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Art and Dementia with Catherine Chastney

ART AND DEMENTIA WITH CATHERINE CHASTNEY INTRODUCTION  For our thirtieth episode, I’m delighted to be talking to Catherine Chastney. Catherine is an art educator and owner of social enterprise I Picture This. Catherine’s work focuses on bringing art and the joy of discussing art to older people, from creating conversations in care homes, to creating art cards during lockdown and working with people living with dementia. In this chat we explore the strong values that guide Catherine's work - she is passionate about that anyone can look at and discuss art, she loves using art to bring people

13 Ways to Make your Online Experiences More Engaging and Interactive

13 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR ONLINE EXPERIENCES MORE ENGAGING AND INTERACTIVE SUMMARY Although I’d love to have a crystal ball and see into the future, I can’t predict what is going to happen in the next 6 months any more than you can. Although things are opening up now in some areas, I can’t say for certain that we won’t at some point be restricted in the way we gather and hang out together at some point in the coming months. And if you work regularly with audiences in-person - whether in a gallery, museum, heritage or outside

Introducing The Art Engager Podcast

The Art Engager Podcast Trailer Welcome to The Art Engager podcast! This podcast here to help educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas. Each week I’ll be sharing a variety of strategies, ideas and inspiration to help you to engage and connect with your audiences and confidently lead lively art and artefact discussions. Trailer Highlights What The Art Engager podcast is all about How and why creating real engagement with art and museum objects can be tricky What is Visible Thinking in the Museum? What we're going to be talking about on this podcast

Tech Tools To Try Out with Thinking Routines and Art

After you’ve become an expert at using all the standard elements of Zoom (chat, breakout rooms, whiteboard, annotation and polls), you might want to progress to using external tools that offer more flexibility and creativity. Here are 3 great tech tools that you can use with thinking routines and art.  Mentimeter At the start of every in-person Visible Thinking in the Museum training, I used to ask participants to grab a post-it note and write down their expectations for the day. We would then stick all the post-its onto a whiteboard or flip-over. The trouble was, those at the

Tips & Tools: Simple Tips for Looking After your Voice

Simple Tips for Looking After your Voice On a guided tour your voice is your instrument, your tool. Like an actor who can produce many different ‘voices’, we can also learn ways to produce sound to increase emphasis, enhance storytelling and add emotional effect. Without your voice, you cannot work, so it makes sense to use your voice wisely (without the aid of whisper sets etc). However, we all know that there are times when we are forced to strain our voices for a large group, or lead too many tours in a row or work in very noisy, echoey environments.

Tips & Tools: 7 Tips to Get Over a ‘Tumbleweed Moment’

Have you asked a question to the participants on your tour and no one responds? You look around and all you can see are blank faces. You wait a little longer and still nothing happens. Just the sound of tumbleweed rustling by.... Awkward. Yes, that's the 'tumbleweed moment'; a period of 'dead air or stony, unresponsive silence'. Silence is scary because you don't know what people are thinking. It could mean anything. BUT the good news is that it happens to us all and it's relatively easy to fix. Here are my 7 tips to get over a tumbleweed moment.

Tips & Tools: Positioning on Guided Tours

How often do you think about how you position yourself on a guided tour? And how you position the group too? It can make all the difference! YOU: Before introducing an object/artwork to someone on your tour, see it properly for yourself. Look at it from a variety of difficult angles (as your participants would) and see what is easy or tricky to see from each position. Find the best spot to position your group so that they can all see well (and hear you too!). Literally, you should stand in a good position to reduce the strain on your body

Tips & Tools: Sensory Experiences on Guided Tours

On a guided tour, using an approach that appeals to all or some of the senses will help you to make your tour experiences more memorable and engaging. It will also help you to communicate your ideas more effectively. In this week's Tips and Tools we're looking at ways to make your tour a more sensory experience. When we travel to a new city or enter a museum for the first time, our senses go into overdrive. We're excited by so many new things to see, hear, smell and do. A guided tour helps participants to focus this sensory overload by

Tips & Tools: Using Notebooks on Guided Tours

In praise of the humble notebook... I have hundreds of tips and tools in my head that I could share with you, but today I've decided to share my go-to and most simple tool - the humble notebook. A notebook, you say? But that's not very exciting... Well, when my three children were small, we used to go off to museums, galleries and places like the zoo armed with a small notebook and a pencil. I just told them that whenever they saw something they liked, they should make a note of it however they wanted - either with a drawing

Tips & Tools: How to use a Viewfinder to Look Closely

A viewfinder is a tool that enables artists to frame or crop a particular scene to arrange their composition. It is usually a square or a rectangle made out of card or plastic through which you look at an area in more detail. MAKE or BUY You can easily make your own out of card and even experiment with creating an interesting shape for your viewfinder. I used to ask my daughters to make them for me when it was a rainy day and we were stuck for something to make/do. You can also use old slides for projectors (with