Diversifying Museum Visitors:  Association of Independent Museums

Diversifying Museum Visitors: Association of Independent Museums

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?

The Story Museum

The Story Museum

Anna Cullun, Nicky Crabb and Pam Jarvis are preparing an Activity Plan for The Story Museum in Oxford. The plan will address and support:

  • A clear blueprint for reaching out to, and bringing in, younger, more diverse people, to enjoy and use The Story Museum with clear pathways and tested approaches for reaching young people with the opportunities to access, use and participate and through new volunteering and training opportunities
  • Ensuring the financial viability of the msueum by meeting audience expectations and developing competitive advantage and new opportunities for audience engagement and expansion
  • Developing a programme of events and exhibitions that attract new and existing audiences to the museum and promote heritage, increased understanding and enjoyable experiences as key reasons to visit.

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:  Endeavour Galleries

National Maritime Museum, Greenwich: Endeavour Galleries

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.

Garden Museum Development Project:  Activity Plan

Garden Museum Development Project: Activity Plan

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

Kenley Revival Project:  Evaluating Impermanent Architecture

Kenley Revival Project: 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.

Nutkhut & The Mela Partnership

Nutkhut & The Mela Partnership

Strategic Touring Bid confirmed:  Mela Advocacy Document

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.  This will launch in 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’.