These days, technology and digital communications permeate almost every corner of our lives, from the time we scroll through the morning’s newsfeed until we set an alarm on our phone to wake up the next day. As a result, cultural organizations are being challenged to respond to new audience expectations and behaviors brought about by an always-connected society. On the flip side of these challenges is real opportunity, for museums to use digital means to reach visitors beyond the walls of their institution, to delight people in new ways and to create tools that help researchers.
Through our arts program, Knight Foundation is committed to the belief that the arts create more informed and engaged communities. Art provides us with shared experiences, connects us to different world views, and offers us moments of personal reflection and wonder. We believe technology can amplify these qualities, and make it easier to interact, educate and communicate with audiences. Technology can help reduce the distance between the museum and the audience, creating understanding, appreciation and ongoing relevance for exhibitions.
Our investments in these twelve projects build off of Knight Foundation’s experience in seeding innovation in other fields, such as journalism and libraries, through a collaboration between our Arts and Technology Innovation teams. As in those fields, our approach here is to encourage risk taking and experimentation, while simultaneously focusing on learning and replication through open source software and shared methodologies.
One of those projects includes $100,000 grant to the Museum of Arts and Science in Macon to create more immersive film experiences by launching the FullDome Festival, in partnership with the Macon Film Festival. The event will highlight works created specifically for the museum’s leading-edge, digital planetarium.
We believe in the power of art museums to inspire and connect communities. As we move deeper into the digital age, we look forward to seeing how these important institutions will find creative ways to remain vibrant while offering moments of reflection and appreciation.