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New design company for Cricket Museum, opening in February

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News from Cricket Wellington
The New Zealand Cricket Museum has partnered with renowned design company Art of Fact as the museum counts down to its reopening in February.

Art of Fact specialize in designs for storytelling, meaning they work with museums and companies that provide visitor experiences.

The company’s work has spanned museums and visitor experiences across New Zealand and Australia including Rotorua Museum, Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand and the Australian Museum in Sydney. They’ve also designed a host of well-known visitor experiences including an under-water immersive digital theatre in Queenstown, the Speights Brewery Tour and the Home of Kiwi Baking for Chelsea Sugar.

The Trustees of the museum partnered with the New Zealand company following a creative pitch-based process – the proposal describing an exciting future for the museum which the Trustees felt reflected their vision.

“Recreating the Cricket Museum in 2020 is a special opportunity to connect people to the game in a new way,” said Art of Fact director David Hebblethwaite. “Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty inclusive sport; it spans ages and cultural context; in fact, we see the game as a kind of social-glue that helps bind us together. So we are presenting Cricket as a force for good in society. You could say that communities that play cricket together are stronger communities.”

To create their proposal, Art of Fact studied cricket and recognized the game as a ‘force for good in the world’, an idea that became a central message for their concept.

‘’When the museum opens, we want to recognise the elegance of the origins of cricket, but also celebrate the way the cricket community now spans way beyond those roots.

‘’There are people from all walks of life in New Zealand who have connected with cricket, and with each other because of cricket, so the New Zealand Cricket Museum will feel different to anywhere else. It is a museum about people, through the lens of the summer game.

‘’There is an energy that runs through every game of cricket, from the beach to the Basin Reserve. We want to bring that flow and energy inside the museum.”

Hebblethwaite and his team identified five key themes to tell the story of cricket within the walls of the museum.

The history of cricket, te tahuhu korero kirikiti, will highlight the traditions and history and culture of the game, making use of the past to link to the present and the future. This will focus solely on Aotearoa and the impact that cricket has on New Zealand culture.

The spirit of cricket, te wairua kirikiti, will focus on the underlying humanity of cricket, as a form of cultural and community connections. This theme will delve deeper into the values and behaviours as they relate to cricket.

The people of cricket, nga tangata kirikiti, will celebrate the diversity of people who have contributed to, and continue to contribute to, the success of cricket. These stories will be told within the museum by those who remember, or trusted storytellers to recount the events.

The game of cricket, te kemu kirikiti, perhaps the most exciting of themes, will include a dynamic virtual reality batting experience designed to make the sport attractive and accessible and establish the museum as an authoritative and trusted voice within the game of cricket.

The final theme will incorporate a hall of fame, te kahui whetu, in conjunction with the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, which will recognize and celebrate New Zealand’s greatest players and their achievements. A clear highlight of the museum and major attraction for the second phase of its development.

‘’Cricket, more than any other sport, has people who know a lot about it, and people who know nothing about it,” said Hebblethwaite. “We are aiming to make sure both audiences feel closer to the game, and to the community of cricket, through a visit to the museum.”

The Cricket Museum is in the recently refurbished Museum Stand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington

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