Tag Archives: Culture24

We’re moving to a new website!

Thank you for reading the Museums at Night blog since I started it back in 2009. Six years on, the festival has grown far bigger than I ever imagined, and it’s time for a new, more visually exciting website which is easy to read on all devices, and which has all the information about the festival in one place.

This blog will stay here as an archive of the festival’s history, but we are now moving to an exciting new festival website at www.museumsatnight.org.uk. Come over and take a look!

A screenshot showing event listings

You can find all the Museums at Night event listings beautifully displayed here – adding an image really does make a big difference to how they look: http://museumsatnight.org.uk/events-page/

I’ll also continue to publish blog posts with new case studies, partnership opportunities and calls to action categorised here: http://museumsatnight.org.uk/run-an-event/

Please update your links! We look forward to working with you in future.

Museums at Night to become a biannual festival; Connect! competition announced

Culture24 is pleased to announce that Museums at Night, the UK’s annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage, will now be taking place twice a year – in May and October.

The May festival will now run over four days, from Wednesday May 13 until Saturday May 16, while a second festival, lasting two days, will take place on Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31.

Now in its seventh year, Museums at Night offers the chance to experience culture and heritage in a totally unexpected way. The festival sees hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK opening their doors  late  for an array of special events. The festival has experienced phenomenal growth during the past few years,  attracting 180,000 visits to 700 events in more than 500 venues across the country in 2014.

Visitors looking into small coloured plastic scopes

Visitors discovering Connect10 artist Spencer Tunick’s scopes installation at George’s House Gallery, Folkestone during Museums at Night 2014

The annual Connect10 competition – which gives people the chance to ‘win’ a leading contemporary artist to create a unique event at their local cultural venue during Museums at Night – is to be rebranded Connect! for 2015. This year it will feature six artists, with each event taking place during the  October festival.

Voting for Connect! 2015 will open on May 1 and winning venues will be announced during Museums at Night in May. The public can vote at www.museumsatnight.org.uk.  The artists  taking part in Connect! 2015 will be announced shortly.

Previous participating artists have included Bob & Roberta Smith, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger and photographer Rankin. Previous events have included a Grayson Perry teddy bear hunt around York Museum, New York artist Spencer Tunick photographing 100 individual nudes on Folkestone beach and Bompas & Parr floating the Bristol’s ss Great Britain on a sea of lime green jelly. In 2014, the Connect! competition attracted more than 62,000 public votes.

Connect! is funded by Arts Council England to support venues  trying something different to attract new audiences to their Museums at Night event.

Nick Stockman, Campaigns Manager, Museums at Night said:

“After record numbers of visitors in 2014, the Museums at Night festival will take another giant leap forward in 2015, doubling the number of event nights to six and extending to October as well as an extra day in May. We are really excited about the opportunity this gives venues to offer visitors something new and exciting, particularly for those people who don’t usually visit museums and galleries.“

John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at Arts Council England said:

“I sometimes think museums are at their best out of hours. Museums at Night brings the opportunity for people everywhere to engage with brilliant objects and museums close to their home in fun, quirky and stimulating ways. If you thought museums are boring, think again! I’m looking forward to seeing what the artists involved in Connect! 2015 have in store for us: we had incredible feedback following last year’s unique artist-led events.”

Tying in with the European initiative La Nuit des Musées, Museums at Night is run by Culture24 and designed to attract new audiences into museums and galleries via a  range of exciting events.

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

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 ev It takes place from Wednesday May 13th – Saturday May 16th. www.museumsatnight.org.uk

2. Culture24 is an independent non-profit company which exists to support the cultural sector to reach and connect with audiences. It is best known for publishing great websites about culture; producing the successful Museums at Night festival of after-hours openings and leading Let’s Get Real, the collaborative action research project involving cultural organisations across the UK and Europe. 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

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Museums at Night 2015 first publicity deadline: register your events by Friday 13 February!

Thank you to everyone who’s got in touch asking about how to register events for the Museums at Night festival!

Here’s our resource explaining how to use Culture24’s DDE database to register your Museums at Night 2015 event: https://museumsatnight.wordpress.com/how-to-register-your-museums-at-night-event/

Our first PR deadline is Friday 13 February 2015. If you register your event listing in our database by 5pm on  this date, it will appear in our themed press releases going out to long-lead glossy magazines.

What else can you do to help us get you publicity? Send us your photos!

We’re looking for high-resolution photos showing members of your target audience having a good time in your venue – perhaps doing a hands-on activity, holding objects, or in costume, if it’s a costumed event!

Running a photo-shoot

If you’ll be offering a certain activity or food and you don’t have decent photos to illustrate it, it’s absolutely fine to stage a photo-shoot, as the Museum of Farnham did recently so they had a suite of images to use to raise awareness of their Museums at Night sleepover.

If your event is aimed at families, you’ll want to get some photos with children of your target age group: make sure you have their parents’ permission.

A group of children lying on a museum floor with sleeping bags and torches

Children posing with sleeping bags at the Museum of Farnham ahead of their sleepover. Picture courtesy Bryan Sewell.

On the other hand, if your event will offer sophisticated cocktails and live music, show people enjoying them amid your objects. Have you run a similar event in the past? Look through your pictures – and any people shared on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook on the night – and see if any would be good to use for publicity now.

Having great photos can make the difference between a tiny news nib in your local paper, and attracting a half-page feature. So please, don’t delay: register your events and send us your photos today!

Team Museums at Night on the road again: join our free briefing sessions!

Interested in taking part in the Museums at Night festival and/or entering the Connect! competition to develop a participatory event with a contemporary artist?

We’re delighted to announce our second series of free, friendly Museums at Night / Connect! regional workshops in early February 2015, following our successful roadshows in London, the Midlands and Yorkshire in 2013.

In February we’ll be travelling to three different regions: the South West (Bristol), East of England (Cambridge) and North West (Manchester).

A group of Men In Black dancers parade through a town centre

The circus is coming! This isn’t Team Museums at Night – it’s artist Jessica Voorsanger leading a sci-fi parade through Scunthorpe for the 2014 festival. Find out how she did it at our workshops!

Who are these workshops for?

These afternoon workshops are completely free to attend, and are open to anybody interested in taking part in Museums at Night in 2015 and beyond. Museums at Night is Culture24’s annual after-hours festival showcasing the arts and heritage sector, which each year offers a great audience development opportunity.

Whether you’re a staff member or volunteer, MDO or Town Centre Manager; based in a museum, gallery, library, archive or heritage site; and whether your organisation has never taken part in the festival before or has frequently run events, but would like more inspiration or the chance to form a local cluster; you’ll find something of interest.

What is the Connect! competition?

Formerly known as Connect10, Connect! is the competition giving venues the chance to win a participatory artist-led Museums at Night event and a £3,000 bursary. Some aspects of the competition are changing in 2015, so please come along to find out more.

What can you expect?

You’ll find out about the benefits and challenges involved in hosting an after-hours event, what it takes to be a Connect! winner, and what it’s like to host a top artist from the people who have done it before.

Take advantage of this unique opportunity to hear first-hand from a Connect10 artist, who will share their experience of developing a successful participatory event, and tips for venues interested in working with artists.

You’ll learn how to organise a local cluster of venues to take part in the festival, plus there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and chat with colleagues from your region.

Event timings:

Doors open at 1pm for tea and coffee, each event kicks off at 1:30 and will finish at 4:30pm. We can’t offer lunch, but hot drinks will be available.

Event and booking details:

East of England: Monday 2nd February, Scott Polar Museum, Cambridge

Speakers include:

  • A cluster coordinatorLaura Crossley, Heritage and Audience Development consultant who has successfully bid for funding and set up several Museums at Night clusters in North Norfolk
  • A Connect10 venue: Suzannah Bedford, who led the Renewal Trust’s campaign to bring top photographer Rankin to St Ann’s Allotments in Nottingham for Museums at Night
  • A Connect10 artist: Kelvyn Smith of Mr Smith’s Letterpress Workshop, who devised a unique letterpress printing experience at Walthamstow’s William Morris Gallery, taking inspiration from Morris’ writings and the venue’s collections

North West: Thursday 5 February, Manchester Central Library

Speakers include:

  • A cluster coordinator: Christina Grogan, who has grown Liverpool’s Light Night into an unmissable city culture crawl
  • A Museums at Night venue: Damon Waldock, who has successfully developed Yorkshire Sculpture Park‘s Museums at Night events over several years
  • A Connect10 artist: Janette Parris, who brought in fellow artists and performers to copy and re-present Cardiff Story Museum, and even wrote songs inspired by their collection objects

South West: Wednesday 11 February, M Shed, Bristol

Speakers include:

  • A cluster coordinator: Elaine Lees from Creativity Works, who successfully brought venues together from towns and villages across Pennine Lancashire in the Festival of Wonders cluster
  • A Connect10 venue: Lucie Connors, who led Cardiff Story Museum‘s campaign to bring contemporary artist Janette Parris to re-make and perform in their exhibitions for Museums at Night
  • A Connect10 artist: Jessica Voorsanger, who led a parade through Scunthorpe culminating in sci-fi themed art interventions that transformed the 20-21 Visual Arts Centre

Don’t miss out – book your free place today!

These briefings are supported by Arts Council England lottery funding.

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Intro to Culture24 and Museums at Night!

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to various heritage sector events over the last 6 weeks, talking about Culture24 and Museums at Night. I wanted to share the resources and a helpful introductory presentation here, so you can see the sort of information I give out and download the handouts for yourself.

Museums Norfolk Development Day: Using events to engage visitors and generate income 

I introduced Culture24’s various services and some of our current initiatives with this one-page Culture24 contact handout.

I explained how museums can get started using Culture24’s DDE database to showcase events and exhibitions, with this one-page introduction to Culture24’s DDE.

Finally, I discussed how even the smallest heritage venues could successfully take part in Museums at Night and attract publicity in a mini-marketing masterclass.

 

SHOWCASE: South East Museum Development conference

A woman smiling on a stand with handouts

Rosie at Brooklands Museum, image courtesy Scott Ramsey Photography

I took part in this fascinating day at historic Brooklands Museum, talking about how museums could take advantage of Culture24’s services, and run successful events for Museums at Night. I was really pleased to meet so many people in person who read my newsletters, and who I’d only had email contact with before!

Museomix

I also took part in the brilliant three-day Museomix hackathon at Derby Silk Mill and Derby Museum & Art Gallery – here are the terrific remixed collection objects the 7 teams developed over the weekend: http://www.museomix.org/en/localisation/derby-2014/#prototypes

As Community Manager I welcomed people who were new to the heritage hackathon experience. I created new content, sourcing stories and interviewing museum staff to provide features for the MuseomixUK Tumblr; helped the teams to post images and thoughts to their own Tumblrs; highlighted interesting digital content from others; and helped with idea generation and prototype development – I’d recommend the experience to anyone!

Museums at Night 2014: a roundup of BBC coverage of the festival

We were delighted to work with the BBC to raise awareness of the Museums at Night festival this year: here’s a brief roundup of the coverage that went out on on BBC1, BBC2, Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4, local radio and television and BBC ARTS Online.

Network Television

At the heart of the BBC’s coverage was an hour long BBC2 show, Museums at Night, on Saturday 17 May at 7pm.

A poster promoting the BBC TV show about Museums at Night with Will Gompertz

 

The programme was a truly nationwide event, presented by Will Gompertz with Mat Fraser at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh.

There were also short films presented by Frank Cotterell Boyce, Andrew Graham-Dixon and Simon Armitage from Liverpool, Cardiff, Nottingham, Cornwall, Yorkshire and the National Gallery in London.

The on-site panel in Edinburgh included Jude Kelly, Bettany Hughes and Amit Sood from the Google Art Project.

Also on television,

  • Museum at Night was profiled on Breakfast where Culture24 CEO Jane Finnis joined hosts Charlie Stayt and Sally Nugent and enjoyed the VanGoYourself game, taking ‘selfies’ imitating famous art works
twinned image of a couple with a tambourine and wreath headdress

BBC Breakfast presenters Charlie and Sally recreate Two Women from Naples by Guillaume Bodinier. Image shared under a CC-BY-SA licence

  • The One Show promoted the programme off the back of an item with Arthur Smith at the Black Country Living Museum on Wednesday 14th May
  • Blue Peter did a piece with Museums at Night author Damian Dibben from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich on 15th May

Radio

  • On Radio 2 Chris Evans had Will Gompertz on the show to promote the festival, and Claudia Winkleman’s Arts Show ran a package with Andrew Graham-Dixon from the National Gallery
  • On Radio 3 The Verb commissioned writer Phil Smith to do a night time walk
  • On Radio 4 You and Yours
  • On BBC 6 Music, Lauren Laverne interviewed artist Fred Deakin about his event at The Wilson, Cheltenham
  • On BBC Radio Scotland, MacAuley and Co interviewed Will Gompertz
  • BBC Radio Wales Arts Show had an interview with Connect10 artist Janette Parris about her project at Cardiff Story Museum
  • There was also a significant amount of local radio coverage, including interviews with many participating museums and representatives from Culture24.

 

Nations and Regions

More than seven TV regions covered the weekend, either live or as a package on the Thursday or Friday 18.30 news.

Events at the Horniman Museum in London, the Wilson in Cheltenham, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Plymouth, Exeter Art Gallery, and one Sunderland museum sleepover were featured. News teams from Manchester, Southampton, Leeds and Hull also covered the event.

BBC Northern Ireland’s Arts Show produced a feature from the Titanic Museum, Belfast.

Each transmission also referred to the BBC2 show.

Online

The newly launched BBC Arts Online focused on Museums at Night over the weekend.

The homepage of Museums at Night coverage on BBC Arts

Martha Kearney picked up from Will Gompertz, continuing the broadcasting at 8pm after the BBC2 show. There was a complete live stream of Russell Maliphant’s ‘Second Breath’ with English National Ballet at the Imperial War Museum North.

The website also featured the ‘VanGoYourself’ project which encourages people to take a photograph of themselves as they restage well-known paintings. The Last Supper was re-staged with a group of dinner ladies in a Glasgow primary school.

Clips from the online coverage, including English National Ballet and Public Service Broadcasting, can still be seen on the BBC Arts Museums at Night page.

Rosie Clarke talks Museums at Night at Museums Showoff, 10 June

Museums Showoff, the cabaret-style night for all those who love museums, will be at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AH at 7.30pm on June 10th.

Museums Showoff logo

And I’ll be talking as part of the evening: explaining how the Connect10 competition led to me spending Museums at Night falling into the sea at Swansea with artist Amy Sharrocks!

a line of people holding hands in the sea

Intrepid museum visitors enter the sea led by Amy Sharrocks

If you want to hear intriguing insights, get the low down on amazing projects and glean all the behind-the-scenes gossip, Museums Showoff is the show for you.

Whether it’s bizarre visitor feedback or the terrible fate of a Ken doll, a lifesaving Welsh dog or some fascinatingly underwhelming fossils, Museums Showoff explores a side of the UK’s world-renowned museums and collections not seen (for better or worse!) by the 40 million people who visit them every year.

Also among those taking to the stage for this extravaganza of wit and wisdom, objects and exhibitions will be curators from the Grant Museum and the Horniman Museum, the convenors of the Bad Text award, and the Roald Dahl Museum storytellers.

See the full line up and buy your tickets (only £7) at http://www.museumsshowoff.org.

All proceeds are going to Arts Emergency who offer mentoring, advice & support for 16-19 year olds from low income backgrounds who want to do an arts or humanities degree … just the kind of qualification you need to work in a museum!

This gig is suitable for people aged over 16 years old.

If you come along, do say hello to me afterwards!