September 2016

NMDC newsletter: September 2016
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  NMDC newsletter: September 2016
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  DCMS Museums Review

Karen Bradley launches Cultural Citizens Programme in maiden speech

£15m Great Places scheme is launched

Chancellor guarantees funding following Brexit

Martin Roth to leave the V&A

‘Unsurprised of Derby’ blogs on Brexit

Rural Tourism inquiry: NMDC submits evidence

Consultation: Treasury tax relief on touring and exhibitions

DCMS seeks feedback on methodology for sector Economic Estimates

Preparing to borrow: training in collections sharing wins ACE funding

ACE and HLF launch experiment in matched crowdfunding

Lancashire museums close temporarily, but seem likely to be saved

Get hired: Plymouth museum pilots new ways into the cultural sector for young people

Developing a skilled and diverse workforce in the cultural sector

Round two of the Discover England fund

Beyond London: Government launches Tourism Action Plan
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  DCMS Museums Review  |  Members’ news  |  White Paper for Culture in action  |  European Union  |  Surveys and consultations  |  Funding  |  Re-openings  |  Access  |  Events  |  Export bars and acceptance in lieu  |  Tourism  |  Tech  |  Jobs  
 
 
  DCMS Museums Review  
 
 
Moon Reflection © Rafael Defavari (Brazil) The brilliance of the Moon illuminates the night sky, and is reflected in the expansive water of the Paraty Bay, Brazil. Like all this month’s images, it is shortlisted for the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year
Moon Reflection © Rafael Defavari (Brazil) The brilliance of the Moon illuminates the night sky, and is reflected in the expansive water of the Paraty Bay, Brazil. Like all this month’s images, it is shortlisted for the Royal Observatory’s Astronomy Photographer of the Year
 
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  DCMS Museums Review  
 
 
DCMS has opened an online call for evidence as part of its Museums Review. This consultation is open until 6pm on October 31st.
 
The Review is wide-ranging and will look at how the sector operates, the challenges it faces and the role of Government-sponsored museums. The online consultation asks museums and their representative bodies to identify challenges and put forward potential solutions, as well as providing another opportunity to showcase good practice. There is also a set of questions for members of the public requesting views on local and national museums. The Review Team, led by DCMS Non-Executive Director Neil Mendoza, are also embarking on a series of field visits, particularly to museums based outside of London. As well as publishing the consultation, DCMS has also published the Terms of Reference for the Museums Review. Online consultation  Terms of Reference
 
The Museums Review was announced in the DCMS Culture White Paper earlier this year and was in part prompted by a joint submission to the White Paper consultation from six museum sector organisations, led and drafted by NMDC on behalf of the Association of Independent Museums, Museums Association, University Museums Group, Collections Trust and The Art Fund. Joint submission to Culture White Paper
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
  National Museums Liverpool dementia training to be expanded nationally  
 
 
National Museums Liverpool's groundbreaking work with people with dementia and their carers is likely to expand into a national programme. NML’s work in the area began with House Of Memories, building on the link between museums and memory. In 2012 Health Education England commissioned the museum to run a 'Train The Trainer’ drama-based programme. NML became the first organisation to run ‘Tier 2’ dementia training in health and social care settings. More than 10,000 family members and healthcare professionals have now been trained, and the social return on investment is calculated to be £1 to £19.06. The programme will be available for national roll-out in 2017-18. Arts Professional
 
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  A world in a grain of sand: storing history on DNA  
 
 
The last letter of Mary Queen of Scots, now held at National Library of Scotland, is being used by scientists to develop a revolutionary new way of storing historical and other data on DNA. The text of the letter, written hours before her execution in 1587, is being converted into short molecular sequences which theoretically can be stored for centuries. Music and colour can also be stored and reassembled in this way. The demand for data storage is currently increasing at a rate of about 50% a year – the DNA method allows huge quantities of data to occupy a very small space: it is estimated that the Harry Potter series could be stored 20 trillion times over on a single gram of DNA. Although Microsoft and others have previously experimented with DNA storage, the Scottish team are evolving a more flexible and affordable approach. Speaking for the Library, Gill Hamilton said, “we are delighted to be able to support this exciting Scottish-based research. Finding more effective solutions to data storage in the future is something that all libraries, organisations, companies and individuals have a strong interest in. We will be watching progress with much interest.” NLS
 
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  Royal Museums Greenwich receives £4.67m towards new gallery project  
 
 
Royal Museums Greenwich has been awarded £4,677,100 by HLF towards a new £12.6m project to create four new galleries. The Endeavour Galleries will be completed in the currently closed East wing of the National Maritime Museum in time for the Cook 250 celebrations, marking Cook’s 1768 departure on his first voyage of exploration.  The galleries will be themed around exploration in its broadest sense – topics are Pacific Encounters; Polar Worlds; Tudor and Stuart Seafarers; and Sea Things, a gallery showcasing the variety of the museum’s collections. An additional 40% of gallery space will allow 1,000 more items to go on display. RMG, HLF
 
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  Astronomy Photographer of the Year  
 
 
Images this month are all shortlisted for Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year, run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Photographs range from the Aurora Australis over New Zealand and the total eclipse in Indonesia, to the Cigar Galaxy, 12 million light years away. Wolfgang Tillmans and BBC Sky at Night magazine editor Jon Culshaw are among the judges who chose 130 images from 4,500 entries. Competition winners will be announced on 15th September, and an exhibition of the images will open at the Observatory two days later. RMG
 
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  Martin Roth to leave the V&A  
 
 
V&A Director Martin Roth has announced that he will leave the institution this autumn after five years in post. In a press release Roth said, “our recent accolade as Art Fund Museum of the Year feels like the perfect moment to draw to a close my mission in London”. The V&A is now beginning its search for a replacement. V&A
 
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  White Paper for Culture in action  
 
 
Just Missed the Bullseye © Scott Carnie-Bronca (Australia) The International Space Station (ISS) appears to pierce a path across the radiant, concentric star trails seemingly spinning over the silhouettes of the trees in Harrogate, South Australia.
Just Missed the Bullseye © Scott Carnie-Bronca (Australia) The International Space Station (ISS) appears to pierce a path across the radiant, concentric star trails seemingly spinning over the silhouettes of the trees in Harrogate, South Australia.
 
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  Karen Bradley launches Cultural Citizens Programme in maiden speech  
 
 
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley gave her first speech in post at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. She began by saying that the DCMS sectors punch above their weight economically, but the focus of the speech was on access and diversity. She pointed to schemes that seek to increase access to the arts, such as In Harmony Liverpool which now enables 700 children in the city to take part in orchestral music. However, there is significantly less arts engagement in the lower economic groups, among BME and disabled people, or those with ill-health. She said that in response the Government would pilot ideas suggested in the recent Culture White Paper ‘and expand and replicate the ones that work’. She made the following announcements:
 
  • The Cultural Citizens Programme begins with a pilot in three areas: Liverpool and Blackpool, Birmingham, and Barking and Dagenham. 600 schoolchildren from disadvantaged communities will be given unique access to cultural institutions. Some will also learn skills such as tour guiding or social media management. A New Direction are delivering the London strand.
  • The scheme may also be incorporated into the National Citizen Service, which 200,000 people have participated in since 2011.
  • DCMS has also just taken responsibility for the Office for Civil Society. This oversees a number of multi-million pound funds to promote social equality including Social Impact Bonds, The Affordable Lending Portal and the Centre for Social Action.
  • Bradley also referenced ACE’s work to increase the diversity of the arts workforce and inject more funding beyond London.
 
Gov.uk (Cultural Citizens), Gov.uk (Bradley speech) A New Direction, Arts Professional
 
Also: Culture Minister Matt Hancock gave a short speech welcoming delegates to the Edinburgh International Cultural Summit, emphasising the economic and social benefits of the arts, acting as ‘social glue’ nationally and internationally. Gov.uk
 
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  £15m Great Places scheme is launched  
 
 
HLF and Arts Council England have unveiled their £15m Great Places scheme, which will bring together culture with economic and social benefit in 12 pilot areas across the country.  Grants between £500k and £1.5m are available for partnership projects lasting up to three years. Groups are likely to include cultural organisations, community and voluntary groups, social enterprises, businesses, local authorities, parish councils and Local Enterprise Partnerships. The funding will cover projects which:
 
  • make sure the investment by ACE and HLF has the maximum positive impact on jobs, economic performance, educational attainment, community cohesion and health and wellbeing
  • explore new ways to use culture for delivering health or education services
  • fund cultural workers to build networks and increase their skills
  • find new ways of funding cultural organisations
  • research the contribution of culture to local economies
  • create networks to maximise the community benefit from culture.
 
The twelve regions have not yet been announced but are likely to include cities and groups of rural or seaside local authorities.  Heritage Minister Tracey Crouch said, "a strong heritage and cultural sector supports tourism, wellbeing and economic growth. By celebrating and preserving history, architecture and art, communities can transform their local area. The Great Place Scheme will showcase just what can be done when you put culture at the heart of local plans and policies." HLF, Great Places (dedicated website)
 
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  Galleries of Justice deliver National Citizen Service programme  
 
 
The Galleries of Justice museum is delivering a new National Citizen Service programme to help 300 young people think how the justice system might look in the future.  The programme takes the museums holdings on the history of crime and punishment in Nottingham as a starting point for looking at current issues in prisons from drugs to voting rights to violence.  The National Citizen Programme is a 2- 4 week experience for 15 – 17 year olds to build skills for work and life. It is currently expanding, and museums may be well placed to deliver aspects of the programme. National Centre for Citizenship and the Law
 
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  Labour pledges to bring arts funding ‘in line with European average’  
 
 
Jeremy Corbyn announced his proposed new arts manifesto in the last days of the Edinburgh Festival. He said that under his leadership the Party would:
 
  • reverse recent cuts to the arts and bring funding ‘in line with the European average' by rescinding George Osborne's reduction to the capital gains tax, thus raising £670m.
  • stamp out unpaid internships and low pay in the sector through national policies and guidelines
  • create an 'arts pupil premium' for every primary school in England, Wales and Scotland
  • consider whether dance and drama should be national curriculum subjects in their own right
  • introduce a moratorium on privatisation in the museum sector.
 
Arts Professional has disputed figures given during the speech which claimed that reductions to Grant in Aid for Arts Councils would cost £42.8m to restore to their 2010/11 figure. The bodies mentioned say they were not the source for the figures which do not match their own calculations.  Also criticising the plans, the Telegraph argued that there are not enough teachers trained in dance, drama or art to implement Labour's arts plans and that an oversupply of arts funding in Europe had led to white elephant schemes. EU states spend an average of 0.5% of GDP on arts and culture. Museums Journal, BBC, Telegraph, Guardian, Arts Professional
 
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  Creature of the Night: London seeks its first Night Czar  
 
 
With the introduction of the Night Tube, new Mayor of London Sadiq Khan is turning his attention to London’s night time economy, and seeking to appoint a first Night Czar for the city. In Amsterdam a similar appointment helped to combat anti-social behaviour, evolve the night time economy and make the city safer at night. Museum of London Director Sharon Ament has recently said that she would like the museum to reflect London’s night culture at its new venue in Smithfield Market.  Mayor of London
 
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  European Union  
 
 
  Chancellor guarantees funding following Brexit  
 
 
The Chancellor Philip Hammond has guaranteed funding to businesses, universities and other institutions so they can complete European programmes with an end date which falls after the UK leaves the EU. These include:
 
  • all structural and investment funds signed before the Autumn Statement. The Treasury will also assess whether support similar funds signed after the Autumn Statement but before leaving the EU.
  • where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while the UK is still a member of the EU.  The Treasury will underwrite the payments to universities participating in Horizon 2020, even when the end date of the project is after the UK’s exit from the EU.
 
President of the Royal Society Sir Venki Ramakrishnan welcomed the news, saying there had been anecdotal evidence of UK scientists being passed over for collaborative projects because of the uncertainty. However, he asked for an extension of the guarantees beyond the Autumn Statement - “our hope is that any grants that are awarded while we are still in the EU should be allowed to complete.” The Local Government Association also welcomed the news, but its Chairman Lord Porter said it did not go far enough in providing reassurances about £5.3bn of European regeneration money that local areas had been expecting to receive by 2020. He said this “risked stalling flagship infrastructure projects, employment and skills schemes and local growth.” A blog by Richard Russell at Arts Council England described the news as ‘encouraging’, though the body will continue to monitor closely what this means for EU funding agreements. ACE is currently analysing sector responses to leaving the EU, and will be publishing a report later this month. Russell adds, “the Arts Council knows that a vibrant and resilient arts and culture sector needs international collaboration and exchange: we will do all that we can to promote and protect these essential relationships.”  Gov.uk, Arts Professional, Guardian
 
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  Scotland and the EU referendum  
 
 
The Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland, Sir John Leighton has commented about his 'concern' about the impact of Brexit on museums in the country, which voted to remain in the European Union. He said the short-term risk is of downturn in the economy leading to cuts in government funding and commercial sponsorship, with long-term outcomes depending on the terms of the exit. He said, "it will be vital for us to promote our culture with confidence and ambition, and continue to demonstrate how the arts transcend politics and boundaries to link us with the wider world." The Art Newspaper (subscription only)
 
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  Museums and migration  
 
 
The Network of European Museum Organisations (NEMO) has published a short report on museums and migration – addressing the topic from several angles, including migration as a modern political issue, in the context of historic migration, new collecting, framing exhibitions and outreach. NEMO
 
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  ‘Unsurprised of Derby’ blogs on Brexit  
 
 
One person unsurprised by the result of the EU referendum is Derby Museums Director Tony Butler, who has blogged on the outcome from a city which voted strongly to leave. He suggests a number of lessons for museums in the aftermath. He points out that cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Newcastle which voted remain had 'high local GDP, multiple universities and the younger population' as well as 'consistently higher cultural investment’. Museums contextualise difficult contemporary issues, but were more vulnerable in leave areas. He also argues for the importance of inclusion and diversity, but says that all local councils are preoccupied with creating cohesion above all else, leading to a ‘Pollyannaish approach to multiculturalism’, and an aversion to looking at difference and conflict, rather than accepting that all communities are complicated. He argues that the future for museums in strengthening their value as civic institutions, which “must strive to be more open and democratic, viewing the public not as consumers but citizens who can participate in every aspect of making culture”. Tony Butler blog
 
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  Surveys and consultations  
 
 
  Rural tourism inquiry: NMDC submits evidence  
 
 
NMDC has submitted evidence to the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee inquiry into rural tourism. The submission, also made on behalf of the Museums Association and Association of Independent Museums, outlines how museums are a crucial part of rural and coastal tourism and sets out a series of measures which could help museums maximise their contribution to rural tourism. These include encouraging product and place-based marketing, strategic public investment in rural and coastal museum, and tackling major infrastructure challenges of slow broadband, infrequent public transport and signage. Rural Tourism inquiry submission
 
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  All Party Parliamentary Group inquiry in Arts, Health and Well-being  
 
 
NMDC has collated examples of the work members' museums do to use museum buildings and collections to support local health and well-being initiatives, and submitted these as part of the call for evidence issued by the All Party Group on Arts, Health and Well-being. The All Party Group is working with the Kings College Cultural Institute on a two year research project considering the impact that arts and culture has on health and well-being. Arts, Health and Well-being call for evidence submission
 
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  Consultation: Treasury tax relief on touring and exhibitions  
 
 
The 2016 budget announced a new tax relief for museums, to be implemented in April 2017. The relief will apply to temporary and touring exhibitions nationwide. The Treasury is now seeking feedback on its consultation document which should be sent to [email protected]. The closing date is 28th October. Gov.uk (consultation document)
 
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  Call for evidence: Tailored Review of Arts Council England  
 
 
The Government is calling for evidence ahead of its Tailored Review of Arts Council England. It has launched a survey which will be open until 20th September. The Review will consider:
 
  • Whether the functions performed by the Arts Council remain appropriate
  • How its performance and effectiveness is assessed
  • The Arts Council’s standing, engagement and influence with stakeholders
  • Part two of the review will then go on to look at effectiveness and efficiency.
 
Gov.uk (survey), Gov.uk (full terms of reference for the review)
 
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  DCMS seeks feedback on methodology for sector Economic Estimates  
 
 
DCMS recently published its first DCMS Sectors Economic Estimates, which include estimates of GVA, employment, exports and imports of services, and number of enterprises, for the cultural sector as well as other DCMS sectors.  As part of its work to develop these estimates DCMS is seeking feedback on a number of areas, including:
 
  • Sector definitions
  • Methodology
  • Future publications 
 
A consultation document gives full information. Stakeholders with views on the Economic Estimates are encouraged to get in touch at [email protected] by 14th October, whether you have a specific view or would simply like to discuss any aspect with the team. Gov.uk (consultation document)
 
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  Survey: the historic environment and the EU  
 
 
Historic England is running a survey to find out what support for the historic environment organisations receive from the EU. The survey will inform the advice that Historic England gives to government. The deadline is 16th September. Historic England
 
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  Kicking the Dust: HLF and youth  
 
 
HLF has published an update on its ongoing programme 'Kicking the Dust' which aims to make its work more relevant to young people. Its research has found many youth sector organisations have less capacity to apply for heritage funding, with dwindling resources and urgent issues such as homelessness and drugs to address. However larger agencies welcome the opportunity to work on larger strategic projects with youth and heritage elements.  Three recent consultations in three cities are helping HLF move towards sharpening up programme contents.  HLF
 
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  Funding  
 
 
Wall of Plasma © Eric Toops (USA) A searing solar prominence extends outwards from the surface of the Sun. The ‘wall of plasma’ is the height of three times the Earth’s diameter.
Wall of Plasma © Eric Toops (USA) A searing solar prominence extends outwards from the surface of the Sun. The ‘wall of plasma’ is the height of three times the Earth’s diameter.
 
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  Preparing to borrow: training in collections sharing wins ACE funding  
 
 
Arts Council England has awarded the Touring Exhibitions Group £34k to offer training in sharing collections. The year-long programme, Preparing to Borrow: Approaches to sharing collections will encourage regional museums to borrow from national collections and other large organisations. The course recognises that national-regional museum relationships can only flourish if nationals can shape their approach to the practices and budgets of smaller organisations, and regional museums have the confidence and competencies to make applications to borrow. TEG will work closely with NMDC and Museum Development groups in all regions. TEG
 
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  Launch of the second round of the Cultural Protection Fund   
 
 
The second round of the Cultural Protection Fund is now open. The £30m fund, administered by the British Council, is designed to help create sustainable opportunities for economic and social development through the fostering, safeguarding and promotion of cultural heritage internationally. Organisations working with local partners in one or more of the Fund's target countries within the Middle East and North Africa region are invited to apply. In this round of funding, organisations can apply for up to £3m for projects focusing on the protection of cultural heritage at risk due to conflict. British Council
 
Also: Stephen Stenning has blogged for the British Council about the lengths people go to defend culture in times of national crisis and why the UK's ratification of the Hague Convention on cultural property is so important. British Council
 
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  Integrating arts and museum funding at ACE  
 
 
Arts Council England’s Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein has blogged about the unification of funding pots at the Arts Council for arts and museums, which was announced last month. He describes how in Colchester the Mercury Theatre, Norman castle, and Arts Centre are working together sharing sharing ‘practice, audiences, collections, art and spaces’. He writes, “our aim is that our future funding should enable this process rather than complicate it”. ACE blog
 
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  ACE and HLF launch experiment in matched crowdfunding  
 
 
Crowdfunding continues to grow in the UK and is now worth £400m a year. In the light of this NESTA, Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery Fund have launched a joint scheme to discover whether match funding the monies raised by the Crowd will help encourage giving. The organisations are using the platform Crowdfunder for two streams of activity:
 
  • ACE is offering between £1k - £10k, and up to 25% of total project funds to top up crowd funded work by individual artists in England.
  • HLF is offering £1k - £10k, and up to 25% of total project funds for projects by organisations in the South West and North West of England and Scotland, if the other 75% is raised by the Crowd.
  • Both organisations are investing £125k each in total.
 
Organisations interested in participating should register their interest when the scheme opens on 14th September. Crowdfunder Managing Director Phil Geraghty said, “we are seeing huge growth in crowdfunding for arts and heritage projects having already raised in excess of £5m on Crowdfunder.” Crowdfunder (register interest here), NESTA
 
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  Outreach grants for Iraqi heritage  
 
 
The British Institute for the Study of Iraq is keen to raise awareness among museum professionals of its grants programme to support public engagement projects on the heritage and culture of Iraq. Grants of up to £1k are available to residents of the UK carrying out projects in the UK or Iraq. Previously funded work has ranged from visitor signage at Shanidar Cave, the creation of KS2 teaching resources on Ancient Sumer, and numerous exhibitions and publications. The deadline is 1st October. Further details are available from [email protected], 020 7969 5274 or online. BISI
 
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  Arts Council England is 70  
 
 
Arts Council England celebrated its 70th birthday during August, promoting 70 artistic things to try from knitting to listening to a busker. Darren Henley has blogged reflecting on its history and its inception as an idea of economist John Maynard Keynes. He discusses the ongoing journey from exclusivity to diversity writing, “back in the 1940s, there could sometimes appear to be a lofty separation between artists and the rest of the population, and politicians and funding organisations took a rather patrician view of audiences, who were offered what the establishment thought was good for them, rather than what they might actually want or need.” ACE blog
 
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  Royal Society offers grants for small museums to celebrate scientific heroes  
 
 
Royal Society has launched a new grant scheme offering up to £3k to small accredited museums and other institutions, to celebrate local scientific heroes. Successful schemes will link historical figures to modern science and scientists, highlight the diversity of people who have contributed to science and attract audiences. The deadline for applications is 30th September. Royal Society
 
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  Museums Association find museums’ relationships with BP do not breach Code of Ethics  
 
 
Following a complaint by the pressure group Art Not Oil, the Museums Association’s Ethics Committee has been examining whether the relationship between national museums and BP breached its Code of Ethics. The MA’s committee found that the Code has not been broken adding, “the Ethics Committee’s remit extends to a consideration of the relationship between a museum and a sponsor; it does not extend to commenting more generally on the global practices of BP”. It said that updating a sponsor on exhibition plans is ‘common practice’ and does not indicate undue influence on the content. It also found that museums had not acted against the code by sharing details of planned protests at their venues, commenting “it is common practice for a museum to share security knowledge with others in the sector and with the police.” Museums Journal, Art Newspaper
 
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  Scholarships for under-represented groups at Leicester museum course  
 
 
The School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester is 50 this year, and has announced that it will both celebrate the anniversary and address the lack of diversity on its courses and in the wider museum sector with new scholarships. These will be aimed at people from BME backgrounds, those with disabilities, and from lower income households and areas. Successful scholarship winners will receive a £3k discount on a Masters or Postgraduate course. M+H
 
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  Re-openings  
 
 
  Lancashire museums close temporarily, but seem likely to be saved  
 
 
Organisations have come forward with business plans to take over the running of five Lancashire museums threatened with closure after the local authority said it could no longer afford to run them. The museums will still close at the end of September, but it is hoped they will be able to reopen by the end of the year if negotiations are successful. Lancashire Council has not released the names of the bidding organisations. County Councillor Marcus Johnstone told the Lancashire Telegraph,this is extremely good news for the future of these museums. There is obviously still a lot of work to do but it is very encouraging to see such robust and well-thought-through business plans. In an ideal world we would not have been forced into this position but as we no longer have the funding to keep these cultural resources open we can at least do a thorough job to ensure that they have a sustainable future.” Lancashire Council has to make £262m in new savings in the five years from 2016. Museums Journal, Lancashire Telegraph
 
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  Bede’s World reopens with new name  
 
 
In February, Bede’s World was on the verge of closure after the trust which ran it became insolvent. The charity Groundwork South Tyneside intervened to take it over and has now re-opened the museum with a new name: Jarrow Hall – Anglo Saxon Farm, Village and Bede Museum. The change of name is to appeal to a wider audience. It is also expanding the venue’s offer to include artists’ studios, community events and an education programme.  Museums Journal
 
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  Monastery and castle open new museums  
 
 
A new museum has opened at the site of the 12th century Norton Priory in Runcorn, Cheshire, following a £4.5m development. HLF contributed £3.9m. The site is the most excavated monastery in Europe with about 70,000 artefacts. A previous museum on the site was opened in 1985. Meanwhile, the museum at Enniskillen Castle in Northern Ireland has reopened following a £3.5m refurbishment. Museum Manager Sarah McHugh said a building which had been a ‘derelict eyesore’ in the 1960s is now completely transformed into a new visitor centre. BBC, Norton Priory, HLF, BBC (Enniskillen) M+H
 
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  Access  
 
 
Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon, Iceland © Giles Rocholl (UK) Northern Lights streaking across the night sky over the lagoon at Jokulsarlon, Iceland on Valentine’s night of 2016
Northern Lights over Jokulsarlon, Iceland © Giles Rocholl (UK) Northern Lights streaking across the night sky over the lagoon at Jokulsarlon, Iceland on Valentine’s night of 2016
 
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  Get hired: Plymouth museum pilots new ways into the cultural sector for young people  
 
 
Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery have used their Major Partner Museum status to create opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds to gain experience in the creative sector.The participants in the bespoke Prince’s Trust ‘Get Into Arts, Culture and Heritage’ module include young people from the LGBT community or with disabilities or mental and physical health conditions. The project has explored how to break down barriers to working in the cultural and museums sector, for example by recognising that traditional interviews and application forms do not always enable young people to demonstrate their ability to do a job well. Attendance at a ‘Get Hired’ event at Plymouth Museum in July has already resulted in four of the young people getting paid employment, including a British Museum Learning Museum trainee position.  All participants will continue to be supported for a further six months. Plymouth Museum is part of the wider Reach South West consortia which also includes the Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter. Raising aspirations and supporting those from diverse backgrounds or with perceived barriers has been at the core of its projects. It has also created gateway seminars for emergent creative professionals in Exeter and Plymouth. Plymhearts, British Museum, Prince’s Trust
 
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  Mixed results from introducing museum charging in York  
 
 
Following redevelopment, York Art Gallery introduced an admission charge of £7.50 for adults in 2015, hoping to retain 190,000 visitors, or 23,750 a month between August 2015 and March 2016. However, the gallery has so far averaged 7,658 per month. A spokesperson told Museums Journal that the figure was ‘an ambitious target and was not used in the trust’s financial forecasting or budget’. However, the YMT card, which gives access to three York museum venues, is showing promising signs of building on initial audience figures. 20,000 of the £22 cards have now been issued, 47% of which have been taken up by York residents, meaning that one person in 15 in the city now owns one. As more cards are sold and residents make repeat visits, the Trust hopes to increase numbers. A major exhibition, Flesh, featuring artists including Degas to Sarah Lucas opens this month. To date, although the funding from charging has not replaced the gallery’s lost local council support, it has allowed it to remain financially viable. The Trust is offering a number of opportunities for locals to visit museums in the city for free including the York Residents Festival and during Open Weekends each June. Entry for under 16s, and under 24s receiving benefits remains free. York Museum Trust, Museums Journal
 
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  Getting to the door of the museum: the hidden costs of culture  
 
 
As figures for visits to cultural venues for the less wealthy remain intractably lower, two cultural workers deeply committed to the sector write about the costs of visiting – with or without an admissions charge.Time Out’s theatre critic Andrzej Lukowski asks ‘would I go to the theatre if I wasn’t a critic? Honestly?’. It emerges that the problem isn’t disenchantment with the artform, but merely the logistics of raising a baby in Zone 4. He estimates that going to London with his wife to see a show with a ‘babysitter and some sort of meal’ would cost £150 - ‘a ludicrous sum of money’. Although not in favour of special reductions for relatively well-off middle class people, he says, “if the exact stereotype of the sort of person who goes to the theatre can’t afford to go to the theatre, it probably isn’t accessible to all”.
 
Similar calculations are part of Tincture of Museum’s blog on the ‘museum charging slippery slope’ as she considers charges at the Science Museum’s new Wonderlab and at the Horniman’s Aquarium, when factoring in three children and tube fares. Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford has written eloquently for the Huffington Post about the trade-offs in the decision to charge for a gallery which now plans to double school visits to 200,000, gathering up many (particularly in more disadvantaged groups) who would otherwise not find their way to the door of the museum. He adds, “of course, in a time of declining public funding, we could have watched our previous free interactive gallery decline, patching it up from time to time and reducing the involvement of our Explainers. But we made a positive and ambitious choice to invest in the future of our Museum, to invest in the future of young curious minds and to develop a world-beating interactive gallery which, through an entry charge, will retain its extremely high quality of visitor experience for many years to come.” Tincture counters that school trips cost too, but concedes ‘the reality of funding cuts in museums… At some point something has to give.’ None offer utopian solutions, and all emphasise that the museum sector’s impact is shaped by considerations of transport, child-raising and housing that it cannot directly influence. The Stage, Tincture of Museum, Huffington Post
 
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  Events  
 
 
  British Museum offers free skills sharing sessions  
 
 
The British Museum is offering a range of free collections care skills sharing programmes, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The current list of events runs until January and covers topics from textiles to medals and pest management – but more events will continue to be added. There is also a limited number of travel grants for participants. British Museum
 
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  V&A Innovative Leadership programme  
 
 
The V&A Innovative Leadership programme runs from 12th October 2016 – July 2017, consisting of 12 workshops and eight action learning sessions. Teachers are practitioners and thinkers who are experts in creativity, ethics, leadership and change. The course will offer a guide to leading in a changing and complex world, and support from a peer group of fellow learners. The course has generated 200 alumni over 12 years, many of whom now have leadership roles at major institutions. Places cost £3k + VAT. For further information and to reserve a place, please contact James Wilson, +44 (0) 20 7942 2955  [email protected]  VAM (overview), VAM (programme detail)
 
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  Economics of Touring Exhibitions, Brighton  
 
 
The Touring Exhibitions Group is continuing its series of events on the economics of touring at a one-day course in Brighton on 15th September. Structuring an exhibition, and evolving the confidence to approach partners and venues are among the topics discussed. Tickets are £25 for TEG members, £35 for non-members, with 10 travel bursaries up to £30 available. TEG
 
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  Developing a skilled and diverse workforce in the cultural sector  
 
 
Since 2012, the Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton has been developing a pioneering Workforce Development Programme, to build a skilled, engaged and entrepreneurial workforce, enabling frontline staff to work in departments and on projects across the organisation. A one-day conference on 30th November will include case studies, tours, short presentations and workshops. Participants include ACE’s Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein, representatives of Pallant House who will be giving a workshop on career pathways, and the London Museum Development team speaking about cross departmental working. Tickets are £50 (£40 concessions). RPM
 
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  London Design Biennale - Museum redesign event  
 
 
The first London Design Biennale opens on 7th September at Somerset House in London, where 37 countries and territories will be responding to the theme of 'Utopia by Design' with new work. The UK's submission Forecast, an installation by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby in collaboration with the V&A, moves with the wind to evoke Britain's nautical past and its future use of renewable energy.
 
The Biennale includes a talk on 3pm Thursday 8th September about the recent redesign of the Smithsonian Design Museum. Caroline Baumann, Director, Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and Micah Walter, Director of Digital and Emerging Media, will discuss how the museum's recent renovation and redesign, commitment to accessibility and ground-breaking creative technologies transformed the museum experience, empowered its visitors to directly engage with design, and continues to attract new audiences. Tickets are £8.  London Design Biennale  Somerset House (tickets)
 
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  European Year of Cultural Heritage proposal published  
 
 
The European Commission has published its proposal for a European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018. It will promote safeguarding culture, public enjoyment of culture, and culture’s importance in the economy, tourism and local employment. 7.8 million jobs are indirectly associated with the European cultural heritage sector and a further 300,000 directly. As the UK will still be a member of the European Union in 2018, UK organisations can participate as leaders or partners. Europa.eu, Heritage Update
 
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  THE ARTS+: The Business of Creativity  
 
 
A new fair and conference in Frankfurt is looking at the intersection between arts, creative industries and new technologies, from 3D printing, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to new currencies and blockchain. It also explores intellectual property in the digital age and the challenges for museums and galleries. Speakers include web futurist Jeff Jarvis, Head of Deutsche Bank Edward Budd, and art collector Julia Stoschek. The conference takes place on 19th October, and during the accompanying five-day fair. Joint tickets start at €480.00 +VAT and also give admission to Frankfurt Book Fair. There is an additional discount for NMDC newsletter readers if you quote THEARTSPLUS2016_NMDC on booking. ARTS+
 
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  International Museum Construction Congress  
 
 
The IMCC is designed for architects, museum professionals and service providers involved in museum renovation, new construction and expansion projects. It will be held at the Andaz Amsterdam from November 13-15, 2016. Tickets are $699 and an additional 20% discount for NMDC newsletter readers is available by quoting code 'Amsterdam'. IMCC
 
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  Export bars and acceptance in lieu  
 
 
  Sapphires and steely women  
 
 
Pieces of jewellery belonging to two iconic female leaders have received an export bar.  Queen Victoria’s diamond and sapphire coronet, designed by Prince Albert and made famous in an 1842 portrait, has an asking price of £5m plus £1m VAT. Culture Minister Matt Hancock said, “Queen Victoria’s coronet is stunning. It is one of the most iconic jewels from a pivotal period in our history and symbolises one of our nation’s most famous love stories.” The export license is deferred until 27th December, with a possible extension until June 2017.
 
Meanwhile, French buyers of a gold plated 15th century ring, believed to have belonged to Joan of Arc, evaded an export bar to take it to the French historical theme park Le Puy du Fou. Its President Nicolas de Villiers said, “it’s a small ring which does not appear of much value, but it has extraordinary symbolic significance for the French and we had to get it back. It’s a strong symbol of an extraordinary period in our history and reminds us of this great woman who overcame such obstacles to get people to listen to her and lead our country to victory.” The ring had been in England for 600 years, and sold at £300k, thirty times its initial valuation. The dispute over the export bar was diplomatically resolved after the French appealed to the Queen – the UK now accepts that the French buyers can retain the piece. Gov.uk, Guardian
 
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  Tax ruling would allow National Gallery to fund raise for Pontoromo  
 
 
The National Gallery would have a fighting chance of acquiring Pontormo’s 1530 Portrait of a Young Man in a Red Cap if there is a favourable ruling from Philip Hammond, the new Chancellor of the Exchequer. The painting was sold for £30m to an overseas buyer last year and an export bar imposed. However, unusually, the seller had already paid very substantial inheritance tax on the picture before the sale. If this sum is reimbursed to the National Gallery then it would only have to raise £12m to save the picture for the Nation. Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said this would be “completely consistent with the Treasury’s existing system of tax concessions to encourage the acquisition of nationally important works by public museums”. Whatever the decision, it is likely to set a precedent for similar situations in future. The National Gallery had been displaying the picture on loan from the owner between 2008 and 2015. At its request the export bar has now been extended to 22nd October. Art Newspaper
 
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  Joshua Reynolds portrait acquired for the nation  
 
 
A major portrait by Joshua Reynolds of the 5th Earl of Carlisle has been acquired for the Nation in lieu of inheritance tax. It has been allocated to Tate but will remain in situ at Castle Howard, North Yorkshire for the time being, before touring the country to venues including Tate Britain. The portrait has long been regarded as one of Reynolds’ masterpieces, and has hung at Castle Howard for 200 years. ACE
 
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  Tourism  
 
 
  VisitEngland awards for excellence launched  
 
 
VisitEngland has launched its 2017 Awards for Excellence in tourism - the 28th year of the prize. In 2015, there were 417 entries resulting in 80 gold, silver and bronze awards. The 19 categories include small and large visitor attraction of the year, awards for inclusive and sustainable tourism and a prize for the providers of stylish glamping. There is also a new award for bodies offering a particular welcome to Chinese visitors. The deadline for most categories is mid October, but some end earlier. Judges will visit the venues from October to February, with the winners announced in April 2017. VisitBritain, VisitEngland Awards
 
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  Round two of the Discover England fund  
 
 
The second round of the Discover England fund covering 2017 – 2019 is offering £15m to 'develop world-class bookable English tourism products’. Projects must response to international customer demand, and join up the product offering over wide geographies or nationally, with a collaborative or partnership approach. Round one recipients included the £250k pilot project Telling the Stories of England – a plan to created themed, narrative-based tours for an American audience. The current round of funding has two strands:
 
  • £13m is available for two-year projects with a minimum value of £1 million. These should help create a step change in an English bookable tourism product. The deadlines for expressions of interest are during September and October.
  • £2m is available for one year projects of up to £250k in which the emphasis is on pilots and product development, and which could potentially have impact across the wider tourism industry. Details of deadlines for option two will be available in early 2017.
 
VisitBritain, Museums Journal
 
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  Beyond London: Government launches Tourism Action Plan  
 
 
The Government has launched a new Tourism Action Plan to encourage more tourists to travel around the UK. Overseas visits were at their highest ever during 2015, bringing £22.1bn into the economy, but 50% this spend is in London because many visitors do not venture beyond the capital. The package includes:
 
  • the £40 million Discover England fund to encourage projects and organisations in different geographical regions work in a more joined up way
  • five easy to book tourist rail itineraries to encourage seamless travel around the UK
  • flexible apprenticeship schemes taking place intermittently over 18 months instead of 12 consecutive months, to accommodate the seasonal nature of the tourist industry. Through Coastal Communities Fund there is a target of 6000 apprenticeships in seaside towns in particular.
  • modifying red tape so bed and breakfast owners can offer drinks to guests on arrival or pick them up from the station.
 
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said, "I look forward to helping further strengthen tourism outside London to ensure that growth from the sector is enjoyed right across the whole country."  Gov.uk (full action plan), Gov.uk (press release)
 
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  When tourism goes bad: Death in Venice  
 
 
The New York Times offers a warning tale from Venice, which UNESCO is threatening to put on its danger list, because the relationship between tourism and the lives of ordinary Venetians has become so inbalanced. NYT comments, “tourism is tearing apart Venice’s social fabric, cohesion and civic culture, growing ever more predatory” as hotels, cruise ships and a tourist monoculture have reduced the city’s local population by two thirds since 1951. No UK city faces such an extreme situation, but Venice’s problem emphasises the importance of a cultural offering which serves, not squeezes, the local population and is balanced by other forms of economic growth. New York Times
 
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  Perth joins City of Culture bid  
 
 
Perth has become the fifth city to put itself forward for UK City of Culture 2021. Cardiff and Milton Keynes are also contemplating bids to join Sunderland, Stoke-on-Trent, Paisley and Coventry.  The winner will be announced in 2017. Museums Journal
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  Mobile distraction? making apps work with not against your museum space  
 
 
Although mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular in museum spaces, Oxford University Museums Partnership has been exploring an inherent tension: head-down mobile users risk missing the carefully curated collections in the real world all around them. OUMP has been researching how mobile can be used to work with the museum space, not against it. The result is ‘Pocket Curator’, an app for the Museum of the History of Science. It takes complex scientific instruments, which can often be hard for the visitor to make much of when switched off and in a glass case, and offers parallel experiences where people can 'use' the instrument virtually on their mobile. Examples include using a digital lodestone or recreating Marconi’s wireless demonstration of 1896. The prototype is now an app due to be released this month. OUMP, OUMP (more detail on the background research)
 
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  Sotheby's offers world museums video platform  
 
 
Sotheby's has created an online platform for leading museums around the world to promote their video content. Participants include the Met, Tate and the National Palace Museum in Taiwan. As well as syndicating museums own content, Sotheby's will produce its own original films - a 13 part series on Chatsworth is in production. Speaking for Sotheby's David Goodman said, “the Museum Network is a response to a growing global audience that wants to experience the world of art and collecting. The network is a natural evolution of the existing ties we have with museums.” ArtLyst
 
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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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