#smARTradio® is a sort of “Netflix for culture”. It is a project which aims to promote cultural heritage in an innovative way using stories which adhere to the concept of design for all.
Accessible storytelling is at the heart of the project. Each story is based around a tangible or intangible object of cultural heritage: a monument, a painting, a legend, a tradition,… The design for all approach uses writing and multimedia narration methods to ensure that content is comprehensible to a very wide audience. The aim is to create good stories which are accessible to all people, including children, young people, learners of Italian as a foreign language and individuals with special needs.
#smARTradio® offers stories (approx 8 mins), short stories (approx 3 mins) and fun facts (approx 1 min) in audio, video and video LIS (Italian Sign Language) formats, featuring illustrations and animation from professional artists.
How do you access the stories?
- users can listen to or view Talking Maps. These are real maps with special collections of audio and video stories connected to a specific geographic area;
- users can listen to or watch all the audio and video stories in a particular category organized by subject matter (Archeology & Prehistory, Art & Museum Objects, …);
- Users can use the search engine to find stories using one or more keywords (place names, famous people, story format, topic...).
Methodology: how are #smARTradio® stories created?
The figure shows the methodology used in the project. Once a place has been chosen (city, region, museum), the Radio Magica team –which includes researchers, illustrators, writers and actors- meets representatives from the geographic area: from museum curators to children, teenagers and school teachers. The object of cultural heritage to feature in the story is chosen together. Professional writers create the stories under the supervision of our team who oversee everything regarding the accessibility of the text as #smARTradio® stories have to not just be good stories but stories which can be understood by everyone. “Exclusively for everyone!” is the project motto. As such, every story is the result of an extraordinary amount of teamwork. When the stories have been finalized, they are handed over to actors, illustrators, video makers, experts in music and audio production, Italian sign language interpreters and of course IT specialists in accessibility and usability. Radio Magica coordinates the production of the final audio and video stories as well as the translation of any of the stories into foreign languages using native-speaking translators and readers.
The completed stories are then uploaded to the #smARTradio® platform and are broadcast via other channels: websites; local, national and web radio channels and during events. The printed Talking Maps are distributed in schools, museums and tourist information offices.