On Saturday August 13 2011 over 60 people took part in ‘A Heart to Art Chat at the AGO’. It was a special event for people to listen, learn and co-create ideas for the Gallery.
The event took place in our new Weston Family Learning Centre –a first chance for most of the attendees to spend time in the space. Taking part were members, casual visitors and even people who had never visited the Gallery before, people from a wide range of ages and from a diverse mix of backgrounds. Those who wanted to join in the conversation online were able to take part on Twitter using the #AGOChat hashtag.
The day was structured like an Unconference – an event that lets the people taking part decide what should be talked about. We asked people what community groups they identified themselves with and what they would like to see at the gallery. They shared their answers on brightly coloured sticky notes which were then sorted to identify common themes.
The following sessions covered a wide range of themes including:
- Community Outreach & Accessibility
- Artist & Gallery Talks
- Web, Social Media and Online Events
- Evening Events
People talked passionately about their ideas for their AGO. From date nights and reality TV shows to longer opening hours and more events for adults the ideas flowed thick and fast all day. We also managed to get #AGOChat trending in Canada, so a big thank you to everyone that tweeted throughout the day.
What happens next?
- We’re in the process of gathering all the information generated from the day. Once it’s ready we’ll be publishing it online so that everyone can see what we talked about and we can report back.
- We think (and from reading your tweets we know you do too) that the Unconference was a fantastic way to share ideas and generate excitement for the Gallery and its programs. The success of the Unconference has us looking at new ways to communicate and gather input and we’ll keep you posted on future opportunities.
- Loads of great ideas came out of the social media session, like the adult sleepovers and the desire for a more conversational approach. We’ll definitely be planning a tweet-up soon and we’re also going to be building a loyal army of Twitter followers who want to volunteer to help spread the word about what’s going on in the Gallery.
- We want you to continue using the #AGOChat hashtag on Twitter to share your ideas as well as commenting on this blog post. We’re on Twitter @AGOToronto and you can also chat with our Social Media and Internet Content Coordinator Holly on Twitter or via email.
We are grateful to everyone who came out and shared their ideas with us. Thanks also needs to go to Celina Agaton who organized the event and all of the facilitators who ran the sessions: Marisa Gelfusa; Marco Campana ; Aerin Guy; Darcy Higgins and Ramy Nassar.