Civilisations update 11/10/2017

Last month we described how the BBC is partnering with museums, galleries and libraries across the country on a major festival linked to its programme Civilisations, which will tell the history of the world and update Kenneth Clark’s iconic series of half a century ago. We will be providing regular updates on opportunities for museums until the launch next March. Museums should note that:

  • The festival is aimed largely at a 16+ audience, and organisers hope to engage audiences in some of the more difficult questions about civilisation, identity, change and loss.
  • Although the BBC series will focus on the visual arts and architecture, museums are encouraged to also consider objects from other types of collections that stretch the definition of art – anything from steam engines to pin badges which can tell a story of ‘civilisations’ will fit the festival themes.
  • Museums are already beginning to register events to be associated with the festival. The BBC encourages venues to add event plans to Museum Crush as soon as possible, as it will be using this data to choose events for further programming, radio shows and outside broadcast.
  • Local BBC radio stations will also be seeking to cover nearby museums with events and stories to tell: however, radio stations operate in a fairly short timeframe, and will probably do the majority of their planning in the six weeks before 2nd March.
  • Civilisations branding materials will be available from the BBC in September.  
  • Although contact points will become more complex and local as preparations for the festival progress, all interested museums are encouraged to sign up initially at [email protected]

The festival will include a major digital component as well as live events. The BBC’s Research and Development department is offering museums an opportunity to use innovative, newly developed tools, either on the BBC’s own ‘Taster’ platform or on organisations’ own websites. An augmented reality app, 360° video tools and low cost live video broadcasting. Workshops took place in England and Scotland during the early autumn: published dates for Wales and Northern Ireland are:

  • Cardiff, National Museum – 9th November
  • Bangor, Storiel Museum – 14th November
  • a further workshop in Belfast is now likely to take place on 20th November


Email [email protected] with ‘Civilisations’ in the subject field if you are interested in attending on any of these dates.

 NMDC (festival overview), BBC digital Taster platform  Museum Crush

October Update: how to sign up your museum

The BBC has launched the signing up process for museums which would like to become part of the Civilisations Festival, from 2nd – 11th March 2018. 100 organisations have already expressed an interest and will be sent a link, or you can sign up directly here. A Welsh language page is in preparation. Civilisations sign-up, BBC