November 2010

NMDC Newsletter: November 2010
Download a PDF version for printing
Logo dc National Museum Directors´ Council
NMDC Newsletter: November 2010
logo nm
 

Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:

And much more…


  NMDC NEWS
 

NMDC Chair gives evidence to Select Committee

Dr. Michael Dixon, Chair of NMDC and Roy Clare, Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) gave oral evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on 26 October.  This was the third oral evidence session for the Committee’s inquiry into funding of the Arts and Heritage.  Other sessions on 12 and 19 October focussed on arts, film, heritage and local government.  Mike Dixon and Roy Clare were questioned on the following issues:
  • Whether museums have been able to capitalise on their success;
  • Why areas such as the South-West should have to subsidise London museums;
  • Whether it is better to shut the doors or employ more volunteers;
  • Whether the abolition of the MLA was a surprise, whether the model and functions and transferable and whether ACE (or other organisation) has the capacity to absorb the functions and work;
  • Whether there might be an additional role for NMDC?
  • The impact of cuts on collections and their use, curatorial expertise and availability and whether museums need their own research capabilities;
  • The role of philanthropy.
The uncorrected transcript of the session will be published on the Committee’s website shortly.  More than 225 individuals and organisations, including NMDC, submitted written evidence to the Committee and these submissions have also been published on the website.  CMS Select Committee

  SPENDING REVIEW
 
The Government announced the outcome of its Spending Review on 20 October, setting out budgets for April 2011-March 2015.  In his Statement to the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon George Osborne MP, said that “in order that our nation's culture and heritage remains available to all, we will continue to fund free entry to museums and galleries”.  Mr Osborne also made a specific commitment to the “new world-class building extensions for the Tate Gallery and British Museum”.  Spending Review documents The headline impacts on cultural budgets are:
  • Department for Culture, Media and Sport cut by 25%
  • National museums and British Library cut by 15% in real terms by 2015
  • Renaissance to continue with 15% cut in funding
  • Arts Council cut by 29.6%, with cuts to regularly funded organisations of 15%
  • English Heritage cut by 32%
  • VisitBritain cut by 34%
  • Funding withdrawn from Creative Partnerships, Arts and Business and CABE
  • National Heritage Memorial Fund cut by 54.5%
  • 28% cut in funding for local authorities - cuts to local cultural budgets not yet known.

    DCMS budget cut by 25%

    The 25% cut for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), comprises a 24% reduction to the resource budget and a 32% reduction to the capital budget.  The Secretary of State, Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, gave a Ministerial Written Statement on 21 October to explain in more detail what this means for DCMS sectors. The budgets of front-line organisations, including the national museums, the British Library, the Renaissance in the Regions programme, “regularly funded arts organisations” and the British Film Institute are to fall by 15% in real terms over the Spending Review period.  Mr Hunt said that in order to protect these budgets, his “starting point has been to look for large savings to the amount of public money spent on bureaucracy”.  Arts Council England, English Heritage and VisitBritain are expected to achieve a 50% cut in administrative costs over the next 4 years, with cuts front-loaded in first 2 years of the settlement. In announcing the allocations, Mr Hunt asked each sponsored-body to build in 5% flexibility to plans for 2013-14 and 2014-15 as funding settlements in these years may be subject to change. As part of the Government’s commitment to transparency, the Spending Review settlement letters to each body have been published on DCMS’s website. 
    Spending Review settlement letters
      DCMS Ministerial Statement

    15% real terms cut for DCMS-funded national museums

    National museums funded by DCMS will receive a 15% cut in real terms to their resource grant-in-aid by April 2015.  Settlements for capital and project funding vary between the museums.  In his settlement letter to the Chair of each national museum, Mr Hunt set out his expectation that:
    • world-class collections and front-line services would protected;
    • free entry to the permanent collections of the national museums will continue to be available;
    • national museums will continue to work in partnership with other museums in the UK;
    • national museums will pursue ways to increase its self-generated income, including through private giving.
    Larger national museums were also asked “to support and mentor smaller museums and galleries across the country in fundraising, just as you do in collections management, conservation and other areas.”  DCMS has not allocated specific funding for the World Collections Programme, but Jeremy Hunt stated that he and the Foreign Secretary would like to see that collaboration and wider international work continue to develop over the next four years. The settlement letters also state that DCMS has secured agreement from the Treasury to allow national museums access to £143 million of museum reserves over the Spending Review period.  This is around half the total historic museum reserves.  Mr Hunt described this as “an important step towards delivering on the Coalition commitment to providing greater administrative freedoms for national museums”. The funding settlements have not yet been announced for national museums in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and those funded by the Ministry of Defence. In a statement responding to the Spending Review announcement, NMDC said that the settlement “recognised the front line nature of museum services, the importance of preserving free admission and the crucial role of museums in contributing to the British economy”.  It went on to state that “although funding cuts may not be as high in percentage terms as other areas of DCMS or Government spending, they will be equally challenging due to the high unavoidable costs of running museums compared to other Government funded institutions.”
    NMDC statement    Spending Review settlement letters

    Renaissance to continue and “will provide incentive to local authorities”

    The Renaissance Programme for regional museums will continue and will transfer from the MLA to another body by 2012, with cuts to its budget limited to 15% in real terms.  In a statement, Roy Clare, Chief Executive of MLA, warned of the vulnerability of museums, libraries and archives services to local authority cuts and said: “We believe that the Government's commitment to Renaissance funds is now a strong challenge and provides a powerful incentive to local authorities and other local funders.” Local government resource funding will reduce by 28% over the Spending Review period, and local authorities will also see forecast reductions of around 30% in overall capital expenditure.  MLA statement 

    Strategic Commissioning museum learning programme to end

    DCMS has confirmed that it will not be funding any further rounds of the Strategic Commissioning programme.  The programme, which is jointly funded by DCMS and the Department for Education, had two strands, one supporting national/regional museum education partnerships and one managed by MLA supporting initiatives to link museums and schools.  The current round of funding ends in March 2011.  There are still a number of Continuing Professional Development opportunities for cultural sector and children's workforce professionals being offered through the current round of MLA's Strategic Commissioning programme.  These include training on commissioning, supporting literacy, developing audiences and leadership development.  The deadline for bookings is 19 November.  MLA website

    54.5% cut for National Heritage Memorial Fund

    The National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) ‘the fund of last resort’ to save the most outstanding parts of our national heritage, has been cut by 54.5% in real terms over the next four years.  Its budget has been £10m a year since 2007, and will now be £20m over the 4 years 2011-5 - with nothing in 2011-12, £5m in 2012-13, £10m in 2013-4 and £5m in 2014-15.  For planning purposes the Fund envisages a budget of £4m-£5m per annum, including in 2011/12.  DCMS letter   NHMF statement

    Arts Council response – funding withdrawn from Arts & Business and Creative Partnerships

    Arts Council England (ACE) announced details on 26 October of its funding allocations for 2011/12, following the Government's decision to reduce its budget by 29.6% over the Spending Review Period, including a cut of 14% in 2011/12.  The majority of ACE’s 850 regularly funded organisations are to receive a uniform cut of 6.9% next year which ACE described as a “quick and fair decision” in a “year of transition”.  Larger reductions will apply to the budgets of organisations “whose primary purpose is not arts creation or performance”.   The Chancellor announced in his Spending Review report that funding for Creative Partnerships would be withdrawn.  Work already planned for the 2010/11 academic year will be completed.  In a statement Creativity, Culture and Education (CCE) which manages Creative Partnerships said “we will be working with our partners to ensure that the lessons learnt from the Creative Partnerships programme continue to influence policy and practice in the classroom and across the arts and cultural sector.”  Since it was launched in 2002 Creative Partnerships has worked with over 1 million young people and engaged over 90,000 teachers in local projects.  Independent research published in September found a positive correlation between participation in Creative Partnerships and higher GCSE results and lower absenteeism.   The Arts Council will cut funding to Arts & Business by 50% in 2011-12 and provide no core funding after that.  Colin Tweedy, Chair of Arts & Business described this as “an extraordinary and potentially very damaging decision for our cultural and commercial partners.”  He continued: “Our commitment since our foundation in 1976 has always been to serve the private sector and our cultural community.  We very much hope that we will be able to continue that mission going forward.” ACE’s strategic development (‘managed’) funds will be cut by 64% in 2011/12.  This includes funding for the Cultural Leadership Programme, which will continue but will be developed into a broader organisational development resource for culture and the creative industries. ACE will put in place a new funding structure from April 2012, with decisions made against clear strategic aims.  Further details and the application process will be announced on 4 November.  Arts Council statement  CCE statement    Arts & Business statement

    English Heritage will cut 200 posts

    English Heritage (EH) announced on 27 October how it will respond to its cut of 32%.  EH Commissioners said that “in the national interest” they would protect planning advice services, designation (i.e. listing and scheduling) and the maintenance and conservation of properties.  To achieve this, EH will make significant cuts elsewhere, reducing grants by around one third (although existing grant commitments will be honoured) and cutting at least 200 posts.  EH also intends to increase earned income to support its activities.  English Heritage

    VisitBritain to focus on key markets and rely more on websites and social media

    VisitBritain’s budget has been cut by 34%, including a 50% reduction in running costs.  The Government has asked VisitBritain to concentrate on international marketing and PR activity in the top and emerging international markets, and to create a £100m partnership marketing fund, with matching funds from the industry and Government to promote the UK as a tourist destination before, during and after the 2012 Olympic Games.  VisitEngland has been asked to focus more on investment in and support for destination management organisations and local businesses, local authorities and enterprise partnerships. VisitBritain’s Chair, Christopher Rodrigues, described the funding settlement as “tough love”.  Chief Executive Sandie Dawe said that the organisation’s aim now was to “tighten our focus clearly onto the UK’s key markets: ones that are already delivering for us and those emerging markets that are key to our future.  We will use new technology including our award-winning suite of multi-lingual websites, social media platforms and international public relations expertise to maintain global footprint as well as a staffed presence in key locations.”  VisitBritain statement

    Funding withdrawn from CABE

    DCMS has withdrawn all its funding from CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, from 2012.  The organisation also currently receives funding from the Department for Communities and Local Government.  CABE issued a statement on 20 October stating that “CABE has not been abolished.  It passed the Public Bodies Review.  It remains the government's statutory advisor on architecture, urban design and public space for the immediate future” and continued, “We are taking stock of the decision and looking at options to create new ways to support and champion good design.”  CABE statement

    Reform of public bodies

    On 14 October, details of the Public Bodies Bill  were announced.  19 of DCMS’s Non-Departmental Public Bodies are to be abolished or reformed:
    • The national museums and galleries will remain under the sponsorship of DCMS;
    • English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund will not be merged.  However, DCMS has asked them to identify and reduce any overlap of activities as a matter of urgency.  As previously announced, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) will be abolished;
    • The Advisory Committee on Historic Wreck Sites will be abolished; and
    • the Advisory Committee on National Historic Ships will be declassified. 
    The Department for Transport announced that the Railway Heritage Committee (RHC), responsible for designating railway artefacts and records of historical importance, will also be abolished: "The Government believes that the RHC cannot be justified as no equivalent protection applies to the heritage of any other transport sector."  DCMS statement  Department of Transport The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) will be granted full independence from Government, moving from the public to the voluntary sector to become a charitable company, subject to approval by the Charity Commission.  Since its inception, NESTA has operated at no cost to the Government or taxpayer, by virtue of its Lottery endowment.  NESTA was established in 1998 by the National Lottery Act with a remit to “support and promote talent, innovation and creativity in the fields of science, technology and the arts”.  It has an endowment from the National Lottery, currently valued at £300 million and expenditure of £29 million in 2009/10.  NESTA statement The Public Bodies Bill, which will provide the necessary legal framework for the Government to carry out its public bodies reforms, was been published in Parliament on 29 October and will have its Second Reading in the House of Lords on 9 November.  Public Bodies Bill

    Also

    The French Minister for Culture Frederic Mitterrand announced on 29 September a 2.1% increase in the budget of the Ministry of Culture and Communication in 2011.  The additional €154m includes a 1.6% increase for heritage and 3.4% increase for public service broadcasting.  Ministry of Culture

      GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
     

    Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport   

    Labour Party Leader Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP has appointed Ivan Lewis MP as the new Shadow Culture Secretary.  Mr Lewis has been MP for Bury South since 1997 and held Ministerial posts at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Department for International Development, Department for Health, Treasury and Department for Education between 2001-2010.  Prior to being elected an MP, Mr Lewis worked in the local voluntary sector and was latterly Chief Executive of the Manchester Jewish Federation.  Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP has been reappointed Shadow Minister for the Olympics. Other Shadow Culture Ministers are Ian Austin MP and Gloria De Piero MP, who was GMTV’s political correspondent before she was elected to Parliament in May.  Former MLA Chair, Lord (Matthew) Evans of Temple Guiting and Baroness (Angela) Billingham will be the Shadow culture spokespersons in the Lords.  Former Culture Secretary Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP is now Shadow Secretary of State for Education.  Labour Party

    Simon Schama to advise on putting British history at heart of national curriculum

    Education Minister Rt Hon Michael Gove MP has announced that the historian Professor Simon Schama has agreed to advise the Government on “how we can put British history at the heart of a revived national curriculum”. Making the announcement at the Conservative Party Conference on 5 October, Mr Gove said: "One of the under-appreciated tragedies of our time has been the sundering of our society from its past. Children are growing up ignorant of one of the most inspiring stories I know - the history of our United Kingdom." Michael Gove's speech (epolitix)

    Ask Ed Vaizey

    Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP is inviting anyone interested in the arts and cultural sector to send him questions via email which he will then answer via video on the DCMS YouTube channel.  Ask Ed Vaizey is prompted by the Minister’s “wish to maintain a level of direct contact with many of the people who want to get in touch with him to ask questions, raise issues or make comments and suggestions.”  His answers to the first selection of questions have already been posted.  Among the topics discussed is the role of museums in building the 'Big Society': Mr Vaizey speaks of museums’ status as civic spaces within local communities as well as their educational role.  DCMS

    Big Society strategy for charities and social enterprises

    Nick Hurd MP, Minister for Civil Society, has launched a strategy to support charities, voluntary groups and social enterprises.  The Building a Stronger Civil Society Strategy sets out the opportunities available to civil society organisations arising from the massive devolution of power to local communities and reform of public services that underpins the Big Society. The Minister also launched Supporting a Stronger Civil Society, an accompanying consultation paper asking for views on how best the government can support the development of new skills, partnerships and organisational models.  Cabinet Office

    Also

    DCMS published details of all expenditure over £500 on its Transparency website on 7 October – but on 28 October a message was posted saying this information “is temporarily unavailable.  It will be re-published on this site soon”.  DCMS website back to top

      PHILANTHROPY & FUNDRAISING
     

    Arts philanthropy: the facts, trends and potential

    New research published by Arts and Business concludes there is considerable potential for cultural organisations to increase income from individual giving.  Arts philanthropy: the facts, trends and potential, published on 5 October, includes the following findings: (NB "Arts" is used throughout the report to cover museums, heritage and arts).
    • Main potential for growth is the higher (but not highest) “mass affluent” -end of the market.
    • Focus urged on increasing the number of arts organisations attracting legacies (currently only 8%), Friends schemes (currently only 32%) and crowdfunding.
    • 73% of arts organisations increased their fundraising activities in the past 6 months and 48% increased their marketing and online drive.
    • 97% of all high net worth individuals are already philanthropically active, but only 2% of these contribute to the arts.
    • Individual giving decreased by 7%, primarily in light of the recession and a particularly high one-off donation received the year before, to stand at £363 million by the end of 2008/09.
    • More people attend the arts than are philanthropically active to all charitable causes combined.  Therefore, the potential for the arts is not necessarily in attracting a greater slice of the existing philanthropy pie, but in turning more individuals who engage with the arts into supporters.  Arts and Business

    Treasury urged to push ahead with gift aid reform

    The Government has been asked by leading third sector organisations to implement gift aid reforms, including making more of the processes available online, before the next Budget.  The majority of members of the Gift Aid Forum wrote a joint letter to Economic Secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening MP on 13 October asking for: the introduction of a gift aid database and the relaxing of the currently mandatory paper declarations; enabling online gift aid claims; allowing gift aid to be claimed on text donations; and simplifying the procedures around claiming the tax relief on fundraising sponsorship and auction income. The letter argues that these reforms are “essential in modernising gift aid, enabling it to keep up with technological and philanthropic developments over the coming years”.  The Gift Aid Forum, which is chaired by the Treasury and made up of representatives from HMRC and the Office of the Third Sector as well as representatives from the charity sector, was set up in February to explore how best to use the Gift Aid system to support the third sector.  Full letter

    Gifts of art and artefacts to museums

    In a Parliamentary Question on 27 October, Lord Myners asked what gifts of art and artefacts have been made to each of the United Kingdom national museums and galleries by private individuals, companies and institutions in each of the past five years; and what is the total value of those gifts. Responding for the Government, Baroness Rawlings said the Government did not collate that information but had asked the chief executive of each national museum to respond to the Lord Myners directly.  More

    Also

    Arts & Business has launched a Fundraising Advice Line to offer cultural organisations in England free tailored advice from Arts & Business' fundraising experts and network of external advisors covering tax, legacies, endowments, intellectual property and trading. The number to call is 0300 123 4080.  Arts and Business The National Theatre (NT) has announced that Lloyd Dorfman CBE, Founder and Chairman of Travelex and a member of the NT Board, has pledged a personal philanthropic gift of £10 million to the National’s NT Future redevelopment project.  The donation will form the cornerstone of the £70 million fundraising campaign, and in recognition the Cottesloe Theatre will be renamed the Dorfman Theatre when the redevelopment programme is completed.  More back to top

      OTHER MUSEUM NEWS
     

    Bringing together cultural sector and Wikimedia

    Representatives from the UK and European cultural sector will meet with representatives from the Wikimedia community to determine how to use the two communities' strengths to mutual advantage later this month.  Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums & Wikimedia: Finding the common ground is taking place on Friday 26-Saturday 27 November and is hosted by the British Museum, who hosted the world’s first volunteer Wikipedian-in-resident this year.  The event, which includes a Friday evening session open to non-delegates, will look at why and how cultural institutions could work with Wikimedia projects like Wikipedia; and what Wikimedia needs to do to make collaboration easier and more effective.  GLAM-WIKI

    Clore Leadership Fellows announced

    The Clore Leadership Programme, founded by Dame Vivien Duffield, has announced the 21 new Fellows for the 2010/11 Programme. The MLA-funded fellows are Reyahn King, Director of Art Galleries, National Museums Liverpool; Sarah Stannage, Museum Director, Sheringham Museum Norfolk Trust Ltd; and Jessamy Carlson, Casework Advisor and Liaison Officer for Wales at The National Archives. The Clore Leadership Programme is now in its seventh year, and the number of applications in 2010 rose by 40% compared to the previous year.  Clore Leadership Programme

    Introduction to e-learning

    JISC Digital Media has published ten new advice documents on the role of digital media in teaching and learning.  The series starts with an Introduction to e-Learning and covers such diverse topics as mobile learning, audio feedback and considerations for the delivery of digital media online, as well as offering how-to guides on topics such as adding multimedia to pdf files.  JISC

    Seeking examples of unconventional museum practice

    Curiouser and Curiouser: Challenging Convention and Celebrating the Unusual in Museums and Heritage, is a three-day conference due to be held at  the University of Leicester in March 2011.  The organisers are inviting submissions for papers or workshops on unusual, unconventional and cutting-edge museum practice.  The conference aims to “deconstruct notions of normality and eccentricity in museums” and “challenge the conventional perceptions of cultural institutions, and their role in contemporary society”.  Curiouser and Curiouser

    Also

    The MLA Annual Review for 2009/2010 has been published. It is an interactive PDF which is split into two parts; one covering Renaissance and the other covering a range of other programmes and areas of work.  More

      CULTURAL SECTOR NEWS
     

    A cultural calendar for 2012

    An online calendar, The Culture Diary, has been created for cultural events in London during 2012.  Managed by the Greater London Authority, The Culture Diary aims to facilitate planning for 2012 across the industry and assist planning for public transport and policing.  It is also intended to enable cultural organisations to identify opportunities for joint campaigning, new partnerships and artistic collaborations - and avoid date clashes.  It will be shared with LOCOG who may use it to identify events for Festival 2012 and with Visit London for use in planning media campaigns.  Events must be registered by 31 December 2010The Culture Diary

    UK's retains 5th place in most highly rated tourism destinations

    The latest data from the National Brand Index Survey ranks UK as the fourth most-admired country, as an overall brand, of 50 nations, behind the USA, Germany and France.  The UK also retained its position as the 5th highest rated tourism destination. Culture remains a powerful attraction for overseas visitors. The UK is ranked 4th in the world in each of the following categories: being ‘rich in historic buildings and monuments’; having a ‘vibrant city life and urban attractions', and being an ‘interesting and exciting place for contemporary culture such as music, films, art and literature’; and is ranked in 7th place for having a ‘rich cultural heritage’.  VisitBritain

    Seeking cultural organisations to host Future Jobs Fund placements

    Ixion, a not-for-profit organisation owned by Anglia Ruskin University in partnership with New Deal of the Mind has launched a Future Jobs Fund project to create over 500 jobs within the Arts, Cultural and Creative employment sectors.  They are looking for arts, cultural and creative organisations that can provide vacancies for Future Jobs Fund work placements and be part of a partnership to develop new routes to employment for unemployed young people.  The jobs must last a minimum of six months for at least 25 hours per week and be fulfilled by unemployed 18-24 year olds currently claiming Jobs Seekers Allowance.  Ixion will pay each employee the national minimum wage and associated costs for placements that meet the criteria.  Ixion Future Jobs Fund

    Have your say on future of EU Culture programme

    The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the future EU Programme for culture, to replace the current programme from 2014 onwards.  The current programme places a strong emphasis on promoting transnational mobility, circulation and intercultural dialogue through cultural cooperation. The new programme is likely to focus on three or four key objectives and the consultation seeks views on the importance of the following:
    • Protection and promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity;
    • Promotion of the transnational circulation of cultural works and products; 
    • Widening access to European heritage and cultural works;
    • Professional development and capacity-building of artists or cultural operators in an international context;
    • Promotion of urban and regional development through culture;
    • Widening access to culture and participation in culture for disadvantaged groups.
    The EU’s current Culture programme (2007-2013) has a budget of €400 million for projects and initiatives to “celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity and enhance… shared cultural heritage through the development of cross-border co-operation between cultural operators and institutions”.  The consultation ends on 15 December 2010EU Consultation

    No copyright – Creative Commons launches new Public Domain Mark

    Creative Commons has launched a Public Domain Mark, a tool that enables works free of known copyright restrictions to be labelled in a way that clearly communicates that status to the public, and allows the works to be easily discovered over the Internet.  The Public Domain Mark (logo © with a strike through) is intended to makes it clear to teachers and students, artists and scientists that they are free to re-use material.  Europeana – Europe’s digital library, museum and archive – is the first major adopter of the Public Domain Mark.  The Public Domain Mark complements Creative Commons’ CCO public domain dedication, which offers authors the option to publish permission for it to be reused in some circumstances - a “some rights reserved” approach, rather than “all rights reserved.”  Creative Commons

    Grants for partnerships between UK and India

    The current round of applications for the Connections though Culture: UK – India grant scheme is open. Connections through Culture is the British Council’s programme to foster and support collaborative working between the UK and India in the arts, and to generate long term partnerships between arts organisations and producers in the UK and their counterparts in India.  The closing date for applications is 30 November 2010.  British Council

    Buy works of art online with interest free loan

    CultureLabel.com has launched Art Store, a new online shop for contemporary art.  Art Store has been developed in partnership with Own Art, Arts Council England's interest-free loan scheme to assist individual purchases of art by splitting payments over 10 months.  The development of a single e-commerce sales portal, through which selected galleries can showcase and sell work by a wide range of contemporary artists and designer-makers, has been funded by Creative Scotland's Innovation Fund and delivered in partnership with Arts Council England.  http://www.culturelabel.com/art

    Record year for National Trust

    The National Trust has published its annual report for 2009-10 revealing that membership grew by 106,000 to a total of 3.7 million, contributing £125.2 million to income (£122.0m in 2008/9).  Income from commercial activities increased to £54.7m, and the contribution these enterprises make to the Trust’s charitable funds increased by 45% on the previous year.  Visitor numbers to the Trust’s pay-for-entry properties increased by 16.2% on the previous year to a total of 17.2 million.  National Trust

    2010 UK Memory of the World Register

    The UK National Commission for UNESCO has announced the second round of nominations to the UK Memory of the World Register, a list of documentary heritage of cultural significance to the UK.  This follows the successful launch of the Register in July with the inscription of 10 items and collections from across the UK, details of which can be found on the UNESCO website. The UK Register is designed to help raise awareness of the UK’s exceptional documentary riches by awarding them with the globally-recognised Memory of the World status. The UK Register is administered by a working group of the UK National Commission’s Communication and Information Committee.  More

    Also

    The Serpentine Gallery has been awarded a contract by the Royal Parks Agency to establish a new art gallery in the Magazine building in Kensington Gardens. The new Serpentine Sackler Gallery has been made possible by a gift from the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation which is the largest ever received by the Serpentine Gallery. Due to open in time for the 2012 Olympics, the building will be fully renovated by the architect Zaha Hadid.  More Arts Industry magazine has a new website with news, comment and jobs from the arts sector www.artsindustry.co.uk back to top

      IN PARLIAMENT
     

    Minister promises package of measures to boost philanthropy

    Responding to a question in the House of Commons on 25 October about funding for the arts, Jeremy Hunt MP said: “I am pleased to say that last week I agreed with the Chancellor a package of cuts that will limit the cuts in funding for front-line arts organisations and museums to just 15%, a figure that compares very favourably with many other parts of the public sector.” In response to a subsequent question from John Whittingdale MP about Arts & Business, Mr Hunt said: “I am pleased to be able to tell [Mr Whittingdale] that before the end of the year, we will be announcing a package of measures designed to boost philanthropy and help to strengthen the fundraising capacity of arts organisations - something that will be helpful to them in difficult times.” Gloria De Peiro MP spoke for the first time in her new position as shadow arts minister, asking a supplementary question about how many arts organisations would go to the wall as a result of the cuts and describing Jeremy Hunt as the “Chancellor's little helper, rather than the champion for the arts”. Jim Cunningham MP also asked about discussions with the Department for Education about arts in schools and universities.  Mr Hunt said: “we share a belief in the importance of cultural education.  However, the Secretary of State for Education has made it clear that the best way to secure that is not by ring-fencing money going to schools…  We are confident that head [teachers] will understand the extreme importance and value of arts education.”  Hansard record

    Discussions with national museums on plan B for Wedgewood Museum

    On 19 October, MPs debated the future of the Wedgewood Museum, which has gone into administration because it is being held responsible for £134m pension liabilities of the Wedgewood group's pension fund. The debate was called by the historian, Tristram Hunt MP, whose constituency is near the museum.  Responding for the Government, Ed Vaizey MP set out progress on the case, including the Charity Commission’s decision that the collection is not protected by being held in the museum’s permanent endowment but is part of the charity's corporate property, which is available to creditors.  He reported that the Department has worked closely with the museum's director and trustees, their legal advisers and the Charity Commission to assist in this matter.  He was beginning to talk about the next steps to protect the museum and what can be learned from this case when he was interrupted by the adjournment of the debate.  He just had time to say that: “In terms of a plan B, we have had discussions with two national museums about what should happen if there is a problem, and we will work for a solution that way.”  More

    No discussion of free entry

    Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey MP, responded to a parliamentary question on 19 October from Alison McGovern MP asking what discussions the Secretary of State has had on free entry to national museums.  The Minister replied: “We have had no discussions.  In line with the coalition manifesto there are no plans to review the policy of free admission to national museums and galleries.”  More

    Contribution of Scotland’s museums

    In response to a parliamentary question from Charlie Gordon MSP on 28 October, Scotland’s Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP said “The Scottish Government recognises the significant contribution of Scotland's museums to education, health and wellbeing and cultural tourism.  We will continue to work with the museums sector in the difficult economic climate ahead.”  Record back to top

      APPOINTMENTS
     
    The Prime Minister has made the following appointments:
    • Bronwen Maddox, Chief Foreign Commentator of The Times, to the Board of the Imperial War MuseumMore
    • Professor Kim Evans OBE, cultural broker with extensive experience as a senior manager and as a practitioner in the cultural sector, as a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. She is also a Trustee of the Heritage Lottery Fund.  More
    • John Nelson, an accountant with a 30-year career at board level in the financial sector, as a Trustee of the National Gallery.  He is also a Board Member of English National Opera.  More
    Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP has appointed three new Trustees of National Museums Scotland: Bruce Minto, a lawyer and Chair of Royal Museum Project Campaign Board since 2007; Miller McLean, a chartered banker and solicitor with Royal Bank of Scotland and current Chair of the Whitehall & Industry group; and Jamie Troughton, an architect with experience of working with museums and cultural organisations.  More

      NEWS FROM NMDC MEMBERS
     
    Imperial War Museum London will open the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, its first major permanent gallery for ten years, on 12 November. The new gallery, paid for by a £5m donation from Lord Ashcroft KCMG, will house the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition containing the world's largest collection of Victoria Crosses (VCs), which has been established by Lord Ashcroft since 1986. The 162 awards, which range from the Crimean to the Falklands wars, will go on public display for the first time, alongside 48 VCs and 31 George Crosses (GCs) already held by the Museum. The VC is Britain and the Commonwealth's premier award for extreme gallantry in the face of the enemy, while the GC is Britain's most prestigious civil decoration.  More National Museums Scotland will contribute nearly £3 to the Scottish economy for every £1 invested by the Scottish Government when the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh opens next summer, according to new research.  A report commissioned by National Museums Scotland and compiled by independent consultants Biggar Economics projects that £58.1 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) per year will be generated for the Scottish economy, supporting over 2600 full time equivalent jobs.  In Edinburgh alone, this equates to £39.9 million GVA and 1,772 full time equivalent jobs.  More  National Museums Scotland has been allocated the hoard of Iron Age gold found in Stirlingshire last September, provided it can find £462,000 ex gratia payment for the finder.  The allocation was made by the Queen's and Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer Catherine Dyer on 15 October, after considering advice from the Scottish Archaeological Finds Allocation Panel.  More The National Army Museum saw a record number of visitors this summer.  The Museum welcomed 22,240 visitors in August 2010, a 45% increase on the number of visitors in August 2009.  The Wallace Collection, British Library, V&A and Glasgow Museums are among those short-listed for an ICON Conservation Award for Innovation. A final decision on the national winner of this prestigious competition will be announced on 1st December.  More The Culture Secretary has launched Plus Tate, a new collaboration involving 18 visual arts institutions around the UK and Tate.  As well as collaborations around programmes and collections, the Plus Tate partners, along with and facilitated by Tate, will be joining together to exchange ideas, knowledge, skills and resources to broaden and deepen engagement in modern and contemporary art across the country.  Each Plus Tate partner organisation, including Tate, is undergoing development and change, often involving a capital project.  The pilot phase of the programme, known as Tate Connects, was supported by the Arts Council England and a grant from Cultural Leadership Programme to bring the network together for a programme of organisational and leadership development.  More National Galleries of Scotland are offering people a chance to show their own favourite images in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery when it reopens in November 2011, for a donation of £50 or more.  Put Yourself in the Picture, part of the fundraising campaign for the £17.6m Gallery's redevelopment, will enable supports to upload a photo and caption to appear on a screen in a prominent place in the refurbished Portrait Gallery.  More   The British Library and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development have announced a new partnership which aims to make tens of thousands of documents and medieval manuscripts relating to centuries of history of the Arabian Gulf available online to pupils, students and scholars across the Gulf region and around the world, in both English and Arabic.  More Amgueddfa Cymru -National Museum Wales has launched Inspiring Wales, a new document which celebrates the work of museums.  Amgueddfa Cymru’s new Director, David Anderson who took up his post on 11 October, launched the document at the Senedd on 18 October.  More Big Pit: National Coal Museum, part of Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales, has won the ‘Sense of Place’ award in the National Tourism Awards for Wales.  More Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley, Director General and Master of the Royal Armouries, has delivered a keynote speech to members of the US military examining the role of military leadership in preventing mass atrocities.  More Scientists at the Natural History Museum have been part of an international team studying 25,000 of the world's endangered vertebrates, which has concluded that a fifth of the world's vertebrates are under threat, although conservation activities are making a difference.  More The National Archives has received the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing energy consumption consistently over the last three years, including a 10% carbon reduction in 2009/10.  More The National Gallery's small exhibition of works by contemporary artist Clive Head has exceeded expectations with 16,000 visits in its first two weeks.  More National Galleries of Scotland's blockbuster exhibition Impressionist Gardens, which closed on 17 October, received nearly 100,000 visits including 17,000 in the final week when opening hours were extended.  More The Ashmolean Museum has won the Oxford Preservation Trust's New Building Award.  More back to top

      NMDC JOBS
     
    Our jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk has details of over 20 current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
    • Collections and Loans Registrar, National Maritime Museum
    • Curator: African Collections, British Museum
    • Graphic Designer, The Ashmolean Museum
    • Deputy Retail & Admission Manager, Churchill War Museum
    • Film Manager, National Media Museum
    • Project Curator, Afghan Gold Exhibition, British Museum
    For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

      And finally...
     
    Sir Elton John has expressed a wish to establish a museum of his photography, memorabilia, stage costumes and set pianos, saying that "there isn't a photography museum in England, there should be and I'd love to leave all the photographs to the nation...I'd love to do that but you have to find a space and get it funded - it's one thing saying you'll do it but it's quite complicated."  Toronto Sun If you would like to receive this newsletter by email or change your contact details, please email: Christine.toogood@nationalmuseums.org.uk back to top
     
     

    This newsletter can also be read online at http://www.nationalmuseums.org.uk/news/newsletters/


    If you have any comments or contributions for the newsletter please send them to the Editor, Kate Smith, at news@nationalmuseums.org.uk.
    Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7 5BD
    © 2012 National Museum Directors' Council