August 2016

NMDC newsletter: August 2016
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  NMDC newsletter: August 2016
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  All change at DCMS

Front Row special explores cultural responses to Brexit

Museum of London programme for local authority funded museums

Museum visits stable while library visits continue to fall

Museum of London chooses new building design based on ‘sedimentary layers’ of history

£5m revamp brings Mary Rose closer to the public

Builders and Dreamers, All Together Slough

ACE confirms its reorganised investment structures

HLF launches £8m resilience funding

Inspiring Science Fund opens

Shortlist published for Family Friendly Museum 2016

BP invests £7.5m in four institutions

Collectors give to strong institutions which are likely to survive the centuries

Recognition funding supports five museum collections

Cultural Destinations Fund opens

Shortlist of four for Great Exhibition of the North

Armada portrait saved for the nation

Pokémon invasion arrives in museums

The geography of the UK’s creative industries
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  All change at DCMS  |  Leaving the EU  |  Events  |  Taking Part  |  Members news  |  Funding  |  Tourism  |  Saving collections  |  Homes for unseen creatures  |  Music  |  Geography  |  Awards  |  Jobs  
 
 
  All change at DCMS  
 
 
 The new prehistoric garden at the Horniman Museum, complete with velociraptor. Courtesy of the Horniman museum.
The new prehistoric garden at the Horniman Museum, complete with velociraptor. Courtesy of the Horniman museum.
 
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  All change at DCMS  
 
 
Following a reshuffle by new Prime Minister Teresa May, there has been a rearrangement of posts at DCMS, including new Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and a new Minister for Culture. 
 
John Whittingdale is replaced as Secretary of State by Karen Bradley.  Bradley has been an MP since 2010 and was previously a chartered accountant and tax advisor.
 
Ed Vaizey stands down months after becoming the longest-ever serving Culture Minister.  Dozens of figures from across the cultural industries wrote to the Telegraph paying tribute to his work during 2,255 days in office.  They write “at a time of extreme uncertainty for these sectors, and in the face of deep Treasury cuts, he has always remained approachable, sincere and a knowledgeable advocate for our industries, both nationally and internationally.  His work to improve diversity in the sectors has also been commendable.”  Museums Association Director Sharon Heal said, “one of his great achievements was to get the Culture White Paper published and instigate a museum review off the back of it.
 
Vaizey is replaced by Matthew Hancock MP, who was previously Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General. He announced his new post on Twitter, saying that “now more than ever we need Britain to be outward looking with global ambition”.
 
Also:
 
  • Lord Ashton of Hyde joins DCMS in place of Baroness Neville-Rolfe and seems likely to steer the Cultural Property (Armed Conflicts) Bill through its final stages in the Lords.  
  • Rob Wilson has also moved to DCMS and becomes Libraries Minister as well as retaining his role as Minister for Civil Society (and responsibility for civil society policy moves to DCMS).
  • Tracey Crouch MP has returned from maternity leave to resume her post as Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage.
 
Telegraph, Museums Journal (Vaizey), Twitter, Museums Journal (Bradley), Heritage Update, Gov.uk, M+H (Bradley), Gov.uk (libraries), Gov.uk (complete overview)
 
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  Leaving the EU  
 
 
  Science and technology committee holds inquiry  
 
 
The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee is holding an inquiry into the effect that leaving the EU will have on science and research, including issues such as collaboration, free movement, access to funding and intellectual property. Priorities for science, UK law and collaboration beyond Europe are also under discussion.  The deadline for responses to the inquiry has been extended to 22nd August.  Parliament.uk
 
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  European university group urges continued support for UK  
 
 
The League of European Research Universities has released a statement saying it regrets but respects the UK’s decision to leave the EU. A press release from the body which has 21 members in ten countries, and is among the strongest university partnerships in the world said, “academic collaboration improves lives in Europe and around the world. In the wake of the referendum, we strongly affirm that UK universities are, and will continue to be, indispensable collaborative partners. Universities in the UK and on the continent are working together to keep children safe from infections, develop treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, and produce next generation mobile phone networks. As a partnership, LERU will do everything it can to support this cooperation.”  The body also reminded European members that UK universities were strongly in favour of the UK remaining in the EU, and encouraged those reviewing funding applications to continue to look positively on UK universities as partners. Regretting racist attacks in Britain and Europe it added, “we know that UK universities are, and will remain, tolerant, diverse and international places”. LERU
 
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  The Brexit deterrent, research funding and UK universities  
 
 
The UK contributed €5.4bn to EU research funds between 2007–14, but received €8.8bn back. Before the EU referendum, Science Minister Jo Johnson told the House of Lords that he did not know if the UK would be able to replace the missing £500m per annum: “we would not know what other claims there might be on the public purse, or what state our economy would be in”. Now an academic at King’s College London, Prof Dame Til Wykes, is among those pointing to a loss of confidence in UK universities in the wake of the referendum result.  Two candidates withdrew applications for a professorship within a day of the vote result.  She says, “it is pretty straightforward, if Brexit goes ahead, then scientists here might not be able to attract European Union research grants in future. And if you are coming here to take up a professorship for the next 10 years of your life, the prospect of losing a major source of grant money in the process looks a pretty poor bet. Frankfurt or Paris suddenly look much better shots.” Meanwhile scientist Stephen Curry pointed to the possibility of a scientific brain drain – with younger EU academics unwilling to gamble on UK contracts, and Canadian universities reportedly drawing up a ‘hit list’ of excellent UK scholars to attract abroad. Lecturer Kerry Barker describes how universities have been investing millions, and in one case £1bn, in new campuses, at a time when 80% of EU potential students and 35% of international students from elsewhere told a survey that post-Brexit Britain would be a less attractive place to study. Guardian, The Conversation, Guardian
 
Also: Ruth Sinclair-Jones, the British Council-based Director of the UK Erasmus scheme, says that UK students may be excluded from it after 2017. She said, “we face a sad moment of uncertainty, after 30 years of this enrichment of so many lives”. Guardian
 
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  Sadiq Khan launches #LondonIsOpen campaign  
 
 
The Mayor of London has launched a campaign to emphasise that London is a diverse city open to the world, following the Brexit vote. The campaign kicked off by inviting cultural organisations to open a symbolic door at their institution, and tweet one of three short films under the tag #LondonIsOpen. These feature creatives, stars and ordinary Londoners. Speaking in the films, Sadiq Khan said, “we don’t simply tolerate our differences in London, we celebrate them.  We now need to make sure that people across our incredible city and around the world hear that message clearly.” London.gov.uk
 
Also: Speaking at the launch of International Busking Day Sadiq Khan said, “I don’t want Zone One to hog the best arts and culture in our city. There are 33 boroughs. I want to democratise the arts so that every Londoner can benefit from the world’s best art.” In line with his election pledge he is introducing a ‘Love London’ card to give Londoners a discount on theatre and other cultural activity in the capital. The Stage
 
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  Front Row special explores cultural responses to Brexit  
 
 
The BBC radio cultural programme Front Row has broadcast a special edition looking at cultural responses to Brexit. Figures from both sides of the debate discussed the result, with disenfranchisement, protest votes, the London/regional divide and the representativeness of the arts world all featuring as topics. Crime writer Val McDermid said that Scotland has had much longer to consider the issues of national identity than England, and that it had shifted over decades from a closed nationalism to widespread support for an independence which still welcomes a diverse society. The lesson, she said, was “we don’t have to accept the historic myths of who we are”. She added that many voted Leave as a protest vote and that in the last decade art has not provided an outlet or “addressed things we are uncomfortable with – we’ve failed to give people a voice in the culture”. The panel contrasted this with periods such as punk or 90s rave culture, where the arts were a medium for non-establishment views. Phil Redmond pointed both to the European funding that underpinned the regeneration of Liverpool, but also to the European bureaucracy which required local building work to be advertised in Athens during Liverpool City of Culture. Dreda Say Mitchell, who supported Leave, pointed to the unrepresentativeness of the arts world, and is hopeful of a more diverse future. Wayne Hemingway, founder of Red or Dead, predicts a ‘youthquake’, and argued that the cultural industries primacy of the UK is at risk, adding “more people are thinking of moving to Berlin with their businesses than are thinking of moving to Manchester”. The National Theatre responded directly after the referendum. Director Rufus Norris said, “the arts community has been surprised by this and consequently we have to reflect that we’re slightly out of touch”. BBC (downloadable)
 
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  Events  
 
 
  Improving digital content for disabled people  
 
 
Oxford University Museums Partnership is hosting a one-day conference 'Access All Areas - Improving access to digital content for disabled people’. The day features speakers from VocalEyes and the Jodi Mattes Trust, as well as a demonstration of Signly, 'the sign language interpreter in your pocket’. The event takes place at the Pitt Rivers Museum on 14th September. Tickets are £50. OUMP
 
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  Museums + Tech 2016 early bird tickets  
 
 
The Museums Computer Group has opened booking for its 2016 Museums + Tech conference, with tickets at £75 until 19th September.  The first keynote speaker is senior research fellow at the Digital Creativity Labs Sebastian Deterding, who works on ‘playful and motivational and design’. Other speakers are from Culture24 and National Museums Scotland. The venue is the Wellcome Collection in London. MCG
 
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  Collections, connections, collaborations: from potential to impact  
 
 
The National Archives and Research Libraries UK have opened registration for their annual ‘Discovering Collections, Discovering Communities’ conference.  More than 70 speakers from academia, archives, museums and libraries will discuss collaboration, and how to realise the potential of collections for social and economic impact. The event takes place at the The Lowry in Manchester on 10th – 12th October.  Tickets are £50 for the full conference or £30 for a single day.  There will also be a dinner in the ‘spectacular surroundings’ of IWM North. DCDC conference
 
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  Museum of London programme for local authority funded museums  
 
 
The London Museum Development Team at the Museum of London are offering a programme for local authority funded museums in the capital to help them to be 'resilient, well-managed, environmentally stable and creative'. There is both direct training and signposting to relevant programmes. There are networking opportunities and events running throughout the autumn. Museum of London
 
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  Wanted: examples of cultural work in criminal justice settings  
 
 
The National Alliance for Arts in Criminal Justice is seeking examples of arts and cultural work in criminal justice settings to present in a forthcoming publication and at their Annual Conference on October 5th. Get in touch before August 8th if you have a relevant study. Arts in Criminal Justice
 
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  Taking Part  
 
 
 The Bryn Eryr Iron Age Farmstead has opened as the first building in the St Fagans National History Museum redevelopment project. Courtesy of National Museum Wales.
The Bryn Eryr Iron Age Farmstead has opened as the first building in the St Fagans National History Museum redevelopment project. Courtesy of National Museum Wales.
 
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  Museum visits stable while library visits continue to fall  
 
 
Two sets of Taking Part statistics have been published: the 2015/16 Annual Child report and quarter four of the 2015/16 Adult report.  Significant findings include:
 
  • Engagement across arts, heritage and museums has remained broadly stable.
  • Visits to museums by children are slightly down: 62.9% of 5 - 10 years olds visited in the last year (63.6% in 2014/15). 58.7% of 10 – 15 year olds visited (60.4% in 2014/15) but this variation is within the small fluctuations of the last few years.
  • A significant proportion of visits by 11-15 year olds were made in their spare time. 23.9% made a school visit; 45.9% visited at least once outside school.
  • Visits to libraries are significantly down among 5 – 10 year olds: 61.9% compared to 67.7% in 2014/15.  They are slightly down among 10 – 15 year olds: 70.4% compared to 73.6% the previous year.
  • Adult visits to museums and galleries are up half a percentage point to 52.5%; visits to libraries are down only 1.1% to 33.4%, but this is consistent with a slow decline from 48.2% in 2005/6.
  • Visits to museums by adults in both the upper and lower socio-economic group have increased by roughly 10% since 2005/6. This year visits from ABC1s are up 1.5% to 61.5% compared to 2014/15, and down 1.5% among C2DEs to 37.4%.
 
Gov.uk (child annual report), Gov.uk (adult quarter 4), Taking Part (overview)
 
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  Members news  
 
 
  Museum of London chooses new building design based on ‘sedimentary layers’ of history…  
 
 
The Museum of London has selected the design of its new museum, created by architects Stanton Williams and Asif Khan, who won the bid against a field of more than 70 entries. Underground chambers will hold much of the collection, based on the ‘idea of going down into the sedimentary layers of the past’. The subterranean galleries will both protect collections from light, and free up above ground space to be a platform for the museum. A sunken garden and a well reaching down to the River Fleet, which flows beneath Farringdon are also being explored.  Evening Standard, Dezeen, ALVA
 
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  …and invites Minecraft players to joyfully torch the city  
 
 
The Museum of London has recreated 1666 London for pyrotechnically inclined players of Minecraft. The pre-fire version is available to download now, recreating extensive networks of London streets. In September, Part II, which allows players to set light to the city and watch it burn, will be released. Part III (in which you can stalk through the smouldering embers) is coming in February 2017. Museum of London
 
Also: Architect’s designs have also been released for the new cultural quarter in East London which includes a branch of the V&A. Dezeen
 
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  Switch House attracts one million visitors in a month  
 
 
Tate Modern’s extension has been very popular, with one million visitors to the new building in just one month. There have been special events supported by Uniqlo and BMW, and new digital content has been shared 6.7 million times on Facebook. Tate
 
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  RAF museum volunteers receive Legion d’honneur  
 
 
Two volunteers at the RAF Museum have received France’s highest honour, the Legion d’honneur, for their part in the liberation of France in 1944. Leading Aircraft Woman Rose Davies and Lance Bombardier Arthur Jones were guests of honour at a drinks reception hosted by the RAF Museum American Foundation. Both volunteer at the Museum, inspiring a new generation with stories of life in the RAF. RAF Museum
 
Also: Two wrecked submarines, one English one German, have been given protected status by Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch. One briefly had its propeller stolen by divers; it was eventually returned to the German Navy after a period being used as a coffee table in Kent. Gov.uk
 
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  £5m revamp brings Mary Rose closer to the public  
 
 
The Mary Rose has had a £5m makeover to bring the vessel closer to the public. The upper deck of the ship which was made from ’40 acres of New Forest oak’ can now be viewed without an intervening screen. Visitors pass through an airlock to ‘breathe the same air’ as the vessel. Below deck, small viewing windows have been replaced by walls of glass. The HLF, which has donated substantially to the project over many years, gave £3m towards this stage of the ship’s restoration. Telegraph, Guardian, BBC, HLF
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  Builders and Dreamers, All Together Slough  
 
 
Arts Council England has announced the 94 successful applicants to their £12.2m Museum Resilience Fund. The largest awards go to the Museums Association for a further stage of their professional development programme Transformers, and to Culture24 for a programme to develop digital skills.
 
The Touring Exhibitions Group have been awarded funding for a project to help make the process of borrowing objects from other museums clearer - a project NMDC has been happy to support and looks forward to working on.
 
A full list of the awards, including the People's History Museum's Builders and Dreamers and Slough Museum's All Together Slough, is available on Arts Council England's website. Arts Council England
 
Also: Arts Council England's Director of Museums, John Orna-Ornstein, has published a blog outlining how Arts Council England invests in strategic thinking. He says, "the clearest contrast is not between those [local authorities] that have more money and those that have less, but between those that are thinking strategically about their cultural services and those that do not."  Arts Council England
 
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  ACE confirms its reorganised investment structures  
 
 
Meanwhile, Arts Council England has confirmed its reorganised investment structures, which will mean that museums, libraries and arts organisations are all funded from the same investment portfolio. Changes include:
 
  • The funding period will change from three to four years
  • Major Partner Museums will be integrated into the National Portfolio, meaning these will also be able to apply for four years of funding.
  • Libraries will continue to be largely funded by local authorities, but will receive support from ACE for arts work.
  • The new National Portfolio will consist of three bands - Band 1: £40k- £250K, Band 2: £250k – £1m, and Band 3: over £1m. Lower bands will have a lighter bureaucratic burden: recipients of larger funds will have to contribute significantly to ACE’s five goals, which include sustainability and diversity.
  • A new category of Sector Support Organisations has been created, to fund organisations which do not produce art, but support others that do.
  • Grants for the Arts will be renamed ‘Grants for the Arts and Culture’. All museums except for NPOs will be able to apply to this programme for the first time. The fund will open from January 2018, and cover grants from £1k - £100k.
 
The changes follow a report commissioned by ComRes which explored the views of the sector in depth. The response has been largely supportive: areas of concern have included whether there will be enough funds to go round in Grants for the Arts and Culture, since it has not been explicitly agreed that the pot will grow to reflect a wider pool of applicants. Others have flagged the differing needs of museums: more embedded in local communities, many believe they are best assessed for funding locally rather than regionally.  Some respondents also asked ACE to clarify how it would respond to the subject matter of museum collections, ranging from science and technology to fine arts.
 
Beamish Director and new Chairman of AIM, Richard Evans welcomed the new plans, saying they would allow investment to go further and reach more people. He said, “our experience suggests that so often the greatest returns are created by modest investments in the right organisation, at the right time. We also know that sometimes the best ideas are to be found in the very smallest museums.M+H, ACE (podcast), AIM, ACE (2018 – 22 overview) ACE (ComRes report)
 
Also: ACE is conducting a Rapid Evidence Assessment to update its previous work on equality and diversity in the arts. It will focus on participation, audiences, workforce and funding. A summary report will be published in September.  Arts Professional
 
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  HLF launches £8m resilience funding  
 
 
The HLF has announced a new £8m annual fund to help cultural organisations become more resilient. Resilient Heritage grants will offer sums from £3k - £250k.  Examples of the sort of work that could be funded includes:
 
  • Acquiring new skills to increase fundraising capacity or open new income streams
  • Explore new leadership models or management structures
  • Becoming more environmentally friendly and making efficiency savings
  • Creating partnerships for training and asset building
  • Preparing groups to take on new responsibilities, for example taking over the running of a heritage site.
 
HLF has also launched a new self-assessment tool - the Resilient Heritage Strength Checker - to give organisations an initial idea of how well they are doing. There are no application deadlines, and applications will be assessed within eight weeks. HLF Chief Executive Ros Kerslake said: “Catalyst showed us there is an appetite from heritage organisations to adapt and grow in order to build a firm financial footing. Resilient Heritage brings together all that we have learnt”. HLF, HLF (Strength Checker)
 
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  Inspiring Science Fund opens  
 
 
BIS and the Wellcome Trust are offering not-for-profit science centres across the UK support from the Inspiring Science Fund. Funding must mainly be used for capital investment, for projects from exhibitions to education and learning centres. Grants of £150k - £3m are available for projects creating opportunities for young people to engage with STEM subjects, while sustaining and extending the applicant's audience base. Projects could also improve financial sustainability. All work must be completed by March 2021.The preliminary application deadline is 14th October. Wellcome Trust
 
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  Shortlist published for Family Friendly Museum 2016  
 
 
Kids in Museums has published the shortlist for its annual Family Friendly Museum awards. The ten shortlisted museums are:
 
  • Egypt Centre Museum of Egyptian Antiquities (Swansea)
  • Hampton Court Palace (Greater London)
  • Manchester Art Gallery
  • National Glass Centre (Sunderland)
  • The Novium Museum (Chichester)
  • River & Rowing Museum (Henley-on-Thames)
  • Towner Art Gallery (Eastbourne)
  • Weald & Downland Open Air Museum (West Sussex)
  • Wrexham County Borough Museum
  • York Art Gallery
 
Praised activities include sessions for babies at Manchester Art Gallery, learning mummification at the Egypt Centre and sleepovers at the River and Rowing Museum. The museums will now be road tested by families over the summer to choose a winner.  Kids in Museums, Kids in Museums (focus on shortlisted Welsh museums)
 
Also: the Get Creative Family Arts Festival is running throughout October, and cultural organisations are invited to register and badge relevant events. Family Arts Festival
 
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  Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund awards nearly £476k  
 
 
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund, which is administered by the Museums Association, has announced its latest round of grants for 2016.  They amount to almost £476k in total and include £77k to Coleraine Museum in Northern Ireland to explore folk songs with local communities, and £29k to Glenside Hospital Museum in Bristol, which is exploring and displaying the work of mental health patient Dennis Reed. Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth receives £90.5k to conserve and interpret its boats with input from the public. The next round of the Fund is now open until 7th September. Funding has been confirmed to continue during 2017 – 19, with £3.5m to be distributed during the period. Museums Journal, Museums Journal
 
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  BP invests £7.5m in four institutions  
 
 
BP has renewed its long term funding of four cultural institutions, an arrangement worth £7.5m.  The British Museum, Royal Opera House, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Portrait Gallery are all recipients.  The money will support the exhibitions programme at the British Museum and free entry to NPG’s portrait awards.  Campaigning groups which have opposed BP’s support as ‘brand-washing’ say the funding is 25% less than a similar deal in 2011 and is unpopular in surveys of museum staff. The organisations says they will continue to protest at venues in receipt of BP sponsorship.  In a press release, BP points to the reach of its support for culture – 3.8m people have visited a British Museum exhibition supported by BP, and six million have visited the BP Portrait award. British Museum Director Hartwig Fischer said, “BP has supported the British Museum for the past 20 years which has enabled the Museum to host magnificent exhibitions and events with a great public benefit. From understanding the Emperor Hadrian and the legend of the Vikings, to the significance of Indigenous Australia and the Mexican Day of the Dead, these exhibitions and events have been enjoyed by millions of visitors to the Museum and have deepened understanding of the world’s many cultures and their interconnectedness.” Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of NPG, added, “at a time when funding for public institutions is increasingly stretched, the support of the arts that BP provides is vital”. BP, Arts Professional, The Stage
 
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  Collectors give to strong institutions which are likely to survive the centuries  
 
 
Museums Sheffield has published its latest report exploring the relationship between philanthropy, collectors and museums. Going Public explores how to attract more philanthropists to contribute to regional museums in particular. The report finds a ‘strong desire’ by private collectors to give more regionally, but that they are not prepared to plug gaps caused by government cuts or give to institutions struggling to survive. Collectors want their legacy to survive, and are therefore attracted to institutions that they are confident will last for centuries. The report looks in detail at other drivers motivating philanthropists to give. It concludes that philanthropy isn’t a ‘silver bullet’ that can solve the sector’s funding problems, but as part of a mixed economy, it is an approach that can be developed much further. Museums Journal, Museums Sheffield (full report)
 
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  Recognition funding supports five museum collections  
 
 
Five museums have collectively received £335k from Museums Galleries Scotland’s Recognition Funding, which is available to museums with collections recognised as nationally significant.  The recipients are:
 
  • Glasgow Museums will receive £57.5k to appoint an assistant curator for their major exhibition celebrating 150 years since the birth of Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 2018.
  • Clydebank Museum own the world’s largest sewing museum collection and will receive £60k to raise its profile.
  • Perth and Kinross Council receive £59.4k to enhance their varied collection which ranges from fine art to photography, costumes, armour, bicycles and furniture.
  • Glasgow Women’s Library receives 60k to explore more innovative ways of displaying their collection.
  • Royal Scottish Academy of Art & Architecture receives £37.9k for touring exhibitions, gallery demonstrations and artist led printmaking on a restored historic printing press.
 
MGS
 
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  MGS FWW fund reopens  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland has reopened its fund to support museums working with communities on FWW projects in Scotland. Projects are particularly welcomed which have a strong creative arts component, engage younger generations and have a strong connection to collections. Projects from £1k - £10k will be considered, or up to £20k for partnership projects: museums have to provide at least 25% match funding. The deadline is 30th September. MGS
 
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  Tourism  
 
 
 Bryn Eryr Farmstead. Courtesy of National Museum Wales.
Bryn Eryr Farmstead. Courtesy of National Museum Wales.
 
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  Generating international visitors in partnership with India  
 
 
VisitBritain is inviting organisations to join Destination Britain India 2017, its fully hosted sales mission to Pune in India. The mission includes pre-arranged meetings with up to 150 Indian tour operators, evening networking and a briefing on inbound visitor trends from India.  The event takes place from 11th – 13th January 2017.  Places are £2,995 for the first delegate and £1,995 for the second, plus VAT. The price includes accommodation but not flights. UKTI grants of up to £1.5k are available. Missions of this kind are a good way for regional museums in particular to grow their international visitors, for example SS Great Britain sought  developed its audience through Destination China. International tourists typically spend £640 in the UK, but those from India, China, Russia and Brazil stay longer and spend considerably more. The British Council International Touring Toolkit offers a useful introduction to attracting international tourists. VisitBritain, NMDC (International Touring toolkit)
 
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  Cultural Destinations Fund opens  
 
 
The ACE/VisitBritain Cultural Destinations Fund is now open. Cultural destinations and the tourist economy are closely intertwined: the fund is available to help build closer relationships between these two strands. The scheme is open to consortia with a lead applicant, each group can ask for between £100k - £500k over three years. The total value of the fund is £3m. Activity must take place between April 2017 and end March 2020.  The deadline for applications is noon on 26th August. ACE (overview), ACE (detailed guidance)
 
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  Shortlist of four for Great Exhibition of the North  
 
 
The Government has announced that Blackpool, Bradford, Newcastle-Gateshead and Sheffield have made the shortlist to host the Great Exhibition of the North in 2018. The exhibition will last for two months and showcase the North’s cultural assets.  The Government will contribute £5m to the work in the winning city, as well as £15m to a legacy fund to attract further investment in the North.  The winner will be announced in the autumn. Gov.uk
 
Also: The UK tourism industry anticipates that an extra 5% of the UK population, or 2.5m people will holiday at home this year, in response to the increased cost of holidaying abroad. Meanwhile flight searches for trips to the UK online doubled in the days after the Brexit vote. Guardian
 
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  Saving collections  
 
 
  The price of 11,000 pints of beer: saving Yorkshire’s coin hoard  
 
 
Some time around 307AD, in the reign of Constantine, someone buried 1,800 coins in a field near what is now Wold Newton in Yorkshire. The hoard remained undiscovered until 2014 when it was found by a metal detectorist.  Now Yorkshire Museum is seeking to raise £44,200 to retain the hoard, which will otherwise be sold. The Museum estimates that at the time of burial, the hoard would have bought 700 chickens, 2,000 rather posh fish or 11,000 pints of beer. BBC
 
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  Bowes Museum houses St Luke following successful fundraising  
 
 
The Bowes Museum has been able to acquire the medieval Flemish painting ‘St Luke Drawing the Virgin and Child, after an export bar gave time for a successful fundraising campaign. HLF, the Art Fund, and private donors raised £2.4m. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said, ”there is nothing like it in any other UK collection. It’s a great coup for the Bowes Museum, and we were happy to help.” The Bowes Museum has also created a partnership with York Art Gallery and Bristol Museum & Gallery: there will be an exhibition and events centering on the painting at both venues.  Guardian, BBC, The Art Fund
 
Also: The Bowes Museum has successfully raised £1m over four years, making it eligible for the Catalyst Endowment Fund which has matched its fundraising 1:1. The £2m pot offers a more secure future for the Museum.  Bowes Museum
 
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  Armada portrait saved for the nation  
 
 
Fundraising to find £10.3m to save ‘the Armada Portrait’, an iconic picture of Elizabeth I, has been successful.  8,000 individual donors raised £750k in ten weeks, doubled by match funding, with the rest provided by HLF (£7.4m), the Art Fund, Royal Museums Greenwich and other trusts. The painting will go on display in the Queen’s House, Greenwich, near the site of Elizabeth’s birth in October. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said, “record numbers of donors, large and small, stepped forward with determination and generosity, creating an irresistible momentum that has brought this great work into public ownership at last”.  BBC, The Art Fund, HLF
 
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  National Galleries Scotland puts all its collections data online  
 
 
National Galleries Scotland has launched a major overhaul of its online collections database in beta.  The new system now contains details of 95,000 objects – the vast majority of its holdings. 30,000 also have images and the rest will be photographed over the next five years. The site will also shortly be offering a high quality prints on demand service. NGS
 
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  Jewelled Book of Hours at risk of export  
 
 
A jewel-encrusted Book of Hours, made in 1532 for the King of France is at risk of export unless £8 million is found. RCEWA member Peter Barber said that the book is ‘a unique survivor of the luxurious books’ owned by European nobility, most of which are only known through mentions in inventories. The export bar is in place until October with a possible extension until 11th April 2017. Gov.uk
 
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  Homes for unseen creatures  
 
 
 Courtesy of the Horniman Museum.
Courtesy of the Horniman Museum.
 
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  ‘Salad bar for a stegosaurus’ - the dinosaur friendly flora at the Horniman  
 
 
Already a home to exotic feral parrots of uncertain origin, the Horniman has more ambitiously been planting a garden that will be familiar and welcoming to dinosaurs. The new planting includes a yew, redwood and Lawson cypress as well as ferns, horsetails, cycads and tree ferns, all known to have been growing in prehistoric times. Wesley Shaw, head of horticulture said, “you won’t find any flowering plants in the Prehistoric Garden. Instead these ancient species reproduce using spores, or seeds borne in cones – and they are true survivors, living fossils that have been part of our world for hundreds of millions of years. These amazing trees and plants would all have been a familiar part of the habitat, and diet, of dinosaurs so it’s really a salad-bar for stegosauruses.”  So far, no actual dinosaurs have been attracted to the habitat, but a steel velociraptor skeleton brings verisimilitude to the scene. Horniman
 
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  Pokémon invasion arrives in museums  
 
 
Faced with a period of unprecedented political change, much of the population has reacted by pursuing 90s cartoon creatures across an augmented reality landscape. Whether or not Pokémon Go is a passing summer fad, it is likely to be the first of many mass games to play out in the real world, and cultural bodies have been assessing the effects. RAF Cosford is among the museums embracing its Pokéstops. Museum apprentice Jack Rogers said, “I have been playing Pokémon for close 14 years and I have never been so happy seeing so many people enjoying and interacting with one another. The museum is such a nice environment for the game, being able to enjoy both the museum and a great destination to play Pokémon Go, if anybody wishes to challenge the gym here at Cosford, you’ll have to get through me!”  The National Trust has issued a short film, welcoming players but reminding them not to walk into real cows. Nesta sees marketing opportunities, pointing out that coffee chains (and museums) could purchase the right to turn their locations into Pokémon Gyms, luring in extra footfall. There are several Pokéstops in the V&A - its tecchie Richard Palmer suggests “as a public venue, it may be an interesting summer experiment to see if Pokémon Go attracts visitors to the museum by purchasing Lure Modules for a few days and monitoring museum visit numbers to see if this has an impact.” Less positively, the system isn’t calibrated for appropriateness: the US Holocaust Memorial Museum has asked to be removed from the game. One commentator adds “the museum, like the video game, relies on careful curation to furnish an alternate experience of reality. Playing Pokémon Go at a memorial isn’t just disrespectful — it interferes with the augmented reality you’re already in.” Some of Pokemon’s data is out of date: at least one private resident of a previously public building (a former church) has found Pokémon players lurking in his garden.  Nesta, Albrighton (RAF Cosford), V&A blog, Guardian (Holocaust Museum), Museums + the Digital, Pacific Standard, National Trust
 
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  National Museums Scotland invite players to keep ‘Gen’ alive  
 
 
National Museums Scotland has collaborated with Aardman animations to create a digital game for their new science galleries. In ‘Gen’ players are invited to hatch the eponymous creature from an egg and then keep it alive using a variety of medical artefacts and techniques featured in the museum’s collections. Sophie Goggins, Assistant Curator, Biomedicine said, “This is one of a number of fun ways we’re using to introduce some fairly complex ideas of medical science to a wider audience.” NMS
 
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  Music  
 
 
  A Dance to the Music of Time  
 
 
The National Portrait Gallery has been connecting music with art for some time: its Portrait Choir, formed in 2013, is made up of young professional singers who perform in the gallery. Now NPG has created a audioguide soundtrack, connecting samples of music from the last 500 years with its portrait collection. Narrated by Simon Russell Beale, it begins with Tallis and Wilbye in the Tudor Galleries, moving to Purcell and Handel in the 17th and 18th century. There are also modern commissions: composer James Burton has set the Gallery’s Special Constabulary Report Book from 1914 – 20 to music. This documents the period when the gallery was used as a shelter from incendiary bombs. The audioguide launches in October, and will also be available to download online for £3. NPG (Portrait Choir), NPG (new audioguide)
 
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  Bad, bad, bad, bad vibrations  
 
 
Sometimes sound – and vibration caused by visitors generally – is less welcome in museums because of the potential long term damage to artefacts. Now, through Oxford University Museums Partnership, a partnership between the Ashmolean and Oxford University’s Engineering Department is quantifying the effects.  Initial tracking was confused by visitors’ mobile phone signals, but now a secure vibration tracking system has been set up. The team will be working next on finding ways to mitigate the effects. OUMP
 
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  Geography  
 
 
  The geography of the UK’s creative industries  
 
 
Using DCMS data on the creative industries sectors, Nesta has produced a detailed analysis of where the creative economy is thriving in the UK. It has also produced a visualisation, highlighting hotspots by region. At first glance, the map reflects a familiar pattern: vibrant activity in and around London, plus some large English northern cities, Cardiff and Edinburgh. However, the detail is more nuanced:
 
  • Nine in ten of 228 metropolitan areas showed more rapid growth in the creative economy than other business areas between 2007 – 14.
  • The report identifies 47 cultural clusters in the UK, including places such as Peterborough, High Wycombe and Guildford which are less often viewed as creative hubs, and where the work is more led by technology.
  • Middlesbrough, Stockton, Southend, Warrington, Bournemouth, Exeter and Sheffield are also listed as having high growth in creative business, although there is not yet a high concentration.
  • London has proportionately little locally grown talent, research and knowledge exchange – these resources are imported from the rest of the country and overseas.
  • Northern clusters like Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield are particularly well served by work with universities.
  • The report also used data from meetup.com to track connectivity between cultural workers at different locations. Creative cities like Cambridge, Manchester and Edinburgh are much better at cross-connecting than creative conurbations such as Reading and High Wycombe.
 
The report concludes that investing in people and talent, the presence of universities and evolving networking are all important in keeping talent in emerging clusters and so allowing these areas to further develop. Nesta (map), Nesta (report)
 
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  Edinburgh festivals ‘sole reason for visiting Scotland’ for 42% in survey  
 
 
A new report has captured the huge impact of Edinburgh’s festivals for the visitor economy, including the International Festival, Fringe and Tattoo.  These now generate £313m, up 25% in five years, and attract 4.5m visitors. 42% surveyed said that the festivals were their sole reason for visiting Scotland, and 92% described them as ‘must see’. Festivals Edinburgh Director Julia Armour said, “the key lesson for us is that the festivals have maintained a world-class offer during a period when core grants have flatlined. That’s becoming more difficult to do. We need to make sure alternatives are found.Scotsman
 
Also: Continuing archaeological finds in the Orkneys have been a major reason for increased visits to the islands. In three years 26% more visitors told VisitScotland that they came to see excavations at the Ness of Brodgar. The work is worth £600m to the local economy as international visitors are drawn to the site. However, archaeologists expressed concern about losing European money, and Scottish investment which has not increased since the 1980s. Guardian
 
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  Scottish Enterprise and Skills review: call for evidence  
 
 
The Scottish Government is conducting an ‘end to end’ review of its enterprise and skills services. Its economic strategy includes plans to promote Scotland on the international stage and foster a culture of innovation. It is seeking evidence from any relevant group until 15th August. Scotland.gov.uk
 
Also: the UK Government is contributing £50k to the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, an influential annual meeting drawing together culture ministers, artists and cultural leaders from around the world.  Gov.uk
 
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  Survey: culture-led regeneration in London  
 
 
The Mayor of London’s Regeneration Committee is exploring how to “help to expand London’s artistic and creative offer while also helping places to prosper”. It is conducting a survey to inform its work, which remains open until 5th September. The investigation runs until 30th November. London.gov.uk
 
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  MPs table bill to return Parthenon Sculptures  
 
 
A cross party group of MPs has tabled a Bill calling for the UK to return the Parthenon Sculptures to Greece.  Tabling the bill, Mark William MP said “in 1816 Parliament effectively state-sanctioned the improper acquisition of these impressive and important sculptures from Greece.”  The British Museum has countered in a statement, saying that half of the surviving marbles are at the Acropolis Museum to be appreciated against the backdrop of ancient Greek civilisation. The London holdings by contrast “are a vital element in [an] interconnected world collection. They are a part of the world’s shared heritage and transcend political boundaries.” Also during July, the European Court of Human Rights threw out a case requesting the return of the marbles, saying the events of 1816 occurred more than 150 years before the UK signed up to the Human Rights Act.  Museums Journal, Parliament.uk, Independent
 
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  Awards  
 
 
  Arts & Business Scotland Awards open  
 
 
Arts & Business Scotland has opened nominations for its 30th Annual Awards, which will be given in a ceremony in March 2017. There is a new category of Fundraising Excellence alongside People, Placemaking, Innovation, Enterprise, International, Business Creativity, Enterprising Museum.  The deadline is 30th September 2016. A shortlist will be announced in November. A&B Scotland
 
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  2016 Sandford Award winner announced  
 
 
The winners of the Sandford Award for heritage education have been announced for 2016.  The awards last for five years and provide a ‘kite mark’ for excellent education in museums and galleries. The Horniman, Fitzwilliam Museum, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Mary Rose Trust and York Art Gallery are among dozens of winners this year. Sandford Award
 
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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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