How to Exhibit
If you are interested in hosting a FETTSS exhibit, you will need to fill out the application and agreement forms and send them to Julie Fletcher.
How many images will be in your FETTSS exhibit? Based on funding availability and venue, select an appropriate number of images to exhibit: 75, 50, 25, etc. For example, one current US exhibition consists of 30 4’ X 3’ image panels on 15 double-sided stands that will circulate to at least 12 (mostly outdoor) locations.
Please note, funds to mount FETTSS exhibitions are not provided by NASA, but are raised by the local organizers to pay for their own exhibitions.
Venue Selection. Consider both indoor and outdoor locations. Consider public parks, river walks, metro stations, art centers, shopping mall atriums, or other inviting locations. Your FETTSS exhibit could coincide with local events such as popular festivals, cultural celebrations, existing art shows, or other tourist attractions.
Ten Venues to Consider:
- Library: tends to draw audiences predisposed to learning new things; there is often a slower pace where viewers can engage in content.
- Mall: typically there is good foot traffic and visibility; draws families, school-aged kids; social interaction can be high.
- Airport: a fast paced location with high foot traffic and visibility, although there can be a trade off between high exposure level and high engagement level.
- Subway, Train, or Bus Station: often fast-paced locations with high foot traffic and visibility; recurring visitors can achieve deeper engagement.
- Public Park or River Walk: open-air location may help foster socialized aspects of learning; content may draw in casual and unintentional viewers and increase their identity with science.
- Town Square: well-trafficked area in a community; typically attracts a workers/professionals, family groups, and tourists makes for a diverse audience.
- Art Gallery or Community Center: utilizing existing, well-known community space with unique content may draw in new audiences.
- College Campus Green: can offer a built-in infrastructure for learning and teaching.
- Hospital: often quiet and contemplative space; can reach patients, visitors, and large employee networks.
Legalities. All of the contributors of the images in the FETTSS collection have signed an agreement allowing their work to be exhibited. The images are for non-commercial, educational use only. No merchandising is permitted. Other legal considerations could include obtaining a permit to mount the exhibition, obtaining coverage for public liability, and meeting safety regulations. Such things need to be taken into account when deciding upon a venue.
Fundraising. NASA is committing no funding to FETTSS exhibitors, so if funds are required to mount an exhibit, they must be raised. Recommendations from past experiences include approaching major corporations as well as organizations on a regional level such as local or small businesses. Consider incentives such as offering some of the images as prizes in fundraising events, donating them to a school of a supporter’s choosing, or showcasing them at the sponsor’s lobby/grounds. Consider approaching non-science-oriented organizations as sources for support, such as entertainment industries, banks, or cultural organizations. Sponsorship ‘packages’ such as ‘Sponsor an Image,’ ‘Sponsor the Moons,’ or ‘Sponsor the Planets’ can be offered. Storytelling or event packages may also be attractive to potential sponsors wherein donated funds would support speakers or other presenters to enliven the exhibit.
Marketing, promotion, and site dressing.
- Consider producing an exhibition catalogue, guide, or trifold brochure, small posters or postcards, or other items. Such items can be circulated to local libraries, schools, papers, tourist information offices, and magazines (science, general interest, airline in-flight magazines, etc., noting longer lead time for these). Utilize the logos, images, and other support materials provided on the Supplemental Material page for these purposes. Use of environmentally-sensitive and post-consumer recycled paper products wherever possible is encouraged.
- Consider site dressing issues such as signs for attracting visitors, information boards, introductory text panels, the inclusion of sponsor’s logos, etc.
Content translation. Do you want to present the written content of FETTSS in any languages besides English? If so, consider recruiting volunteers to translate the content provided (brochures, signs, image captions, etc.). Please share your translations back with the FETTSS organizers so we can then provide it to all other exhibitors!
Collaboration is key.
- Local astronomy clubs, planetariums, museums, or art centers may be ready collaborators. For example, if exhibiting on the premises of an art center or gallery, staffing and security and/or printing costs could be shared; a local planetarium could be asked to host coordinated events and workshops, feature a slide show version on their premises, or volunteer staffing for the exhibit.
- Local astrophotographers and amateur astronomers can be invited to exhibit their own work for a special regional connection. It is important that the copyright-holders of any images that are added locally also sign an agreement. A sample agreement can be provided on request, but it is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that any agreement meets the requirements of local legislation. Most important of all is that the images are displayed with a correct credit.
- Local college science departments and/or other science organizations could be recruited to provide volunteers to help with staffing and image interpretation. Such experts could be key in creating a program with slideshows, presentations, and workshops.
- Consider including cultural events. Oral traditions of local indigenous populations could be celebrated through storytelling events centered around night skies.
- Partnering with classrooms, schools, or entire districts can draw field trips and/or encourage activities like student contests. For ideas and activities focused on the Solar System, visit NASA’s Year of the Solar System website. For astrobiology ideas, visit the NASA Astrobiology Institute website.
- For special needs/visually impaired visitors, audio tours or special events can be coordinated. “Touch the Universe: A NASA Braille Book of Astronomy” is a useful resource.
- For more ideas, please contact us!