- Date: 14 August 2012
- Artform: Visual arts
- Region: National
Museums at Night is a well established, annual, weekend event, during which any UK museum or heritage destination can open its doors later than usual with an offer that challenges people's expectations.
The Arts Nation pilot extended this initiative to involve more visual arts and cultural venues. Besides helping to introduce new visitors to these venues the pilot aimed to explore the issues, opportunities and challenges of cross-sector, national campaigns.
The Pilot Project leaves participant venues and organisations with new audiences and an increased pallet of programming, marketing and promotional skills. For Culture24 and its partners it has generated a successful model for future cross-sector national campaigning.
Venues adopted the Museums at night brand and benefitted from a national marketing and publicity campaign led by Culture24.
In May 2011 Museums at Night events included; sleepovers, swing dances, 24 hour print making marathons, contemporary dance performances, art bus tours and much more.
To achieve the campaign aims, Culture24 supported venues to; devise different events and experiences to tempt visitors in, encourage collaboration and build skills, broker partnerships with government departments, cultural agencies and the media and managed campaign communications.
Culture24 also created a series of downloadable resources for participating venues including logos, flyers and poster templates which enabled venues to offer consistent branding.
Arts companies added to the experience with events such as swing dances, 24 hour print making marathons, contemporary dance performances, art bus tours, story-telling, craft workshops, film screenings and overnight illustration workshops.
'Museums at Night prompted us to rethink our activities - mac [Midlands Arts Centre] came on board for the first time, which introduced a new audience. We also benefitted from national media exposure. In all, Museums at Night is a useful exercise in audience development. It's an example of a successful, joined-up approach to audience development and partnership working.'
Helen Stallard - Press and PR, Ikon Gallery
[From report by Sam Culture Ltd]
When 352 arts and heritage venues opened their doors at night:
The campaign required £94,550 of MLA and Arts Council England funding and generated:
The model for Museums at Night that Culture 24 has developed for England may be adopted elsewhere as a way of working with gateway organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.