Cultural network in Jade bay, Germany
Friesland and Wesermarsch are two districts both surrounding the Jade bay - Jadebusen - and together they are now developing local cultural offerings to strengthen the region. And not only the number of districts is two but working strategy and centres of excellence is also two in numbers. - We have consciously decided to work with a double strategy in the developing process, on the one hand, we thought it from top to bottom, by setting up two interconnected centers of excellence, each with a different focus of our cultural institutions. On the other hand, made from the bottom to the top, we opted simultaneously for a practical, market-effective approach, both in terms of participation and in terms of digitalization, says Anja.
The two interconnected Centres of excellence are placed one in each district. In Wesermarsch the focus is on tourist/marketing while Friesland targets audience development/participation management/cultural education. By using already existing networks for culture and museums as a starting point and cultural base important insights were made early in the project. - For us, this initially meant a benefit analysis taking into account the current status quo in the different museums in order to build up a suitable structure of supportive offers regarding cultural marketing, audience development, cultural education and participation management, says Anja.
- Regardless of whether you look at it from top to bottom or from bottom to top our overall aim is to turn the cultural/historical content itself into the promotional item, in order to inseparably and sensibly connect marketing, audience management and cultural education, she says.
- From here on we are aiming to create cross-regional dynamic platforms accessible to all cultural institutions in the networks to facilitate the exchange of ideas between museums employees, actors of culture, tourism and educational institutions and establish comprehensive offers of cultural participation and education, Anja says.
Social media channel - Deichkultour
One example of cross regional participation is the social media channel ‘Deichkultour’ which turns passive consumers into active producers of Videos, Posts or Podcasts about the culture of the region.
In the Picture: KulturNetz Jadebusen team (left to right)
Alexander Niemietz (Wesermarsch) and Anja Marrack (Friesland).
To get this started a target group was selected that is not among the frequent visitors of the museums. Participants between the age of 16 and 34 were targeted and now meet regularly and frequently on social media channels to share their opinions about things they have seen or want to see.
- In order to guarantee technical professionalism and still reach the target group, we cooperate with the Jade University of Media Economic/Management and Journalism Wilhelmshaven, says Anja.
- We got the cross-media project ‘Deichkultour’ up and running on Youtube, Spotify and Instagram in March 2020. Since then journalistic and editorial jobs for students in the field of cultural journalism have been created. New students will join the team and ‘Deichkultour’ will be continued in 2021, she informs.
But Deichkultour is not only a successful example of how a participatory social media channel can be used to market and highlight local culture, it has also become a motivation for cultural institutions and stakeholders to see the need for digital forms of cultural presentation and marketing. Which have become even more evident in times of lockdown and restrictions. - The newly emerging centers of excellence, which offer the administrative districts and the culture institutions precisely these possibilities, are now accepted as a necessary complement to the usual formats of culture marketing, culture education and audience management, says Anja.
Launching a culture app
Going forward, the development of an application for local culture is part of the operations and the cross-regional marketing strategy.
- Although the institutions' acceptance of the need for digital visibility has increased, the next steps in the project will certainly focus on intensifying furthermore contact, mutual exchange of ideas, and learning from one another. For this purpose, the two centres started to create training programs depending on their focus and subject area, says Anja.
- Right now, we are developing the structure for a progressive culture app in cooperation with the Jade University. In addition to the obvious advantage that digital platforms have for the museums, the dealing with applications in the field of culture also provides good conditions for new students' startup business ideas, she says.
- An important aspect of our work in 2021 will be to fill a first dummy version of the culture App with content, launch it, then revise and optimize it in order to implement it. And of course, the editorial work of our participatory social-media channel‚ Deichkultour will continue to occupy us during 2021, especially since we are expanding the team, she finishes.
Top Picture: Karina Stark is part of the editorial team of Deichkultour.