_Soft Core_ at Shepparton Art Museum: (foreground) Patricia Piccinini, _Foundling_, 2008; (background) Patricia Piccinini, _A Deeply Held Breath_, 2009; (right hand side) Michael Parekowhai, _Cosmo McMurtry_, 2006. Photo by Serana Hunt.
Designing public programs which are meaningful cultural experiences for new and existing audiences.
Public programs are a core way that galleries and museums engage with audiences and attract new visitors. When done well, public programs can make the museum or gallery feel like a welcoming place for everyone, reaching community members who might not otherwise attend. Such programs can make a genuine impact on community members, making people feel, think or behave in new ways. They can also demonstrate to funders and decision-makers the vital contribution that galleries and museums make to a region’s cultural vibrancy and social cohesion.
This guide is designed to help you devise public programs in a way which:
- Are driven by data about your existing and potential audiences
- Furthers the vision of the organisation
- Makes a genuine difference to visitors’ lives
This guide is based on a process which Museums & Galleries of NSW (M&G NSW) and BYP Group designed and trialed with four galleries in 2017 as part of the development of their public programs for touring exhibitions Soft Core and Tracey Moffatt & Gary Hillberg’s Montages: The Full Cut 1999–2015. These public programs were delivered as part of the Engaging Art initiative. The four galleries were overwhelmingly positive about the process, leading M&G NSW to develop this resource to share the steps with the wider sector.
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This resource was written by freelance evaluation, research and writing consultant Jackie Bailey, Principle at BYP Group as part of Museums & Galleries of NSW’s Engaging Art initiative.
Engaging Art has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.