RAMM at Home was an online weekly art challenge developed by RAMM’s engagement team. It launched on the 14th April 2020 in response to the country wide ‘lock down’ imposed by the government due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The project was designed to allow people to create their very own RAMM collection based on various objects from the museum’s stunning collections. With a focus on areas of the museum such as the Romans, natural history, Egyptian mummies and world cultures, a different creative challenge was set every week, over a 12 week period. Participants were also encouraged to email photographs of their creations to be shared on RAMM’s website.
RAMM worked in collaboration with two local artists who made weekly YouTube films in order to explain how to go about making each creative challenge. These sessions included guides on how to draw a giraffe, paint a bird on a stone, create a stop-motion animation, make an origami bird, and fashion a beautiful jelly fish from an old plastic bottle. Challenges were released every Friday across our social media accounts, the museum’s website and via our e-newsletters.
The main challenge for this project was how to keep our audiences engaged, despite the fact that the museum was closed. It was also difficult to compete with the large number of other organisations that were also offering online activities to their audiences at that time.
RAMM started this project as an online activity for people during lockdown but quickly became aware of a stark digital divide in the UK, with many households having no access to the internet and others reliant on expensive pay-as-you-go services. In order to make sure we were able to reach as wider audience as possible RAMM worked with Exeter Community Wellbeing hub and Exeter City Community Trust to send out 500 activity packs to people in their homes. The packs contained three illustrated activity sheets that described how to have a go at the first three creative challenges, plus some coloured pencils, a pencil sharpener, a word search, a postcard, a small gift (a keyring, fridge magnet or notepad) and a Gerald giraffe tie-pin.
More than 1000 people watched the RAMM at Home YouTube films with a similar number visiting the RAMM website. 55% of those visiting the website were new visitors and 45% returning.
Comments from members of the public who received a RAMM at Home packs:
“It made our day, thank you, we miss RAMM”
“A lovely surprise, we enjoyed. Massive thank you!”