How to get involved

These guidelines have been developed to help ensure a successful FETTU exhibition in as many world-wide locations as possible. The topics addressed below range from venue selection, to local interest additions, scheduling and organization. Also covered briefly in the text below are issues such as merchandising and fundraising ideas.


Submit your interest in hosting a FETTU exhibit. Fill out the proposal form and send to


1. Based on funding availability, select level of exhibit: platinum, gold, or silver (descriptions below). Based
on venue, select appropriate number of images to be included: 100, 75, 50, 25, etc.

    As the name suggests, this is the most ambitious and, of course, expensive outline. We envision a semipermanent outdoor exhibit of images in a prominent location such as the National Mall in Washington, DC, or the Champs Elysee in Paris. Such "under the sky" installations would require illumination at night and high-quality weather-proofing treatments. The core exhibit of images could be enhanced with interactive kiosks, large-scale sky maps, and alternatives for visually-impaired and other challenged visitors. Approximate costs to you (estimate range): $250,000-$500,000*

    As with the platinum level, the gold exhibit would consist of up to 100 astronomical images in large printed format, roughly 4 x 3 feet in size, with appropriate captions. In order to keep costs to a minimum, these images could be directly mounted on pre-existing walls or less expensive stands with less sophisticated or no additional lighting. Simple packaging could be developed so that it would be relatively inexpensive to ship these images to multiple locations. Approximate costs to you (estimate range): $25,000-$50,000*

    This is the "do-it-yourself" version of the image exhibit for science centers, planetariums, and other interested groups. The images would be available for "off the shelf" or pre-existing technologies such as light boxes, large-scale prints, or other formats already being used at any given location. Approximate costs to you (estimate range): $2,000-10,000*

    (*) Please note, funds are not paid to IYA2009 or FETTU, but are raised by the local organizers to pay for their own exhibitions.

2. Select Venue: Decide on indoor vs. outdoor location; Try public parks, river walks, metro stations, art centers, shopping mall atriums, or other inviting locations. Could time the exhibit with local considerations such as popular festivals or cultural dates, existing art shows or other tourist attractions, e.g. Edinburgh, Scotland during its annual Tattoo festival in August (high tourism surge, least rainy, strong cultural access, etc), or Chicago, USA´s Millennium Park during the annual Taste of Chicago. If outdoor, consider if the area has fees involved, electricity capabilities, its own security staffing, etc.

3. Start fundraising. Beyond major sponsors, approach organizations on a regional level and approach local/
small business. The image "prints could be presented as a bonus in fundraising events – they could be donated to a school of the primary corporation´s choosing (voted on by employees maybe), or they could be showcased at the funding corporations lobbies/grounds. Don´t overlook less likely (non science/technology) sources for support, such as entertainment industries, banks, or cultural organizations. Offer sponsorship ´packages´ such as Sponsor an Image (e.g., a florist could pay $250 to sponsor an image that looks particularly ´floral´ to him/her. They could attach their business card right to the stand.), a Sponsor the constellations $2000 storytelling package, a Sponsor the Planets $5000 audio package, or a $20,000 Sponsor the Sky package with a special VIP event.

4. Consider local & special interest functions and events where feasible or desired: Amateur astronomy organizations, school field trips or school contests, art contests, storytelling events, indigenous culture heritage, telescope events, workshops. Possibilities include:

  1. Invite local planetariums & museums, art centers to be involved and help relieve some of the burden. If, for example, exhibiting on the premises of an art center or gallery, staffing and security could be combined (or at least enhanced) or printing costs shared. Local planetariums could be asked to host coordinated events and workshops, feature a slide show version on their premises or a light-box version of the exhibit, or possibly volunteer staffing for the exhibit.

  2. Invite local astrophotographers and amateur astronomers to exhibit their own work for a special regional connection. The World at Night (TWAN http://www. has common ideas with several cornerstone project of IYA2009 including From Earth to the Universe, Dark Sky Awareness, Developing Astronomy Globally, Astro and World Heritage. Consider including TWAN images taken from your area as an extended local showcase option. Or consider a multi-purpose program with slideshows, presentations and workshops, which not only cover celestial imaging but also cover dark sky importance (using lectures based on impression of the starry photos). This could give a stronger connection of astronomy and world heritage.

  3. Local science departments and local astronomy organizations could be recruited to provide volunteers
    to help with staffing. Local astronomers could provide content discussion/expertise for the attending participants.

  4. Coordinate storytelling events and cultural events. Oral traditions of local indigenous populations could be celebrated through storytelling events centered around night skies. Professional storytellers could be invited to tell stories about the moon or planets. Educators could use storytelling as an educational tool (

  5. Provide basic educational activities (e.g. could show some of the 400 Years of the Telescope broadcasting, combine with "100 Hours of Astronomy", or Universe Awareness programs view/301/90/, or a more specific educational classroom
    activity) to draw school field trips or encourage contests for local schools.

  6. Special needs/visually impaired visitors: Coordinate for audio tours, or special formats such as a tactile map. A copy of "Touch the Invisible Sky" Braille book could possibly be circulated (available in English only). Could include other local special needs groups.

  7. Technology additions or replacements (slide shows/ large screens, audio material, kiosks). Depending on funding or interest level, a large screen slide show could replace x number of physical prints (particularly helpful for smaller venues). A very inexpensive exhibit option would be a large screen and just a few prints. Or, if a technological corporate sponsor is secured, they might be interested in providing some screens or kiosks or audio equipment as a form of advertising their technology. Music can be a very powerful way of providing ambiance to such an event. "The Planets" and "Solaris" are obvious choices, but other new age or acoustic music could also be exciting.

  8. Plan inaugural/opening events and invite local politicians (e.g., city Mayor) to ribbon cut. Free publicity is often provided via their publicist and the politician can then "support science". VIP events could be planned for sponsors.

  9. Astronomy is experiential – anyone with a telescope can see what Galileo saw. So let´s give as many people as possible a chance to look through a telescope! Look at the targets Galileo looked at, which are bright enough to be seen anywhere: the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Pleiades, Praesepe, the Trapezium in Orion, Mizar/Alcor, and the Sun. Whatever else you might want to do as part of your celebration – lectures, exhibits, demonstrations, hands-on activities – you can attract people by offering the opportunity to look through a telescope. It´s an ideal jumping-off point for observatories, planetariums, astronomy clubs, dealers and manufacturers, educational institutions, and individual enthusiasts. And it provides for ready-made "teachable moments" when you explain what Galileo deduced from observing these objects. -Schedule a "Dark Skies Awareness" event (link) -Galileoscope event (link) -or other complementary IYA2009 project.

5. Price & secure local businesses: Image printers, exhibition builders & other local businesses as required (e.g., security staffing)

6. Print production & merchandising: Image prints, site dressing (venue signage for attracting visitors, information boards; exhibition guides, etc)

  1. Merchandising – Exhibition catalogue or guide; ready to purchase posters/postcards, other items. Print
    on demand capabilities. Use of environmentally sensitive products wherever possible – e.g., all printed materials should be on recycled paper

7. Scheduling & organization: Pre-exhibition: print production lead times, mounting requirements, delivery
times, site dressing; Exhibition: opening ceremony with local politicians & press preview (if applicable), security details, show times", maintenance, disassembly, travel. Staffing requirements, electricity on/offs.

8. Content translation: Consider what languages will need to be provided in addition to English. Locate volunteers to translate provided content (brochures, signs, image captions, etc).

9. Marketing and promotion: Circulate a news sheet to magazines (science, general interest, airline in-flight
magazines, etc. – note longer lead time for these), local papers and tourist authorities; Find possible sponsors for local advertising. Provide brochures for tourist information offices, libraries, schools, etc.

10. Have Exhibit, Will Travel and Beyond 2009
Obviously the focus of the FETTU project is to showcase astronomy during IYA 2009. However, there is no reason why these exhibits could not have a longer lifetime of usefulness. Therefore, when considering
opportunities for FETTU, it is worth investigating if there are logical openings for FETTU to be featured
beyond 2009.

11. Legalities. All of the core contributors to FETTU will sign an agreement allowing their work to be exhibited, and for merchandise items to be produced using their work in return for a financial consideration. It is important that the copyright holders of any images that are added locally also sign a similar document. A sample agreement can be provided on request, but it is the responsibility of the organizer to ensure that any agreement meets the requirements of local legislation. Most important of all is that the images are displayed with a correct credit. Other legal considerations could include obtaining a permit to mount the exhibition, cover for public liability and meeting safety regulations. Such things need to be taken into account when deciding upon a venue.