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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

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Using Technology for Small Museum Promotion
William Brickner, Silicon Valley Art Museum, USA

Mini-Workshop: Multi-Institutional Calendars

The Silicon Valley Art Museum (http://www.svam.org) is an all Internet, globally oriented, art museum focused on the interaction between art and technology over the ages. Founded in 2000, it produces exhibits of paintings, sculpture, photography and multiple media, accompanied by technical and curator notes describing various aspects of the work shown. The museum also has an extensive program of 72 free art lessons for children ages 5 through 12.

As the museum grew it became increasingly apparent that other small and mid-sized museums such as SVAM did not generally have the funding or public relations connections to become known outside of a small local area. In 2003 SVAM decided to make its calendar program and server time available to other museums to mount their own calendars, which they would completely control. The museum can use its own schedule of events or it can use the calendar system provided as part of the program.

The other requirement is that each museum have a link on their website to a specific central Calendars of Other Museums (COM) page listing on a drop down menu the calendars of museums participating in the program. By clicking on an individual museum name they are then directly linked to that museum's calendar. The program is particularly helpful to travelers. If they do not know the name of a specific museum in a region they are visiting, a second drop down menu on the COM page, organized by region, takes them to all the participating museums in that region.

The cost to participating museums is quite modest, ranging from $45 to $75 per year, depending upon the amount of services and technical support required by the calendar program chosen by the individual museum. The benefits are greatly increased exposure of each museum's programs to the hundreds of thousand of visitors to the sites of the other participating museums.