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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

theVOV is the public art world's newest key to unlock funding and reach wider audiences

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have severely restricted arts institutions’ ability to fundraise and engage audiences. Self-generated income figures continue to plummet in comparison to pre-Covid levels, despite national restrictions lifting. New funding models are urgently needed to sustain public arts organisations and ensure that they flourish and continue engaging audiences for years to come.

Enter theVOV - an innovative initiative co-created by charity OUTSET CONTEMPORARY ART FUND and art-science collective VISUALOGICAL - that has brought together 15 of the UK’s leading public arts institutions to take seminal exhibitions and events global via virtual reality, all for free on one digital platform. Using crowdfunding principles, every single visitor is a patron, with audiences being invited to make micro-donations during their visit to support the participating organisations. Whether donating the price of a cup of coffee, the cost of a meal out or the equivalent of an annual gym membership, everyone can now take an active role in sustaining the UK’s cultural health and diversity. Donations are shared equally amongst all participating institutions, helping them to navigate the ongoing turbulent fiscal landscape. To mark the finale of a successful 12-week inaugural season, theVOV has announced an encore, reviving all 15 virtual exhibitions for ONE WEEK ONLY.

  • From Monday 5th to Sunday 11th July 2021, all 15 virtual exhibitions will be live, united on theVOV with one urgent message: Support the arts;

  • Exhibitions are presented by leading arts organisations spanning the UK, from TATE to the NATIONAL GALLERIES OF SCOTLAND, and from SPIKE ISLAND to TURNER CONTEMPORARY;

  • 27 artists including CHRIS BURDEN, LISA BRICE, ANDREAS GURSKY, LINDER, YINKA SHONIBARE CBE RA, and many more, reimagined in virtual reality;

  • Free access to engaging live events and on-demand content featuring interactive experiences, including virtal gallery tours, interactive workshops and engaging talks from diverse voices;

  • Cutting-edge technology, innovating the art experience and making a visit to a gallery more accessible than ever.

Candida Gertler OBE, Co-Founder, Co-Director and Trustee of Outset said: “Arts institutions must diversify their income streams and now radically adjust themselves as we navigate a changed world that is restarting. Public museums and galleries must carve out a new path for engaging audiences in this new ‘phygital’ world or risk losing audiences and a generation of donors that will simply become disinterested in supporting the visual arts. With the announcement that UBS has now come on board as the official sponsor of theVOV in its first season, we couldn’t be more excited by the endorsement we have received from partners, arts institutions, and all of the audiences that are visiting and supporting the cause; offering a glimmer of hope for fruitful things to come." Natasha Hersham, Co-Founder of Visualogical said: ”Whilst art experiences within the ‘metaverse’ are still in their infancy, it is clear from theVOV Season One that the ground is fertile, the potential infinite, and the appetite from both arts institutions and public audiences for virtual experiences has never been greater. It is our role now to support the cultural sector in embracing this new relationship with XR technologies and be at the forefront of ‘phygital’ innovation in the arts."

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