App development workshops for Cultural Organisations


4 minute read
Calvium Team

Calvium Team


Calvium are delighted to offer arts organisations and museums the opportunity to attend one of three workshops in the South West, exploring how to develop compelling, content-rich mobile phone applications to enhance the digital capacity of each organisation.

Apps can be a fantastic way to create and extend cultural experiences, using the technology that we carry around with us every day to break out of the walls of cultural venues or to augment the experiences that visitors receive when they take part in cultural events.

  • Tues 11 Sept, 10:00 – 17:00, Pervasive Media Studio, Bristol
  • Thur 13 Sept, 10:00 – 17:00, University College Falmouth, AIR building, Sandpit Rm
  • Fri 14 Sept, 10:00 – 17:00, Plymouth University

To book tickets contact the Watershed box office on 0117 927 5100

In recent years, strong steer has come from both Arts Council England and the government for cultural organisations to integrate digital technologies into their public offering:

“Digital technology has huge potential to support and accelerate the delivery of all of our goals and priorities and offers exciting opportunities for artists, audiences and the broader sector.”

The Arts Council Plan 2011-15, November 2011

“For too many cultural organisations technology is still about having a good website instead of a tool to boost artistic innovation, help fundraising and reach new audiences.”

Jeremy Hunt, Culture Secretary, DCMS, June 2012

Many organisations however, have identified a shortfall in expertise, resources and capacity in house to deliver on this new agenda. Costs of commissioning third party app development vary widely and for inexperienced commissioners/curators the quality of a resulting application can be just as unpredictable.

In these workshops, we invite managers, directors and producers to receive practical training in what makes a good and a bad app, advice on how to go about budgeting and commissioning mobile assets and an introduction to a toolkit that will enable you to start experimenting with apps straight away.

There will also be an opportunity to pitch for additional support for a particular project to be further developed with Calvium. One organisation/cohort of organisations will receive further consultancy from Calvium to create and publish an app to Apple’s app store or the Android Google Play store.

Who can take part?

  • The workshops are designed for arts organisations and collectives, with limited places also available to museums.
  • ACE National Portfolio Organisations are very welcome to participate.
  • Due to the ACE support for this programme, your organisation can be based anywhere in England. It is not currently available to organisations outside of England.
  • This opportunity is not available for individual artists or freelancers.
  • In order to keep groups small only one person per organisation may attend.
  • We strongly recommend that the person attending should be at producer/manager/director level to ensure the most benefit for your organisation.
  • You do not have to have a clear idea about what app(s) your organisation might develop but you should be seriously considering app creation as a part of your digital strategy.

What will happen?

Each workshop will comprise representatives of up to 8 organisations who will be taken through a facilitated process to explore the current and emerging landscape of mobile apps. We will offer practical examples of good and bad work, explore the affordances, challenges and opportunities of working with mobile devices and consider experience design for arts and cultural audiences. Participants will gain practical experience in designing and authoring a mobile app using the AppFurnace toolkit with impartial advice and information about other available tools.  After the workshops, participants will be given the opportunity to pitch for further development funding to bring a specific mobile application to fruition.

How much is it?

These workshops have been developed in partnership with Watershed’s Pervasive Media Studio in Bristol, University College Falmouth and Plymouth University with support from Arts Council England. Thanks to this support we can offer these workshops at the heavily reduced rate of £50.

Do I need to know anything about apps?

No. These workshops have been designed for creative professionals with limited experience of creating digital content so no previous experience or technical expertise is required.

How do I apply?

If you would like to take part you can book via the Watershed box office by calling 0117 927 5100. Places on each workshop will be allocated on a first come first served basis. Once you have booked we will send you a registration form asking you to tell us a bit about your organisation, who will be attending and to give you the chance to tell us about any preliminary ideas your organisation has around app development.

Any other questions?

Please contact Jo Reid

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