The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the primary source of federal funds for the nation’s museums and libraries, has awarded the Walker Art Center a National Leadership Grant in the amount of $160,000 to develop
Art on Call (AoC)
, a phone-activated audio guide system to be introduced after the Walker opens its expanded facility in April 2005.
Art on Call
, a new model for the museum audio guide, will allow Walker visitors to access information on specific works of art or exhibitions using their personal cell phone. Art on Call will provide greater access to a wide range of information, from objects in the Walker’s collection, to artists’ interviews, to a daily schedule of activities. Visitors will be able to customize their experiences and access Walker resources according to their own interests and learning styles. Examples include being able to hear a curator’s interpretation of an artwork on view; sampling music by a jazz musician scheduled to perform in the Walker’s new theater and purchasing tickets for the event, if desired; taking an architectural tour of the new facility enhanced by interview excerpts from architect Jacques Herzog whose Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron designed the Walker expansion; or guiding a child through a look-and-find game in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
“National Leadership Grants encourage nationally replicable model projects that enable museums and libraries, either individually or in partnership, to advance innovation and learning for students of all ages,” said Dr. Robert S. Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “The projects address issues of national interest such as literacy, the advancement of and instruction in science and technology, and the preservation of art, culture, and history.”
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities. The Institute fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation’s 15,000 museums and 122,000 libraries. The Institute also encourages partnerships to expand the educational benefit of libraries and museums. In this funding cycle, IMLS awarded more than $13 million to 44 museums and libraries throughout the country.