How the “ORF-Long night of museums” started? And who started it?
The “ORF-Long Night of Museums” was launched by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation(ORF) in four Austrian Cities – Vienna, Graz, Linz and Innsbruck – in the year 2000 with 115 Museums participating. People have the opportunity to purchase a special ticket, which enables them to visit as many participating museums as they want between 18.00 and 01.00 o´clock. In the first year more than 50.000 visits have been counted.
Who were your conceptual partners? Which institutions helped you with the organization of the event?
We do have sponsors and – mainly regional – partners, and of course the museums themselves help by organizing special events and attractions for the night, but the overall-conception and -organization was and is done solely by ORF.
How do you estimate the event contribution on city’s cultural development? Howthe “ORF-Long night of museums” implements itself in the cultural policies on regional and national level in Austria?
The “ORF-Long Night of Museums” has become the main cultural event of the whole country and thus contributes massively in bringing forward the general image of museums and attracting new groups of the society to visit museums.
What were the greatest challenges for you as organizers?
The greatest challenge is not to step in the trap of routine but to stay innovative and to develop new approaches for new target groups. So f.i. a few years ago we introduced a special tool for kids: they can collect “visit-confirmations” of the museums, they visit and finally get a present, depending on the amount of their confirmations.
What were your expectations for the first event and to what extend were they met?
With more than 50.000 visits of 115 museums in four cities the expectations have been more than exceeded. A survey conducted during the night proofed the high appreciation of the visitors: 88% assessed the “ORF-Long night of museums” as very good/good, 96% claimed to want another “ORF-Long night of museums” next year.
How has the event changed over the years?
The “ORF-Long night of museums” now takes place all over Austria, with nearly 700 museums participating in the whole country and in our western neighbor-country Liechtenstein, special public transport-offers both on regional as well as on national level, and more than 400.000 visits. It thus has become the biggest cultural event of the country.
Is there a certain event or project that you are particularly proud of?
Yes – each “ORF-Long night of museums”
What are your future plans and expectations forthe “ORF-Long night of museums”?
Well, we will go on and want to improve each year! In 2014 the “ORF-Long night of museums” will become 15 and we already are in a creative process to come up with something new and special.
Do you have any impressions from Long Nights of Museums in other countries?
Of course we are aware, that the basic concept originating in Berlin, has spread all over Europe and even to oversea-countries such as Argentina, the Dominican Republic or Canada.
Of course there are differences, so in some places, f.i. in France, the entrance is for free at all, but in general it´s a worldwide movement and we are proud to be most likely the only public broadcaster fostering the trend not only by promoting but also organizing the “Long Night of Museums”.
Autor: Vasilena Pancharova