In consultation with the sector and industry experts, a suite of resources have been developed to support audience engagement activities more broadly. These resources are available to download for free and have been popular with galleries and museums nationally.
Cultural Mediation in Practice video
Museums & Galleries of NSW, in partnership with Artspace, presented a trial workshop on the practice of cultural mediation in August 2019. The term cultural mediation first developed in the 1980s in Europe and North America, and is now a popular tool utilised at many major institutions. This form of interaction is about creating connections at a peer-to-peer level through personal opinions being shared, knowledge being transferred and audiences with specific needs (such as those living with disability, at-risk youth, and migrant communities) being offered a tailored pathway.
The video below presents a snapshot of the informative talks and practical guidance delivered at this workshop. For more information on cultural mediation, including future workshops, partnerships, and our ongoing commitment to this audience engagement tool, please see here.
Thank you to our speakers:
- Rachel Arndt, Gallery Programs and Touring Exhibitions Manager, Museums & Galleries of NSW
- Marion Buchloh-Kollerbohm, Head of Cultural Mediation, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
- Lee Casey, Head of Communications and Engagement, Science Gallery Melbourne
- Alexie Glass-Kantor, Executive Director, Artspace
- Ellie Michaelides, Learning & Engagement Coordinator, Science Gallery Melbourne
- Michelle Newton, Deputy Director, Artspace
- Mel O’Callaghan, Artist
- Sabine Rittner, Scientific Associate at the Institute of Medical Psychology, University Clinic Heidelberg, Germany
- Michael Rolfe, CEO, Museums & Galleries of NSW
- Emily Sullivan, Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects
Performance footage from Mel O’Callaghan, Respire, respire, 2019, performance and installation at Artspace, Sydney, 26 August 2019.
Marion Buchloh-Kollerbohn Presentation: Cultural Mediation at the Palais de Tokyo
Marion Buchloh-Kollerbohm, Head of Cultural Mediation, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France: discussing how cultural mediation is defined by her institution, how their application of this tool was nourished and evolved through interactions with Mel O’Callaghan’s work, and what differentiates this practice from other forms of public and educational programming
Mel O’Callaghan Presentation: Cultural Mediation in Action
Mel O’Callaghan, contemporary Australian artist: speaking about her experience working with professional cultural mediators in European institutions, and the insights this practice provides for artists and cultural producers.
Lee Casey Presentation: Cultural Mediation at the Science Gallery Melbourne
Lee Casey, Head of Communications and Engagement, Science Gallery Melbourne, University of Melbourne: exploring how the museum employs cultural mediation as a communication and participatory technique to engage with interesting and provoking ideas with visitors.
Emily Sullivan Presentation: Caretakers, Cultivators and Cultural Mediation
Emily Sullivan, Curator, Kaldor Public Art Projects: reflecting on Kaldor’s engagement of cultural mediation practices throughout many of their projects, focusing on their cultivator’s program with the work of Asad Raza.
DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT & SOCIAL MEDIA
People Like Us installation view, UNSW Galleries, 2015. Image courtesy UNSW Galleries. Photography by silversalt.
Design Approaches to Digital Projects – A Beginners Guide
This is a guide to help you develop a digital or transmedia project for your museum or gallery.
Digital Engagement: Connecting With Your Audience
A guide to Implementing a Digital Project
This guide is intended for anyone planning to use digital technologies to enhance the galley or museum experience and needing to engage external resources/contractors to do so.
A digital project is about audience and community engagement through the creation of interactive story-telling, immersive environments and broader transmedia experiences.
Whether it is getting them through the door – or deepening your engagement – social media is as important as your website or brochure in communicating to your audience and for them to communicate with you.
In a recent national survey it was revealed that “8 in 10 people engage with the arts online, increasing from 7 in 10 in 2013, and 5 in 10 in 2009”. (Connecting Australians: The National Arts Participation Survey, Australia Council for the Arts, 27 June 2017)
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are the most commonly used social media sites for museums and galleries each with its own slightly different focus and audiences.
This resource explains the differences between different social media platforms and offers practical tips on creating content, engaging with your audience and helpful do’s and don’ts to get you started.
_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.
Museums and galleries often find it challenging to reach and engage with young adult and teenage audiences. How can you attract young people to your organisation, and more importantly how can you motivate and retain a young audience?
This guide is designed to help you engage young people in your museum or gallery. The following pointers are applicable to all programs regardless of scale, from one-off artist workshops and school visits to longer engagements such as youth committees, teen nights or art shows.
We recognise you may not be able to implement all of the following ideas into your programming, but even implementing just one will start to make a difference to the way young people engage with your organisation.
How to Develop a Public Program
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.
How to Conduct Audience Research
Finding out what you really need to know about your audience.
Audience research is about finding out who your existing visitors and program participants are and why they come. You do audience research to understand whether your current offerings are working for your current audiences. Market research is about understanding your existing and potential visitors, in order to attract and retain new audiences.
This resource will guide you through the following key steps in conducting useful audience research:
Curator Emily McDaniel speaking at the opening night of Void, UTS, 2018. Photo: Campbell Henderson
Publicity and PR is all about building a positive profile, raising awareness and – with regards to the museums and galleries sector – attracting visitors. It’s also good news for those on a budget; if you can convince the media your exhibition is worthwhile you’ll be getting the message out there for free.
This doesn’t mean advertising is redundant, however. A rule of thumb followed by Marketing and PR professionals is that a person is far more likely to act if they encounter a message seven times across different touchpoints, such as a newspaper article, a radio interview, a Facebook ad, an e-newsletter, posters displayed around town, an ad in a weekly newspaper and an event mention online.
We know it’s difficult to find time for proactive tasks, but a little goes a long way. Try some of the ideas in this resource in the lead up to opening day. If it suits your working style, add these pointers to your online calendar. It doesn’t matter at what point you’re reading this, there should be something you can take away and act on immediately.