Within an increasingly diverse society how might UK museums grow attendance and engagement - taking action to increase diversity, inclusion and equity to start to make real and lasting change in the museums sector?
Julie Aldridge, Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis are working on a ground breaking AIM project, designed to help museums increase the diversity of their visitors. The key focus of the project will be on providing tools and guidance to help museums make long-term change. The sector has been talking about diversity for so long. Diversifying Museum Visitors provides a great opportunity to address and breakdown barriers. To help people take a first step and then the next, to make a meaningful, lasting, real change.
What are the factors for success?
What practical steps can museums take to improve visitor diversity?
What do we need to change and influence both internally and externally?
Anna Cullun, Nicky Crabb and Pam Jarvis are preparing an Activity Plan for The Story Museum in Oxford. The plan will address and support:
The Story Museum celebrates story in all forms and explores their enduring power to teach and delight. The Museum is currently transforming a central Oxford building and the activity plan celebrates the completion of stage One of this redevelopment.
National Maritime Museum, Greenwich is the world’s largest maritime museum with a vast collection that spans artworks, maps and charts, memorabilia and thousands of other objects.
The HLF funded Endeavour Galleries Project aims to transform the way audiences can discover and enjoy this rich history. sam-culture and Mel Larsen have been appointed to evaluate how the project is achieving change internally through changes in organisational culture and building a shared understanding of what being audience-focused really means - and externally, by measuring how the changes impact on audience engagement, composition and perceptions.
The evaluation will consider how the knowledge and confidence gained provides a range of benefits to the NMM, HLF, the museum sector and, critically, the audience in all its diversity.
The Garden Museum is currently undergoing a major structural overhaul to create new galleries and increased public space at its iconic location adjacent to Lambeth Palace in London. This project will also bring the UK’s first Archive of Garden Design, creating access to the Museum’s historically significant collections.
sam-culture and Mel Larsen are evaluating the Heritage Lottery Fund Activity Plan to assess how this development project recognises both the close links between the museum and its local community and volunteers and also the opportunities to provide enjoyable, inspirational, practical and creative experiences for existing and new audiences.
Following the transformation the Garden Museum will reopen in Spring 2017
Evaluating Impermanent Architecture
Kenley Airfield in Surrey is owned by City of London Corporation. An HLF grant will enable conservation of heritage assets at this historic Airfield. Plans include a new website, a dedicated learning officer, community archaeology, learning festivals, guided walks, heritage days and an oral history project to record local people's experiences of RAF Kenley during the last century.
sam-culture is working with Anna Cullen on the monitoring and evaluation systems for this exciting project. Over the development of the initiative we will ensure the effectiveness of the plan and in 2018, produce a final evaluation report.
Strategic Touring and Advocacy Document 2017
Nutkhut will once again be undertaking a programme of strategic development with Melas across England in 2017, following a successful Arts Council England Strategic Touring bid; worth £100,000 over the next year.
sam-culture was commissioned to support writing the bid and the subsequent production of an advocacy document (with Mel Larsen) that set out a future for Melas which will be launched Spring 2017. Ajay Chhabra at Nutkhut wrote to sam-culture ‘Thanks so much for your patience, advice and input, we really couldn’t have done it without you’.
Little Green Pig is a writing and mentoring charity for young people in Sussex. They believe in the right to write, and that this vital form of self-expression builds confidence, communication and literacy skills.
sam-culture is undertaking an evaluation of three highlight projects both in and out of school, alongside an overview of the academic year. We will be considering the impacts of participation for young people from different backgrounds, the involvement of volunteers and mentors and the longer term outcomes and achievements of writing projects.
Future Proof Museums is a strategic and innovative change programme developed by the AMA (Arts Marketing Association) designed to significantly improve the resilience of accredited museums across England. The programme makes use of state-of-the-art tools: Business Canvas Model; Manifesto and FIRO-B.
Funded by Arts Council England Resilience strand, we evaluated the pilot programme involving 20 museums and are now beginning the evaluation of the second tranche of the programme for 2017
The Arts Marketing Association created CultureHive to share and shape best practice in cultural marketing. Pam Jarvis (sam-culture) and Catherine Bunting are undertaking the formative evaluation of CultureHive to assess the types of change resulting from the programme and the extent to which it is making effective use of collective intelligence and as a mechanism to drive change and stimulate new ideas and techniques.
The Mela Partnership 2016 included six Melas in London, Luton, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Sandwell and Birmingham and (Tunbridge Wells) Kent. Three interconnected strands of development - artistic, professional and audience focussed - aim to transform the artistic quality of Melas in the UK and provide contemporary audiences with new experiences within this traditional festival format.
Over 300,000 people enjoyed a Mela in 2016 with exciting new artistic work from companies such as Khoi, Navrattan and 4x4 Dance.
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen continue to provide consultancy and programme support for the Mela Partnership and are currently completing the evaluation report for 2016.
SMASHfest is a science and arts mash-up festival held in Deptford, London in February 2016.
Free to attend, festival funders include Wellcome Trust, Arts Council England, Middlesex University and University of Greenwich.
sam-culture are undertaking an evaluation of the festival considering audience response, artists' motivations to become involved and importantly how such community based events can provide inspiration to engage young people in STEM subjects now and for the future.
The Family Arts Campaign was set up in 2012 to support the development of arts engagement by families. Arts Council England awarded funding to a consortium of organisations and trade bodies to provide new opportunities for venues, artists and producers to learn what is important to family audiences and how they may integrate family friendly events and shows into venues providing a great experience for families attending.
sam-culture working with Catherine Rose and Catherine Sutton have completed a comprehensive evaluation of the Family Arts Campaign and the final report will be available here
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen are commissioned to produce the learning strategy on how to engage hard to reach audiences for the major new Endeavour Galleries at the National Maritime Museum
Conan Doyle Collection at Portsmouth City Museum
The imaginative Sharing Sherlock project, through its programme of touring and online exhibitions, outreach and education programme and new resources for schools and communities, opens up new possibilities for people to experience the breadth of the Collection and the far-reaching interests and reputation of Conan Doyle.
But could Sharing Sherlock happen without the support of the volunteers?
sam-culture evaluated the impact of using volunteers, resulting outcomes and the experiences of volunteers working in heritage activities for the first time. Sharing Sherlock took place across Portsmouth and the variety of locations used is reflected in our evaluation.
Contact us for a copy of the final Sharing Sherlock report: firstname.lastname@example.org
An evaluation of business start-up training for 30 entrepreneurs. This intensive programme aims to equip and support new business owners with information and skill in a range of key issues, including business planning, branding, premises, sustainability and legal requirement , with input from industry experts. Our year by year evaluation will help to shape the development of the programme in response to participant and managers feedback.
National Army Museum
As National Museum€™s Building for the Future project is underway it has a programme of access and outreach activities to expand audiences through and to find new ways to interpret its collections and expertise. sam-culture is working with the team to set up evaluation frameworks and mechanisms to collect and interpret evidence to show the extent to which goals are being met and how insights can be used to adapt and improve engagement.
Coast Ed Arts Council England for West Sussex museums partnership
An Arts Council England funded cultural learning project run by a consortium of six small West Sussex museums.
sam-culture are evaluating the difference Coast Ed is intended to make, considering how the partnership will ensure the programme is meeting its aims and collecting evidence to inform future developments
The Arts Marketing Association created CultureHive as a new resource to share and shape best practice in cultural marketing. Pam Jarvis (sam-culture) and Catherine Bunting have been appointed to evaluate CultureHive to ensure it is meeting the aims of making best use of collective intelligence and as a mechanism to drive change and stimulate new ideas and techniques.
The second interim report is now available
Four HLF project evaluations are underway looking at (i) Gardening in Wartime €“ People, Plants and War; (ii) Public Programming in the Heritage Sector: A Sustainable Model; (iii) HLF Skills for the future and (iv) HLF Collecting Cultures.
Garden Museum need to obtain robust and objective data to demonstrate the success and challenges of these four projects.
Research is being undertaken by Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen
Update: February 2015 Garden Museum Skills for the Future Traineeships Heritage Lottery Fund:
This training project, on sustainability, sought to address challenging issues in the museum sector and develop the new skills required in the sector in the future. The project leaders, working with volunteers, undertook a practical work-based rather than theoretical approach and the evaluation focussed on the development of new skills in environmental sustainability, organisational change, social capital and economics.
Audience Development Plan for Informal Learning: This plan, now nearing completion, was commissioned to unify a range of departmental targets and approaches into a cohesive, directional and effective strategy. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich wanted an improved return on Investment re: ticket sales and to develop specific audiences such as families and young people and attract a new varied demographic through enhanced sophistication of audience segmentation and targeting.
The plan is being produced by Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis
A consortium of the largest and most influential arts membership organisations has received a grant of £1.1 million from ACE to run a large scale national collaborative programme led by the visual and performing arts sectors to increase levels of arts engagement by families and young people.
sam-culture in association with Catherine Rose Organisation and Catherine Sutton are commissioned to produce the evaluation.
Read the interim Executive Summary:
We have also been commissioned by UK Theatre Family Arts Campaign to produce an online evaluation toolkit.
The Mela & Festival Partnership, North West: Evaluation
Three major melas in the North West, in Manchester, Preston and Blackburn, have formed a new partnership programme. They aim is to create a dialogue that will change the approach of the three Mela to artistic vision and programming; presentation, and audiences - to open minds - and develop a strong sense of direction for the future.
Pam Jarvis and Mel Larsen are commissioned to evaluate the impacts of the programme
New Dance Initiative
Gulbenkian and South East Dance worked in partnership to create Kent Dancing - a festival which brought together high profile choreographers Freddie Opoku-Addaie, and Zoie Golding€™s ZoieLogic, as well as site responsive works in Canterbury city centre. This is a new venture and the evaluation by Pam Jarvis and Cathy Westbrook considers legacy and lessons.
The Keep is a new £19m state-of-the-art historical resource centre designed by Architect David Morriss due to open later this year
The Keep will house major archive collections, including those of Virginia Woolf, Rudyard Kipling and Noel Coward and all the archives and historical resources of East Sussex and Brighton & Hove. Also included are the Special Collections of the University of Sussex, including the internationally renowned Mass Observation Archive. sam-culture in association with Lianne Jarrett Associates is producing the Marketing and Communications Action Plan.
The Royal Engineers Corps has long been the source of technological innovation and problem-solving in military engineering. REMLA now aims to redevelop the museum so that it can incorporate the library and archive into one building that will present the cohesive story of the €˜Sappers€™.
sam-culture in association with the Audience Agency has undertaken extensive consultation to produce the Audience Development plan for the new site
Hinemihi, a Maori meeting house in Clandon Park, is important culturally and ethnographically because it embodies significant values of Maori culture. sam-culture consulted widely with visitors to Clandon Park, local residents and heritage specialists to evaluate options for the future role of Hinemihi.
Connecting families and heritage
Increasing audience engagement with heritage is a priority for many of the major heritage organisations that are partners in the Heritage Alliance. sam-culture is currently consulting with Heritage Alliance members to explore potential ideas for a new digital project to engage families with heritage.
Audience Development Plan for Informal Learning
This plan, now nearing completion, was commissioned to unify a range of departmental targets and approaches into a cohesive, directional and effective strategy. The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich wanted an improved return on Investment re: ticket sales and to develop specific audiences such as families & young people and attract a new varied demographic through enhanced sophistication of audience segmentation and targeting.
The plan is being produced by Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis
Increases in student fees lead to increasing expectations of the value of the student experience. University of Brighton Students Union have commissioned sam-culture to define the opportunity and vision about what a new model of a student union might look like.
Discover Explore is an innovative online and offline exploration, providing access to new technological resources for heritage sites to engage audiences in imaginative ways and add value to their existing activities. Our evaluation of the impacts of the pilot phases in The Great Glen and Lee Valley and testing user response provided evidence of need to inform Heritage Alliance€™s HLF bid.
Win/Win: the Cultural Strategy for Winchester
Defining a creative vision and cultural strategy that will maximise the contemporary and heritage cultural assets of Winchesterand create a sense of shared aspiration and ambition with stakeholders to effectively direct sector growth.
In association with Ian Parkes and Mel Larsen
Economic Impact of culture in Milton Keynes
Assessing the economic, cultural and community impacts of a collaborative partnership between Milton Keynes Council and its cultural sector, the study quantified the value of the MK Summer of Culture programme to the city and to stakeholders.
This wide ranging impact study also analysed audience engagement and perceptions, supported by evidence and data to inform future joint working.
Part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
In association with Ian Parkes; SOA Development
Client: Milton Keynes Council
BandBazi has a national and international reputation for creating innovative theatre that tackles political and social issues and gives a voice to marginalised groups.
The company has commissioned sam-culture and the international creative producers and cultural broker, urbanflo, to create an organisational action plan that will reposition BandBazi and move it forward.
Find out more at www.bandbazi.co.uk
This project brought young people into contact with music from different cultures through a programme, inspired by the spirit of London 2012, which made innovative use of local heritage sites. Our evaluation assessed the impacts of participation and performance on audiences, young people and schools. Part of the 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
In association with Mel Larsen.
Client: Hampshire County Council
sam-culture worked with The Tourism Company to develop a strategic approach for a group of Hampshire Museums to increase their share in the visitor market.
Part of the strategy included the development of skills in attracting cultural tourism and sam-culture programmed Working Together which drew together lead experts in building the visitor market.
Read the full report from the day here.
Group business is a cost-effective way for organisations to boost visitor numbers. sam-culture invited representatives from 40 regional organisations to a familiarisation event at Brighton Royal Pavilion which included a tour of the Pavilion led by a costumed Prince Regent followed by presentations on the group offer.
€œThe afternoon was fantastic and I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience€.
Southampton's creation of a new city centre is driven by the city's aspiration to create a unique cultural, retail, commercial and leisure offer which rivals anywhere else in the region and beyond. The centrepiece for the city centre's regeneration will be the development of the cultural quarter - providing a focal point for the city's arts, heritage and cutltural activity.
sam in association with Alan Dix was comissioned by Southampton City Council to work with the Art at the Heart partnership (The Nuffield Theatre, John Hansard Gallery, Arts Asia and City Eye) to explore how they can develop joint practices and a shared vision for outdoor events centred around the new cultural quarter.
A comprehensive overview of how England€™s Local Authorities (LAs) and Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) use GIS systems to record and disseminate information related to Historic Environment Records (HERs).
English Heritage commissioned sam, working alongside Groundwork and The Conservation Studio to produce an audit of how effectively existing GIS standards are met and what barriers exist to their operation.
More information about HERs can be found on the English Heritage site here.
Inspired by the Paralympic Movement, Accentuate is a ground-breaking programme of 15 transformational projects. All aim to change perceptions by showcasing the talents of deaf and disabled people. Its ambition is to ensure lasting change by providing deaf and disabled people access to opportunities to lead and to participate. During its 1,000 day life Accentuate intends to do something that no other programme has achieved - to create a cultural shift in the way society views disability.
sam was commissioned to review the first 500 days of the project and to produce an account outlining achievements to date and Accentuate's ambitions for the next 500 days leading up to the 2012 Games. The published review will be available summer 2011.
Brighton and Hove Arts Commission contracted sam for the third year running to research the impact of the city€™s White Night event upon cultural attendance in Brighton.
Participants were asked a series of questions by our on-street survey team concerning their opinions and experiences of the event. The research was designed to further understand audiences and their responses to a set of key issues such as safety and enhancement of the city€™s night time offer.
sam were commissioned by Brighton & Hove School Sport Partnership to undertake the evaluation of their TAKEPART Festival of Sport.
This was the third year the city has hosted the sports festival, which is arguably €˜the biggest celebration of sport and physical activity in the country€™. It aims to increase participation in sport for everyone and gave people the opportunity to try out a new sport or activity for free, in a fun and non-competitive arena.
Click here to download the report.
This study explored in depth cultural sector growth trends, potential and weaknesses in Hastings and Bexhill, using the DCMS Evaluation Toolkit (DET) as the key interpretive framework. Issues concerning sustainability, opportunity and inherent limitations were addressed through reviewing the role that the cultural economy could have in energising the economy and positioning Hastings and Bexhill as an attractive place to invest, work and live.
Achieving policy co-ordination towards a cultural plan for Hastings and Bexhill was a key outcome of this work as was the need to recognise creative industry clustering, incubating and networking needs.
The strategic market review assessed a variety of different aspects of Brighton Dome and Festival's customer base. The study provided a robust and detailed picture of the current market for Brighton Dome and Festival and looked at growth potential, sustainability and continued customer needs and expectations.
It looked at the wider market environment, changes in the competition and the broader operating context; and from the analysis of customers€™ needs and potential and external competitor threats we developed a growth strategy to support the artistic ambitions and the business base for both operations.
sam was asked to review the marketing and audience development functions of the Brighton and Hove Museums following departmental restructuring.
The review addressed the following:
sam was commissioned to profile of the audience for Eastbourne Theatres. The study included a socio-economic and geographic analysis of all bookers; a separate analysis of the bookers for touring musicals; and a further analysis of the bookers for regular one night shows. sam analysed audience potential, market penetration, alongside the identification of shared audiences.
This report was commissioned by the Education and Learning Officer at Arts Council England, South East to support the development of an arts and cultural learning strategy being developed regionally for children and young people.
sam created an regional overview from a number of disparate mapping projects commissioned looking at arts education provision provided by Regularly Funded Organisations, Local Authorities and by Arts Education Brokerage organisations.
The mapping was informed through a review of the work being undertaken by the four Creative Partnerships in the region and by the eight Arts Education Partnerships with particular reference to diversity, early years provision and social inclusion. The mapping and activity review was then allied to Arts Council policy objectives - areas for further development and opportunities for enhanced delivery were subsequently identified.
In the summer of 2005 an evaluation was undertaken of the Say Aah! Partnership€™s Challenge Fund Programme which aimed to establish Brighton and Hove as a regional centre of excellence for Arts and Health through the formation of a partnership of key cultural, health and third sector organisations.
The evaluation used consultative approaches - case studies, face to face interviews and questionnaires €“ to consider the 10 arts and health projects funded by the Partnership. Four of the projects were looked at in detail and their case studies were included in the full report.
The final report draws practical conclusions from the research and proposes ways forward for the development of the Say Aah! Partnership and Challenge Fund.
€œAn Emerging Butterfly?€ focused on a number of important questions that Hastings Museum and Art Gallery had articulated through initial consultations. These included the role and function of the organisation as perceived by the local authority; their role in relation to the borough€™s cultural strategy; and more broadly their part in the town€˜s tourism offer.
The final report addressed these concerns through creating an action-plan aimed at repositioning the organisation through its exhibition programme and communications activity.
This study aimed to discover how people read and react to the leaflets produced by Brighton & Hove Museums with particular reference to:
Structured interviews were conducted with Brighton & Hove residents to find out their impressions of the print currently produced by Brighton & Hove Museums.
Room for Growth mapped the catchment area and audience demographics for the 2005 Brighton Festival and compared the audience composition and art form attendance patterns against pre-existing data covering the period 1994-2004.
We determined shifts in cultural consumption behaviour, and identified penetration into target markets.#