Podcast Audio Tour
A masked luchador enjoys the audio tour.
Mask maker Zarco Guerrero served as the narrator for the audio tour.
In conjunction with the exhibition Masks of Mexico: Santos, Diablos y Mas, four UA students worked with Lisa Falk to create a podcast audio tour. Falk received a $5,000 student initiative grant from Gateway to support the project. The final product was awarded 4th Best Museum Podcast by museumpods.com. The project was showcased in two articles in the Arizona Citizen, in an article in museumpods.com's web newsletter and blog, and at presentations at four conferences.
In the first 9 months since the launch of the podcast, the museum's web pages related to the project were viewed 8,900 times and the podcast episodes were downloaded 7,500 times. The audio material is now also available via cell phone at 408-794-0850. The museum has two loaner iPods for use in the galleries. These were borrowed by about 200 people in the first 9 months. Once the exhibition comes down, the podcast will be used in conjunction with a virtual version of the exhibition on the website.
On evaluations, comments indicate that the tour is easy to use and broadens their experience at the museum. Many users wrote that they like the audio tour because of "all the different perspectives (voices) on the masks" that it offers. One visitor wrote that "it provided a better understanding of the culture," and another stated that "the tour gave me a perspective on the 'life' of the masks rather than a mere static visual display." They also enjoy the glimpses into behind-the-scenes at the museum that are revealed in the interviews with curators and other staff. Another person wrote that it is "impressive that students are involved" in creating the audio tour.
Listen to Podcasts from Arizona State Museum. This links you to ASM's podcast web pages where you can download or simply listen to 24 MP3 files (12 audio-only and 12 with images) and read a transcript of each episode.
We launched the podcast with a Pod Party (PDF *), which, although it poured rain, was attended by 90 people--museum members, community folks, and University of Arizona and Pima Community College students. Apple donated an iPod that was raffled off along with two tickets to the about-to-open Nacho Libre film that were donated by Paramount Pictures. Two masked luchadores joined the festivities.
Samples of press articles
A Podcast Audio Tour Adventure, article by Falk, published on museumpods.com.
Click on the images below to read the articles ( PDF * ). These files are large and may take some time to download.
Arizona State Museum to Host Podcast Party, article by University Communications, UA News, 7/7/06
University Art Gallery launches first podcast, aims for wide appeal, article by Rachel Boyd, Yale Daily News, 6/25/07, paragraph on ASM podcast project quoting Falk
* PDF requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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