News Release

Acoustiguide Inc. wins 2 prestigious Media & Technology MUSE awards “recognizing high achievements in the application of media and technology to Gallery, Library, Archive and Museum (GLAM) programs”; Works honored are Accessible Tours at the National Gallery of Art, and The Rama Epic Audio Tour at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

Aug 15 2017

The MUSE Awards competition is administrated by the American Alliance of Museums Media & Technology Professional Network. More than 200 applications were considered this year, and and over 90 GLAM professionals participated as jurors in the process of reviewing and scoring entries.

The Rama Epic Audio Tour created for the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, honored with the Bronze award, is one of the world’s greatest works of literature, and for many, it is a sacred tradition. The exhibition explores how it has been portrayed and performed across South and Southeast Asia over the past 1,500 years. Exquisite artworks from museums in the U.S. and Europe illuminate the story’s key characters, revealing fresh perspectives on moral quandaries that continue to be relevant to our lives today. The audio tour plunges the visitor into the experiences of the four main characters in this sweeping saga. The audio tour allows the visitor to view the dramatic artworks while listening to the characters—warmly voiced by masterful narrators—describe the heartache and triumphs they experienced in those very scenes.

The jurors said: “This project is moving toward an immersive, almost cinematic approach to interpretation for these narrative works, bringing alive the content to reach new audiences. With an expert use of sound design, scripting, and superb voice acting, this is a significant audio tour that stands above traditional gallery audio interpretation with a greater emphasis on storytelling. It also moves toward the universal design ideal of creating interpretation that both describes the work, the emotion and the story behind the images.”
The Rama Epic Audio Tour app is available on the App Store HERE, and on Google Play HERE.

Accessible Tours at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, won Acoustiguide an Honorable Mention. To celebrate the reopening of the galleries of the East Building, the National Gallery of Art and Acoustiguide produced an audio tour that reintroduced highlights from the Gallery’s collection of modern and contemporary art. To make the information on the audio tour as accessible as possible, two additional initiatives expanded the scope of the project. First, the Gallery and Acoustiguide collaborated to create a video tour in American Sign Language (ASL). Second, the Gallery wrote and recorded verbal descriptions for each object on the tour. For the ASL video tour, Acoustiguide worked with a pair of specialists, who painstakingly dissected the script in order to deeply understand the meaning behind each work of art.

The jurors said: “The availability of excellent verbal description for blind and low sight visitors is notable and the inclusion of ASL video descriptions rounds out a fully accessible experience. All museums should consider providing this level of accessibility.”

“It is an honor and a privilege for the Media & Technology Professional Network to host the 28th annual MUSE Awards. The quality of this year’s entries demonstrates an ever increasing sophistication in the way GLAM’s are leveraging both traditional and cutting edge technologies in service to their public audiences.” said Neal Johnson, Chair, AAM Media & Technology Professional Network.

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