|Advancing Visitor Engagement in Museums & Galleries |
Date: Wednesday 2 November 2011
Time: 2:00pm – 5:30pm (refreshments 5.30pm- 6.30pm)
Venue: University of Queensland Art Museum, University Drive, St Lucia
Cost: $50; $40 (MAQ|RGAQ members, volunteers, concessions, students); $20 UQ Museum Studies students, groups of 6 or more students or volunteers)
M&GSQ is pleased to announce, Gail Davitt, was the international keynote speaker for our annual seminar with University of Queensland Art Museum and UQ Museum Studies Program. Gail Davitt is Chair of Learning Initiatives and Director of Education at the Dallas Museum of Art, USA.
|Seminar Program and Speakers|
Gail Davitt discussed how the Dallas Museum of Art changed its institutional culture and enhanced audience engagement and learning. The museum conducted and applied the outcomes of a seven-year study that probed beyond the traditional demographics of marketing-focused research and instead used qualitative questions to uncover how visitors engage with art as well as their comfort levels in looking at and talking about art. One development, the Center for Creative Connections, is a heavily attended experimental learning environment for all ages.
Respondents to Gail’s presentation on their Framework for Visitor Engagement with Art included case studies from:
• Donna McColm, Head of Public Programs, Children’s Art Centre and Membership, Queensland Art Gallery| Gallery of Modern Art
• Gillian Ridsdale, Curator of Public Programs, UQ Art Museum.
The second part of the seminar focused on 21st century technology solutions that enable people to create their own personal experiences in museums.
• Gail Davitt discussed the SmARTphone tours at the Dallas Museum of Art that are web-based, anchored in audience research, and developed and produced in-house.
• Kate Ravenswood, Head of Access, Education & Regional Services, QAG|GOMA outlined what works and what doesn’t for QAG|GOMA’s interactive tours.
• Tony Bennetts, Chief Information Officer, Australian Communication Exchange discussed an innovative application for the deaf and the use of Smart Auslan by the National Sports Museum.
Download the registration form or request a copy on Ph: 07 32150820 or, contact Ann Baillie
|Gail's visit to Australia was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.|
|Speaker biographies and presentation outlines are detailed below.|
|Gail Davitt is Chair of Learning Initiatives and Director of Education at the Dallas Museum of Art. She oversees The Center for Creative Connections, teaching and partnership programs, community engagement and access programs, family and public programs, the Museum’s literary program, and gallery interpretation. She serves as project director for in-gallery education spaces and the Museum’s evaluation and visitor research projects. In this capacity she was deeply involved in the development of the Framework for Engaging with Art, a matrix used across Museum department boundaries to make institutional and programmatic decisions. The National Art Education Association named Ms. Davitt the National Art Museum Educator of the year in 2004. |
From Audience Research to Enhanced Engagement
A seven-year study at the Dallas Museum of Art probed beyond the traditional demographics of marketing-focused research and instead used qualitative questions to uncover how visitors engage with art as well as their comfort levels in looking at and talking about art. Gail Davitt discusses the strategies used to uncover four related, yet distinct, “visitor clusters” based on these preferences. In very deliberate ways, Museum staff applied what was learned from the research to engaging and educating audiences. Both the research process and these programmatic changes fundamentally impacted the Museum’s institutional culture and paved the way for the development of the most heavily attended space in the Museum, the Center for Creative Connections, an experimental learning environment for all ages.
SmART phone tours at the Dallas Museum of Art
SmARTphone tours at the Dallas Museum of Art are web-based, anchored in audience research, and developed and produced in-house. When the Museum launched an initiative in 2007 to make our 375,000 square foot building a wireless environment, staff also committed to multimedia handheld technology as an interpretive tool for audience engagement both onsite and online. Rather than relying on outside contractors, a staff-generated process provides an environment within which staff can experiment, evaluate, and nimbly make changes. At the same time, the Museum was in the midst of extensive research addressing ways that visitors most effectively engage with works of art. Application of this research includes a choice-based structure for smARTphone tours that accommodates visitors’ different preferences for how they most effectively connect with works of art. Gail Davitt will discuss the experiments and evaluations that have characterized the Museum’s smARTphone history, with specific attention to lessons learned and current work underway.
|Donna McColm is Head of Public Programs, Children’s Art Centre and Membership, and is one of the staff responsible for the design of a diverse range of public programs to support and extend visitor engagement with the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. Since 2000, Donna has contributed to developing the Gallery’s audiences in the areas of young people, students, adults and seniors, including the development of innovative large-scale opening programs for the Gallery’s major exhibitions, late night programming, and symposia for arts professionals such as ‘Art is for Everyone: Programming for Children and Families in the Art Museum’ in 2009 and ‘Sites of Communication: Artists, Audiences, Art Museums’ in 2010. |
Artist/Museum/Audience: Making art for everyone
Over the last decade, significant shifts in the audience-museum relationship have made art more accessible to a range of audiences. This presentation focuses on case studies from recent exhibitions and projects at the Queensland Art Gallery/Gallery of Modern Art and programming areas including the Children’s Art Centre, dedicated programs for people over 50, and the Up Late series of late night openings, which have aimed to use the Gallery as a platform to provide pathways into educational, social and cultural experiences.
|Gillian joined UQ Art Museum as Curator of Public Programs in July 2008 with responsibility for public programming and education. Previously she was Program Convenor and Lecturer at UQ and in this role managed the development and implementation of the new postgraduate program in Museum Studies from 2004-2008. Prior to this she worked in policy development for Arts Queensland and in exhibition development for museums and galleries. Gillian has an MA in Cultural Policy Studies from Griffith University and a BA in Art History, Drama and Film from the University of Queensland. Her research interests included the history of exhibiting practices, visitor research and blended learning.|
Contemporary art, audience engagement and learning
Over the past three years UQ Art Museum has conducted quantitative surveys of visitors to our exhibitions, and in 2010 evaluated how our online educational resources are used to support teaching and learning on and off campus. This presentation looks at how we have applied the findings of this research to develop programming initiatives that engage with new and existing audiences, and to produce innovative learning tools and resources for UQ staff and students and high school students and teachers.
|Tony Bennetts is Chief Information Officer at Australian Communication Exchange (ACE). He is responsible for delivering innovative telecommunications systems and solutions for ACE’s Deaf, hearing impaired and speech impaired customers. Tony’s international experience spans 20 years of IT and Telecommunications management in a broad range of technologies. These include telecommunications and IT product development, facility management for Government and corporate customers, as well as, experience in Business to Business Internet operations, GSM wireless technologies, Global Positioning System technologies, software development and diverse project management experience.|
Smart Auslan - bringing museums to life for Deaf Australians
It is little known that for many Deaf Australians, sign language is the preferred means of communication – not English. As a result, many methods of providing education and entertainment are ineffective without translation into Australian sign language (Auslan). In the museum context, Deaf Australians miss out on the way audio commentaries bring exhibits to life and rely instead on written descriptions in their second language (English) or having to book an Auslan tour.
The Smart Auslan application, the first of its kind worldwide, opens up access to the full museum experience. Using Android smart phone technology, it provides museums, galleries and other attractions with captioned Auslan translations of audio tours. Following its May 2011 launch at the National Sports Museum in Melbourne, Deaf and hearing impaired visitors can roam freely about the attractions scanning the Quick Response codes next to each audio label.
Smart Auslan is accessible and low maintenance for the museum. ACE remotely updates the application and content, which can be downloaded free to the user’s own Android phone so that the museum needs fewer devices. Smart Auslan can easily be adapted for guided tours, other styles of audio delivery and overseas sign languages. This presentation will include a practical demonstration of Smart Auslan and suggestions for its implementation in museums and other cultural attractions.
|Kate Ravenswood, Head of Access, Education & Regional Services, QAG|GOMA, 'almost... but not quite.. reflections upon audiences, art galleries & the promise of new technologies' |