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Artscaping Rome – Feb 20, 2014

February 7, 2014

I’m pleased to share news of an interesting event,¬†Artscaping Rome, that will take place in Rome on February 20, 2014, organized by students of the Master in Arts Management of the Istituto Europeo di Design (IED) Rome, in collaboration with Federculture and with the support of RomaEuropa.


Artscaping is the scenario of an entity constructed by different Art perspectives, which are represented by Art shapes. When these shapes are combined the process can trigger new ideas.

The city of Rome is an international metropolis, trapped in its own history. Because of this reputation, Rome is often considered a museum city, more than a living place. This project looks at various ways that the arts can be involved in city development, from the idea of a curated space, where a possible narrative guides the re-planning of Rome. How does the city face the challenge of reemerging contemporary art? Professionals in the arts sector and urban planning will discuss a wide range of topics exploring dialogues between artists, curators, stakeholders and the city of Rome.

Those interested should show up at the Caffe Letterario, Roma Ostiense. For further information please see



First crowdsourced curating in Italy at Museo del Tessuto

June 1, 2013

Crowdsourced curating is the act of “outsourcing” the curatorial process to the public. This may take place with works present in a museum’s collection that is presented to the public to be narrowed down for an exhibit based on certain factors, or it may also include a crowdsourcing factor in the development of the artwork to be displayed. The first crowd curation, at Brooklyn museum’s “Click!” held in 2008 was of the latter type, asking residents to submit photos of Brooklyn and website users to vote on them; the most voted were shown in an exhibit. Quite a few years later, while museums in the USA have followed suit, Italy has lagged behind.

The Museo del Tessuto in Prato (Tuscany) is the first Italian museum to hold a crowdsourced curating exhibit, within the larger context of their exhibit “Vintage, l’irresistibile fascino del vissuto” earlier this year. I had the pleasure of developing and running this part of the exhibit, which was created upon commission by the museum to the communications company for which I work, Flod. In this post I summarize how the contest worked and a few critical aspects that future small museums might take into consideration should they attempt a similar process.


Read more…

Analyse your museum

April 14, 2012

I admit, I’ve been a bit out of the loop. I’ve actually been managing one museum’s social media, but not catching up much on research and certainly not blogging about this topic at all! Good thing I still read FucktoryMuseum and have its author, Simone, amongst my facebook contacts, because he tipped me off to a revolutionarily cool website that is super useful to those of us working in museum communications.

Museum Analytics is the winner in the Museum Professional category of Museums on the Web (announced yesterday) and you can see why… literally. Capturing information about museums on social media through APIs, it displays information in super clean graphics that are frankly very exciting.

If your museum is listed, or if you just want to follow the progress of any museum (if I understand correctly), the site will send you a free daily report that tracks your progress on the web. Imagine, all those hours we spend making reports, done for us, free!

I note a disappointing turn-out for Italian museums with only 34 museums listed (and some are actually galleries); of these, some have 0’s for data, and others are not on the list despite presence on social media. The Uffizi Gallery is listed, though its facebook page is an unofficial spam page; there is no official page for the Uffizi or for the Polo Museale Fiorentino, though they are on YouTube. There is currently no way to add your own museum to the list, but there’s an email address to reach them… so if you’ll excuse me, I have an email to write.

Brainstorm on communication inside the museum

April 7, 2011

CAP brainstorm applied to teaching communication inside museums

What are the elements we need to consider when developing in-museum communication? We need to keep in mind various very practical aspects that can be divided into areas (1) outside the museum, (2) inside the building (3) inside the exhibition space. Many of these elements are physically-based and logical – such are writing labels in a big font, providing seating or bathrooms – so a good way to learn about them is to get students to teach themselves.

Rather than stand up and lecture first thing in the morning on this topic, students in my museum management class were subjected to a type of brainstorm championed by GE’s “Change Acceleration Process (better known as CAP). Read more…

Mona Lisa Merchandising in TIM commercial

March 29, 2011

The Italian cellular company TIM’s latest commercial for its internet service features Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, and an assistant browsing the internet and discovering unauthorized merchandising of the painting that the great master is still in the process of painting. There’s the Mona Lisa beach towel, soup, and cell phone case. Too funny. The role of Leonardo is played by Italian comic-imitator Neri Marcor√© who delivers a perfect Pisan-Tuscan accent.

Innovative fundraising in the arts

March 22, 2011

Cranach's crowdfunded Three Graces; photo: Louvre

In an era in which natural disasters provide constant opportunities for humanitarian giving, how do arts institutions convince individuals to part with their hard-earned money in order to expand services, buildings, or acquisitions?

When there is a “donate here” box at your local museum, how much money do you put in the box? Do you put in any at all? Do you do so because you feel that you have to take that physical action or else you’ll look bad? Or maybe you fall into the class of arts appreciators who really want to contribute something in this way. Those boxes are almost always made of clear plexiglass. Why? Because you can see that other people have put money in, and you can see your own donation go in too. This works in a physical space, but what if you want to involve individual (i.e. not just corporate) donors?

This post surveys methods of engaging arts consumers through online and mobile giving and presents relevant case studies. Read more…

King Philip signs autographs at the MET

March 22, 2011

Improv Everywhere’s latest prank is something museums could learn from! With a dash of faux improvisation (ie without previous announcement, and just for a few minutes) this could be replicated in any museum with a good costume and a guy in a suit. I would just love to see this in the Uffizi.

As Improv Everywhere rightly states, they weren’t breaking any museum rules:

Surely there is no policy on the books at the Met about dressing up like a painting and standing in front of it. The museum allows sketchbooks in for the benefit of art students, so we used one to conceal our sign and our photographs. The King brought a pencil in to sign his autographs as markers are not allowed.

…although they did courteously leave when asked to do so by a museum guard. Rather, the Met ought to HIRE them! Great for marketing.