State Library Victoria developed the Alchemy project as part of a Programming and Experience strategy to create new audiences and revenue streams.
State Library Victoria wanted to change the way people visited and thought about the library. To come up with ideas for how this could be achieved they challenged the creative community to pitch experience ideas. Through a competitive process 14 applicants were then invited to join an experience development incubator to further develop the concept with the potential reward of a unique collaboration with the library to turn the idea into reality. It turns out lots of people want to collaborate with cultural institutions in this way and the library was bombarded with proposals from entrepreneurs, artists, creative producers and experience developers.
A key objective was to develop business models that would make these sustainable rather than one-off projects. This project was developed by REMIX summits for State Library Victoria and Peter Tullin acted as a Mentor to the 14 participants in the Incubator. Each applicant also received $20,000 in seed funding.
Ideas selected for Alchemy included gamifying the library by one of Australia’s leading escape room designers, virtual and immersive storytelling encounters, engaging new audiences through a content series that will be developed by one of Australian TikTok influencers with 350,000 subscribers, experiential dining and new approaches to visitor tour formats.
The project received widespread media coverage including in The Age both for the innovation and range of the ideas that resulted from the challenge model.
The same approach has been used by Fed Square (renamed as the Experience Lab).