November 2015

NMDC newsletter: November 2015
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: November 2015
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  I Love Museums takes to the road

Government launches ‘Places Challenge’ towards White Paper on Culture

Want to tour internationally?

Prospect union launches ‘High Five Heritage’ campaign

Durham Light Infantry museum to close

ACE supports digitisation of 100 major artists

Black Museum comes out of the shadows

Handel riffs with Hendrix in reframed museum

Tate Modern goes solar

Participate in Holocaust Memorial Day 2016

I must go down to the sea again: the benefit of maritime culture

Art Fund’s plan to buy Rembrandt fails as the painting is sold privately

Museums and rates

Arts Council launches Creative Education Challenge

Raising Megan: Welsh Government consultation on indicators for wellbeing

British Museum unveils major project to protect Iraqi heritage
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  NMDC news  |  Cultural policy  |  Cuts  |  New museums and restyles  |  Members’ news  |  Events  |  Resources  |  Funding  |  Appointments  |  Education  |  Preventing cultural destruction  |   Jobs  
 
 
  NMDC news  
 
 
::The I Love Museums campaign took to the road in late October.
 
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  Museums Matter  
 
 
NMDC's new advocacy document Museums Matter is now available to download from the NMDC website.  Using a wealth of data and case studies from across NMDC's membership, the document illustrates how museums make a significant contribution to a wide range of key public policy priorities - from health and well-being and regional prosperity to tourism and soft power.  It argues that further significant cuts to public investment will cause a "hollowing out" of museum services as they struggle to fulfil their core functions of collections care, public engagement and buildings maintenance, and that preserving our heritage through museums is a fundamental aspect of maintaining a healthy and prosperous civil society.
 
Also available to download are the individual subject sections as single-page downloadable briefings, designed for individual museums to use alongside their own case studies to advocate to funders and stakeholders.  The four infographics from the document - illustrating the huge numbers of visitors to UK museums, their economic impact, the contribution they make to people's lives from cradle to grave, and the breadth and range of their international work - are also available to download.  NMDC website.
 
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  I Love Museums takes to the road  
 
 
The I Love Museums campaign took to the road during half term week in October to promote the importance of being vocal about public support for museums.  Our whistlestop tour went from Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter to Imperial War Museum London, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Fitzwilliam Museum, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Yorkshire Museum and York Castle, The Great North Museum: Hancock, and the National Museum of Scotland.  Members of the public left their comment on I Love Museums cards including: “It is extremely valuable to us as a family, for generations, to come to museums to learn and feel part of history. Keep them open for free”; and “How else do we find out about and experience our history and heritage?”  Follow @ILoveMuseums on Twitter or visit ilovemuseums.com for more details about how to use the campaign in your own museum.
 
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  Cultural policy  
 
 
  Government launches ‘Places Challenge’ towards White Paper on Culture  
 
 
DCMS has launched its first public discussion to inform the forthcoming White Paper on Culture, now expected to be published around February 2016.  The ‘Place Challenge’ asks for ideas about how culture can be used to create places in the UK where people want to ‘live, work and visit’.  It invites comment both on major existing schemes, such as Cities of Culture and the Northern Powerhouse, and for descriptions of cultural projects working well in other areas of the country.  You can also comment on the #ourculture hashtag and contribute to an evolving map by tagging nearby museums and heritage venues.  DCMS blog, DCMS dialogue app, Mapme
 
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  Be Chancellor with the IFS spending review calculator  
 
 
Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review on 25th November the Institute for Fiscal Studies has published an overview of the Chancellor’s choices as he aims to cut £11bn from the budgets of non-protected departments, including local government (via DCLG) and DCMS, by 2020.  Based on the Summer Budget, IFS suggests this will include an increase in capital spending by £5bn and a decrease in day-to-day spending by £16bn, and that capital intensive sectors such as transport may therefore fare better than DCLG.  A calculator also allows you to ‘be Chancellor’ and see the trade-offs between cuts in different sectors.  IFS
 
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  A viable way of quantifying intrinsic value?  
 
 
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has produced the latest report in its Cultural Value project.  ‘Measuring Economic Value in Cultural Institutions’ used data collected by the Natural History Museum and Tate Liverpool to explore how monetary value can be ascribed to the work of cultural institutions, in a way that reflects their core purpose rather than treating them simply as businesses.  Researcher Hasan Bakhshi believes that by applying models used in the environmental sector, such as willingness to pay and subjective wellbeing, it is possible to quantify how much people’s lives are improved by culture.  A final report for the whole project will be published in January 2016.  Arts Professional, AHRC
 
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  Don’t be scared of policies to encourage diversity, says Ed Vaizey  
 
 
Speaking at an event on diversity in film at the BFI London Film Festival, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said that the cultural sector should not be afraid to embrace policies which increase diversity, both in film and performance, and behind the scenes.  He praised the BFI for introducing diversity standards last year, which film-makers must meet before receiving lottery funding: “People should stop being afraid they are going to be called out for being PC, or that they are being unfair in some kind of tortured way, and that if you take bold initiatives the sky isn’t going to fall on your head, they are generally welcomed, and you are making a difference.  You have to get on with it.” 
 
Meanwhile a report from the Creative Industries Federation reveals that there are still large inequalities in the sector: the percentage of women working in the creative industries fell to 37.1% in 2014, and 11% of workers are from BAME backgrounds - a low figure since so many creative industries are based in London where BAME people form 18% of the population.  Guardian, Arts Professional
 
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  Want to tour internationally?  
 
 
As part of an Arts Council England-funded project to develop the capacity of museums to tour internationally, the British Council is producing a brochure to showcase the wealth of collections held by UK museums and to encourage approaches from overseas museums for touring exhibitions or loans.  The brochure, which will be available both in hard copies and online, will be used by British embassies and UK Trade & Investment and British Council offices overseas to promote UK museums worldwide. It will be launched at the American Alliance of Museums conference in Washington DC in May 2016.
 
All UK museums - both national and non-national, and in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as England - are invited to register their interest.  There is no charge for inclusion in the brochure. The brochure content is being collated and edited by the National Museum Directors' Council (NMDC). For more information and an application form please contact [email protected]. The deadline for submitting material is 27th November.
 
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  Sentencing Council takes heritage impacts of theft into account  
 
 
The Sentencing Council has issued new guidelines to help courts set sentences for theft which factor in harm to heritage for the first time.  Nine ‘significant additional harms’ in addition to financial loss are listed, including fear caused by the crime, inconvenience and damage to heritage assets.  Mark Harrison, National Policing & Crime Advisor at Historic England, welcomed the revisions, saying “when thieves steal metal from heritage assets, such as listed churches, artefacts from the ground or historic stonework from an ancient castle, they are stealing from all of us and damaging something which is often irreplaceable.” Sentencing Council, Sentencing Council (press release)
 
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  Landmark Trust offers 50 for free holidays  
 
 
The Landmark Trust is offering free holidays at their properties to individuals or families who deserve a break.  Only organisations can make nominations, which should be submitted by 30th November.  Landmark Trust
 
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  Cuts  
 
 
  Cuts in the regions: a sketch  
 
 
Writing for Apollo Magazine, journalist Jack Wakefield has written about the difficulties of regional museums in an era of cuts, drawing examples from across the country.  Despite diversifying with gift shops, wedding services and cafes, regional museums typically rely on a much higher proportion of public funding and are therefore especially vulnerable.  Wakefield cites the closing of the Laing Art Gallery on Mondays, the 25% loss of museum staff in Liverpool since 2010, and a museum with a temporary exhibition lasting nearly a year without outside loans, to draw a picture of provision stretched thin.  He also makes a powerful case for the way that great regional collections can inspire a new generation of artists: from Lowry’s love of the Rossetti paintings on display in Manchester, to graphic novel author Alan Moore’s attempted defence of the Sekhemka statue against Northampton Council’s plans for its sale.  Now Lowry, and his local connections, are in his turn part of the cultural draw which brings people to Manchester.  Apollo Magazine
 
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  Prospect union launches ‘High Five Heritage’ campaign  
 
 
Prospect Union, which has members in more than twenty heritage occupations, has launched a campaign in the run up to the Chancellor’s 25th November CSR statement emphasising the importance of the cultural sector and arguing that it is bad economics, and bad for society, to instigate further funding cuts.  The #high5heritage campaign on twitter invites people to take a selfie doing a high five for heritage to show their support for the campaign. Prospect
 
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  Durham Light Infantry museum to close  
 
 
Durham Council has announced that it will be closing the Durham Light Infantry museum, making seven of nine staff redundant and moving the collection into storage.  It is exploring a deal with Durham University which would allow a small part of the collection to be on display in College Green Library.  In 2014/15 the museum had 39,359 visitors and cost £396,984 to run.  Since the decision more than 3,500 people, many of them ex-service people and their families, have signed a petition organised by David Brown asking for the museum to remain open.  Brown said “the council also has proposals to dispose of the site for redevelopment, something that greatly disturbs the families of those soldiers who had their ashes scattered in the grounds.  It has become a memorial and focal point of the sacrifice made by soldiers from the Tyne to the Tees and beyond.”  Museums Journal, Durham Chronicle
 
Also: At a cabinet meeting in late October, Dudley Council agreed that plans to close Dudley Museum, saving £764k by 2019–20, should go forward for further consultation.  Around 3,000 people have signed a petition asking for the museum to remain open.  Dudley Express & Star
 
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  New museums and restyles  
 
 
I Love Museums at the Yorkshire Museum
I Love Museums at the Yorkshire Museum
 
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  ACE supports digitisation of 100 major artists  
 
 
The DACS Foundation has received £250k from Arts Council England to lead a consortium to digitise the archives of 100 British artists active between 1900 and 2015.  The Art Fund, National Archives and Henry Moore Foundation are among others bringing expertise to the project.  30 to 40 archives will be digitised each year, and regional workshops will encourage artists and their estates to consider ‘legacy planning’, in a landscape where digitisation and the global market for UK art means that old paradigms for preserving an artist’s output are becoming outdated.  DACS describes the work as ‘the most ambitious public project for UK visual arts archive management to date’.  Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said “safeguarding artists’ legacies in perpetuity is an important and timely concern, and we are pleased to be involved in a project which is addressing these complex issues with subtlety and determination. Art360 promises to provide a fascinating and important resource for engaging with the work of contemporary artists in Britain.DACS Foundation, DACS (press release), Art Fund
 
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  Gormley in Gingerbread, Tangerine Dreams and other Edible masterpieces  
 
 
As we reported last month, The Art Fund has run its competition to recreate famous artworks using food, particularly cake, for a second year.  The results are now in, and the Art Fund’s compelling online exhibition shows off the results, including Anthony Gormley’s Field for the British Isles recreated in misshapen gingerbread men, Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam convincingly rendered using nothing but tangerine segments and a sponge cake and fondant icing version of George Frederic Watts’ Hope, in which the icing has all the sophistication of a piece made from porcelain.  Tangerine Michelangelo was the overall winner.  Art Fund
 
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  Black Museum comes out of the shadows  
 
 
The Metropolitan Police Service are working in partnership with the Museum of London to create a new permanent crime museum in the capital.  It will be based on artefacts from the Black Museum - a collection of artefacts gathered by police officers since the Victorian period associated with the crimes they investigated.  Many of the objects are currently on display as part of a temporary Museum of London exhibition, The Crime Museum Uncovered.  Director Sharon Ament said that the Museum of London was still advising on the early stages of plans for the new museum.  Deputy Mayor for policing Stephen Greenhalgh, said: “the new museum will show how London’s police force has since its formation responded to the changing demands of serving one of the biggest cities in the world.  It is an opportunity to the tell the stories not only of the criminals, but the police officers who investigated these crimes.” 
 
Meanwhile the new Jack the Ripper attraction in Cable Street continues to attract controversy because of its ghoulish attitude to the murdered women.  For Halloween it is offering visitors ‘a picture with Jack in Mitre Square together with the body of Catherine Eddowes’ and a historian told the Telegraph that a ‘continually looping soundtrack of women screaming’ greets visitors on arrival.  Whatever the Museum of London’s evolving plans, they are certain to be in contrast to this approach to the history of crime.  Museums Association, Telegraph
 
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  Croydon Council unveils plans for cultural quarter  
 
 
Croydon Council has revealed more about its plans to create a cultural quarter and refurbish Fairfield Halls.  The centre is likely to remain closed for two years for redevelopment, which will also include rebuilding Croydon College and shops and restaurants.  No overall cost has been put on the work, but £8m from the controversial sale of the Riesco ceramics will go towards it.  Croydon Advertiser
 
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  Liverpool Council contemplates street art gallery featuring Banksy  
 
 
As development continues in Liverpool’s ‘Baltic Triangle’ the Council has been asked to consider proposals for the first ever dedicated gallery of street art, especially featuring the works of Banksy whose ‘Love Plane’ and image of a giant cat have graced walls in the city in recent years.  The gallery is the idea of Peter McInnes, an art collector whose firm North Point is developing the area.  He said “[to] establish a street art gallery will be as much about supporting young artists and creating a space for them to develop their talent and reputation.”  Liverpool Echo, Arts Industry (subscription only)
 
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  Handel riffs with Hendrix in reframed museum  
 
 
The Handel House Museum near Oxford Circus has always included a nod to Jimi Hendrix in its marketing.  The 60s musician lived in a flat adjacent to the property, also owned by the museum.  Now a rebrand gives both men equal billing: a new website declares “separated by a wall and 200 years are the homes of two musicians who chose London & changed music”.  The revamped museum will open on February 10th 2016 and include a recreation of the flat which Hendrix shared with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham.  Lottery funding and gifts from private donors have enabled the redevelopment, as well as funding a 40 seat education space and concert venue.  NYTimes, Handel House Museum
 
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  Lifting up Luton: makeover for Wardown Park Museum  
 
 
The Heritage Lottery Fund has given £1.8m towards a £3.5m major refurbishment of Wardown Park Museum in Luton.  The large house was built for solicitor Frank Scargill in 1872 and became a museum in 1931.  The project will open up unused spaces and recreate areas typical of a wealthy Victorian home, such as the billiard and smoking rooms.  Archive collections will also tell the story of Luton’s hat industry and the history of the town to the present day.  The work is being strongly supported by Luton Council, and Luton Culture’s volunteer programme will be expanded to include the museum.  Museums Journal, HLF
 
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  Museum’s visitors ‘up 1340%’ since last year  
 
 
Woodhorn Museum is a complex based on a former colliery which also houses Northumberland archives.  From early September its visitor figures shot up by a remarkable 1340%, as it became the first museum to host part of the Blood Swept Lands poppy installation shown at the Tower of London last year.  Director Keith Merrin said "we wanted to create something that really spoke to local people.  The fact it cascades from a pit wheel has given it a whole new meaning.  It looks spectacular, but also really resonates with people who see the pit head as a symbol of the North East.”  A total of 120,000 people came to see the poppies – the equivalent of a year’s worth of visitors in seven weeks.  M+H Advisor, BBC, Woodhorn Museum
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
  Tate Modern goes solar  
 
 
Tate Modern has become the latest of many London institutions to install solar panels. The 82KWp system went live in late October and was donated by its corporate partner, Solarcentury.  Judith Nesbitt, the museum’s Director of National and International Programmes, said the panels were a small but important part of wider plans for sustainability: "Together with our plans for heat recovery and natural ventilation in the new building, we are exploring a whole range of approaches to reduce energy use." Meanwhile, nearby Blackfriars Bridge is generating half of its energy needs from solar panels.  The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is supportive of such schemes and has called for a retreat from proposed solar aid cuts.  Solar Century, businessGreen, Guardian
 
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  RAMM joins Exeter Dementia Alliance  
 
 
RAMM has consolidated its programme for visitors with dementia by joining the Exeter Dementia Alliance.  The Dementia Alliance helps people live well with the condition and avoid costly crisis intervention.  It opened its Exeter branch in January.  RAMM has been developing a dementia friendly programme for some time, based on groundbreaking work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  The local council is also committed to making Exeter a dementia friendly city and praised the museum’s new relationship with many other local organisations committed to this aim.  RAMM
 
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  National Gallery staff end strike  
 
 
National Gallery staff in the PCS union have ended their 100 day strike and returned to work after reaching an agreement with new Director Gabriele Finaldi.  A new outsourced contract for gallery attendants with the firm Securitas will go ahead, with the proviso that new as well as existing staff will receive the same terms and conditions, and the contract will be reviewed after one year.  The union rep, Candy Udwin, has also been reinstated.  A-N
 
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  British Museum says pre-booking is essential for tour groups  
 
 
The British Museum has said that tour groups of more than ten must book a week in advance or risk being turned away at the entrance.  This follows a huge rise in foreign tour groups over the last few years.  A spokeswoman for the Museum denied reports in some newspapers that the Museum was considering charging these groups:  “There are no plans under consideration for charging tour operators.  The trustees remain absolutely committed to free entry for all.”  Telegraph, Guardian
 
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  Events  
 
 
 
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  Participate in Holocaust Memorial Day 2016  
 
 
The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust has produced free guides and resources to help cultural institutions organise events for Holocaust Memorial Day on 27th January 2016.  It hopes this will encourage more museums to take part, and build on the 3600 events which took place last year.  Under the theme Don’t Stand By, the resources explore not only the Nazi persecution and Holocaust but also subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur - and how to apply their lessons to the present.  Museums can order free activity packs and sign up for workshops on the Holocaust Memorial Day site. Holocaust Memorial Day
 
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  Heritage Day 2015  
 
 
The Heritage Alliance is holding its annual Heritage Day on 3rd December at Christ Church, Spitalfields in London.  Chairman Lloyd Grossman, Minister for Heritage Tracey Crouch MP and English Heritage Chair Sir Laurie Magnus will lead the day and explore the major challenges facing heritage.  Tickets are £27 for members, and £40 for non members.  Heritage Alliance
 
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  Seminar: Beyond the Hashtag  
 
 
The Social History Curator’s Group is running a seminar, Beyond the Hashtag: Social History taking on the Social Network, at Leeds Discovery Centre on 23rd November.  It will explore how to make better use of your collections online to create a lively social media presence.  There will be speakers and case studies from the Horniman, Leeds Museums and elsewhere.  Tickets are £30 for SCHG members and £40 for non members.  SHCG
 
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  Unboxing the archive at Tate  
 
 
Tate Archives are the largest depository of British Art anywhere in the world.  Tate Archives & Access digital project is making 52,000 pieces from this collection available virtually, with help from a £1.9m grant from HLF.  As the project moves into its final stage, the team is holding a day long conference to share knowledge and invite discussion.  It takes place at Tate Britain on 23rd November: tickets are free but must be pre-booked. Tate
 
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  Creating successful touring exhibitions  
 
 
The Touring Exhibitions Group are offering workshops next year for museum managers who want to learn about building consortia to jointly tour exhibitions and economic models of touring exhibitions.  The events, taking place from February to July, are in Newcastle, London, Essex and Liverpool.  Tickets are £25 for TEG members and £35 for non-members, there are also bursaries of up to £30 for travel.  Sign language interpretation or induction loops are also available on request.  TEG
 
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  The Light Fantastic  
 
 
The Society of Light and Lighting has held a Night of Heritage Light, casting multicoloured and dramatic lighting on UNESCO Heritage sites in the UK to spectacular effect.  Museums + Heritage has published some of the resulting pictures, which include Bath Abbey backlit in fiery orange making it look like the mouth of a furnace, and Ironbridge Gorge’s famous bridge rendered bright pink (and a few other colours) using changing LED lights.  Natural geological formations Giant’s Causeway and Durdle Door were also lit up for the event.  M+H Advisor
 
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  Resources  
 
 
  AIM launches new guide to museum archive management  
 
 
AIM has published a new guide to help museums make the most of their archives.  The work has been funded by The National Archives, and will help staff and volunteers facing practical issues around managing these resources.  Co-author Janice Tulloch said, “Objects alone cannot tell the story that museums seek to explore. Archives support interpretation and object research, particularly in digital environments.”  AIM
 
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  … and a Trustee Portal  
 
 
AIM has a portal site specifically for museums seeking Trustees.  It is open to all independent museums.  AIM
 
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  MA publishes legal toolkit for museums disposing of collection items  
 
 
The Museums Association has published legal advice for museums considering curatorial disposal from collections.  Written by independent legal advisor Janet Ulph, the work was supported by AHRC, and supplements the MA’s main Disposals Toolkit.  The piece particularly focuses on items which are not being engaged with by the public, especially where the curator believes they would be appreciated by audiences elsewhere.  Museums Journal
 
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  I must go down to the sea again: the benefit of maritime culture  
 
 
A new report from the Honor Frost Foundation looks at the wealth of the UK’s maritime culture and asks if we are at risk of losing sight of its potential. The Social and Economic Benefits of Marine and Maritime Cultural Heritage argues that:
 
  • Marine culture goes back to the beginnings of history: the oldest site of human occupation in North West Europe is a beach in Norfolk, and 200,000 year old artefacts are being discovered in Great Yarmouth.  Every period of history from Romans to modern times are well represented in UK collections.
  • Maritime based heritage projects fit particularly well with modern concerns such as the environment and the wellbeing of populations.
  • A more joined up approach to maritime heritage would increase social and economic benefits from this history – the divides between different disciplines may need to be challenged.
  • There should be more quantification of the area – for example, visitor figures across all maritime based heritage attractions. 
 
Honor Frost Foundation
 
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  Making accessibility work in all kinds of museum spaces  
 
 
How do you make a Grade One listed house, with a daunting 2 metre high staircase to enter the property, easily accessible to disabled visitors?  This was the challenge at the National Trust’s Beningbrough Hall, one of six case studies featured in a new resource from M + H Advisor.  Other case studies include groundbreaking work at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and tips from disabled visitors to museums on improving your offer.  M + H Advisor
 
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  Funding  
 
 
 
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  AIM responds to a Call for Evidence on Gift Aid  
 
 
AIM has responded on behalf of the museum sector to a Government Call for Evidence on Gift Aid.  Their response emphasised that Gift Aid should be simplified so that organisations can claim it on a greater proportion of donations.  Gov.uk
 
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  Wellcome Trust offers funding for projects about science and ethics  
 
 
The Wellcome Trust is offering two award schemes: the People Awards and Society Awards both of which provide funding for projects engaging the public with science, the ethics of science, its effect on society and historical roots.  The scheme particularly invites museum staff to apply alongside writers, artists, educators, academics, games designers and others.  Projects can range from creating education materials to events, exhibitions, films, games and opinion gathering.  The next two deadlines are 20th November and 19th February.
 
People Awards are offered for projects up to £40k, and the Society Awards for scaling up previously piloted projects with awards above £40k.  Society Awards projects on average receive £180k over three years.  £300 - £1500 is available per applicant, which must provide 25% in match funding.  Wellcome Trust
 
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  #GivingTuesday campaign encourages public giving to charities  
 
 
The #GivingTuesday event which encourages the public to give to charity or volunteer, is taking place on December 1st.  Supported by the Charities Aid Foundation in the UK, it is now in its second year and DCMS is keen for more museums to take part in the campaign, which last year saw 800 charities taking part.  Business partners including BT, RBS and Facebook are involved, as well as major charities.  You can also participate via social media at @givingtuesdayuk using #givingtuesday.  Giving Tuesday
 
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  Art Fund’s plan to buy Rembrandt fails as the painting is sold privately  
 
 
An application to sell Rembrandt’s Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet overseas has been withdrawn after the Government imposed an export ban and the Art Fund planned a £35m fundraising campaign to save the painting for the nation. Now the picture will be sold within the UK, voiding the Art Fund’s plans.  The painting is one of the best known Rembrandts in the UK, has been here for more than 250 years during which it has been on display at many major museums.  The painting is also socially fascinating, showing an older Dutch Mennonite, accompanied not by her estranged husband, but her pet parrot.  The Art Fund said that it was ‘regrettable’ that it had missed the chance to purchase the painting at a greatly reduced price.  However, a spokesperson for Sotherby’s, which will now sell the painting, said there was a strong chance that the new owner would loan it to a UK institution.  Gov.uk, Museums Association
 
Also: An 8th - 9th Century Anglo Saxon brooch has had a temporary export bar imposed until 26th January. The asking price is £8,460.  Gov.uk
 
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  MGS offers Festival of Museums funding  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland is offering funding for accredited museums to run innovative events during the Scottish Festival of Museums on 13th - 15th May 2016.  Last year 23,000 visitors came to 115 events, 36% of whom had never visited an event at that museum before.  MGS particularly encourage museums to consider running an evening event, which will also be promoted as part of Culture24’s Museums At Night scheme.  The deadline for applications is 20th November.  MGS, MGS blog
 
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  ACNI describes funding allocation as ‘devastating blow’  
 
 
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has reacted to news that its funding allocation for 2016 will be €59.1m by describing it as a ‘devastating blow’.  Chair Sheila Pratschke said that ACNI had hoped for significantly increased investment.  She added that the body had just published its ten year strategy Making Great Art Work, focusing on ambitious art, communities and diversity, and said it would struggle to deliver on the plan at that level of funding.  ACNI
 
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  Extra funding for Scottish museum buildings and collections  
 
 
The Scottish Government has announced that it will be adding an extra £100k to the 2015/16 Capital Fund for museums and galleries.  It will also be giving £70k to Grampian Transport Museum for visitor access facilities.  The fund has already closed for applications.  The Scottish Government has also added £75k in top up funds to the National Fund for Acquisitions which is administered by National Museums Scotland.  MGS, Scottish Government
 
Also: There is still time to comment on Creative Scotland’s Creative Industry Strategy 2015-17 - public consultation ends at 5pm on 16th November.  The plan is built around four issues: investing in sustainable creative businesses; innovating for the wider economy; including all demographics and places; and international positioning.  Creative Scotland
 
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  Museums and rates  
 
 
The Welsh Government has set the rates on buildings from 2017 onwards, mirroring similar revision plans in England and Wales.  It intends to use the ‘contractor method’ which values buildings according to how much it would cost to rebuild them today, an approach which York Museums Trust is currently challenging in England, since no-one today would create a building along the lines of a 19th century prison or medieval castle.  In Wales, the rates are set at two different tiers: 4.5% and 2.97%, these will change to 3.8% and 2.1% in 2017.  However, museums are likely to stay in the higher band.  AIM was among the organisations who made representations to the Welsh Government over the changes. The legislation passed on 31st October.  AIM (scroll) Legislation.gov.uk
 
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  Creative People and Places extends support  
 
 
ACE has announced six recipients of further Creative People and Places funding - money available to areas of the country where there is little arts provision.  The money helped further develop the ten year vision of existing partner areas including Barking and Dagenham in London and South East Northumberland.  There was also continued funding for the Transported programme in Boston, Lincolnshire where Director Nick Jones said that private companies were also continuing to offer support:  “Our work with private sector companies, including art on lorries, has been an inspiration to us and them at the potential value arts can offer the private sector.”  Creative People and Places, which was frontloaded with an initial £37m in 2012 – 15, has had £20m allocated for the 2016 – 18 period, half of which is available for new projects.  ACE, Arts Professional
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
Sam Thorne will become the new Director of Nottingham Contemporary in early 2016.  He currently works as artistic director at Tate St Ives.  Museums Journal
 
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  Education  
 
 
  Arts Council launches Creative Education Challenge  
 
 
ACE has launched a Creative Education Challenge, which encourages sector leaders across the arts, education, local authorities, schools and higher education institutions to collaborate to give all children access to a creative education.  One in 20 jobs are now in the creative sector, but arts education provision varies widely across the country.  By working together, ACE hopes institutions can build joined up provision at a time when budgets are under pressure.  Fifty new cultural education partnerships will also replicate work by pilot schemes in Barking and Dagenham, Great Yarmouth and Bristol.  Schools Minister Nick Gibb said, “an introduction to the arts from an early age is vital to producing well-rounded and well-educated individuals”.  ACE
 
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  Raising Megan: Welsh Government consultation on indicators for wellbeing  
 
 
The Welsh Government is has put together forty proposed indicators, to allow it to measure whether the country is making progress under the 2015 Wellbeing Of Future Generations (Wales) Act.  A booklet and an accessible animation, starring a fictional small girl called Megan, outline the ambitions of the Welsh Government for children born in the country today.  These include the opportunity to participate in the arts and visit museums.  It also aims to create joined up thinking between public bodies to address poverty, social inequality and climate change.  The Government welcomes comment until 11th January 2016 on the 40 indicators for national wellbeing and seven measurements to track progress.  Youtube (animation), Welsh Government
 
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  MGS interns programme develops entry routes into the sector  
 
 
A report into the MGS’s Internship Programme, which ran from 2011 - 2014 says that 80% of the 40 participants found work in the sector within six months of completing the programme.  It found that the scheme shifted perceptions about entry routes into museum careers, plugged skills gaps and created a more diverse workforce.  MGS
 
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  Art is Your Human Right addresses arts education at William Morris Gallery  
 
 
Much of the output of the artist Bob and Roberta Smith has been overtly political over the last few years – especially around the importance of arts education for all.  Now a new exhibition at the William Morris Gallery brings together recent work, including a painted letter to then Education Secretary Michael Gove and a more recent multicoloured work aimed at London Mayoral candidates.  Smith says that a number of factors are squeezing the arts, including the greater resources they need compared to other school subjects.  “All of these different factors are conspiring against creative education in schools.  I don't think it's really some sort of incredible maligned attack on the arts.  A number of different factors are really squeezing arts, play and creative writing out of the curriculum.”  Art Is Your Human Right: The Artistic Campaigns of Bob and Roberta Smith runs until the end of January 2016.  Digital Arts Online
 
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  Preventing cultural destruction  
 
 
I Love Museums at IWM London
I Love Museums at IWM London
 
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  Fix the Houses of Parliament says Heritage Alliance  
 
 
Senior figures in the heritage sector including from the Heritage Alliance and Historic England have written to The Times urging the Government to begin work on restoring the Houses of Parliament, which needs repairs costing £5.7bn, while using the task to develop a new generation with heritage skills.  They write: “this project, besides creating jobs and apprenticeships, could have resurgence in many craft and traditional craft building skills.  We need urgently to commission the training to supply this expertise, as well as the associated management and scholarship that will be so vital for its successful delivery.”  Times (Subscription needed to see full article), BBC
 
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  Heritage at Risk 2015 unveiled  
 
 
Historic England has published its annual register of heritage structures at risk.  Findings this year include:
 
  • There are 5534 heritage assets on the register
  • Barrows are the most frequently listed as at risk and comprise 15.6% of the register (853 structures), followed by buildings (from Roman villas to Georgian town houses) which make up 6.6% of the register (360 properties)
  • There are fewer at risk buildings on the register than previously, but it is becoming more expensive to save them. 
  • Sites added to the at risk register this year include Naze Tower, an 86 foot high structure built in 1720 and the Propylaea, an 1811 entrance to Chester Castle. 
 
Some structures have been saved in the last year, including the UK’s earliest rollercoaster at Dreamland, Margate.  A third of all the buildings on the 2010 register have been saved, meaning that Historic England is meeting its targets for bringing historic assets back from the brink.  Historic England, Heritage Calling, HLF
 
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  British Museum unveils major project to protect Iraqi heritage  
 
 
The British Museum will lead a five year, £3m scheme to help rebuild Iraqi heritage. The Iraqi Emergency Heritage Management Project will create a local team of experts to assess, document and stablise sites across Iraq.  Welcoming the scheme Culture Secretary John Whittingdale said “civilisations tell their stories through their art, which is why people who are hell-bent on destruction, target it.  Removing places and things that have helped to give people a shared sense of history and identity helps to undermine social cohesion and makes reconciliation less likely.”
 
British Museum Director Neil MacGregor and Mechtild Rössler from UNESCO attended an event where the shaping of a dedicated Cultural Protection Fund (announced by George Osbourne earlier this year) was discussed.  Gov.uk
 
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  UN takes inspiration from ‘Monuments Men’ to protect heritage sites  
 
 
53 countries involved in the UN have voted in support of an Italian proposal to deploy peacekeepers to protect ancient heritage from destruction.  The idea follows extensive damage caused by Isis in Syria including the recent destruction of the ancient city of Palmyra.  The Italian Cultural Heritage Minister, Dario Franceschini, said the idea took inspiration from the film Monuments Men, which described how a platoon consisting of museum directors and curators saved artistic treasures from the Nazis during the Second World War.  If formed, the peacekeeping mission will protect “important sites at risk from terrorist attacks, or in war zones, or zones hit by natural disasters, where the international community will be able to send Cultural Blue Helmets to ... defend them before they can be destroyed.Telegraph
 
Also: Project Mosul, which crowdsourced images of Mosul Museum to create it in virtual reality after it was destroyed by ISIL, is expanding its work.  It will now recreate a wide range of damaged sites, including those harmed in the Nepal earthquake.  Founder Matthew Vincent says the scheme has built strong bonds with the media and communities in the process: “Whenever a site is mentioned we find that people come to it, the media reaches out to us and then people get excited, which gives us more photos and that helps the reconstruction.  It’s a cycle that is dependent on having that connection with the public, which helps us to thrive.” ALVA
 
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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.
 
Also, the British Council is seeking a Collections Assistant for its Visual Arts Department, more here.
 
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