October 2015

NMDC newsletter: October 2015
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  NMDC newsletter: October 2015
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Museums Matter

Bob and Roberta Smith Loves Museums

Pears Foundation funds renewal of IWM’s Holocaust galleries

Tullie House wins Kids in Museums Award 2015

Cultural bodies join forces to promote Arts4Britain

RSA tracks which areas are making the most of Heritage Assets

To China with love: cultural projects strengthening relationships

‘Notice nature, feel joy’ – Derby Museums among Collections Trust winners

Twisted pyramid to add ten new floors to Tate Modern

WIRP International Travel Grant Scheme – applications open this month

Guardian launches major survey into diversity in the arts

Deadline extended for MA’s cuts survey

Social class correlates to watching arts, but it’s education that makes you join in

Survey suggests contraction of local authority arts spend is slowing

Edible Masterpieces: back for seconds

Rules about fundraising from the public could change following a ‘damning’ report

Cambridge academic jailed for defrauding HLF

Endowment funds: the solution to museum funding problems?

Arts Council England publishes research about the resilience of local authority museums
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Museums Matter  |  I Love Museums campaign  |  Members’ news  |  Future of culture  |  Jerusalems and new Edens  |  Growing galleries  |  Events  |  Searching questions: surveys to plan the future  |  The appliance of science in education  |  Moving museums  |  Arts audiences  |  Appointments  |  Fundraising  |  Tech and copyright  |  Facing the future  |  And finally…  |  Jobs  
 
 
  Museums Matter  
 
 
 Children look at objects in the underfloor cases in the Expanding City gallery at the Museum of London.  Courtesy of the Museum, one of the images from Museums Matter.
Children look at objects in the underfloor cases in the Expanding City gallery at the Museum of London. Courtesy of the Museum, one of the images from Museums Matter.
 
NMDC has published a new document, Museums Matter, setting out the case for investment in museums ahead of the Government’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
 
Museums Matter illustrates how public investment in museums of all sizes and scope enables them to contribute to nine key public policy priorities across the UK: regional prosperity, tourism, soft power, peaceful and prosperous communities, health and well-being, education and apprenticeships, innovation and the knowledge economy, and creating a thriving, vibrant and diverse cultural life. It describes how museums are uniquely able to make such a significant impact because of their collections, their buildings and the expertise of their staff, and argues that museums preserve, promote and protect one of the few irreplaceable public assets - the nation’s heritage - which is fundamental to maintaining a healthy and prosperous civil society. Pulling together a wide range of evidence and case studies from across NMDC's membership, Museums Matter demonstrates that the UK’s museums are more popular, innovative and internationally respected than they have ever been and provide a substantial return for the public investment they receive.  
 
The new document is available to download from the NMDC website and museums of all kinds are encouraged to use it for their own advocacy, whether during discussions with funders, politicians, donors or potential partner organisations. Also available to download are the individual sections of Museums Matter as single page briefings, which museums can use to support examples of their own activity in key areas. There are also a series of fantastic infographics created for NMDC by Georgie Lowry of G.S. Lowry Design.  NMDC website  Download full report
 
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  I Love Museums campaign  
 
 
  Bob and Roberta Smith Loves Museums  
 
 
In a blog for the Art Fund the artist Bob and Roberta Smith writes about how museums can forge connections between generations, and pledges his support for the I Love Museums campaign. Bob describes the impact museums have had on his own life, from a first inspirational visit to the National Railway Museum as a child, to encouraging a love of museums in his own son Fergal so that he will “see that through the art of the past you can fall in love with artists and makers across many generations”.
 
Bob says: “Museums more than ever seek to shape and inform our imaginations and show us not just how wonderful and inventive we are, but ask us to be all we can be. Free admission and the sense that our public collections are ours, and that culture is a fluid thing all of us can contribute to, are things we must defend. Please support the I Love Museums effort.”  The Art Fund
 
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  I Love Museums on tour  
 
 
During the October half term week, 25th to 31st October, I Love Museums will be travelling across the country visiting a different museum every day to highlight the key messages of the campaign and show how much local people love their museum.  Participating museums already confirmed are:
 
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery, Exeter
  • Derby Museums
  • University of Cambridge Museums
  • York Museums Trust
  • Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
 
More details of the roadshow and how to support it will be confirmed shortly. 
 
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  Get involved!  
 
 
I Love Museums gives museums the tools and resources to turn their audiences into active advocates, as well as adding their support to a nationwide campaign for national and local government support and funding for museums. If you haven’t already done so please do get involved – there are a number of different ways in which you and your museum can support the campaign:
 
  • Tweet to your followers and add the Twibbon to your Twitter profile.
  • Invite your celebrity supporters and trustees to tweet, write or show their support for the campaign.
  • Feature the I Love Museums logo and information about the campaign on your organisation’s website.
  • Post on Facebook why you love museums, asking friends to give their reasons and to sign up to the website.
  • Take a photo of yourself or colleagues with a card saying why you love museums and post on your social media channels.
  • Feature the I Love Museums logo on any email, newsletters, bulletins and any other correspondence.
  • Ask staff internally to support the campaign.
  • Provide us with interesting facts, case studies or information about your museum which we can use for press materials.
  • Download a resource pack from the I Love Museums website which includes the campaign logo and other marketing materials.
  • Feature physical ballot boxes, badges and posters in your museum. To request your pack please email info@ilovemuseums.com
 
I Love Museums website  #ILoveMuseums
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
  Pears Foundation funds renewal of IWM’s Holocaust galleries  
 
 
The Imperial War Museum is beginning a £15m project to renew their Holocaust galleries using a £5m gift from the Pears Foundation.  First created in 2000, the galleries attract one million visitors each year, including 21,000 schoolchildren.  The redevelopment will put more user testimonies at the heart of the exhibition as well as making more links to contemporary issues.  The work will be part of a wider redevelopment of IWM’s Second World War galleries. 
 
The Pears Foundation is committed to Holocaust education, and also runs a training programme for teachers on how to address the subject.  Executive Chair Trevor Pears said, “we strongly believe   that   the   refurbishment   of   the   Holocaust Exhibition  at  IWM  London  has  the  potential  to  be  of  ground-breaking  importance  in  the  way  the Holocaust is taught, contextualised and understood, both nationally and internationally.”  IWM is also putting in a bid to house the Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre which is a Government initiative led by the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation.  IWM, Pears Foundation, Museums Journal
 
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  Tullie House wins Kids in Museums Award 2015  
 
 
Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery has won the 2015 Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award.  This year there were over 850 museums nominated: more than for any other similar competition in the UK.  Tullie House Director Hilary Wade said, “families are one of our main audiences and the team works extremely hard to develop innovative, exciting and engaging family friendly activities and exhibitions that have broad appeal.  The current Eye for Colour exhibition is specifically aimed at family audiences and it is very popular because it is interactive, fun and educational.”  Speaking at the Awards ceremony, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey emphasised the importance of museum visits early in life, saying that the benefits are ‘extensively backed up by research’.  Kids in Museums, Tullie House, Telegraph, Museums Journal
 
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  Politicians meet ahead of the Science Museum Cosmonauts exhibition  
 
 
Culture Secretary John Whittingdale and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets have met ahead of the opening of the Science Museum’s landmark Cosmonauts exhibition, which features Russian achievements in space, and many objects from the Russian space programme.  The exhibition explores past achievements at a moment when the Rosetta mission and the possibility of a Mars colony mean a new generation are engaged with space travel.  Whittingdale said, “as the opening of the Cosmonauts exhibition demonstrates, the UK and Russia have a long history of cultural collaboration that encourages and strengthens people-to-people links…it is important that we continue to develop cultural, educational and scientific links between our countries.”  The meeting also covered areas of concern for the UK, including the situation in the Ukraine and sentencing of Ukrainian film director Oleg Sentsov.  Golodev later opened the exhibition at the Science Museum.  Cosmonauts runs until 13th March 2016.  Gov.uk, Russian Embassy, Science Museum, Ars Technica
 
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  Future of culture  
 
 
  Cultural bodies join forces to promote Arts4Britain  
 
 
What Next? is urging all those interested in arts and culture to contact their MP ahead of the next Spending Review to remind them that the sector is crucial to the UK.  The campaign is spreading on Twitter under the #Arts4Britain hashtag.  What Next? has also produced statistics and infographics for use in campaigning.   They remind us that the creative industries generate £7.7bn every year, and one in 20 people work in the sector, but creative clusters only occur in the same areas as subsidised arts organisations.   The arts are linked to four of the top six reasons for happiness, and contribute to the UK’s status as number one in the world for soft power.  What Next?, What Next?
 
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  RSA tracks which areas are making the most of Heritage Assets  
 
 
The RSA has launched an ambitious new project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, to discover which areas are making the most of heritage assets.  Big Data is an important aspect of the work and the RSA has drawn together over 100 data sets never previously combined.  Jonathan Schifferes of the RSA said that the programme is tracking both traditional heritage such as castles and palaces, the natural world, and intangible heritage including foods associated with a particular area.  Although some obvious London boroughs with high footfall and famous assets score strongly, some prosperous areas including Wokingham and Basingstoke are underpromoting their offer.  By contrast, seaside towns including Southend and Barrow-in-Furness are performing well, despite comparative deprivation.   The top six are the City of London, Kensington & Chelsea, Scarborough, Cambridge, Hastings and Oxford.  Areas which scored highly on the index also reported higher wellbeing – but wellbeing is correlated with making use of heritage through activities rather than the number of heritage assets available.  RSA, HLF
 
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  Choose your own adventure: futureproofing museums  
 
 
The Arts Marketing Association has produced a new publication, part notebook, part bitesized advice and inspiration, based on its evolving Futureproofing Museums scheme.  It includes examples from Ironbridge Gorge in Shropshire to the Western Australia museum which revolutionised its approach by changing how it worked with partners.  The booklet also invites museums to think about how they approach issues from leadership to funding, and is ideal for initial brainstorming meetings in your institution.  The booklet is free with October’s Museums Journal or available as a pdf online.  Futureproof museums
 
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  The Culture Diary launches the first Art of Export Guide  
 
 
The Culture Diary, provided by the Greater London Authority, has produced a new free resource for arts organisations describing how to tour and grow audiences abroad. ‘The Art of Export’ provides case studies and useful tips from international touring organisations. Although it does not include information about the specifics of touring objects or exhibitions, there is guidance on what government services may be available and what to consider when negotiating contracts, promoting events or developing international networks.  Download from The Culture Diary
 
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  Darren Henley’s Supersaver tour of the UK  
 
 
Some months into his new job as Chief Executive of Arts Council England, Darren Henley has given a lengthy interview to Arts Professional, who asked him about his hopes and expectations ahead of the White Paper and possible further cuts. He said, “both Baz [Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette] and I come from a private sector background but it’s important to say that we both believe very, very strongly in the place of public funding in this ecology. What I would like to see over time is us developing a bigger cake.”  He argues that much more power over arts education has now fallen to school heads and governors' associations, and urges artists and parents to become governors to make the case for the arts.  Henley also describes a ‘supersaver’ journey around the UK to promote regional work.  Arts Professional
 
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  Europeana publishes White Paper calling for continued funding to digitise culture  
 
 
Europeana has published a White Paper: Transforming the World with Culture: next steps on increasing the use of digital cultural heritage in research, education, tourism and the creative industries’.  They hope the continued work to make use of heritage resources will drive tourism, and inspire a new generation of artists as well as being educationally useful.  For this, they argue that institutions must be supported to produce high quality digital assets fit for use, with an assured funding structure.  To date, 300 million objects have been digitised by cultural institutions, just 10% of those in their collections.  Ne-mo
 
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  Jerusalems and new Edens  
 
 
  To China with love: cultural projects strengthening relationships  
 
 
A raft of cultural schemes are strengthening the UK’s relationship with China.  Chancellor George Osbourne has pledged £4m to a scheme to bring art treasures from the UK to China, as well as further funds for theatre touring.  The British Library will receive £1.6m to show works from Shakespeare to Arthur Conan Doyle; the British Museum will receive £750k to bring its History of the World in 100 objects exhibition to China; Tate will receive £1.3m towards touring Landscapes of the Mind: British Landscape Painting (1700-2007).  VisitBritain will also receive £1.3m for its GREAT campaign in China. 
 
Meanwhile, the creators of the Eden Project have signed a deal with developers to create an £100m duplication of the Cornwall attraction in the Chinese city of Qingdao.  Eden Project founder Tim Smit said, “we are proud to take all that is best from the UK to forge new partnerships in China - for it is here above all other places on earth that the shape of our collective future will be set over the next 20 years."
 
The Science Museum Group has separately signed a Memorandum of Understanding with a collective from Wuhan in China.  The MoU will last for five years and centre around touring exhibitions.  Wuhan Museum of Science and Technology is about to move to a new space which includes an area for temporary shows.  MOSI’s involvement will reinforce a relationship which has existed between Wuhan and Manchester City Council for the past thirty years.  ALVA, BBC, Museums Journal
 
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  Campaigners buy William Blake’s cottage with last minute anonymous donation  
 
 
Campaigners have acquired a Grade II thatched cottage in Sussex which was the home of William Blake from 1800 to 1803.  The doors, beams and vegetable garden remain virtually unchanged since the poet wrote Jerusalem there over 200 years ago.  Celebrities including Stephen Fry, Russell Brand and Neil Gaiman have supported the campaign.  President of the Blake Society, Philip Pullman, said, “This is one of just two houses that still exist that we know that Blake lived in. It’s the only place outside of London where we know he lived and it is where he wrote a number of his most famous poems. It has an undeniably important place in English literary history.”  The purchase looked in doubt after English Heritage and the National Trust did not get involved, but a last minute gift from an anonymous trust made it possible.  The Blake Society now promise to renovate the property and put it to ‘visionary’ use.  Guardian
 
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  ‘Notice nature, feel joy’ – Derby Museums among Collections Trust winners  
 
 
The Collections Trust has announced the winners of its 2015 awards.  Derby Museums Trust won the Participatory Practice Award for its Notice nature feel joy gallery, which consists of 1,389 specimens chosen by hundreds of volunteers, using stories and themes suggested by visitors.  Volunteer Ruth Bellamy said, “I feel this project has been the most innovative and inspiring that I’ve ever worked on, especially in terms of being able to work with people from a wide range of disciplines and with diverse skill sets. I now rave about co-production to anybody who will listen!” Other winners were: Margaret Harrison of the Canal and River Trust who won Collections Manager of the Year; the Harris Museum and Art Gallery’s Money Matters project, which sort to counteract the idea that ‘coins are small and boring’; and the Collections on a Budget Award winner was the Museum of Wigan Life for its Moving history - life after a major stores move project.   Derby Museums, Collections Trust
 
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  Fun Palaces runs for a second year  
 
 
The Fun Palaces festival ran in the first weekend of October for a second year. The festival invites people across the UK to generate their own spliced science and arts events, drawing on community knowledge and expertise.  Events this year included making an origami flea at London Metropolitan Archives and transforming DNA into jewellery in Sheffield.  There were 140 Fun Palaces in 2015. Anyone with a flair for arts or science, or an unusual skill, is encouraged to consider registering a Fun Palace for the 2016 event.  Arts Council, Fun Palaces
 
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  Sekhemka export license deferred for a second time  
 
 
The Government has extended the export bar on the statue of Sekhemka for a second time after receiving notification of a ‘serious intention to raise funds’ from a potential UK buyer, who has not been named.  The extension runs to 29th March 2016, giving roughly six months to find the £15.76m paid for the statue by an overseas buyer after Northampton Council put it up for auction in July 2014.  Gov.uk, BBC
 
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  Soane Museum offers Hogarth DMs for the 21st century hipster  
 
 
The Sir John Soane's Museum has collaborated with Dr Martens to produce a version of the classic footwear featuring scenes from Hogarth's 'The Rake's Progress'.  Tom Rakewell's descent into poverty and madness is portrayed on shoes, boots and a stylish satchel: each sale supports the Museum.  Soane Museum
 
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  Growing galleries  
 
 
  Twisted pyramid to add ten new floors to Tate Modern  
 
 
Tate Modern has announced that its new extension will open on June 17th 2016.  The new space adds 60% to Tate Modern’s gallery space, allowing it to display more of the collection which it has accumulated since it opened in 2000.  The ‘twisted pyramid’ shape rises ten floors above the Tate’s performing arts space, the Tanks, and also includes spaces for young people, and a dedicated space for exploring how art makes a difference in society. Tate still has to find an additional £30m to complete the project, but Sir Nick Serota said, “we have a push now for the next nine months to raise the final £30m for Tate Modern and I’m sure we’ll do that.” Tate, Taitmail, FT
 
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  Site Gallery Sheffield to triple in size  
 
 
The Site Gallery in Sheffield will triple in size after the City Council agreed planning permission.  The extended space will include workrooms to let, a bigger gallery, events space and tearoom, as well as a prominent street façade.  Arts Council England has promised £970k, Sheffield City Council has added £125k and the Gallery must now raise a further £700k to complete the project. Site is expected to reopen in 2017.  Arts Industry (subscription only), Sheffield Telegraph
 
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  Events  
 
 
Ashmolean Early Italian Art Gallery photographed by James Hudson
Ashmolean Early Italian Art Gallery photographed by James Hudson
 
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  WIRP International Travel Grant Scheme – applications open this month  
 
 
The Working Internationally Regional Project, which NMDC is a partner in, is offering a small number of travel grants to support non-national museums in England to work internationally.  Recipients will undertake an international research visit to museums and/or organisations abroad which would not otherwise be possible.  The intention is to support non-national museums who are starting to develop international contacts or projects, and who are exploring their potential to work internationally in a particular part of the world.  Priority will be given to museums whose staff have not previously undertaken international travel as part of their work. The total budget available is £12k, with up to £2k available for each organisation or consortium.   Applications open on 15th October and close on 30th October at noon.  Successful applicants will hear in the week of 16th November.  Queries to dana@cuello-andrew.co.uk  ICOM (full details)
 
Also:  A reminder that the WIRP Working with China workshop takes place at York Castle Museum on 14th October and costs £35 – booking here.  The Working with India workshop takes place at IWM London on 9th November, also £35 – booking here.  The full programme for these workshops can be downloaded here: ICOM.
 
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  Cultural leadership courses  
 
 
The week-long Oxford Cultural Leaders course is reopening for a second year.  There are places for twenty senior staff, who will explore new models of financing museums and making them sustainable.  The course draws on the resources of Oxford museums, the Saïd Business School and the wider university.  It takes place from 10th – 15th April 2016 and costs £2500.  The deadline for applications is 30th November 2015 at 5pm.  Oxford Cultural Leaders
 
Meanwhile, a small number of places are available on the V&A's Innovative Leadership course. The 12 workshop, 10-month course covers many aspects of leadership including presenting yourself, business finance and conflict resolution. The course costs £3000 (+ VAT) and application details are available on the V&A website: V&A Innovative Leadership
 
Also: Oxford University Museums are offering up to three fully funded doctoral studentships per year, as a collaboration between UK Higher Education Institutes and the four Oxford University museums.  The deadline for 2016 applications is 27th November at 5pm.  Oxford Aspire
 
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  Free gaming and history workshop  
 
 
The University of Huddersfield is offering a one day workshop on history and gaming called Playing with History.  Gaming has become integral to many people's lives: histories of gaming are beginning to be written and historical events can be communicated via games.  The day is primarily to encourage networking so that historians can make links with techies and project partners.  It takes place on 31st October and is free, but booking is essential.  University of Huddersfield
 
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  The ‘H’ word – heritage revisited lecture  
 
 
The seventh Heritage Alliance debate takes place on 4th November from 6pm at the Waldorf Hilton.  It will explore perceptions of heritage and whether it is helpful in attracting political recognition and private investment.  It features research by ComRes on public perceptions of the term.  The event is free but booking is essential.  Heritage Alliance
 
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  Remix Summit London  
 
 
The Remix Summit on Culture, Technology and Entrepreneurship takes place at the British Museum and Google Town Hall on December 8th – 9th 2015.  The conference explores the big subjects affecting the future of the arts, connecting partners from different sectors.  75 speakers include participants from the British Museum, Vatican Museum, Sunday Times, Conde Nast and Battersea Power Station.  Early bird tickets for both days are £345 + VAT + £8 booking fee.  Remix
 
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  Museums Computer Group 2015 conference  
 
 
The Museums Computer Group 2015 conference, Bridging Gaps, Making Connections, and will explore how digital departments can build good relationships with the rest of their museum’s services.  Speakers include Fiona Talbot, Head of Museums, Libraries and Archives at the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the British Museum’s Juno Rae on reaching families and teenagers via digital engagement. Tickets are £75 so long as you sign up for membership of MCG (which is free with conference booking), or are already a member.  MCG booking
 
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  Sporting Heritage: events, bursaries and publication  
 
 
The Sporting Heritage Network is expanding its work and support for people interested in the field.  Their Annual Conference takes place at County Hall in Loughborough on 11th February 2016, and explores the topic of illustrating and creating impact through sporting history.  Tickets are £25.  The Network is also offering up to 12 bursaries of £250 to support mentoring partnerships on a sporting theme. Contact sportingheritage@outlook.com for more details and an application form. 
 
The Network is also working with the Department for Education to produce a Sport in Education pack to support curriculum learning, and publishing a pilot journal for which it welcomes contributions.  Full details of all these opportunities on the website here: Sporting Heritage Network
 
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  Curatorial research and the public  
 
 
Henry McGhie, Head of Collections at Manchester Museum explores the relationship between curatorial research and public engagement through the life of Victorian ornithologist Henry Dresser in a seminar at the Natural History Museum on 29th October at 2.30pm. The event is free.  NHM               
 
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  Searching questions: surveys to plan the future  
 
 
  Guardian launches major survey into diversity in the arts  
 
 
The Guardian is collaborating with the organisation Create to produce a major survey on diversity in the arts and cultural sectors.  Everyone working in the field is invited to fill in the survey.  Dave O’Brien of the University of London is leading the research and said, “A whole host of studies have demonstrated clear evidence of inequalities in cultural jobs based on people’s gender, ethnicity and class.  However, there has yet to be a comprehensive picture from across different occupations. There’s a need for much more comprehensive data about working life in the cultural and creative industries.”  Prominent figures including Christopher Eccleston and Julie Walters have claimed that their careers could not have taken off in the current climate.  Meanwhile, pre-election, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey called for more statistical evidence of a lack of diversity in the sector, and has tweeted the link to this request for data.  Guardian
 
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  Deadline extended for MA’s cuts survey  
 
 
The Museums Association has extended the deadline for its cuts survey 2015 until 16th October.  It aims to build up a picture of cuts and changes in the sector.  Museums Journal
 
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  Mapping the visual arts in Scotland  
 
 
Creative Scotland has launched an online consultation on the visual arts in Scotland, which will run until October 19th.  All those working in the sector in Scotland are encouraged to take part, including curators, galleries and individuals.  The results will then be considered in a series of open sessions with people working in the field.  Creative Scotland
 
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  HLF asks, what do you need to work with young people?  
 
 
The HLF has launched a survey to ask organisations of ‘all levels of experience’ what they need in order to work with young people aged 11 -25.   The survey runs until October 9th and will inform the HLF’s thinking as it develops its new strategic framework.  HLF
 
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  Museums and wellbeing: tell us about your work  
 
 
The Museums and Wellbeing Alliance is mapping existing practice in the sector, and would like to hear about your work relating to your audience’s wellbeing.  Their survey takes 10 – 15 minutes to complete and is open until October 9th.  Survey participants will receive a copy of the report. Museums and wellbeing
 
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  The appliance of science in education  
 
 
  Teachers and scientists to pull an all-nighter at the Science Museum  
 
 
Arts and science teachers have been invited to participate in the Science Museum’s STEAM all night hack on 29th October.  The group will produce resources for education which brings together arts and sciences, which will be published later this year in the Times Educational Supplement.  Cultural Learning Alliance
 
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  Real World Science at the Natural History Museum  
 
 
Blogging for Museums + Heritage, Jan Freedman writes that museums have been using their science and natural history collections for education programmes since the 1800s.  He describes one of this century’s most successful iterations of that approach: eight museums, including the Natural History Museum, working together on the Real World Science project. It has been running since 2004 to support the science curriculum with interactive workshops for schoolchildren of all ages.  The programme has now reached 176,393 students in 12 years.  Museums + Heritage
 
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  Moving museums  
 
 
  British Music Experience relocates to Liverpool  
 
 
The British Music Experience, which was open at the O2 in London from 2009 until 2014, is relocating to the Cunard Building, a former passenger hall on the waterfront in Liverpool.  The relocation is being partly funded by a £2.6m Regional Growth Fund grant.  Liverpool City Council is leading a procurement process to find someone to run the attraction. The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said, “music is inherent in Liverpool and is entwined with the city’s history, present and future.  Undoubtedly the BME will be hugely popular as music is a major cultural driving force in the city and I look forward to seeing the project taking shape over the forthcoming months.”  Museums Journal
 
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  Easter Rising leader’s house could become Belfast museum  
 
 
The Northern Irish home of influential socialist and Easter Rising leader James Connolly may be turned into a museum focusing on Connolly's role in the trade union movement and international socialism. The project is led by Visit West Belfast who plan to apply for HLF and local authority funds. 
 
The project may be politically sensitive, but Sinn Fein councillor Jim McVeigh argues, “we think there’s huge heritage and tourism value in this house.  James Connolly was such a significant figure not only in the trade union movement in Ireland, but internationally as well.  That’s why this could attract people from across the spectrum.  It could be used by schools for education as well as adding to the already existing tourism there is in West Belfast.”  Belfast Live
 
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  Goodbye London, hello Berlin  
 
 
Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture, has warned that rising young artists are abandoning London for cities such as Berlin.  She says, “the Government’s recent decision to make it easier to turn business units into residential homes has led to commercial developers tearing through creative quarters such as Hackney” and that because of the international art market, artists are choosing to go abroad rather than to regional cities in the UK.  City Hall has responded by offering regeneration funding for new artists’ studio spaces, but Mirza says that developers and borough councils will also need to do more to keep artists in the capital.  Without change she fears the capital will lose its unique cultural edge which attracts £10bn in tourism each year.  Meanwhile Artnet highlights Oslo, Brussels and Mexico City as the best places to practice art.  Evening Standard, ArtNet
 
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  Earby Museum closes and becomes tearoom  
 
 
Earby Mining Museum has closed, with one trustee saying it needed to generate £200 per week to remain open.  The Museum lost a £2.5k grant from Pendle Borough Council, and its closure was only temporarily delayed by a private donation.  The 16th century museum building has a distinctive water wheel outside.  Owners of the building, the Robert Windle Foundation Trust, now intend to reopen the building as a tearoom, with the upstairs available for community group use.  Lancashire Telegraph, Craven Herald
 
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  Coins stolen from the National Museum of Scotland  
 
 
Three coins have been stolen from the National Museum of Scotland.  Dated 1555, 1601 and 1604 they were discovered to be missing from a display case on 4th September.  The theft is the second from the galleries in a year.  A spokesperson for the museum said, “we continue to provide appropriate levels of trained staff in our galleries. National Museums Scotland has a wide range of security arrangements in place which are regularly reviewed.  We cannot discuss these arrangements in detail.”  Museums Journal, Edinburgh Evening News
 
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  Arts audiences  
 
 
  Social class correlates to watching arts, but it’s education that makes you join in  
 
 
A new study following 78,000 people has discovered that education, rather than wealth or social status, is strongly correlated with actively participating in the arts.  The study by the University of Oxford's Dr Aaron Reeves showed that of those surveyed, 18% had taken part in painting or photography, 9% in dance, 10% in music, 2% in drama or opera. 6% had written poetry, plays or fiction.  Participants were more likely to have attended university (by a factor of four for some artforms) but they were also more likely to earn less than £30k a year.  Higher earners are more likely to passively consume the arts, but less likely to join in.  The study concludes that middle class people are more likely to participate in the arts but only because they are more likely to have attended university.  Working class people with a university degree participate to the same extent as the middle classes.  University of Oxford, Daily Mail
 
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  Survey suggests contraction of local authority arts spend is slowing  
 
 
A survey by Arts Development UK suggests that local authority arts spend has held steady in the last year.  61 local authorities, or 16% of the total responded to the survey.  Finding include:
 
  • Among those who replied the average arts budget for 2015/16 is £847k, or 0.7% less than their 2014/15 budget.  
  • However 71% anticipate a funding decrease over the next two to three years, and 15% think their services may close.  
  • Services in Wales began from a higher average baseline than those in England, typically spending twice as much in 2014/15.  But they now anticipate a much larger reduction in spend – 13% compared to 0.07%.
  • Out of 375 local authorities in England and Wales 138 have no arts officer or direct arts service: 37% of the total.
 
Arts Professional, Arts Development UK
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
Hartwig Fischer is to become the next Director of the British Museum.  He is an art historian and currently Director of Dresden State Art Collection.  BBC, Museums Journal, Guardian
 
Carole Souter has said she has decided to leave the Heritage Lottery Fund to pursue ‘new projects’ in April 2016. The HLF is now seeking a successor.  Museums Journal
 
Linda Tomos is leaving the Museums, Archives, Libraries Division of the Welsh Government to become the new Director of the National Library of Wales.  BBC
 
Michael Dugher replaces Chris Bryant as Shadow Culture Secretary in Jeremy Corbyn’s new cabinet.  Dugher has previously been a spokesman for Gordon Brown and shadow transport secretary. Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah is now the Shadow Minister for Culture and Digital Industries. The Stage, Guardian
 
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  Fundraising  
 
 
Courtesy of Leeds Museums
Courtesy of Leeds Museums
 
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  Edible Masterpieces: back for seconds  
 
 
The Art Fund’s Edible Masterpiece’s competition is back for a second year, raising funds for art in museums and galleries through the medium of cake.  Entrants pay £10 to enter the competition, and make baked goods versions of work by artists from Banksy to Barbara Hepworth.  Previous shortlisted entrants have included Julian Opie’s classic Blur album cover recreated in jellybeans.  You can also support the work of The Art Fund by running cake sales.  The competition ends at 11pm on 11th October.  Museums + Heritage, Art Fund
 
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  Rules about fundraising from the public could change following a ‘damning’ report  
 
 
A new report commissioned by the Government says that the body regulating charity fundraising, the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB), has failed in its task to adequately protect the public against intrusive contact from charities.  The report proposes that a new body should be created, and charity trustees should take a greater responsibility for the way fundraising is carried out.  It also recommends a Fundraising Preference Service to allow individuals to opt out of contact from charities.  Sir Stuart Etherington, Chief Executive of NCVO, was involved in producing the report and said, “The reality is that most people give to charities when they are asked to, rather than spontaneously, so charities do need to ask.  But they should inspire people to give, not pressure them to.”  The British public are among the most generous donors in the world, giving £10.2bn to charity each year and a further £2bn in legacies.  Arts Professional, NCVO
 
Also: In early September Culture Minister Ed Vaizey encouraged arts groups to take part in Remember a Charity in your Will Week.  Only 7% of people leave money in their will, although there are tax breaks for those making charitable donations amounting to more than 10% of their estate.  Arts Professional
 
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  Cambridge academic jailed for defrauding HLF  
 
 
A Cambridge academic has been jailed for six years for defrauding the Heritage Lottery Fund in a ‘sophisticated’ scheme.  David Barrowclough, a Fellow of Wolfson College, used his position as a trustee of Ely Museum and a fake museum email to extract £238k from the HLF over seven years, largely for non-existent archaeology projects.  He was caught when Ely Museum staff opened a letter offering £18k for one of the fake projects.  Barrowclough had previously served four years for theft when working as a solicitor, but had managed to conceal his past.  HLF said, "we take our role as custodians of National Lottery money very seriously… we will always pursue allegations of fraud."  Cambridge Evening News
 
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  Tech and copyright  
 
 
  British Museum creates virtual reality bronze age  
 
 
The British Museum has used a virtual reality device in its Samsung Discovery Centre to connect visitors to the Bronze Age.  Users wearing earphones and virtual reality headsets find themselves in a Bronze Age round hut, with a high slanting roof and a fire in the centre of the room.  It is filled with representations of Bronze Age objects reflecting BM collections.  Dr Neil Wilkin, Curator of the European Bronze Age said, “the technology is particularly useful for the Bronze Age, a difficult period for visitors to engage with and imagine museum objects in their original context.  People in the Middle Bronze Age tended to deposit their metalwork and other precious objects away from their settlements, so this experience gives us the rare opportunity to put them back in their original settings.”  This is the first time the museum has used virtual reality to explore their collections.   Museums + Heritage, Guardian
 
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  Watch the MuseumNext livestream  
 
 
If your recent professional commitments didn’t include being flown to Indianapolis for the MuseumNext conference, all is not lost. A free film covers many of the talks from both days here: MuseumNext, MuseumNext (speakers and programme)
 
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  Government offers free statistical assistance for charities  
 
 
The Government Statistical Service and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations have formed a partnership to offer free statisticians to charities.  The government statisticians will be available for up to five days to each charity.  They can advise on how to make better use of large datasets, organise surveys or identify and analyse existing datasets on a topic which will be of use for charitable aims.  Forty charities received help last year.  This year’s scheme is open for applications until 23rd October.  NCVO
 
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  Copyright and museums: Europe-wide study published  
 
 
The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) has published a Europe-wide study on copyright and museums.  Copyright can be a major obstacle to museums putting their assets online, because the laws of individual countries are complex and because copyright varies over international boundaries.  This can either prevent museums from putting their holdings online, or cause a major drain on resources and this is particularly true of audio-visual and 20th and 21st century works.  The report also found that while creators of original content are often happy to work with museums, reaching an agreement with heirs and estates is often more difficult.  Charges can be unaffordable for less wealthy institutions.  NEMO is now working towards a more harmonised system, and invites museums to make contact.  Meanwhile, the National Gallery of Scotland has announced that it intends to put a third of its 24 million items online over the next decade. It is one of the largest digitisation schemes in Europe. BBC, NEMO
 
Also: Kennisland and the Collections Trust have published flow charts to help those involved in Europeana programmes understand Intellectual Property Rights.  Kennisland
 
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  Museums to participate in 'quality metrics' pilot  
 
 
Arts Council England is running a pilot scheme with 150 organisations selected from its National Portfolio Organisations and Major Partner Museums to test the new quality metrics evaluation framework.  The framework was first used by the Department of Culture and the Arts in Western Australia and uses measures including self, peer and public assessment to capture the quality of work produced.  Each participant in the 360 degree feedback will nominate three events taking place between November and March to assess in this way.  ACE
 
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  Facing the future  
 
 
  Endowment funds: the solution to museum funding problems?  
 
 
Tony Butler, Director of Derby Museums Trust has blogged about the possibility of using endowment funds as a way of sustaining museums over the long term.  He writes “in the United States most museums with endowments benefit from moderate returns of about 4-5%.  The endowment of Cleveland Museum of Art is $700 million and Dallas Museum of Art $199m.  Both of these large institutions have grown an endowment over decades of fundraising which covers operating costs and both allow free admission to the permanent collection.”  Sustaining a museum service the size of Derby Museums Trust in the same way would need an endowment of £25 - £30m.  Butler argues this need not be unattainable: in 1879 the brewer Thomas Bass gave the city of Derby the equivalent of £2m in today’s money, to build a library.  Creating a culture of endowments and encouraging major giving towards this form of funding could be a model to secure the future of local museum services.  Museums + Heritage
 
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  Arts Council England publishes research about the resilience of local authority museums  
 
 
Arts Council England has published research which considers the resilience of museums which are run by local authorities, funded by local authorities and/or where the collection is owned by a local authority. The detailed research, by independent organisation tbr, sets out the challenges and opportunities concluding that what determines a museum's resilience is not necessarily their status but the support, attitude and actions of the museum staff and local authority officials and elected members. Arts Council England
 
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  Mysterious benefactor gives fire station to South London Gallery  
 
 
An anonymous donor has given South London Gallery a Victorian former fire station, which is across the road from its premises.  The 1867 building is the oldest surviving example of a purpose built fire station in London. The Gallery will use the space to expand its exhibitions, make its archive available for the first time, and do further education work with local residents.  The Heritage Lottery Fund has also awarded a grant of £264k towards planning and restoration work on the newly acquired building and will give a further £1.5m when £2m of matching funds have been raised.  The fire station should open in 2018.  South London Gallery
 
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  Reports of Norfolk Museums' demise are greatly exaggerated  
 
 
Reports that Norfolk County Council intend to drastically reduce the public offer and opening times of seven of the ten museums managed by Norfolk Museums Service are inaccurate. Although Norfolk Museums Service is at the start of what will be long discussions about how to manage any reduction in local authority investment, no decisions have been taken and both the Council and Museum Service are committed to maintaining the excellent public programme and current opening hours across all ten sites. Norfolk's museums already act as community hubs and, despite already having to manage cuts to their local authority investment, welcomed a record 400,000 visitors to their sites last year. Major improvement projects are planned for two of the largest museums and a strong exhibition programme is agreed until 2018.
 
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  Anglesey consider transfers  
 
 
Anglesey County Council is considering transferring museum and heritage services to other bodies as it seeks to make cuts of £5.2m for the next financial year.  Social enterprises, businesses and trusts are among the bodies being approached for expressions of interest in the five cultural venues, including a windmill and Oriel Ynys Môn museums and art gallery.  No final decision has been made, and the sites may remain as part of council services.  Museums Journal
 
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  And finally…  
 
 
  … nipped out for some chairs, came back with Stonehenge  
 
 
English Heritage and others have been celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the day when wealthy lawyer Cecil Chubb went to buy some chairs at a Salisbury auction, and impulsively purchased Stonehenge.  The monument was on the market following the death of the previous owner, Sir Edmund Antrobus, and in a state of some disrepair – for much of the 19th century visitors had chipped bits off the stones as mementos, and part of the structure had collapsed.  Chubb paid £6,600 for it, but later gifted it to the nation, saying “I became owner of it with a deep sense of pleasure, and had contemplated that it might remain a cherished possession of my family for long years to come.  It has, however, been pressed upon me that the nation would like to have it for its own, and would prize it most highly.”  History.com, English Heritage
 
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  Jobs  
 
 
A selection of jobs from NMDC members this month:
 
 
 
 
A complete list is available on our website here.
 
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