June 2016

NMDC newsletter: June 2016
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  NMDC newsletter: June 2016
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Why local museums matter

A Wealth of Treasures

Arts leaders speak to the Countries of Culture inquiry

EU referendum

Cultural property and armed conflict

Launch of the Cultural Protection Fund

British Council doubles its reach with new arts strategy to 2021

New Discovery Centre for NMRN

A cathedral with a gin palace and a train line? A new Museum of London

Immersive world of Henry I to be recreated at Norwich Castle

‘Hollywood-via-industry glamour’ at new Tate extension

Black Country Living Museum outlines expansion plans

Sadiq Khan promises to prioritise culture

New Shadow Culture Minister describes her priorities

Ageing and museums

Invitation to industrial museums: All Party Parliamentary Group for Industrial Heritage

Kiss Me Quick: Scarborough creates seaside heritage network

DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund now open

Art Fund donates £1 million towards iconic Elizabeth I Armada painting

£2.4m for Ready to Borrow second round

Appeal to resurrect Eric the 'quintessentially British' robot
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  NMDC news  |  Countries of Culture inquiry  |  International  |  Members' news  |  Bills, White Paper, political priorities and reviews  |  Local museums and impact of cuts  |  Events  |  Culture networks and collaboration  |  Law and culture  |  Funding  |  Awards  |  Appointments  |  Acquisitions and restitution  |  Tech  |   Jobs  |  And finally... couture in orbit  
 
 
  NMDC news  
 
 
Images this month are from the photographic exhibition 'Empires of Emptiness: Fortresses of the Sahara and the Steppe' showing at Jackfield Tile Museum until September. It looks at the value of deserts to empires - from Russian fortifications of the Central Asian Steppe to French attempts to control the Sahara. This image: main courtyard of the fortress of Zirara, Algeria. Photo c Yacine Ketfi.
Images this month are from the photographic exhibition 'Empires of Emptiness: Fortresses of the Sahara and the Steppe' showing at Jackfield Tile Museum until September. It looks at the value of deserts to empires - from Russian fortifications of the Central Asian Steppe to French attempts to control the Sahara. This image: main courtyard of the fortress of Zirara, Algeria. Photo c Yacine Ketfi.
 
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  Why local museums matter  
 
 
NMDC's Chair Diane Lees has written for First - the magazine of the Local Government Association - with suggestions for local authorities on getting the most out of their museums at a time of budget pressures. Lees says that although some councils are finding it increasingly difficult to invest, some short-term measures will allow local museums to make more efficient use of their resources. These include:
 
  • Giving museums their digital independence - a museum's own Instagram and Twitter accounts allow museums them to maximise fundraising and audience engagement;
  • Museums can be freed up to make their own procurement decisions without necessarily becoming independent trusts; and
  • Few museums are members of local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) but there are clear advantages in places like Cornwall where museums and businesses sit together on LEPs. Museums make places more attractive to live in and can deliver health and well-being projects.
 
First magazine
 
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  A Wealth of Treasures  
 
 
NMDC was commissioned by the British Council to produce a brief illustrated guide to the collections in UK museums for potential international partners. The result is A Wealth of Treasures. The purpose of the guide, funded by Arts Council England and the British Council, is to demonstrate the breadth and scope of UK collections. It was launched at the British Embassy in Washington on 27th May by the Director of British Council USA, to coincide with the Alliance of American Museums Conference. A Wealth of Treasures will be distributed digitally to and then by British Council offices across the world, and is also available to download on NMDC's website. A Wealth of Treasures
 
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  Countries of Culture Inquiry  
 
 
  Arts leaders speak to the 'Countries of Culture' Inquiry  
 
 
The Culture, Media and Sport Committee ‘Countries of Culture’ inquiry has been receiving oral evidence from a number of cultural leaders including Sir Peter Bazalgette and Darren Henley from Arts Council England and former British Museum Director Neil MacGregor. The inquiry is particularly concerned with culture in the regions, and the impact of significant changes to local authority funding and organisation. A summary of the evidence provided by Neil MacGregor is below.
 
  • There has been a move in the last 20 years for London collections to become 'lending libraries for the whole of the UK'. 7.7 million people saw objects from the British Museum outside London during 2015, more than the number of people who saw collections in Bloomsbury. However, structures to tour objects to the devolved countries are limited, HLF and AHRC being the only UK-wide sources of funding.
  • There is a 'very serious' erosion of curatorial strength outside London, driven by cuts and which is particularly a risk for trust-run museums. Birmingham Museums Trust has a very important coin collection, but recently announced that it is financially unable to replace its only numismatist. Nationals can offer their scholarship to smaller collections ‘but it does not hide the fact that the erosion of curatorial posts is a very serious issue’.
  • There has been a historical over-concentration of power in London for a thousand years. The German model which gives real political and financial power to regional cities allows a different kind of cultural landscape to develop.
  • The principle of free access to culture has been a British tradition since the middle of the 18th-century, we should 'meddle with great caution’ with that principle.
  • Museums and galleries in the UK are better at fundraising and generating business streams than any other country in Europe. Many national museums generate 50% of their income from these sources.
  • In school education ‘our syllabus is effectively still the syllabus from before the second war’: Egypt, Romans and Vikings. The British Museum attempts to re-balance this with a knowledge of China, Africa and India for young people who are going to be citizens of the world.
  • Creating a fund which would assist museums with the basic costs of borrowing objects from national museums (transport etc.) would have a notable impact.
 
Heritage Lottery Fund Chairman Sir Peter Luff echoed the concern for local authority-owned collections and museums in his evidence. He encouraged local authorities to contact the HLF early if they were struggling to fund museums, and warned against a rush to trust status as a solution:"the local authority has to recognise it is only creating a trust. It still retains responsibility for those artefacts, the collection itself and probably the buildings as well. It still has a responsibility to safeguard it.” HLF is creating a new funding stream, Resilient Heritage, to support less experienced groups who find themselves running an organisation.
 
Sir Peter Bazalgette and Darren Henley discussed how to support arts in the regions. They cited the benefit of culture to councils which appreciated its value: the attitude to the arts in Weston-super-Mare has been transformed by Banksy's Dismaland exhibition, which drew flocks of tourists to the town. The Chief Executive of Exeter Council takes the leaders of large multinationals to the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, because it convinces them that Exeter is a place where their employees will be happy to live and work.  Darren Henley said that universities were increasingly becoming cultural partners for similar reasons: to attract students who would then wish to stay after graduation. Amalgamated arts venues - like the library and cinema complex in Chester - are also good solutions. Henley and Bazalgette also discussed work to encourage applications from artists who are not familiar with ACE funding, and to develop culture in under-served areas.
 
Museums Journal, Parliament.uk (Countries of Culture homepage), Parliament.uk (Neil MacGregor), Parliament.uk (Arts Council), Arts Professional, Salon, HLF, Museums Journal (HLF)
 
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  The future of live cultural broadcast  
 
 
A recurring practical theme at the Countries of Culture inquiry has been the viability of live broadcast from cultural venues. Sir Peter Bazalgette said the costs for filming live theatre range from £20k - £120k, but that some venues beyond London were investing, the relative expense balanced by creating a permanent asset. Former British Museum Director Neil MacGregor, who was also on the board of the National Theatre said that 'to our surprise' the NT live broadcasts have been financially profitable. However, at the British Museum’s very popular broadcasts like ‘Pompeii Live’ have been a public relations success but only economically possible with very substantial sponsorship. New models will be needed to make live broadcast a financial asset for museums. Bazalgette noted that the effect of beamed in cultural broadcasts has been to grow arts audiences in smaller centres, rather than crushing local offers. Parliament.uk
 
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  International  
 
 
Bordj of Erfoud East, Sahara. c Berny Sèbe
Bordj of Erfoud East, Sahara. c Berny Sèbe
 
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  EU referendum  
 
 
A number of groups representing the cultural sector have given their views on the forthcoming EU referendum, with comments overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in the union. 96% of members of the Creative Industries Federation said they back Remain. Leaders of City of London arts organisations, including the Barbican and Museum of London, issued a joint statement saying that the EU “plays a major role in ensuring the UK’s position as an international cultural powerhouse.” 300 historians including Simon Schama and Niall Ferguson have written to the Guardian saying, “on 23 June, we face a choice: to cast ourselves adrift, condemning ourselves to irrelevance and Europe to division and weakness; or to reaffirm our commitment to the EU and stiffen the cohesion of our continent in a dangerous world.” Chancellor George Osborne, who is a leading figure in the Remain campaign, welcomed their comments. The overwhelming majority of arts figures contacted by the Guardian favoured remaining in Europe, fearing difficulties with the visas, co-productions and art quality following Brexit. Others argue it will inhibit tourism. Munira Mirza, the former London Deputy Mayor for Culture, was one of the few prepared to go on the record in favour of leaving. Mirza said that others were afraid to ‘come out’ as pro-Brexit. She added, “they assume that everybody who wants to leave the EU must be anti-immigration [but it] is the EU which stops us doing [immigration] sensibly and intelligently. The choice is not between a closed world and an open world, we want a world even more open.Guardian (range of views on Brexit), Guardian (letter from actors), Museums Journal, Guardian (letter from historians), Creative Industries Federation, Telegraph, The Conversation
 
Also: The People's History Museum has installed a ‘Eurotunnel’ in its galleries in the run-up to the referendum created by artist Alex J Gardner and adorned with material for and against Brexit. Curator Chris Burgess said, “the physical exhibition offers a balanced guide to the EU referendum, and will provide a backdrop to discussion and live events and debate. This is the space to learn about what the EU means to us as a nation.” Museum Practice
 
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  Cultural property and armed conflict  
 
 
The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill will, if passed, see the UK finally ratify the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection Of Cultural Property In The Event Of Armed Conflict. The Bill also creates new criminal offences of dealing in cultural property illegally exported from occupied territories. The Red Cross was among the organisations, including NMDC, to welcome the Bill. The Red Cross said that an attack on heritage is an attack on something 'essential to one's identity'. Commenting on the draft Bill, the policy institute Chatham House suggests that for the UK to be a leader in preventing heritage destruction it will have to 'conceptualise heritage destruction more broadly than ISIS iconoclasm’ and also address criminal gangs looting to order and some destruction caused by the UK's allies. Chatham House, Red Cross, Gov.uk (text of draft Bill)
 
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  Launch of the Cultural Protection Fund  
 
 
The British Council and DCMS have launched the £30m Cultural Protection Fund. The Fund will offer capacity building grants to foster, safeguard and promote cultural heritage internationally. Initially the grants will focus on UK organisations working in the Middle East and North Africa. The fund opens on 27th June and has two categories of grant: under £100k and over £100k. In the first year detailed country surveys will be commissioned, to better understand needs, existing activity and potential partners. Please contact culturalprotection@britishcouncil.org with enquiries, or to be informed when application forms go live. British Council
 
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  British Council doubles its reach with new arts strategy to 2021  
 
 
The British Council has published its five-year strategy for the arts. Its international arts work has been growing since 2011, covers eight art forms and creative industries, and is presented in a 110 countries worldwide. BC now aims to double the extent of UK international work by 2021. Ambitions include:
 
  • partnering or lending support to 100,000 artists worldwide each year including at least 5,000 from the UK
  • connecting 20 million people digitally each year with creativity from the UK
  • making the UK a global hub for creativity, which arts professionals will look to as a trusted partner
  • championing arts for social change
  • making the UK a world leader in protecting cultural heritage and in building capacity in the cultural sector around the world.
 
The British Council will bring its knowledge of the demographics and drivers in different world regions to these cultural exchanges. For example, half of the world's internet users are in East Asia, a region where 25% of the population is under 14. Meanwhile in the Americas, an economy larger than China and Japan combined is challenged by marked social inequality. By connecting the aspirations of people in these regions with UK expertise and creativity, the British Council will enhance UK influence for a more secure world. British Council
 
Also: The British Council commissioned research, funded by Arts Council England, on fees and economic models for international touring exhibitions produced by UK museums and galleries. The resulting report is now available and includes a list of average hire fees charged and examples of best practice. This report is one of many very helpful resources available via the Resources section of ICOM UK's website (created as part of the Working Internationally Regional Project, in which NMDC is a partner). Fees & economic models for international touring  Working Internationally resources
 
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  World heritage sites and climate change  
 
 
A new report from UNESCO, World Heritage and Tourism In A Changing Climate, says that climate change is the greatest risk facing some of the planet's most iconic and heavily visited historic locations. Sites of concern include Skara Brae in Orkney, the Statue of Liberty and the city of Venice, all at risk from sea level rises. Mud fortresses in Mali are particularly susceptible to temperature changes, and there is some concern that more frequent flooding will cause challenges for Stonehenge. Climate change is not the only risk: Tutankhamun’s tomb is the latest site to close to visitors since the sheer volume of people is harming the site; and other notable places, such as the prehistoric painted caves in the Vézère Valley in France, have been shut for decades to protect the artwork. UNESCO, ALVA
 
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  British Council offers up to £75k for UK-India digital projects  
 
 
2017 will be a year a cultural exchange between the UK and India to mark the 70th anniversary of Indian independence. The British Council has been working towards this for five years, nurturing young Indian audiences and introducing them to the best of contemporary UK creativity. It is now commissioning a number of major digital projects to connect the two countries, aiming to reach 10 million people this year and 50 million in 2017. Successful proposals will receive an initial £10k in seed funding with up to £75k for fully developed projects. Projects must have creativity and culture at their heart and be aimed at a primarily Indian audience. Initial expressions of interest, which should be no longer than two pages, should be sent before noon on 8th July. British Council
 
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  Development Grants for projects with China  
 
 
The British Council’s Connections through Culture programme provides small grants to assist UK and Chinese arts organisations embarking on joint projects. Two types of grant are offered: Professional Development grants, sufficient to fund a one week study trip, or Alumni grants, available only to those who have already received previous Connections through Culture grants. The deadline for the next round of grants is 5th August 2016. British Council
 
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  Members' news  
 
 
  New Discovery Centre for NMRN  
 
 
The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded support worth £13.5m to the National Museum of the Royal Navy for two major projects to transform access to naval collections.
 
  • A new Centre for Discovery will bring together objects currently scattered in 14 storage buildings over nine sites, many of which are not fit for purpose. Objects ranging from photographs and medals to paintings and archaeology will be accessible to the public for the first time.
  • Meanwhile, the Royal Marines Museum is moving from Eastney to a Victorian boathouse within Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, making the Museum’s one million items much easier to find.
 
Chairman of the HLF Sir Peter Luff said, “we loved the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s plans to tell the very human story of the Royal Navy. It’s a compelling one of highs and lows, of triumphs and failures.” HLF has already invested £55m in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, one of the most popular attractions in the South East. Historic Dockyard
 
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  A cathedral with a gin palace and a train line? A new Museum of London  
 
 
Museum of London Director Sharon Ament has been visiting the Museum’s new Smithfield Market site with the Guardian and letting her mind to run riot with the possibilities of the new space. The central dome gives the cathedral-like feel to the industrial architecture, but there are other surprising features. Ament says, “I’m desperate to keep the train line running through it – nobody else has one of those. Just imagine the people on the trains looking out and seeing a museum around them, and the people in the museum seeing the trains go by.” She adds: ‘could we have a gin distillery? Should we bring back the sausage shop?’ In an area teeming with people from city workers during the day, to nightclubbers from midnight to dawn, opening hours are up for discussion and she hopes to double the museum's audience to two million each year. There's also the opportunity to display far more of the museum’s collection, including 10,000 pairs of shoes - many used by Londoners to pace through the changing capital over centuries of history. Guardian
 
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  Go Team Dodo: Oxford University Museum of Natural History 'Best of the Best' at M + H awards  
 
 
Oxford University Museum of Natural History was announced as ‘Best of the Best’ at the M + H annual awards. During 2015, their Dodo Roadshow travelled to 24 museums between Land’s End and John O'Groats, with their iconic stuffed bird 'meeting' remarkable objects from other museum collections. The project was praised by comedian Marcus Brigstocke as he the presented the award, describing it as “a clever, fun and engaging idea, completed in a very short period of time, which celebrated new conversations and partnerships across the country.” Other winners included:
 
  • Birmingham Conservation Trust for customer service at The Coffin Works
  • V&A's Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty for best temporary or touring exhibition
  • Volunteer of the Year was won by Bobby Ogogo at the Horniman and a number of people at RNLI Henry Blogg Museum.
  • Black Country Living Museum won the Trading and Enterprise Award
  • The Natural History Museum won the Innovation Award with David Attenborough's First Life: A Virtual Reality Experience
  • Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum were Fundraisers of the Year
  • The Best Permanent Exhibition was won by Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh for its Lister Project.
 
M + H , Oxford University Museum of Natural History
 
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  Horniman Museum to get new World Gallery  
 
 
Following an HLF grant of £3.3m the Horniman Museum will be going ahead with its plans for a new World Gallery. 3000 anthropological objects will be on display, many for the first time. There will also be a new studio space with a cutting edge programme of performances and exhibitions. The Museum is now working to fund raise the final £1.4m needed to complete the work. Horniman Director Janet Vitmayer said, “this grant from HLF will transform our galleries and programmes. We will share exciting new research and build on the Horniman’s leading work in the development of community collaboration, to create programmes that stimulate curiosity and help our diverse audience relate to and engage with some of the many different ways there are of living in our extraordinary world.” Horniman, HLF
 
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  Immersive world of Henry I to be recreated at Norwich Castle  
 
 
HLF has given Norfolk Museums Service a development grant of £462.4k for its project Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England. A further £8.7m has been earmarked for second round funding. The project will transform the visitor offer at Norwich Castle, which was one of the most important buildings in Europe during the medieval period. Plans include:
 
  • the sights and sounds of Henry I medieval castle will be recreated in a Great Hall with a banqueting table and minstrel's gallery;
  • a partnership with the British Museum will bring national medieval treasures to the castle in a dedicated gallery, the British Museum Gallery of the Medieval Period; and
  • the battlements will be opened to offer scenic views over Norwich.
 
Cllr George Nobbs, Leader of Norfolk County Council, described the news at the greatest moment for the Castle since it opened as a museum in 1894: “it fulfils a dream shared by generations of local people to bring the much-loved Castle back to life as it was when it was a young building – the palace of a king. It was the vision of the Museum’s original architect Edward Boardman, at the end of the 19th century, and it now looks like it is becoming a reality.” Norfolk Museums Service, HLF, Norfolk Eastern Daily Press
 
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  ‘Hollywood-via-industry glamour’ at new Tate extension  
 
 
The Art Newspaper has reviewed the new extension to Tate Modern, which opens to the public on 17th June. It reports that architects Herzog & de Meuron have taken the 'found' three submerged oil tanks which form the basement of the building to inspire the architecture, adding that ‘a concrete spiral staircase of Hollywood-via-industry glamour’ and filtered light through perforated brick skin make it a tour de force. The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright is also taken with the dramatic architecture describing “this enigmatic pyramid, which leads you on a twisting journey up 10 tapering floors, from the Stygian underworld of the power station’s former oil tanks, to the panoramic views of the crow’s nest summit.” The new building will add 60% more space to Tate Modern, which currently has more than twice the visitor numbers that were anticipated when it first opened in 2000. The Art Newspaper
 
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  Black Country Living Museum outlines expansion plans  
 
 
The Black Country Living Museum has revealed ambitious plans to expand the Museum by a third. The £20m project would create a new zone focusing on the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, a manufacturing zone to give visitors an insight in the brick making and iron industries, and a new visitor centre. Insider Media
 
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  Natural History Museum on tour  
 
 
The Natural History Museum has announced the details of the world tour of Treasures of the Natural World: Best of London's Natural History Museum. The exhibition will open at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo in March 2017, and will be delivered in partnership with media group The Yomiuri Shimbun. Natural History Museum
 
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  Correction: Manchester Museum Courtyard Project  
 
 
We said last month that Manchester Museum had received £12.4m from HLF for its Courtyard Project. In fact HLF has given an initial £406,400 to help progress the museum's plans to apply for a full grant at a later date. £12.4m is the total cost of the project. Manchester Museum
 
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  Bills, White Paper, political priorities and reviews  
 
 
View from the top of the fort of Zaouiet Debbar, Saharac c Yacine Ketfi
View from the top of the fort of Zaouiet Debbar, Saharac c Yacine Ketfi
 
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  Queen's Speech  
 
 
The Queen’s Speech 2016, covered 21 new Bills including a number which will affect arts and culture. These include:
 
  • The Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill
  • The Small Charitable Donations Bill will simplify the Gift Aid system to open it up to smaller charities and reduce the administrative burden.
  • The Digital Economy Bill will make high speed broadband available to everyone.
  • The Bus Services Bill will give regions outside London the same powers as the capital to control services – creating better services in outlying areas and preventing over competition in city centres. Accessibility by public transport is often cited in an issue affecting whether people are able to visit a museum.
  • New Statesman, Gov.uk (full text), Computer Weekly, Heritage Update, Charity Digital News, Cultural Learning Alliance

 
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  BBC White Paper published  
 
 
The Government has published its White Paper on the future of the BBC. The Cultural Learning Alliance has highlighted some aspects of particular interest to arts and educational organisations. These include:
 
  • A new proposed public purpose of supporting learning in people of all ages. The paper says, “it should encourage people to explore new subjects and participate in new activities through partnerships with educational, sporting and cultural institutions.”
  • Closer partnerships that will 'enhance and bolster' the creative industries sector, involving UK players of all sizes.
  • There will be a £20 million fund opening in 2018 for two to three-year trial period to create content that under-served audiences and under-served genres. Suggested under-served genres include ‘children’s programming; religion and ethics; formal education; and arts and classical music.’
 
Indepth research, commissioned by the Government, into public perceptions of the BBC shows that most people have a fairly favourable opinion of the broadcaster, with a mean score of 6.4 out of 10. Favourable opinion is slightly higher for ABC1s (6.7) and under 25s (6.8). Cultural Learning Alliance, Gov.uk (White Paper), Gov.uk (summary), Gov.uk (research into public sentiment about the BBC)
 
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  Sadiq Khan promises to prioritise culture  
 
 
New London Mayor Sadiq Khan has promised to take culture as seriously as housing and crime. In a speech at City Hall to audience of representatives of the creative industries he said it be one of the 'big themes that I want to define my time as Mayor'. He said that London faces ‘stiff global competition’ and needs a 30 year plan for cultural infrastructure. TaitMail, Evening Standard
 
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  New Shadow Culture Minister describes her priorities  
 
 
Labour Shadow Culture Minister Thangam Debbonaire has given a speech at the Equity National Conference about her priorities. Originally a musician, and from a family of artists, she began by emphasising the importance of art for art’s sake. She had some qualified praise for Culture Minister Ed Vaizey as she discussed the White Paper, saying, “his love of the arts shines through. What also unfortunately shines through is the lack of hard cash”. She criticised the government for cutting local authority budgets while appearing to support the cultural sector elsewhere. Referencing the planned closure of five museums in Lancashire, she argued that the contraction of culture created 'dismal' towns, which people would leave, but that ‘public investment we put into the arts more than earns its keep economically’. She said that creativity should not become a 'add-on' in school curriculums but infuse all subjects from physics to history. She warned against unpaid internships as the only route into cultural work and advocated creating arts career paths that the less well off could also pursue. Thangam Debbonaire (full speech) The Stage, TaitMail
 
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  Review of HEFCE Museums and Collections Fund  
 
 
HEFCE has announced a review of how the £10.5m it allocates to university museums and collections is spent. The Review is being chaired by Diane Lees, Director-General of Imperial War Museums and NMDC's Chair. As part of the Review, a Town Hall meeting will be held at  IWM London on 30th June, and universities currently in receipt of HEFCE funding - or wishing to be in the future - are being encouraged to make a submission to attend the meeting. HEFCE Museums Review
 
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  Heritage makes you happy  
 
 
We may all have suspected it, but Historic England has pulled together proof that heritage makes people happy. As part of their Heritage Counts 2016 review, they have studied the positive impact of the historic environment on society in Heritage and Society 2016, discovering that 80% of people think that the historic environment makes somewhere a better place to live.
Heritage and Society 2016
 
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  Local museums and impact of cuts  
 
 
  Closing Bromley Museum: the volunteer’s story  
 
 
Claire Madge, who blogs as Tincture of Museum has written for the Guardian about her experience of the closure of Bromley Museum, where she worked as a volunteer. She writes, “the Grade II-listed medieval building that housed it will be put up for sale. A display case in the central library is the token replacement… There are no longer education sessions for hundreds of schoolchildren, nor longer sessions for families on low incomes who never take a trip to London to visit the Science Museum or the Natural History Museum.” She describes how her volunteering was a lifeline for her after her eldest daughter was diagnosed with autism, and how the museum was on the brink of a new lease of life with HLF support. Ultimately, citing cuts, the local authority could not commit to 25 years of support for the Museum, which is a condition of HLF funding. Guardian
 
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  Support for Welsh museums without conservators  
 
 
Glamorgan Archives and the National Conservation Service have created a new partnership and are offering support to museums in Wales which do not have their own conservation team. They can provide on-site guidance and support to help museums plan and develop the care of their collections. For further information please contact enquiries@ncs.org.uk. Glamorgan Archives,
 
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  Events  
 
 
The walls of the fortress of Turkestan, built by the Khanate of Kokan c Berny Sèbe
The walls of the fortress of Turkestan, built by the Khanate of Kokan c Berny Sèbe
 
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  Policy, creative learning and cultural education  
 
 
A New Direction is offering a series of three events - Education, Place, Culture - looking at current policies and trends affecting creative learning and cultural education. Museums are among the bodies specifically invited to attend. The first event, Education, takes place on 27th June at the Goldsmith Centre from 1.30 to 5pm. School and cultural leaders will cover topics including the recent White Paper, exemplar partnerships, and the Cultural Education Challenge. Tickets are free. A New Direction
 
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  Challenging History 2016 conference  
 
 
The Challenging History network explores how to work with difficult and sensitive heritage. Their conference, Re-Imagining Challenging History, takes place in Cardiff on 29th and 30th June (sponsored by AHRC's World War One Engagement Centre). The conference will ask whether it is appropriate to museum professionals to be activists or social mediators, whether there's a place for gaming and playfulness when addressing such topics, and how to use academic research. Speakers include David Gunn, on ‘Museums of Lies and Secrets’, and Stephen Bourne author of Black Poppies. There is a range of ticket prices up to £80, with some bursaries for free places. Challenging History Network
 
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  Britain's Child Migrants: a one-day conference  
 
 
The V&A Museum of Childhood is hosting a conference on 15th June about the legacy of the child migration schemes, which until 1970 sent thousands of orphaned and illegitimate British children to Australia. The conference marks the end of a four-year tour of an exhibition On Their Own: Britain’s Child Migrants created by the Australian National Maritime Museum. Curators and academics from the UK and Australia will be speaking. Tickets are £45. Guardian, V&A
 
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  Space Invaders: Part Two  
 
 
In March the Space Invaders: Women Museum Leaders conference sought to champion women who wish to become leaders in a sector where many of the most senior positions are typically held by men. A second event on the evening of 22nd  June at the Museum of Childhood will include ‘a campaign hack’ to explore next steps as well as a short talk on suffragettes, class and gender. Tickets are £5. Eventbrite, Guardian (report on first Space Invaders meeting).
 
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  Museums at Night survey  
 
 
Museums which participated in the May Museums at Night event are asked to complete a survey to collect visitor numbers. The festival will return in October. Culture24 (survey)
 
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  The economics of  touring exhibitions – countrywide dates  
 
 
The Touring Exhibitions group is running a new seminar on the Economics of Touring Exhibitions. There will be ten sessions during 2016, two in each Arts Council England region. The next two dates are 13th June at Nottingham Castle (including 20 free places for East Midlands museums) and 30th June at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum Exeter. Tickets are £35 for non-TEG members and £25 for members. Ten travel bursaries up to £30 are available for each seminar. TEG
 
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  Takeover Day England  
 
 
The Kids in Museums Takeover Day 2016 will be taking place on 18th November. Kids in Museums has published a wealth of resources for institutions wishing to take part, as well as highlighting some interim events including Teen Twitter Takeover on 12th August. Kids in Museums
 
Also: Kids in Museums has published the Barriers to Participation report, drawing on Taking Part statistics and identifying six major issues deterring children from visiting museums. These include limited consultation with young people, curriculum changes and pressures on schools, practical barriers like public transport, and social and attitudinal barriers. Kids in Museums
 
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  Symposium: The Artists of Great Bardfield  
 
 
The Fry Art Gallery is holding a symposium, The Artists of Great Bardfield: Rural modernists? Exploring artists including Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, it features some of the leading authorities on their work. The event takes place at Murray Edwards College in Cambridge on 2nd July. Tickets are £45 (£22 extra for lunch). Fry Art Gallery
 
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  Mental health awareness for museum professionals  
 
 
MALD is running an event for museum and library professionals in Wales interested in gaining a basic grounding in mental health awareness and support. Topics include the medical and psychosocial models, specific conditions from OCD to schizophrenia and the principles of mental health first aid. To express an interest please email MALDworkforce@wales.gsi.gov.uk.
 
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  V&A launch conservation studios tours  
 
 
For the first time the V&A has opened its doors to public visits behind the scenes through the introduction of free, regular, Conservation Studio Tours. Launched in March, the hour-long, bi-monthly events are part of a wider museum strategy to make collections, activities and staff expertise increasingly accessible to visitors. The tours will highlight how conservation processes contribute to the preparation of the collections for study, display, loan and touring exhibitions.  A group of up to ten visitors, accompanied by V&A security staff, visit five of the eleven conservation studios. They will view collections including textiles spanning five millennia and the 22,000-object sculpture collection. V&A (tour booking)
 
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  Culture networks and collaboration  
 
 
  Ageing and museums  
 
 
The Age Friendly Museum Network, founded by the British Museum, has published a new report exploring multiple aspects of how older people use museums. The UK's Ageing Population: Challenges and opportunities for museums and galleries looks at issues from volunteering to donation, illness and disability to intergenerational work. It tracks UK demographics in some detail - older people are not only living longer but also becoming more culturally diverse. A typical volunteer in the museums, libraries and archives sectors is older, practices a religion, has academic qualifications and internet access. Case studies include: Manchester Jewish Museum, where an intergenerational project brought together ten young unemployed people with older volunteer tour guides to learn skills; Islington Museum who worked with the charity Sense on a 10-week programme for people over 50 with dual sensory impairment; and Glasgow Museums who developed its Day Out scheme to enhance visits of grandparents with their grandchildren. The report finds many positives commenting, “museums are constantly being asked to do more with less, but this report indicates that there can be a double dividend – where museums and older people enrich each other and their local communities.” The Oxford Institute for Population Ageing
 
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  Searchable database of museum well-being projects  
 
 
The Museums and Wellbeing Alliance has launched a database of 600 health and well-being activity taking place in UK museums. There are also case studies, and evidence library and a glossary of health terms for museums to help them navigate the NHS. Museums and Well-being Alliance
 
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  Register for cultural partnership with London schools  
 
 
A New Direction is inviting cultural bodies to add details of their offer to its new database for London schools seeking opportunities and partnerships. The organisation hopes that the database will help schools to keep creativity alive despite pressure on the curriculum. Email together@anewdirection.co.uk to set up your profile. A New Direction
 
Also: A New Direction has produced a new guide, in partnership with Arts Council England, to the value of a cultural education aimed at school governors. A New Direction
 
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  Government publishes guidance on changing tourism structures  
 
 
DCMS has published a 12-page document, The Tourism Landscape, outlining structural changes to the overall management of tourism in the UK. In a 'diverse, fragmented and competitive' sector, the changes are aimed to enhance collaboration. These include:
 
  • a new Inter-Ministerial group on tourism which will work across government departments and the devolved administrations to grow tourism across the UK;
  • establishing an Events Industry Board to enhance UK events and exhibitions, and increase the number of world-class events by 2020;
  • changing governance arrangements so that VisitEngland and VisitBritain work collaboratively together; and
  • a new £40m Discover England Fund that supports collaborative projects in England between 2016 and 2019 (and is administered by VisitEngland).
 
Gov.uk, VisitEngland
 
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  Invitation to industrial museums: All Party Parliamentary Group for Industrial Heritage  
 
 
The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Industrial Heritage was established in 2013 to promote the industrial heritage of the UK. The aim of the APPG is to encourage more active support for industrial heritage, including industrial museums and heritage centres, and the adaptive re-use of former industrial buildings.
 
Nick Thomas-Symonds MP chairs the Group and it meets three times a year.  Directors of industrial museums and their representatives are encouraged to attend. Recent topics have included discussion of, and correspondence with, Lancashire County Council about its plans to close five museums. The next meeting is 3 – 4pm on 29th June in Committee Room 19 at the House of Commons. There is no need to book but please allow at least 30 minutes to get through security (there is a cafe if you are early). Sir Neil Cossons will speak, and the meeting will be a precursor to a larger meeting in the autumn to set up an inquiry. Parliament.uk
 
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  Kiss Me Quick: Scarborough creates seaside heritage network  
 
 
Scarborough Museums Trust has set up a seaside heritage network with support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Collections Fund. Filey Museum and Southend Museums Service will also be helping to lead the network. Esther Graham of Scarborough Museums Trust said, "from the introduction of bathing machines to ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats, the seaside resort culture of the UK is absolutely unique, but because a lot of the items relating to the days out at the seaside that we all remember are seen as throwaway, more often than not they’re not preserved: we’re in danger of losing a remarkable part of our collective culture.” The network hopes to deepen understanding of seaside heritage and map nationwide collections. Museums Journal
 
Also: The Coastal Communities Fund has re-opened for its fourth round. Funding over £50k is available to public, private and voluntary organisations for projects which help the economic development of coastal areas. Big Lottery Fund
 
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  Law and culture  
 
 
The architectural structure of the Bordj of Erfoud East, Sahara c Berny Sèbe
The architectural structure of the Bordj of Erfoud East, Sahara c Berny Sèbe
 
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  Freedom of expression and controversial art: resources  
 
 
Arts Council England is promoting two recently published resources for cultural organisations that are planning events and exhibitions with the potential to be controversial and spark either public protest or police intervention. What Next? has published Managing ethical/reputational challenges. It says that controversial situations might include sensitive faith issues, touring to a country with poor human rights, the sexualisation of young people or working with a corporate sponsor. Aimed at Boards and senior management, it discusses the decision-making process in detail. Meanwhile, Index on Censorship has published five law packs which explore the legal limits to freedom of expression. Case studies include Exhibit B, which was cancelled at the Barbican on the advice of the police. Police forces often lack formal guidance in how to deal with controversial art and may therefore err on the side of caution. Now on the recommendation of the Crown Prosecution Service and the National Police Chiefs Council one of the Index on Censorship law packs will be distributed to every police force in England and Wales. ACE (blog), ACE (guidance), Index on Censorship
 
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  Galleries of Justice arm teens against cyber crime  
 
 
The Galleries of Justice Museum in Nottinghamshire has been working with the police to help protect young teenagers from becoming involved in cyber crime either as perpetrators or victims. 79% of 12 - 13-year-olds have a social media profile and this age group is particularly vulnerable to cyber bullying, sexting or other online manipulation. Virtual Justice is an education project being delivered to 1000 pupils at the Galleries of Justice Museum to highlight the risks. Year 8 pupils created their own e-safety leaflet and conducted a cyber-bullying trial, using real-world examples. The scheme was created by the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law, which specialises in teaching children about the law at heritage locations. It was supported by the Nottinghamshire Police & Crime Commissioner’s Community Safety Fund. NCCL, Chad.co.uk, Galleries of Justice
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  DCMS Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund now open  
 
 
The DCMS/Wolfson Fund is now open for applications for funds to improve museums and galleries, with work to be carried out in the financial year 2017 - 2018. Areas funded are:
 
  • renovation to permanent galleries and exhibition areas
  • improvement of public spaces and collection access
  • physical improvement to collection interpretation
  • physical improvement to disabled access
  • improvements to environmental controls to enhance visitor experience.
 
Only one project will be funded per museum or museum service and the maximum grant is £300k. This Fund will cover up to 75% of project costs excluding VAT. The deadline for applications is 26th August. For informal enquiries, please contact dcmswolfsonfund@culture.gov.ukGov.uk
 
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  Art Fund donates £1 million towards iconic Elizabeth I Armada painting  
 
 
For the first time in its 425 year history there is an opportunity for an iconic painting of Elizabeth I to enter public ownership. The image known as The Armada Portrait celebrates the English victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588 and shows the Queen at the height of her glory flanked by nautical scenes and with her finger pointing to the New World on a globe. The Art Fund has donated £1m towards the £10m cost of acquisition by Royal Museums Greenwich. RMG has itself donated £400k. If the remaining £8.6m can be raised, the painting will be displayed in the newly refurbished Queen’s House, itself built on the site of Greenwich Palace where Elizabeth I was born. The painting is currently owned by descendants of Sir Francis Drake, who probably commissioned it. Director of the Art Fund, Stephen Deuchar, said, “this campaign is a huge challenge but we believe in the power of popular support to make great things happen. This picture truly belongs at Greenwich, and having it here forever is tantalisingly within our grasp.”. A consortium has already promised to match fund all public donations. Art Fund, BBC, Museums Journal, The Art Newspaper
 
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  £2.4m for Ready to Borrow second round  
 
 
Arts Council England has made £2.4m available for the second round of its Ready to Borrow scheme. The funds will help small museums borrow objects from national museums and Major Partner Museums. Grants will be distributed via the nine Museum Development providers and will cover expenses such as upgrading exhibition spaces. ACE
 
Also: Chesterholm Museum and Torquay Museum have both been given Designated status. Chesterholm’s Vindolanda collection is central to understanding life on the northern frontier of Roman Britain. Torquay’s Quaternary Cave Collection covers the prevalence of early man in Britain including tools and animal remains. ACE, ACE (Torquay)
 
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  Appeal to resurrect Eric the 'quintessentially British' robot  
 
 
The Science Museum has launched an appeal to recreate the first British robot, Eric, which was built in 1928. Archival footage shows the 'quintessentially British' android flanked by a Union Jack wowing crowds on a world tour. However, at some point he was dismantled or disappeared. Now curatorial staff at the Science Museum are working to recreate him from archival drawings for a new exhibition about robots. The Museum is already halfway to its £35,000 goal on Kickstarter, with nearly 500 backers. Kickstarter
 
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  Lottery funding for the arts increases by £21m  
 
 
Lottery funding for the arts increased by nearly £21m in 2015-16 to £380m because of an increase in lottery ticket sales. Camelot sales reached a record high through the popularity of digital purchase. Arts Council England will receive £265m – an increase of £13m. Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the British Film Institute will share the rest. Arts Professional
 
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  Signature Events Fund opens for year of History, Heritage and Archaeology  
 
 
2017 has been designated the year of History, Heritage and Archaeology in Scotland. Events will highlights Scotland's tangible and intangible heritage from archaeological sites to storytelling. Museums are invited to get involved. A £300k Signature Events Fund has been opened to support 'new, creative event proposals that will capture the imagination'. Organisations can apply until 29th July. EventScotland has also compiled a list of other funding opportunities. MGS
 
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  Welsh Museums Festival grants  
 
 
The Welsh Museums Federation is offering grants of up to £250 for museums to run events during the Welsh Museums Festival between 22nd - 30th October. The event coincides with other festivals such as Museums at Night, and museums are encouraged to consider co-badged events. Welsh Museums Federation
 
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  Awards  
 
 
  Marsh Awards for gallery education 2016
 
 
 
engage, the National Association for Gallery Education, is seeking nominations for the 2016 Marsh Awards. The prize celebrates excellence among those working in education and learning in galleries. The winners will receive £500 each towards professional development. The form takes less than an hour to complete and volunteers, freelancers and staff at all stages of their career may be nominated. The deadline is 16th June at 10am. engage
 
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  European Museum of the Year 2017  
 
 
European Museum of the Year 2017 is now open for entries. Any new or recently renovated museum may apply. However there is a 500 Euro charge for entry. The deadline for applications is 10th June. EMYA
 
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  Digitise then destroy? radical archiving in Finland  
 
 
The National Archives of Finland is taking radical steps towards a new approach to archiving, which may include the disposal of some original documents. Already the archive is cutting away bindings so papers can be preserved in new acid free boxes. However, legislation is also in the pipeline which would allow the archive to destroy selected papers once they have been digitised. Supporters say that the approach will open the archive to far more people online, although avoiding errors in the digitisation process will become critical as any mistakes will not be reversible. Long + Short
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
Xavier Bray has been appointed as the next Director of the Wallace Collection. Bray is currently chief curator at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Wallace Collection, Apollo magazine
 
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  Acquisitions and restitution  
 
 
  Looted bowl returns to Afghanistan  
 
 
A 17th-century Safavid copper bowl has been returned to the National Museum of Afghanistan following identification by the British Museum. The bowl disappeared in the early 1990s and subsequently a fire caused by a rocket strike destroyed the gallery containing much of the museum's Islamic metalware collection. The current owners, who bought the bowl in good faith, took it to Christie's for valuation, who in turn contacted the British Museum. Fahim Rahimi, Director of the National Museum of Afghanistan, said, “I ask those collectors who keep artefacts from Afghanistan to help us return them and encourage the auction houses to always check their collections for looted objects from Afghanistan.” The Art Newspaper, Museums Journal
 
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  View of Florence allocated to the V&A  
 
 
A 1495 painting of the city of Florence has been given to the Nation under the Acceptance in Lieu scheme and gifted to the V&A. The exceptionally rare painting includes bridges and churches still in existence today. The picture is currently on display in the museum as part of the Botticelli Reimagined exhibition. ACE
 
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  Maori human remains return to New Zealand from UK and US  
 
 
Museums in the UK and US are returning human remains from 60 bodies to New Zealand as part of the Karanga Aotearoa repatriation programme. This is the second largest return since the programme began in the 1990s. The Falconer Museum in Moray and Weston Park Museum in Sheffield have both returned remains following ceremonies with representatives of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Alan Wright of Moray Council said, we now know of and recognise the great importance of these ancestral remains to the Maori people and we warmly welcome the delegation…who have come all the way to Moray to take possession of the remains and accompany them on their journey home.” The Smithsonian Museum in the US has also all returned remains belonging to 54 individuals. Museums Journal, Te Papa
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  Donation goes contactless  
 
 
There are a number of signs that contactless payment is gathering momentum as fewer people carry cash. New schemes by fundraising organisations include:
 
  • The Barbican is adding a 'contactless donations tin' at the entrance of its free Curve Gallery, with payments initially fixed at £2. If successful, the Barbican will install more donation points, varying the fee depending on the event.
  • Meanwhile International Aid charity Mary’s Meals is placing contactless payment devices on cafe tables in London and Oxford and inviting diners to donate 30p.
  • The National Funding Scheme's DONATE platform has announced but it has now raised more than £0.5m for good causes, including emergency fundraising for Battersea Arts Centre. On DONATE the average donation is £71.33.
 
Research by the The National Funding Scheme reveals that 37% of adults carry less than £10 in cash, with 8% carrying no cash at all, up from 5% in 2013. National Fundraising Scheme, Civil Society, The Drum, Charity Digital News
 
Also: The Charities Aid Foundation has published its annual overview of giving patterns. It found that in 2015, 60% of women donated in a typical month, compared to 52% of men. Only 23% of 16 - 24 year olds donate. £9.6bn was given to charity in all in 2015, a decline compared to previous years. The average donation is £14. Charity Digital News
 
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  Help Royal Armouries with its digital engagement strategy  
 
 
The Royal Armouries is conducting a survey to help inform its new digital engagement strategy. It invites people to spend five minutes filling out its survey, and is offering Amazon vouchers as prizes. Royal Armouries (survey), Royal Armouries,
 
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  Join Let's Get Real 5 and build a digital brand  
 
 
Culture24 are seeking 25 to 30 arts and heritage organisations to join Let's Get Real 5: an eight-month long collaborative research programme during which participants will build their digital brand. This course will allow institutions to try out new ideas with guidance from experts in a supported environment. Places are £2950 plus VAT and the deadline for applications is 29th June. The course begins in July. Culture24
 
Also: A report from Let's Get Real 4, focusing on digital change and building digital strategy is now available. Culture24
 
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  International Instagram  
 
 
Museums around the world are sharing an Instagram account during 2016. Each museum takes over @52museums for one week to engage global audiences with their programmes and collections. Features so far include visible storage at the Jewish Museum in Vienna, 50s style dancing at Stockholm's Nordiska Museet, colonnaded elegance at the Getty Villa and a proliferation of butterflies at the Natural History Museum. Guardian
 
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  .art urls available by 2017  
 
 
A new .art domain has been registered and will be available to organisations in the cultural sector by the end of the year. It is hoped that this will increase the visibility of the sector online. Charity Digital News
 
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   Jobs  
 
 
A selection of jobs from across the NMDC membership this month:
 
 
A complete list is available on our website here.
 
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  And finally... couture in orbit  
 
 
The Science Museum and European Space Agency have been addressing the vital question of whether humankind will be sufficiently stylish as it heads for the stars. Over the past two years, the Couture in orbit project has brought together students from fashion schools across Europe to create elegant space clothes, frequently using state-of-the-art fabrics with inbuilt high technology. The project ended in a fashion show, introduced by Tim Peake from the International Space Station and featuring Science Museum staff modelling outfits with outlandish helmets and bristling with sensors. Science Museum
 
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