A new website and series of useful free resources created by the ‘Open Up: Museums for everyone’ project have now launched.
The project and resulting resources were designed to help all size museums to increase the diversity of their visitors to make real and lasting change in the museum sector.
Co-created with twelve pioneering museums, the new resources can be downloaded in PDF and are available in English and Welsh. There is:
*A practical guide to support museums to increase the diversity of their visitors
*An introduction to the guide
*Case studies from participating museums
*A sign up for museums across the UK to get involved, offer their own advice and expertise and receive further project news
AIM’s Director, Emma Chaplin, said of the launch: “The Open Up resources offer new, inspiring and practical ways for museums to broaden their relevance and appeal to attract a more diverse range of visitors. This is not about new projects but new ways of working. I am excited to see how AIM members rise to the challenge to develop and grow audiences for a successful future.”
The Open Up: Museums for everyone project, resources and website have been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England, MALD, Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Northern Ireland.
You can follow the Open Up: Museums for everyone project on twitter at: @OpenUpMuseums
How can AIM members benefit from the new resources?
AIM members can try out the 5 Core Resources within the guide to ignite important conversations about diversity in their organisation.
These include: a planning template for you to capture your ideas on as you work through the book, 5 key steps to take, 8 success factors, tools and practical advice and 12 case studies to ignite discussion and inspire your thinking.
By working with the participating museums, the project captured stories of change – the factors of success that have led to museums significantly diversifying their visitors and the questions that they regularly ask of themselves to continue to improve.
The resulting research, website and guides have grown out of the experience of twelve pioneering museums, including many AIM members. They are:
Derby Museums, Beamish Museum, Museum of Cambridge, Glasgow Women’s Library, Black Country Living Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery, Cardiff Story Museum, Colchester and Ipswich Museums, V&A, National Museums Northern Ireland, National Museum Wales and National Museums Liverpool.
Useful insights from the Open Up: Museums for everyone project
Image: The Cardiff Story
The Open Up: Museums for everyone guide also contains useful insights from the participating museums, including:
*Cardiff Story Museum – 62% of visitors are under the age of 44, including 11% under the age of 16.
*National Museums Liverpool – 28% hail from the less advantaged categories NS-SEC 5-8.
*National Museums Northern Ireland – on re-opening, the percentage of C2DE attenders rose from 23% to 46%.
*V&A – 6% of new volunteers are BAME and 4% have a disability – both figures exceed targets.
How did the Open Up: Museums for everyone project begin?
Image: Glasgow Women’s Library
Open Up: Museums for everyone began in 2017 at the initiation of the Association of Independent Museums and as a partnership between AIM, Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Association, Museums Galleries Scotland, National Museums Northern Ireland and the Welsh Government.
The study was led by Julie Adridge Consulting and the Guide is written by Julie Aldridge, Mel Larsen and Pam Jarvis and co-created with 20 museums across all four countries of the UK.