The Museum of Brisbane (MoB) is a long-standing partner of Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC). Located at City Hall, MoB represents Brisbane’s vibrant art, culture and history. The most recent focus of the MoB and BAC partnership has been on opportunities to expand their access and inclusivity initiatives.
Two programs BAC contributed to include the Quiet Afternoons and LOTE tours and events. Zoe Graham CEO/Director MoB shares insights into how these activities began.
“It’s important to distinguish that the inclusion program is not separate from our main program, we’re trying to embed it in everything we do. Access and inclusion considerations are made right from the outset of exhibition design.
"Quiet Afternoons and our LOTE programs started with the audience demand and need. Over 1,000 people visit MoB every day and demographics are wide and varied,” said Zoe.
Quiet Afternoons are designed for visitors who may benefit from or prefer a quieter museum and gallery experience. This may include people with autism, disability, dementia, mental health or chronic illness conditions. During Quiet Afternoons, MoB reduces the impact of sensory stimuli like low light, looping sound and loud noises, to provide an alternate experience across the Museum space.
In the same way, Quiet Afternoons make the Museum a safe and welcoming space to all, Bilingual Story Time and LOTE tours are also extending access to a broader demographic of people.
Bilingual Story Time is offered on Wednesdays, sharing the magic of picture books in English and Spanish, Urdu, Mandarin and Auslan. Tours of the Museum and City Hall are also offered in Mandarin and Spanish.
Zoe explains that they are always learning and trialling to improve offerings, but the initial response has been promising, “The response has been overwhelming, with visitors embracing the inclusive offerings and resulting in Quiet Afternoons permanently programmed for Tuesdays.
“While it’s not about numbers, we’re pleased to see there has been a 180% increase in visitation by individuals with visible disabilities, signalling a positive trajectory that aligns with MoB's mission of creating a safe and welcoming space for all,” said Zoe.
The sponsorship support from BAC helped MoB deliver these programs through staffing, time and other resources such as marketing collateral. Zoe also shares how BAC’s in-kind support has been equally beneficial.
“BAC showcases the MoB exhibitions and tours across signage in the Domestic and International Terminals. The value of this exposure to reach visitors to Brisbane as soon as they land is immeasurable. With our current visitation representing 28.6% International and 21.8% interstate visitation, guests are welcomed to Brisbane knowing they can come and be able to have a great experience just as they are,” said Zoe.
For the future of the programs Zoe shares MoB’s ambitions, “We’d love to continue to partner with BAC and seek guidance from experts in the field to support the evolution of these programs and growth of everything we do in this area of access, diversity and inclusion. It’s critical to the Museum's future and is an important part of what we do now and will certainly continue to be so.
“We are the Museum of this city, for the people of this city and we are the welcoming cultural offering that’s a great starting point for a visitors trip to Brisbane,” said Zoe.