Overview of DART Program
The intention of the DART program was to allow participating organisations to undertake a digital project over the course of 6-7 months, mentored by experts in the field of digital technologies in cultural institutions, and with the support and encouragement of fellow participants. The original plan, when funding was applied for by the Art Gallery of Burlington, in partnership with Dundas Museum & Archives and with technical expertise by Surface Impression Canada and Culture24, was to host a series of four in-person workshops, with online one-to-one mentoring sessions in between. Due to the beginning of the pandemic falling just after word was received of a successful funding bid, the decision was made to move the entire program online.
Surface Impression Canada
A digital design company founded in 2001, Surface Impression have been creating websites, apps and other digital media for the cultural sector ever since. Alongside this, they have developed expert knowledge in digital projects and skills and regularly present, share, mentor, and consult with cultural organisations. For DART, they served as mentors to help participants learn the needed digital skills to make their experiments a success.
Provide strategic advice and practical support to museums, galleries and other cultural organisations of all shapes and sizes, in all sorts of ways, with audiences at the heart of everything they do. Culture24 began life as the 24 Hour Museum, publishing the website of the same name. Since then they have developed into a knowledge organisation, able to lead thinking in cultural sector around digital tactics, understanding and literacies. They run Let’s Get Real, which was an inspiration for DART, and serves as a mentoring program for cultural sector workers and managers in the UK.
Kevin Bacon, Digital Manager for the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove (RPM)
In this position, Kevin is responsible for managing digital publishing, digital skill development and information management within RPM, along with supporting digital marketing activity. He is also a qualified data protection practitioner and has been involved in Culture24 ‘Let’s Get Real’, which was the basis of our DART program.
Dr Ross Parry and One by One
Ross Parry is Deputy Head of School and Professor of Museum Technology in the School of Museum Studies, at the University of Leicester (UK). He leads the international research consortium (‘One by One’), is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Board member for Attenborough Arts, and Trustee of the Jodi Mattes Trust.
Katie Childs, Chief Executive of Chawton House (Jane Austen House)
Katie joined Chawton House as Chief Executive in February 2019. Her role is to lead the organisation and she has overall responsibility for the strategic direction, operations, business development and public engagement in the House, collection and historic estate. Chawton House had a very sudden pivot to digital when the pandemic began, and Katie presented how the small team of staff, many of whom were not digitally savvy, found their way at this unprecedented time, with very little in the way of resources (something that reflected in our DART participants who had attempted this program during pandemic lockdowns and necessitated digital and online engagement in a way that was unexpected when DART was envisioned).
Haydn Corrodus, Digital Network Tech Champion
Haydn is an experienced social media strategist with a diverse skill set and an ability to grip the attention of large audiences through insightful content. He has co-founded an initiative championing BAME talent in the creative industries, consulted a celebrity influencer, grown the online fanbase of a number of performing artists, and executed people-focused social strategies for one of the world’s largest FMCG corporations. This made for a great opportunity for DART participants to hear from someone who has been involved in multiple digital projects, for multiple organisations.
Participants were initially sought through the networks Art Gallery of Burlington and Dundas Museum & Archives had. Originally, the intention was to put out an open call, however, there was an overwhelming response from the immediate network and we had 14 institutions interested. A decision was made to scale up from the original 8 institutions (2 partnership institutions and 6 others) to 10, to benefit as many people as possible. A blind ranking was done for the 14 interested institutions. During that time, two of the institutions reflected on their lack of resources and withdrew their names, though they were eager to participate in a future program, if offered. From the 12 institutions left, 10 were chosen who had the staff resources and potential project ideas that fit within the scope of DART.
Of those institutions:
- Three were traditional art galleries.
- One was a traditional museum and archive.
- One was a library.
- One was a heritage service serving its local heritage society museum members.
- Four were arts service organisations (all of whom have their own small galleries as part of their locations).