Mar Dixon is known throughout the museum sector as a prolific blogger and ardent ambassador for heritage and cultural issues. Her work includes running workshops based on a range of cultural topics and she has also founded several high profile projects such as ‘MuseumCamp’ and ‘Ask a Curator Day’.
In her own words, Mar describes herself as “either an advocate or a troublemaker, depending on which side of the fence you are on,” and there is no doubting her natural talent for encouraging people to embrace heritage and culture.
Digital technologies and social media are two of Mar’s specialities, so it’s no surprise to learn that she is one of the main organisers of ‘Museum Week’ (#MuseumWeek), a global project run across social media platform Twitter.
Museum Week is a project funded and run by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and it takes place this year from March 23rd-29th.
With #MuseumWeek starting soon, AIM sat down with Mar to discover how this project can positively benefit independent museums across the UK.
AIM: Hello Mar and thanks for your time. This is the second year that Museum Week is taking place, but what will be so different about it this year?
MD: This year it has been opened up internationally. Last year was more of a pilot programme with France, Italy and Spain – and of course the UK! Already we have approximately 1450 museums signed up and there is still time to sign up for this year too!
AIM: Last year’s event was a lot of fun and it really brought the whole museum community together – what was the feedback like from those taking part last year?
MD: The feedback was extremely positive, with those not in the countries officially taking part still getting involved. One thing we did this year was ensure there was a balance of museum led and audience led hashtags – we don’t want to burn the social media managers out by Tuesday!
AIM: That’s a smart move and it means both museums and their visitors can get involved. Mar, why do you think smaller, independent museums should take part this year?
MD: My goal with every hashtag event is to highlight amazing collections and the work being done by smaller and medium size museums. A Twitter hashtag allows smaller independent museum to share the same platform with international large museums.
AIM: How easy is it to sign up and become part of Museum Week?
MD: We tried to set up the Google sign up form to be extremely easy. The information collected won’t be used for any other data collection than the maps you can see on the MuseumWeek website.
AIM: That’s very reassuring. So how will taking part in Museum Week positively impact on independent museums?
MD: First, you’ll be part of an international global event highlighting the brilliant things museums do. Second, this is a platform to show off your collections and gain great outreach without bragging. Third, your name will be on the list of names that many will use for a resource.
AIM: Any top tips for independent museums taking part for the first time this year?
MD: I have a weblink to my blog which explains it well:
And another link that includes some frequently asked questions along with stats and some fun tips:
AIM: So what would you say to encourage independent museums to take part?
MD: Sign up and do NOT get overwhelmed! If you can’t take part every day, don’t worry! Take part as and when you can and on the day that suits you best.
AIM: Thanks so much for the interview Mar, is there anything else you would like to add?
MD: Like other @CultureThemes events, this campaign is about FUN. If anyone has questions, feel free to get in touch @MarDixon
To sign up to take part in #MuseumWeek, please fill out the form HERE
Download the Museum Week press release: Museum Week Press Release