Making pop-ups work

The Museums Journal in March had a feature on pop-up exhibitions that let museums take themselves out into the heart of the community. May Redfern and Jemma Conway from Barnsley Museums summed up key things they’d learned as a result of their Cole Not Dole pop-up.

 

Screengrab of Cole Not Dole poster for Barnsley Museums pop-up exhibition

Cole Not Dole poster for Barnsley Museums pop-up exhibition

 

I summarise:

 

  • Get the balance of ownership right. Work with the people who will be impacted or who are connected to the subject, from the start of the exhibition’s  conception.
  • Wearing uniforms helps identify where you’re from so people unfamiliar with museums or with seeing you out of your normal setting can ‘place’ you.
  • A linked events programme gives you something specific to publicise and context for staff to start conversations around.
  • Brief all staff well, especially about any local issues and sensitivities.