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David Beckett Helps SAMA Come One Step Closer to Full Virtual Reality Documentation of the Entire Co

Over the next five years, 80% of Street Art Museum Amsterdam’s collection will be destroyed through gentrification, or, urban renewal initiatives. Our works will not be painted over, but the buildings on which they are located will be destroyed. Amsterdam Nieuw-West is the largest of Amsterdam’s seven regions, is home to many precarious and low-income communities, and a youth demographic who will comprise 25% of Amsterdam’s population in the coming years. As our collection is destroyed, with it will go access to affordable food, housing, and the further displacement and ghettoization of many already precarious people.

SAMA cannot stop the region from transforming, but, as a museum with a social conscience, we strive to work with and for the community – employing local residents and talent, finding inspiration from locals’ stories in designing our works, and stimulating the local economy by putting Amsterdam Nieuw-West on the Amsterdam tourist map. So, our dream for the next five years – if the neighbourhood is inevitably going to be destroyed and our shared heritage erased – is to document our entire collection, the neighbourhood, the people and the stories that make them, in a two-hour virtual reality experience.

On May 22nd, to help us make our dream a reality, award-winning author, speech and pitch-writing coach, David Beckett, came to Street Art Museum Amsterdam (SAMA) to lead us through a workshop on how to write successful funding pitches. David has helped over 850 companies raise more than €210 Million in investment, has coached upwards of 12,000 professionals at companies including Unilever, IKEA, Philips, PwC, Google and write winning pitches, and has worked with our friends Amsterdam Impact Hub.

Over the course of the afternoon, David helped us identify who we are as our institutional focus shifts from production to documentation, as well as what our goals and motivations are for the next five years. He also helped us understand how we can use our unique collection and character to appeal to Amsterdam municipal politicians, academia and the technology sector to get help in preserving our collection and our neighbourhood’s cultural history and heritage.

Over the last two weeks, SAMA has been busy drafting pitches for funding and subsidy applications, while also preparing to present at Amsterdam We Make the City Festival, and to share the podium at CreArt Encounter 2019 Aveiro with UPFEST Bristol and Underdogs Gallery. With two Virtual Reality movies already completed, we look forward to learning from others’ expertise, and obtaining the funding and technology to accelerate documentation of our neighbourhood and our at-risk pieces.

Next on our agenda will be to purchase VR headsets and begin publishing our VR collection online as we slowly build it. Once we have headsets, we will be able to bring them with us on tours to show guests close-up details of monumental pieces twenty meters in the air that would be hard to see from the ground. We also hope to increase global accessibility to our museum as we slowly build our VR collection. Be sure to watch our blog, Instagram feed and SAMA’s website for updates as we complete and release new content!

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