Case

Culture at Home (Italy; nationwide)

An online project for promotion of cultural heritage in the digital field in order to respond to the emergency that Italian cultural sites were experiencing due to COVID-19. 

The Culture at Home platform, created in March 2020, has made it possible to share ideas, information and experiences about cultural heritage sites of Italy, when it was forbidden to visit them during the lockdown. Culture at Home platform offered four sections – Culture Workshop, Edu Culture, Culture AudioGuides and Culture Stories – and different contents online in order to educate, entertain and accompany Italians during the lockdown.

Background

The platform was created by Coop Culture, the largest Cooperative Society operating in the cultural sector in Italy. It offers services and activities at museums and exhibitions,  promoting both well-known and less famous cultural sites through innovative partnerships, and digital ecosystems. They offer innovative solutions to meet the needs of a continually evolving cultural sector, contributing to the creation of the economy founded on local development and social cohesion.

The company has more than 30 years of activity, and collaborates with more than 250 museums, archaeological areas, cultural venues, libraries, villages and territories along the peninsula. It was founded in 2010, as a result  of the integration of 2 successful businesses: Pierreci and Codess Cultura cooperatives. In 2017, after working in partnership for a number of years, the merger with Copat was launched – a Turin-based cooperative that for over 30 years provided services for libraries, museums and archives in many regions of Italy. The company has 1987 employees (71% women), 1050 shareholders throughout Italy and 18000 visitors (data refers to 2019, before the beginning of Covid-2019 pandemic). 

The registered office of the cooperative is: Corso del Popolo, 40 – 30172 Venezia Mestre.

Target group: adults. 

They have adopted a humanistic approach to the application of digital technology to cultural heritage. Technology is not the purpose of their approach but rather the enabling factor for the accomplishment of their social innovation goals.

Description

The Culture at Home platform, created in March 2020, has made it possible to share ideas, information and experiences about cultural heritage sites of Italy, when it was forbidden to visit them during the lockdown. Culture at Home platform offered four sections – Culture Workshop, Edu Culture, Culture AudioGuides and Culture Stories – and different contents online in order to educate, entertain and accompany Italians during the lockdown.

The aim of the project was the promotion of cultural heritage in the digital field in order to respond to the emergency that Italian cultural sites were experiencing due to COVID-19.

Culture AudioGuides. Thanks to the cooperation with numerous museums, the Coopculture App was created. It contained the official audio guides of the most prestigious museums and monuments and the most famous Italian archaeological areas.  All the guides were available in different languages for free and it was possible to listen to them comfortably from home, discovering the rich Italian cultural heritage.

In the section of Culture Stories a postcard a day was published to share the beauty of Italian cultural sites. If once the postcard was a good way to greet a relative or a friend during a trip, in the lockdown, at a forced distance, the platform “sent” virtual postcards to their visitors from all over Italy.

Edu Culture: In this section the exercise books, videos and other interactive learning tools  for students of all ages were published.

The section of Culture Workshop was a space where the website’s visitors could listen and experiment new things dedicated to cultural heritage. It was dedicated mostly to children willing to learn more about culture through practical application.

Impact

The company has proved the ability to experiment and implement the innovative tools in their activities, that strengthened their collaboration with their network and clients.

During the period of lockdown, the created platform has allowed the CoopCulture to keep their clients (tourists, people interested in culture), as well as to attract new ones – in Italy and abroad. New target groups (children) were reached through the creatuion of Culture Workshop section on the platform. Moreover, they succeeded to support their partners (cultural sites, museums) through the promotion of their institutions and initiatives on the platform.

For the promotion of the initiative, the organiser used their wide network of cultural institutions, as well as their website and social media pages. Every day on the Instagram page of Coop Culture every day they shared a photo of a particular Italian monument with the hashtag #iorestoacasa ma poi torno! ( #I stay at home, but then will come back!), reminding the users of the importance of culture and of admiring the beauty of Italian heritage.

Interpretation

This innovative initiative has made Italian cultural heritage more accessible for everybody. This platform is still online: it continued to function after the lockdown as well, allowing the organisers to attract new clients through the use of more interactive and communicative channels.

References

Author

  • Mara De Blasi, EduVita, info@eduvita.it
  • Hanna Urbanovich, EduVita, hanna@eduvita.it

Header photograph

Wikimedia Commons

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