Tag Archives: Flickr Competition

Can I take part in Museums at Night?

It’s great to see so much interest in Connect10, our new competition to win an artist-led Museums at Night event at your venue, together with a share of funding. (Didn’t get the message? Sign up for our mailing list here and you’ll be the first to get news about partnerships, funding and promotional opportunities!)

a photo of two children eating melting icecreams by the seaside

England. New Brighton. From 'The Last Resort'. 1983-1985. © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos.

In answer to a good question we’ve been asked: no, you don’t need to be from an accredited museum in order to take part in Connect10 or Museums at Night.

Connect10 is open to any non-commercial, public-facing cultural or heritage venue in the UK: this doesn’t just mean museums or galleries! Our database also includes libraries, archives, heritage sites, architecture centres, science centres, planetariums and environment centres.

In order to be considered to take part in the competition your venue needs a listing in Culture24’s DDE system. You must also agree to update and refresh your venue and event records in our database. Apart from this, there are no restrictions on participation.

If you aren’t already on our database, simply fill in this form: https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/join-our-network/

If your venue is on the Culture24 database, but you don’t have a username, you can get one here: https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/new-dde-username/

If you’re already signed up to use our database, log in using the link below to get your listings, events and other resources on to Culture24 and our partner websites: http://update.culture24.org.uk/dashboard

Got a question we haven’t answered yet? Either leave us a comment, drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk or give us a call on 01273 623336.

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 http://www.culture24.org.uk/connect10 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 nick@culture24.org.uk

For press enquiries and images, please contact Pandora George:

07729 469220 or pandora@bulletpr.co.uk

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

Guest post: Felicity Plent on planning and marketing Summer at the Museums in Cambridge

We receive a lot of press releases at Culture24, but one from Cambridge Museums stuck in my mind for the simple, ingenious series of photos that accompanied it. I asked coordinator Felicity Plent if she’d write a post explaining how her team planned and marketed this season of events, once her busy summer was over.


Cycling to work the morning after Twilight at the Museums (when 3,000 parents and children descend after dark!)  I started thinking about an idea that became Summer at the Museums.  I was feeling evangelical! I wanted us to grab hold of all the extra people we had encouraged to visit our museums through Twilight and get them back here for the summer.

What I wanted was a great big bag of fun, family things to do at Cambridge Museums – offering summer days out that parents would choose as an alternative to London trips, or instead of costly outings to the cinema /bowling/swimming on poor weather days. But I also really wanted to know what children choose to look at when they visit our museums, because so many of them had used torches at Twilight to look at exhibits differently.  In previous summers we had used trails linking all the museums, but actually all we needed was an umbrella of publicity that supported the brilliant events that were already running.

A poster featuring a sunglasses-wearing sculpture and penguin eating icecream

A colourful poster combining art with fun summertime images

With a plan formed, I asked our designer, Kath Lees, to create a poster, events calendar and ‘Draw What You Saw’ postcard competition entry form inspired by seaside postcard images, end of the pier slapstick and sunshine.  The result was a downloadable calendar showcasing over 60 events for children over the holidays. It was available on the University and Cambridge museum websites, and sent out to schools to circulate via parentmail.  The postcard competition, which could be entered at all museums, would then give us feedback on what children thought was worth looking at.

A postcard to enter a museum drawing competition

The back of this postcard has a space for children to draw what they saw at the museum. Courtesy Cambridge Museums

I persuaded Crayola to give us the prizes and we posted our favourite entries on a Flickr gallery. Weekly and overall winners gave us something new to talk about on social networks each week as the entries came in.

But it was Kath’s sunglasses imagery for the campaign that really tipped the balance. Again on my bike one morning, I had one of those shiny moments – Sunglasses = Look! A quick shopping trip furnished me with 14 pairs of novelty sunglasses.  A round of emails persuaded our Museum Directors to let us use the sunglasses as props on exhibits.  And, with the help of a brilliant local twitter diarist and photographer, Sir Cam, we used the resulting images across social media and the web to promote our calendar and competition.

A stone lion outside the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge rocking a pair of blue plastic sunglasses

The iconic lion outside the Fitzwilliam Museum, rocking a pair of sunglasses - a simple but effective image to create

4,200 people attended the family events at our museums over the summer and over 900 children entered our competition. Oh, and we’ve already been offered a woolly hat for the lion in case of snow this winter.

See the whole museum-objects-in-sunglasses photoshoot here, the children’s illustrations of their favourite museum objects here, and the full Summer at the Museums programme here.

A smiling woman wearing sunglasses

Felicity Plent

Felicity Plent is the Marketing Co-ordinator for the University of Cambridge Museums: you can follow them on Twitter at @camunivmuseums.

Fabulous fun with Faber competitions: the Archive, Jo Shapcott, and Lucy Worsley!

One of the nicest aspects of my job coordinating Museums at Night is working together with lots of fantastic people on promotional partnerships. For two years now I’ve been working alongside a certain lovely person from Faber & Faber, but we only knew each other from phonecalls and emails. So I was delighted to get the chance to meet her in person at the launch of If Walls Could Talk, the new book by Historic Royal Palaces chief curator Lucy Worsley.

The front cover of If Walls Could Talk showing a blonde woman in a parlour holding a teacup

As a history lover, I’ve been glued to BBC4 every Wednesday night for the last month, watching Lucy’s documentary series about the history of the home (which you can watch on iPlayer here). It’s been fascinating spotting interiors and experts from many of the museums and historic houses on the Culture24 database. Some of the facts she shared are really surprising – I had no idea that there were still 1600 Victorian gas street lamps still in use in the City of London, being lit and put out by official British Gas lamplighters every night!

A woman in a turquoise coat standing in front of a massive historic building

Lucy Worsley, chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces (c) Glenn Dearing

Thanks to this partnership, we were able to place a competition in the Times for Times+ subscribers – the lucky winners will get a behind-the-scenes tour of Hampton Court Palace with Lucy, along with signed copies of her book. We’re very grateful to Lucy, Historic Royal Palaces, and Faber & Faber for helping us to set this up: it meant that Museums at Night was featured on the Times website and in 3 editions of the printed newspaper, making thousands of readers aware of the campaign.

A new exciting competition – tour the Faber Archives!

A woman with dark hair

Award-winning poet Jo Shapcott

Faber are also working with us to offer a special Museums at Night competition which anyone can enter – but the competition closes at midnight on Sunday, so act fast! The Faber Archive holds 80 years of publishing history, ranging from its famous early 20th century poetry collection (including manuscripts byTS Eliot and WH Auden) to books on farming, gardening, art and architecture.

It’s never normally open to the public – but 5 lucky winners will receive an exclusive tour through 80 years of publishing history with archivist Robert Brown. And that’s not all: award-winning Faber poet Jo Shapcott will conclude the evening by reading some of her work!

To enter the Faber Archive competition, simply click here.

Announcing the Museums at Night 2010 photo competition winners!

Thanks very much to everybody who took pictures of the fun they had at Museums at Night events, and shared them in our Flickr group. There are 265 images from all over the UK, and our judges (Gordon MacDonald, editor of Photoworks magazine; Culture24 editor Richard Moss and Culture24 director Jane Finnis) were delighted to see the range of events people had been to.

A photo of coloured lights travelling down steps surrounded by plants

Lights at the Eden Project by Matthew Fox - the overall winner

It was particularly great to see so many interesting photos this year from participating venues – these are handy to use for promoting future events in your museum or gallery. If you’re sending out a press release inviting people to come and explore your collections after dark, providing pictures showing happy visitors doing just that can make the difference between getting a one-line nib and a quarter-page spread in your local newspaper.

If you’re planning on taking part in Museums at Night 2011, we’ll be asking you to list your event in the Culture24 DDE database, and then to send us a promotional photo, ideally of people having fun in your venue at night. Here at Culture24 we get a lot of media enquiries about the Museums at Night programme, and these photos are incredibly useful in bringing your event descriptions to life.

You can read our article about the photographers and see all the winning photos here.

Museums at Night Global Gardeners photos from Topsham Museum

Charles Potter, the Audience Development Officer from Topsham Museum has created this lovely collage of photos from Topsham’s Global Gardeners Museums at Night event.

A photo collage of people looking at plants in gardens

Topsham Museum's Global Gardeners event

Charles explains, “The evening included guided tours around plants brought to England by the Veitch family. The weather did affect the throughput, but those who did turn out were very happy. Many saw the Museum exhibits for the first time as well.”

If your venue has interesting grounds, garden design features or outdoor sculptures, you don’t necessarily have to open up the museum: you could offer a guided tour around your grounds or the local area, targeted at gardeners / local history buffs / sculpture lovers. Of course, if you have collections related to the tour, you could always conclude the tour by ending up back at your museum, give everyone a cup of tea and allow them inside to explore.

If you can recommend any simple event-planning ideas that you know work well, please leave a comment or drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk.

And finally, if you took photos of Museums at Night events, please share them in our Flickr group!

Museums at Night 2009 Flickr competition winners!

Late Night at the National Portrait Gallery by Julie Kertesz

During Museums at Night 2009, which took place over the weekend of May 15-17, we ran a photography competition for the first time. We asked people who were attending Museums at Night events to take photos of their experiences, then to upload them into a Flickr group. The whole pool of photos is here – we were really pleased that so many people were willing to take part in this.  Culture24 sent out journalists to report on as many events as possible, but we couldn’t cover everything, and these photos from people all over the UK were really interesting in showing how ingenious all the venues had been – and how much fun all the visitors seemed to be having! You can see the 6 winning photos in this Flickr gallery.

Here’s our article about the competition, and here’s an interview with the overall winner, Julie Kertesz. She’s a fascinating lady who has lived in Hungary, Romania and France before coming to the UK, blogs in French and English, and began using Flickr at the age of 70! She has now shared over 34,000 beautiful photos of her travels and the interesting people she’s met along the way, which you can look at here. I was asked to look through her photos and pick 4 favourite shots to illustrate the interview – and all I can say is that it was immensely difficult to narrow it down to 15 amazing images.

We really hope that everyone who took photos at Museums at Night 2009 will come back and do the same in 2010 – and we hope many more people will join in with the challenge as well. Julie is inspired by visiting new places, the changing seasons, and people reading – what inspires you to take photos?