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Crystal Bridges is open Wed. through Mon. with free, timed tickets required.

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Crystal Bridges Wins Three Technology and Media Awards


Crystal Bridges is pleased to announce that we are the recipient of three 2017 MUSE Awards from the American Alliance of Museums. The awards recognize Crystal Bridges’ high achievement in the application of media and technology to Gallery, Library, Archive, and Museum [GLAM] programs.

The awards were announced during a champagne reception on Sunday, May 7, 2017, at the 2017 American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri. Heather Marie Wells, Digital Media Project Manager, was there to receive the awards and prepared this post. –LD



The MUSE Awards competition received more than 200 applications from a wide variety of institutions in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. This year’s entries included videos and films, interactive kiosks and installations, VR experiences, applications and APIs, digital communities, websites, audio tours, and more.


Over 90 GLAM professionals from across the globe participated as jurors in the process of reviewing and scoring the entries. Winning programs were expected to demonstrate outstanding achievement in their content, interface, design, technical merit, innovation, utility, and appeal.


Interactive Award for The Art of American Dance

Crystal Bridges received an honorable mention award in the category of interactive kiosks for the project Dance Interactive. You may have experienced this interactive at the end of The Art of American Dance exhibition.  The experience allowed users to better understand the relationship between movement in 3D space and how it is represented on a two-dimensional surface. As users stepped into the interactive area, their movements were captured via Kinect camera and translated through custom software into colorful, elegant display of lights on screen, reminiscent of the underwater motion of sea anemones.

In order to illustrate the dance motion, directional vectors and particles were generated in four different color palettes matching four selected artworks in the exhibition. As the user moves in front of the sensors, their movements are translated by the graphics on the screen. The more they move – the more they are able to reveal the color from the exhibition creating their own artistic outcome.

The jury has this to say about the project: “This project was commended for its focus on movement and on encouraging visitors to an exhibition about dance, to dance themselves. The interactive was entirely appropriate to, and linked to, the themes of the exhibition. The interactive is elegant and responsive and we liked the idea that more could be revealed the more the user participated. Congratulations on a dynamic approach to interactive kiosks.”

The Dance Interactive also received an award from the Arkansas Museums Association for Outstanding Achievement in Media in April.

AND:  Deepak Chopra danced to it!



Online Presence Award for The Open Road

Crystal Bridges also received an honorable mention in the category for online presence recognizing The Open Road Microsite and Travel Photo Sharing Experience.


For The Open Road exhibition, the digital media team decided to develop online components to capitalize on two important aspects of any road trip: music and photos. The microsite features bold image slideshows, embedded video and song playlists (crowdsourced by the museums social media followers), and a hashtag aggregator to display photos shared by users of their own road trip photographs via Instagram and Twitter, with the locations marked.

In order to draw a closer connection between the work in the exhibition and visitor-submitted photos, Crystal Bridges partnered with CultureConnect to create software that would allow the online photo sharing experience to be featured in a “rest stop” area within the exhibition itself. Photos shared included images from all over the United States, featuring landmarks and hidden treasures alike.

The jury noted this was “one of the few experiences reviewed that served as a nexus of experience across multiple digital platforms. Clearly a project that celebrated a moment in time and directly engaged user input, experience, and reactions directly into the overall exhibit experience. More examples like this are desired.”


A screenshot of The Open Road microsite’s photo-sharing page.


Crystal Bridges Director Dances His Way to GOLD

Finally, the museum received the MUSE gold award in the public outreach category for Happy Holidays from Crystal Bridges.

If you receive this museum’s enews you probably saw this project in your email box, or maybe on the museum’s social media outlets. The museum wanted a holiday greeting that would also promote attendance to the special exhibition, The Art of American Dance, over the holiday season. Thus the team decided to capitalize on our Executive Director’s background in dance and the idea arose to create a fantasy dance sequence inspired by Spike Jonze’s viral video, Fatboy Slim – Weapon of Choice. Rod Bigelow, Executive Director and Chief Diversity and Inclusion officer, managed the fancy footwork, and local choreographer, Karen Castleman was hired to help create the dance.

The MUSE jury had this to say: “The message was simply 100% on target for an interesting mix of personal message (holiday greeting) and exhibition enticement. It mesmerized from beginning to end and in ‘humanizing’ the director this way blew away a lot of elitists’ predispositions. The biggest ‘problem’ may be in whether they own up to the challenge of one-upping themselves every holiday season, which could turn their greeting into a wonderfully awaited ‘event.’”


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