SHARING THE WEALTH OF A GOOD IDEA… (This is not my Mid-term)

As I was submitting a report on the MAAM conference for work, I thought I would share it with you also.
All of the sessions were relevant and follow many of the themes discussed in Nina Simon’s book, but two programs in particular. The two programs I found particularly relevant were the Old House New Art and Strategies for Engagement on a Budget. The programs discussed in these sessions increased visitation, revenue and exposure for the sites that hosted these programs, at little to no cost to the site.
The contemporary arts project at the Philadelphia Landmarks, discussed in Old House New Art increased admission by 400%, increased funder interest, and received a spread in the New York Times, Art Forum and numerous media forums . This project was able to revitalize the historic house museum, by highlighting the site history and its collection through the use of site specific art installations, performances and happenings. Artists were invited to create site specific art, which reflected the mission “to encourage people to participate in history”. The art included installations, textiles, dance, performances, video, and decorative arts. This program was very controversial at the time and the Landmarks commission struggled with volunteers and board members that didn’t see any place for this in a traditional historic house setting. Since then the program has started a movement at other sites in Philadelphia. The Director at the time Franklin Vagnone, has since moved to the Historic House Trust of New York City, where he has launched a blog to discuss the possibility of bringing the project to NYC. (I tried to find the blog- considering contemporary- but sadly I could not find it.) Let me know if you can find it I am interested in seeing how it is laid out.

Another successful project that was discussed was the National American Museum of History’s use of social media, and viral marketing. They were able to increase attendance, press coverage and create long-term connections with visitors. They invited participants to vote on their blog which two vehicles would be incorporated into their exhibit. They received an overwhelming response with 24,000 people voting (within a 3 week period); 53,000 pageviews on the post, and a 6.5% visitor increase. This attention gave them a spread in the Art & Culture section of a major Newspaper (a $50,000.00 spread for free). Coverage by Fox News.
Another speaker shared with us how she was able to create traveling exhibits on a ($200-$500 budget). These exhibits are created using a simple banner construction 7ft x 3ft, with an aluminum stand. She is able to travel 6 banners in 2 carrying cases. The exhibits create great exposure for the National Library of Medicine,while free to the borrowing institution they have to pay for shipping. They are booked up for the next five Years and have been viewed by millions of people.