OPENING UP THE POWER OF ART WITH THE PEOPLE OF BALTIMORE
The Baltimore Museum of Art had not undergone an institutional branding exercise since 1991, and when the time came to review the Museum’s brand, Nancy Proctor, the Museum’s Deputy Director for Digital Experience and Communications knew they needed something different to a traditional process.
The New Citizenship Project was invited to work with the BMA because of our passionate belief in the importance of the power of art to help cities like Baltimore move to a new level of citizen engagement and participation.
Rather than seeking to identify a brand positioning or promise to ‘sell’ the museum to people as consumers, we worked to identify the BMA’s brand purpose, in the first instance to support the launch of the new Center for People and Art, but also to invite citizens to participate in the Museum, today and in the future.
In a series of participatory workshops with key staff members across the entire organisation (not just in the marketing or strategy teams), we helped develop the BMA’s core purpose. A second phase of the work will take us back to Baltimore to explore how that purpose can now be activated across everything
the museum does.
“The track record of the New Citizenship Project, while grounded in extensive experience in the branding sector, is very different from what we might have encountered as "traditional" branding. Rather than seeking to identify a brand positioning or promise to sell to people as consumers – in a unidirectional, "broadcast" mode – the New Citizenship Project takes what I think of as a more archaeological approach: they dig back into the history and "DNA" of an organization, looking for more than just an identity to sell, but a real purpose to invite people to participate in.”
Nancy Proctor, Deputy Director, BMA.