Timothy Heckscher is the founder of culturaliv.com, the site that started it all. It’s a project he’d long wanted to share with those – like him – who love walking the galleries of museums with friends, grabbing lunch in the café or simply taking in the atmosphere unique to these institutions. He’s been a Board member of a museum in New York since 2010, and decided in 2016 to focus exclusively on this idea of presenting museums as a social as much as a cultural experience. An editorial outlet was a logical extension of culturaliv.com and so was borne culturalivMag.com.
In a few words, what is culturaliv.com?
culturaliv.com is the first global platform for people who love museums. It centralizes ongoing and upcoming exhibitions at destination museums around the world, integrates practical visitor information, makes it easy to invite friends and lets visitors rate and share their own exhibition reviews.
What’s in the name?
The ‘i.v.’ in culturaliv stands for intravenous, signifying an infusion – or drip – of culture. It’s edgy (especially for this space) and fun while implicitly conveying art and culture’s healing power.
Where did you get the idea for the site?
From a young age I’ve been surrounded by people who put a lot of emphasis on cultural awareness, including members of my family who’ve been involved in the cultural scenes on both sides of the Atlantic. But the idea for culturaliv.com really came from being frequently on the move. It always took time to find out what exhibits were showing in the various cities I visited which helped me realize the potential in a centralized platform. It fixes a problem shared by millions of people.
But it is more than just a calendar…
Indeed! I want to give people a sense of museums as I see them – an experience that is as much social as it is cultural and which goes beyond the actual visit: from deciding which exhibition to see to inviting friends to rating the show. And at a time when many visitors come from abroad, culturaliv.com is the best way for museums to promote their shows among local and international audiences. But I also see this platform as an opportunity to engage generations that haven’t shown the same level of interest in museums as those before them. Museums are starting to adapt to these younger audiences who prefer sharing their experiences, hence culturaliv.com’s emphasis on sharing and visitor reviews as well as highlighting the restaurants and cafés in each museum.
And why create a blog in addition to culturaliv.com?
I see this blog as an extension of culturaliv.com. In addition to the exhibition calendar and visitor reviews, we have a perspective on museums which we believe resonates with audiences around the world. It’s about giving voice to a community that shares similar interests.