On Tuesday I was at Tate Modern in London to take part in a DCMS seminar on ‘Encouraging Digital Access’. The focus of the seminar was mainly on how cultural institutions could be making more use of digital technologies to extend access to their (publicly owned) cultural assets. Opening the seminar, the Culture Minister Margaret Hodge spoke about the importance of the digital agenda in relation to extending audiences, extending participation and deepening the experience of individuals. The Minister suggested that most arts organisations currently use their websites just to provide information about their physical offering. She encouraged cultural institutions to discover the shared advantage created by co-operation with each other. DCMS had engaged Jonathan Drori to draft a guidance document on ‘Encouraging Digital Access’. Jonathan, who chaired Tuesday’s seminar, said he was trying to get to a step change in the way the public engage with the wonderful things in our cultural institutions. The leaders of a range of cultural institutions, including the British Library, the Royal Opera House, the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Sage, Gateshead, the Cornerhouse in Manchester and the Watershed in Bristol, took part in the seminar to share details of their progress in increasing digital access.
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