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PODCAST

The Art Engager Podcast

Each week on the Art Engager I share a variety of easy-to-learn flexible techniques and tools to help you create participant-centred experiences that bring art and ideas to life. The Art Engager podcast helps educators, guides and creatives engage their audiences with art, objects and ideas.

In this episode of the Art Engager podcast, host Claire Bown talks with Dr. Tasha Golden about the role arts and culture can play in public health, discussing Tasha’s journey from singer-songwriter to public health scientist and the impact of social prescribing on healthcare. They delve into the ways museums are becoming active participants in… Read...
Today I’m talking to Cecilie Monrad, Art Health Manager at Frederiksberg Museums in Copenhagen. We’re talking about See Listen Talk, a unique slow looking programme that helps young psychiatric service users in their recovery. See Listen Talk is a 15-week long programme with weekly meetings taking place outside of the museum’s visiting hours. Participants were… Read...
Today I’m talking to Andrew Westover, Eleanor McDonald Storza Director of Education at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, about how values-engaged teaching can transform gallery experiences and foster deep connections. Andrew Westover leads the learning team at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, focusing on connecting people with art and ideas to… Read...
Today I’m talking to Briony Brickell, the director of Magic Lantern, an educational charity delivering interactive art history workshops in schools across the UK. We chat about the organisation’s work, its values, and the interactive art history sessions they conduct in primary schools for children aged 4 to 11. We explore Magic Lantern’s unique cross-curricular… Read...
 In today’s episode, Dr. Stephanie Smith, Learning Manager at the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) in Canberra, shares insights into MoAD’s innovative approach to engaging visitors in historical spaces. Steph talks about MoAD’s educational programmes, focusing on their inquiry-based approach and how they encourage an ‘inquiry mindset’ through active student participation. We also explore… Read...
In today’s new episode I’m talking to researcher and practice assistant, Leonie Delaey, discussing how museums engage with young people through youth boards and organisations. Leonie come from a rich background in socio-cultural studies and Cultural Management. She currently serves as a Practice Assistant for the Master in Cultural Management program at the University of… Read...
In today’s episode , we explore the urgent need for rest in the cultural sector, specifically in museum education. My guest, educator and leader, Kate Oliver, a freelancer with extensive experience in museums and learning, recently co-founded the “Radical Rest Network” to address this critical issue. In today’s conversation, Kate shares insights into the Radical… Read...
Today I’m talking to Rob Walker, author of The Art of Noticing and its spinoff newsletter. He’s a columnist for Fast Company, a longtime contributor to The New York Times and many other publications. His latest book, co-edited with Joshua Glenn, is “Lost Objects: 50 Stories About The Things We Miss and Why They Matter.” … Read...
Today, I’m responding to a question I get asked a lot: How do you approach groups that are more used to a traditional approach and say they don’t want to participate? How can we work with these expectations while delivering an engaging and educational museum experience? In this episode, I’m exploring some of the reasons… Read...
In today’s episode, Claire Bown engages in conversation with the authors of a groundbreaking new book, “Activating the Art Museum: Designing Experiences for the Health Professions.” Ruth Slavin, Corinne Zimmermann, and Ray Williams share their insights into the powerful intersection of art and healthcare. This book is the first-ever guide to creating art museum experiences… Read...
This week we’re exploring engagement for all with Sam Bowen, a passionate advocate for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) inclusion in museums. Sam shares her extensive experience in the museum sector and explains how her role as a mother to a child with SEND has fuelled her advocacy work. Highlights: Personal Journey: Sam discusses… Read...
Museum education is evolving, and so are the ways we engage our audiences. The days of traditional lecture-style tours are numbered, as more and more museums want to offer more  dynamic, participant-driven experiences.  Whether you’re just starting out with inquiry-based learning in the museum or looking to enhance your existing approach, this episode is for… Read...
Today, I’m joined by Rachel Nicholson (Director, Visitor Engagement & Research at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art) and Christine Murray (Head of Content at Art Processors) to discuss an art experience that revolutionises the way visitors interact with Impressionist art. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has collaborated with Art Processors to bring to life “A… Read...
Today I’m talking to Jackie Armstrong, Associate Educator Visitor Research and Experience at MoMA in New York, about trauma-informed practice in museums. We’re exploring trauma-informed practice in museums, what it is, what it looks like and how museums can implement it into their culture and into their programming.  We discuss MoMA’s Artful Practices for Well-Being… Read...
In today’s episode I’ll be exploring a topic that every museum educator can relate to: being prepared for the unexpected. When was the last time you were facilitating a programme and something unexpected came up? Maybe it was a spontaneous discussion sparked by an unexpected object or a group with unique accessibility needs. These moments… Read...
Today I’m exploring Heart for Art with Gundy van Dijk, Head of Education and Interpretation at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. Discover how this impactful outreach programme use Vincent van Gogh’s life and art to engage children, foster their personal development, and ignite their passion for art. With over 20 years of experience in… Read...
Immersive art experiences have become quite the sensation in recent years. You’ve probably heard of them or even had the chance to attend one yourself. Immersive art experiences are driven by technology, engage multiple senses and transport you into a living artwork or a different world. Imagine stepping into a space surrounded by larger-than-life visuals,… Read...
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been picking my favourite episodes from the podcast’s archive. Today, I want to share some helpful advice about starting to use thinking routines in your art or object discussions. In September I’m going to start teaching my Visible Thinking in the Museum Online Beginners course or VTMO Beginners as… Read...
For the next few weeks I’m choosing my favourite episodes from the back catalogue of the podcast. With over 100 episodes to now choose from, I’m taking this opportunity to revisit some of the episodes I’ve most enjoyed putting together.  This is a classic episode exploring the benefits of slow looking. Slow looking is simply… Read...
For the next few weeks I’m choosing my favourite episodes from the back catalogue of the podcast. With over 100 episodes to now choose from, I’m taking this opportunity to revisit some of the episodes I’ve most enjoyed putting together.  This week we’re exploring the art of how to read the room. When it comes… Read...
For the next few weeks I’m choosing my favourite episodes from the back catalogue of the podcast. With over 100 episodes to now choose from, I’m taking this opportunity to revisit some of the episodes I’ve most enjoyed putting together.  This week I’m sharing one of my absolute favourite episodes. I’m sharing 4 game changing… Read...
For the next few weeks I’m choosing my favourite episodes from the back catalogue of the podcast. With 100 episodes to now choose from, I’m taking this opportunity to revisit some of the episodes I’ve most enjoyed putting together.  Today’s choice is all about curiosity. This was a really popular episode back in February 2022… Read...
In this special 100th episode of The Art Engager podcast, I’m chatting to educator, researcher, author, and speaker Dr Ron Ritchhart. Ron Ritchhart is an award-winning educational researcher, retired Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero and current Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Australia. His research is focused on developing intellectual character, making thinking visible,… Read...
Welcome to episode 99, where I’m diving into the concept of pacing in museum and gallery programmes, with a particular focus on the idea that “less is more.” Pacing directly influences the participant experience. A well-paced programme ensures that your participants stay engaged, attentive and receptive throughout their journey.  By carefully managing the rhythm and… Read...
Welcome to a new episode of The Art Engager podcast, hosted by Claire Bown. In this week’s edition, we dive into the extraordinary world of Radio Bart, a unique audience engagement programme at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Joining me are two guests from the museum’s Audience Engagement team: An van Hertum… Read...
In this week’s episode we’re exploring an innovative project at the National Civil War Centre in Newark developing creative writing skills through art and using thinking routines in really innovative ways. The visual literacy Collect Connect Create project was developed to raise self-esteem, self-efficacy and motivation for year 10 pupils (14-15 year olds)  who had… Read...
So following on from last week’s episode, talking about the benefits of some silence in your museum and gallery programmes. This week I’m sharing how to do it. A little bit of silence in your programmes can benefit both you as the facilitator and the audience by promoting reflection, active listening, observation, engagement, and flexibility.… Read...
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘silence is golden’ before. This proverb suggests that staying quiet or not speaking can be beneficial in certain situations. How is silence a superpower that we can leverage to our advantage in the design and facilitation of our museum and gallery programmes? Today I’m talking about why silence matters and… Read...
Episode 94 of the Art Engager podcast features another special guest, Phyl Terry, Founder of Slow Art Day. Slow Art Day is an annual event that encourages participants worldwide to look at and discuss art slowly. Currently, over 1,500 museums and galleries on every continent, including Antarctica’s McMurdo Station, have participated in Slow Art Day.… Read...
Today on the podcast, I’m delighted to be talking to bestselling author, broadcaster, two-time TED speaker and voice of the Slow Movement, Carl Honoré. In this episode, Carl Honoré, author of “In Praise of Slow,” shares his insights on the benefits of slowing down in every aspect of life. Our conversation centres around the slow… Read...