What we do

Our team at Culture24 can help you and your cultural organisation drive positive change. We understand the impact of digital transformation on our sector and can help you learn how to survive and thrive in the internet era.

We work directly with leaders and teams, running a combination of programmes and services. These are all informed by the work we’ve done and the knowledge, assets, methodologies and skills we’ve developed over the last 20+ years.

As an independent charity, we receive approximately 50% of our funding from Arts Council England to deliver a specific programme of activities that support museums. We then supplement that with self-generated income from commissions, partnerships, events and consultancy for a range of public, private and academic partners in the UK and internationally.

Partners and funders include: National Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland, British Council, Europeana, AHRC and University of Leicester.

Nurturing skills, support and knowledge

Let’s Get Real (LGR) is our flagship collaborative action research programme that each year supports a cohort of arts and heritage organisations to become more relevant, resilient and responsive to digital cultural changes.

Since 2011 there have been nine LGR projects, each exploring a different question around digital change, including evaluating success online, developing deeper human connection across digital channels and connecting digital practice and social purpose. Read more about all the phases.

We have developed our LGR methodology and apply it to working with more cohorts of people as part of a range of projects with partners in the UK and internationally including:

  • DART (a three year project funded by Canada Council for the Arts and working with a different cohort of Canadian arts & heritage people each year)
  • Digital Literacy for Leadership collaborative online learning programme (funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and The Art Fund to support established and emerging leaders)
  • New Voices Learning Module (part of our ACE funded programme for small museums to unearth new stories about their collections, written by new voices, for new audiences).

All of our action research programmes involve a variety of learning approaches and include:

  • Online support, mentoring and coaching
  • Screen-free support – a new series of screen-free, peer-to-peer mentoring and networking events
  • Mighty Networks online community – to support cohorts of people working through our capacity-building programmes

We have developed a regular programme of workshops as part of our Arts Council funded programme in partnership with the Museum Development Services. Through this partnership we deliver a range of short online courses in Digitally Literate Leadership, Digital Storytelling (with a collections focus) and Assessing Digital Capacity (based around the Digital Culture Compass). These three topics are where our successful track record, the expertise of our team, combined with our range of websites come together to deliver successful activities that help transform the way arts and heritage people understand digital as part of everything they do.

Creating and publishing resources 

Our Digital Pathways website is an online resource bank providing resources to help museum people understand and use digital tools and channels. This is where we capture insights, approaches and experiences from across our different projects and turn them into new, relevant and relatable case studies which are published on the website. We also signpost to digital resources by others, curating a wide range of resources and case studies published by partners and the wider digital community.

Strategic thinking and leadership

Our action research programmes and workshops provide us with deep insights into the challenges and opportunities that digital brings to arts and heritage people. This generates expertise and knowledge that we can then use to shape new thinking, sector growth and spark positive change across our sector. 

The framings of digital activity, skills and maturity that we used (and helped to devise) from the One by One project underpin all of our digital skills and leadership development activity.  We encourage leaders to understand digital maturity through the lens of those framings.

Policy and research 

We have a strong track record of international collaborations and partnership working including: 

  • A commission from the Europeana Foundation to support the establishment of a Digital Transformation Task Force that will help them consolidate their work in this area and come up with an action plan to drive forward digital capacity building. This commission builds on the report we did for them last year that researched Digital Transformation and the GLAM sector internationally
  • Numerous commissions from the British Council to deliver digital capacity building work for cohorts of museum professionals in Myanmar, Greece and Croatia.

The Museums Support Alliance

Established by Culture24 in 2017 the Museums Support Alliance, an informal forum made up of CEOs and senior leaders from 30+ organisations working to support the museum sector. The purpose of the group is to make museums better together. We develop more relevant, tailored, responsive and coherent services through co-operation and we believe that openness enhances our individual offers to the sector. The group meets two or three times a year and our CEO Jane Finnis is the chair.

Our Digital Storytelling sites 

Our Museum Crush site curates and packages museums’ collections to tell new stories that effectively reach and inspire audiences online. It includes a well loved, regular email digest to our growing email list of over 15,000 followers.

We directly support 50 museums a year to explore innovative ways of marketing their offer using their digital collection assets using the site as a collaborative online storytelling platform.  We also use Museum Crush as a resource within our digital storytelling short courses and longer learning modules, as a test-bed and route to audience, supporting people through creating content for the site and analysing engagement.

Our Show Me website offers a safe, age-appropriate, gateway to arts and cultural collections content for students aged 7 to 12 and their teachers. The site is being refreshed in order to update and breathe new life into the content. 

Our digital infrastructure 

Twenty years’ worth of public investment in Culture24 has funded the creation of a flexible, intelligent and sophisticated technical infrastructure that underpins all of our own publishing and online platforms. Our Direct Data Entry (DDE) database is available for UK cultural institutions to use free of charge to upload their event and exhibition listings. This data feeds into our family of WordPress websites, creating an online publishing system that is flexible, robust and easy to update and to iterate our products as needs change. 

This infrastructure enables us to build, sustain and communicate with our national network of venues and practitioners and to aggregate and share data and content with a range of partners including Art UK and the BBC (Civilisations in 2018 and Making of Britain Festival in 2022). All of our listings data is licensed openly for re-use.