exhibits, or a painting group displaying their creations in your café.
Gurdwara youth choir performing at GoMA, Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art
Imagine that and a myriad of other ways your spaces could be enriched by a voluntary arts group, because the possibilities are indeed endless.
Not only could it attract new audiences to your venue, but the groups themselves (and their families and friends) are potential new visitors. Events such as a flashmob bursting unexpectedly into song inside a museum are also a great way to engage your local media.
The May Museums at Night festival happens during Voluntary Arts Week, an annual celebration of cultural participation run by Voluntary Arts. Throughout the week, local cultural groups will be showcasing their wares and encouraging new people to discover the joy of taking part.
Museums at Night is the perfect vehicle to help make that happen – whilst boosting your venue’s profile at the same time. Any events taking place that week will also benefit from double publicity, through the Voluntary Arts Week website and a range of social media.
To find out how your venue could hook up with a local voluntary arts group, contact your closest Voluntary Arts representative and get ready to make magic.
Who is your Voluntary Arts representative?
Laraine Winning – Development Officer Coordinator (England)
Ireland (North and Republic)
Emma Whitehead – Development Officer (Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 07818 032 718
Cassandra Barron – Development Officer (Scotland)
Email: email@example.com / Phone: 0131 561 7333
Gwenan Davies – Information Officer (Wales)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org / Phone: 07825 109594
What would a voluntary arts Museums at Night event be like?
It may mean giving a community choir space to perform, or inviting a group of guerrilla knitters to “yarnbomb” your gardens, or collaborating with artists or creative writers to offer a hands-on workshop inspired by your venue or collections … or something else we haven’t thought of before!
This could also lead to longer-term collaborations and partnership working within communities, helping your organisation to broaden your offer, discover new ideas and ways of presenting your spaces and collections, and connect with new audiences through creative art forms.
Free information packs
We also collaborated on these handy information packs full of case studies about successful creative collaborations to inspire you!
Museums at Night venues: For more information and guidance on how to involve voluntary arts groups in your Museums at Night event, including tips on how to find groups near you and inspiring case studies, download the Museums at Night information pack here.
Scottish Festival of Museums venues: For Scotland-specific information and guidance about working with voluntary arts groups, download the Festival of Museums information pack here.
Voluntary Arts groups: Curious about collaborating with cultural and heritage organisations? Download our top tips on working with cultural venues here.
Interview with Rosie
I spoke to Cassandra from Voluntary Arts Scotland about our hopes for this partnership: read on to find out the cinematic guilty pleasure which I’d love to recreate in a gallery! http://voluntaryartsweek.org/creative-collaborations/