Tag Archives: Partnership Offers

Museums at Night collaborates with Adult Learners Week

Once again, the Museums at Night May festival (13-16 May 2015) overlaps with the Adult Learners’ Week Festival of Learning, which runs throughout May and June 2015, and we’ll be cross-promoting each other’s events as usual. So why not consider including an educational element when planning your Museums at Night event?

Adult Learners Week logo

The Adult Learners’ Week Campaigns Team explains more:

When we’re young, learning is everywhere. From schools and colleges to after school-clubs and the home, it’s obvious where we can improve our skills and abilities. As we get older, many of us want to continue this journey but we’re often unaware of the variety of learning opportunities that are available to us.

Lots of museums and galleries are already engaging thousands of adults in learning and developing their skills. For those who have not yet jumped on the bandwagon, there’s never been a better time to come aboard.

A drawing class

Drawing at Barking and Dagenham College (c) Caters Photography

Museums at Night is partnering with the Festival of Learning, led by the National Institute for Continuing Adult Education (NIACE), which brings together a range of events and activities taking place throughout May and June 2015.

The Festival of Learning is a prime opportunity for museums, galleries and heritage sites to run events which can educate, inform and raise awareness in the adult learning community.

There are many ways in which the cultural sector can engage adult learners this spring: here are some ideas!

1) Invite expert speakers

Adults are often keen to hear from experts in a particular field. Utilise the breadth of contacts at your fingertips, such as local artists, academics and curators, to provide adults with an intricate background to exhibits and engagement with the wider community.

Two women folding origami

Origami workshop at City Link (c) Caters Photography

2) Link exhibitions to building new, transferable skills

Whether it’s photography classes in a local gallery, or a sewing school in a textile exhibition, museums provide an engaging backdrop to learning new skills that help participants progress both personally and professionally. This kind of initiative is also a simple way to engage and form partnerships with local educators, further widening the reach of your institution and opening the doors to new audiences.

3) Facilitate interaction and creativity

Often with full-time jobs and families, adult learners’ time is precious so it’s important that classes are stimulating without being too heavy-going. Avoid long lectures and opt for more group discussions, practical tasks and problem-solving games.

People making millinery trimmings out of feathers

Learning millinery, the art of trimming hats, at the National Portrait Gallery (c) Positive Negatives Photography

Adult learning is an opportunity for museums to engage anyone and everyone, from learners to schools and beyond. The Festival of Learning showcases just how many organisations are joining the adult learning mission and is a fantastic opportunity to have a go, even if it’s just an evening class or a late night tour.

Next steps

You can upload your May and June Festival of Learning events to the free online events diary at http://www.alw.org.uk/events.

For more information, you can connect with Adult Learners Week on Facebook (www.facebook.com/niaceadultlearnersweek), follow @NIACEhq on Twitter and look out for the hashtag #ALW.

Partnership opportunity: work with a voluntary arts group!

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 group of musicians in a historic house

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.

A Sikh children's choir in a gallery

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? 

England

Laraine Winning – Development Officer Coordinator (England)
Email:  Laraine@vaengland.org.uk 

Ireland (North and Republic)

Emma Whitehead – Development Officer (Northern Ireland & Republic of Ireland)
Email: emma@vaireland.org / Phone: 07818 032 718

Scotland

Cassandra Barron – Development Officer (Scotland)
Email: cass@vascotland.org.uk  /  Phone: 0131 561 7333

Wales

Gwenan Davies – Information Officer (Wales)
Email: gwenan@vaw.org.uk / 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/

New opportunity: Host a Museum Town Square!

Culture24 seek expressions of interest in Museum Town Square, an expansion on Market Hall Museum Warwick’s ‘Great Warwickshire Show And Tell’ event for Connect10 in 2014. We are looking at the idea of rolling out these open-air museum events around the country, either in 2015 or 2016.

A group of people visiting market stalls

Visitors flock to the market stall in Warwick. Picture courtesy Rebecca Hone

What’s the big idea?

The philosophy behind Museum Town Square is simple – give people a forum to present and talk about their passion, without hierarchy or the need for prices or literature – and they will make a deeper connection with the people they meet.

The huge breadth of collections and displays, from beekeepers to bread-makers, cheese-rollers and barrel burners will tap into the hidden resource and passionate expertise of Britain’s collectors. In contrast to the homogenous nature of the modern town centre, for three days in May streets and squares will showcase the diversity of the country’s enthusiasms.

Museum Town Square will be artist-led, empowering people to be at the heart of the art, with activities and things to do animating the spaces throughout the day. It will attract enormous media coverage; from local TV, radio and press, supplemented with national BBC programming, creating a unifying national experience.

The Warwick story

This idea was piloted in Warwick for Museums at Night 2014 by Alex Hartley in partnership with Market Hall Museum, attracting over 4,000 people to the market square and the museum. The town’s market stalls were used to unify the exhibits into a single celebratory event. Basic rules prevented direct selling and commercial signage. Each stall was manned by an expert, creating a hosted cabinet of curiosities.

Watch the short film about the Warwick event: http://youtu.be/bWj8-hR2khs.

A dancing bin man

A dancing ban man welcomes visitors to Warwick’s Museum Town Square

What will Museum Town Square mean for your community?

Museum Town Square will turn town squares nationwide into outdoor museums, creating a national mass participation event and art happening on a grand scale. Centrally curated by artist Alex Hartley, with input on a local level from local artists, the stalls will feature community and hobbyist organisations and individuals – turning each town centre into a giant outdoor show-and-tell, for one late afternoon/evening only.

Each event would be run with a very simple set of ground rules (including no selling or print material allowed) with the aim of facilitating a dialogue and conversation between enthusiasts and visitors, which worked so well in Warwick last year.

The fluorescent outfits of the breakdancing binmen shine brightly as evening falls

The fluorescent outfits of the breakdancing binmen shine brightly as evening falls

Event co-ordination 

Each event will be run by a local museum or gallery, with central support and guidance from Culture24 in every aspect of the project. The lead organisation in each town will be responsible for coordinating the invited local community groups and running the logistics of the event, which presents an opportunity for that organisation to raise their profile both within the community and directly to audiences.

Next steps 

This project will go ahead subject to a successful application to one or more public funding organisations, and would be managed on a full cost-recovery basis for all participating venues.

If you are interested in being part of this project please fill in this very short Expression of Interest form: https://culture24.wufoo.com/forms/museum-town-square-expression-of-interest-form/

Museums at Nightclub opportunity: expression of interest form

A few months ago we introduced the idea of Museums at Nightclub: an artist-led, touring event series taking place in Autumn / Winter 2015, produced by a consortium of venues in conjunction with Culture24, taking place in areas with low engagement in the arts. It will feature artists who specialise in participatory arts events, and who have worked on the Connect10 project in previous years.

We are developing a proposal to submit to Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme before Christmas, involving a partnership with venues. Could you be one of them?

Download the three page information pack to find out more about what will be involved.

We want to work with 16 venues from all over the country over the two year lifetime of the project, eight in the first year and again eight in year two. We want to submit the application with at least eight venues firmly committed to the project and at least eight more aiming for year two.

Venues from anywhere in England may express an interest but preference will be given to those identified by the Taking Part Survey (2008 – 2010) as being in the 118 local authority areas in the country with the lowest level of engagement in the arts.

We will read all the expression of interest forms submitted and contact everybody before inclusion in the final application. Inclusion in the application is not to be taken as a commitment by Culture24 to include your venue in the project.

The first stage of the project after receiving a positive decision would be to hold detailed discussions with the artists and interested venues. At this stage there are many aspects of the event that may lead us to need to prioritise one venue over another; diarising simultaneous events, artist schedules, facilities, technical considerations, progress of audience development planning and much more besides.

Want to get involved? Your next steps:

1) Download the Museums at Nightclub 3 page info pack and list of local authority areas of low arts engagement. You can still apply if your local authority isn’t listed here,

2) Discuss the opportunity with your team. Becoming part of the new Museums at Nightclub touring network will involve a lot of time and development work ahead of the events in autumn / winter 2015: do you have the capacity for this?

3) Phone Nick on 01273 623279 or Rosie on 01273 623336 for a discussion about how this opportunity would work for your organisation.

4) Want to apply? Download the list of application form questions, and start preparing your answers.

N.B. Please take a look at the list of questions from the expression of interest form first, to prepare your answers before filling in the form. The form is two pages long, involves a certain amount of detail about your target audiences, and must be completed in one sitting – you can’t save it and come back to it.  

5) Ready to submit your expression of interest? Please fill in this form by Friday 29 November.

Please get in touch with Nick or Rosie if you have any questions relating to this project, or if you can’t download the documents – we’re happy to email them to you.

Work with an artist on a Museums at Nightclub!

It’s been a busy summer of evaluation, looking in detail at responses to the Museums at Night festival from participating venues and the public.

We have consistently received feedback from venues that have taken part in the Connect10 competition (and those that haven’t) that they would value more opportunities to work with artists, and to connect with new audiences through artist-led events.

And we’ve found an interesting way to offer just that opportunity…

Culture24 is seeking expressions of interest from all types of arts and heritage venues in a new project called Museums at Nightclub. Based on the successful festival template of after-hours events with an audience development objective, this new initiative springs from our evaluation of the Connect10 project.

A silent disco dancefloor

Young people flock to the dancefloor at MOSI (c) Chris Foster

The Museums at Nightclub will be an artist-led, touring event series produced by a consortium of venues in conjunction with Culture24, taking place in areas with low engagement in the arts. It will feature artists who specialise in participatory arts events, and who have worked on the Connect10 project in previous years.

We are developing a proposal to submit to Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring Programme involving a partnership with the participating venues.

Venues from anywhere in England may express an interest but preference will be given to those identified by the Taking Part Survey (2008 – 2010) as being in the 118 local authority areas in the country with the lowest level of engagement in the arts.

Would this work for your organisation? Find out more: take a look at the Taking Part Survey list to check your local authority’s status and download our 3 page information pack about the Museums at Nightclub project, schedules and finance.

We want this stage of the project to be developed in partnership with the participating venues, so please do come to us with your ideas and suggestions!

If you have any questions or just want to talk through some ideas, please contact: Nick Stockman (01273 623279, nick@culture24.org.uk) or Rosie Clarke (01273 623336, rosie@culture24.org.uk).

Final call to get your after-hours events on sale in Boots and WHSmith!

If you took part in Museums at Night, regularly run after-hours events, or are simply interested in generating income for your organisation, this is your last chance to join Culture24’s Activity Superstore partnership promoting cultural gift experiences in museums, galleries and heritage sites.

Four boxes will be sold on the high street from the beginning of September in shops such as Boots and WHSmith.


logos 2

 

The Museum Lates box is dedicated to providing two adults with an enchanting, insightful evening in a museum or gallery. This could be anything from an in-depth tour of an exhibition, a talk or access to a workshop. This is a fantastic way for you to attract new audiences and generate income.

A number of brilliantly diverse venues are already on board, including the Art Fund Museum of the Year, Yorkshire Sculpture Park; the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings; and the Museum of Carpet.

These boxes are most commonly brought as Christmas presents, so it is vital for you to get involved as soon as possible.

Act S Lates Box

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Activity Superstore?

Activity Superstore provides a range of gift experiences, sold in attractive gift boxes in high street stores. The boxes contain a booklet and a code that customers can use to book their experience on the Activity Superstore website. Examples of boxes that are already being sold are Traditional Afternoon Tea for Two, Ferrari Driving, Two Night Camping Experience and Vineyard Tour and Tasting for Two.

2014-Salamander Box-ForgottenSkills

What will venues gain from being involved?

It is a fantastic way to attract new audiences and gain revenue from your events. The whole project is also a really exciting way of attracting individuals who might not often chose to visit museums and galleries. With exposure in several high street outlets such as WHSmith and Boots, Activity Superstore is a great opportunity to get your name and your brand out there in front of high street consumers.

What does your venue need to do?

For each box that you choose to be involved in, you need to offer four or more activities between January 2015 and December 2015. You can either offer four or more of the same event, or four or more different events; it is totally up to you.

What about events that are already open to the public?

These are fine. If you are including events that are already planned, you could perhaps include some special element like a cup of tea and cake in your café, a voucher for your gift shop, or a special welcome from a curator or guide.

How do box sales and event bookings work?

Each will be sold in shops: customers will choose one experience from a range of venues throughout the UK.

Each time the box is bought and two adults visit your late event, you will invoice Activity Superstore for a share of the money.

Activity Superstore’s experienced team take care of the bookings, and will make the logistics as hassle-free and profitable for you as they can.

2014-Salamander Box-Inside Art & Design

What other boxes are available?

  • Inside Art and Design – anything art/design related, such as an in-depth curators tour/talk (2 adults).
  • Forgotten Skills and Traditions – anything history-based, for example workshops about traditional crafts or activities (1 adult).
  • Curious & Creative Kids – anything for under-12s e.g. children’s crafts/activities (a family of up to 1 adult and 3 children – doesn’t need to be for this many people so long as we know).

Any other questions?

If you are interested in taking part or have any other questions about the boxes and how it all works, please contact Culture24’s Rina Lakhani on 01273 623357 or email rina@culture24.org.uk

We look forward to working with you and helping you to make money and attract new visitors.

Call for guest posts: share your event planning and marketing case studies!

Do you have a story to tell about how you planned or marketed an event at your venue? Have you taken advantage of Museums at Night to try out a new way of working, or to stage a different type of event, or to bring in a new element?

Singers watched by a crowd in a modern museum

Janette Parris’ musical performed in Cardiff Story Museum (c) Klaus Wehner

Writing a reflective case study can be a great way to talk about your organisation and celebrate the work your team does. You can see examples of previous guest posts here: https://museumsatnight.wordpress.com/tag/guest-post/

This writing opportunity is open all year round to anyone who works or volunteers in an arts or heritage organisation.

A pack of scouts in a museum

Adur Valley Scouts ready for their first ever museum sleepover at Worthing Museum & Art Gallery

The idea of publishing guest blog posts is to showcase lots of different voices from museums, galleries and heritage sites, passing on marketing and event planning ideas to inspire other venues who may be considering taking part for the first time.

  • Do you have any tips for other venues based on your experiences?
  • What worked well?
  • What have you learned – e.g. about your own capacity, about timings, about the most and least successful forms of promotion, about what different audience most appreciate?
  • What would you do differently next time?

A good guest post consists of:

1) 300-400 words, in a chatty, friendly style
2) A couple of photos of visitors exploring your venue, ideally at night, with the photographers’ credit. We always like to put up photos of people having fun at cultural / heritage venues!
3) A couple of lines about yourself, I’m happy to link to your website / Twitter account / LinkedIn etc.
4) A thumbnail-sized photo of you

If you’re interested in writing a guest post, or if you have any questions, please drop me an email at rosie@culture24.org.uk or give me a call on 01273 623336.