Museumaker to offer design commissions to bring in visitors

Designers and designer-makers are in line to receive commissions from a £300 000 initiative to boost the profile of museums in the East Midlands.

Museumaker is a partnership programme between the Arts Council England, the East Midlands Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Renaissance, East Midlands. It aims to generate new audiences and increase revenue for museums throughout that region.

The selected designers will help to generate installations and other ‘creative solutions’ that will increase publicity for the museums, according to an Arts Council spokeswoman. Eight of the participating museums will receive a commission, three temporary and five permanent.

At the end of this month, a shortlist of design and craft practitioners will be selected, with three designers allocated to each museum to create pieces that augment existing collections. In April next year, one designer from the three will be chosen to receive between £9000 and £12 000 for their commission.

The project remains open to entries, with only one application received so far. The temporary commissions will be installed in May 2006, just after the project’s launch; the permanent commissions will open in May 2007.

Arts Council stakeholders are visiting sites to assess which eight of the region’s 19 museums will most benefit from the designers’ commissions.

The Museumaker identity, marketing materials, website and point-of-sale materials are designed by Hawaii, which won the project after a six-way pitch in June 2005. The project was led by Hawaii founder Paul Mcanelly, former head of graphic sign at Liberty.

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