What are the aims and objectives of Museums at Night?
To challenge the notion that some people have that museums are boring and not for them by encouraging them to do something different at a different time – we call it the festival for culturally curious! Venues are now used to thinking in different ways about event production, marketing, and creative content. Six museums are hosting fabulous contemporary artist led events this weekend featuring Yinka Shonibare MBE (Novium), Gillian Wearing (Backlit), Luke Jerram (Thelma Hulbert), Alinah Azadeh (Freud) and Pure Evil (Verdant Works).
How has the planning for this month’s festival gone bearing in mind this is the second Museums at Night of 2015?
It’s gone very smoothly, we’ve found up-scaling to be fairly straight forward and very enjoyable! It’s helped by the fact that we changed Connect10 to Connect!, reduced the amount of events to six and switched the vote to May and the events to October. It’s these six events that are spearheading the profile but by no means hogging the limelight, there are 200 well thought-out, entertaining and magical events to choose from this weekend, all over the country.
Where did the idea come from and has it met the ambitions and targets set by Culture24?
It’s all a question of demand, from the venues and the public. Museums at Night in May will continue to flourish and grow but some museums and galleries can’t easily do events in May or they just want more of a good thing! We’ll see how it all pans out after the weekend, how many people attend and what the feedback is but event numbers are good, the quality seems really high and the profile in the media is strong.
What are the benefits of the festival to museums?
Raised profile, an incredible learning experience and most importantly new audiences, over 30 per cent of Museums at Night event visitors haven’t been to the venue before.
What are the main advantages of Museums at Night becoming a regular event for museums and heritage attractions?
Consistency of offer is important for audiences and venues alike. Most venues that try putting on a Museums at Night event repeat the experience every year but crucially don’t repeat the content. There needs to be an expectation from the audience that there will be an event on but at the same time it needs to be box fresh every time. The most successful venues try something different, learn from the experience, take what’s worked and build on that success for the following outing.
How can Museums at Night develop in the future and what are the plans for 2016? Will there be two events again next year?
Yes I can’t imagine going back to one, more likely to go to three. Big plans, if half of what we want to do comes off there will be a big transformation over the next three years. We want to carry on making amazing happen!
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