October 2016

NMDC newsletter: October 2016
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: October 2016
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Tate Exchange: a new relationship with the public

Queen’s House reopens in Greenwich

‘The hipster is a capitalist’ – Matt Hancock gives speech about the Creative Industries

The printing press revolution revisited: University museums in a digital age

Ed Vaizey takes stock: debate on funding for the arts

Inquiry: the impact of Brexit on the creative industries and tourism

MA cuts survey now open

Kenneth Baker says Ebacc looks to the past, not the future

Arts Council announces  plans to 2022

National Holocaust memorial planned for Parliamentary gardens

Festoons, cow skulls and an armless satyr: first company donation to the Cultural Gifts Scheme

Nicholas Serota to become new Chair of the Arts Council

Museum charging doesn't influence audience diversity, finds AIM report

From pizza to pet crematoriums: enterprising curators and diversifying income streams

Education correlates with arts attendance: 2015 Scottish Household Survey

Planning the museum workforce for the next decade

Saving treasures, telling stories
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Members’ news: making networks  |  Politics  |  Surveys  |  Education  |  Events  |  Funding  |  Back to the garden  |  Collections and gifts  |  Appointments and retirements  |  Museum charging  |  Statistics  |  Diversity  |  Tourism  |  Tech  |  And finally… Strictly Come Warship  |  Jobs  
 
 
  Members’ news: making networks  
 
 
This month we feature Michael Shaw's installations at RAMM. 'Sculpting the Museum' continues to 13th November. Photo: Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
This month we feature Michael Shaw's installations at RAMM. 'Sculpting the Museum' continues to 13th November. Photo: Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
 
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  Tate Exchange: a new relationship with the public  
 
 
Tate has launched a major new programme, Tate Exchange, which will bring together the public with international artists and fifty associates each year to ‘collaborate, test ideas and discover new perspectives on life, through art’. The first season began at Switch House Tate Modern in late September; Tate Liverpool and then all Tate sites will participate in coming months. It is hoped that 100,000 people will take part in the workshops each year. Anna Cutler Tate’s Director of Learning explained how the project represents a shift in the Tate’s relationship with its visitors: “in the relaxed, social spaces, they will be central to shaping what goes on. They will be invited to drop in and get involved with artists and the artistic process. This is an exchange between what the public brings and what we bring to the conversation. Our aim is that people are drawn closer to art and to the work of artists; to think about what they do and why it matters.” Tate
 
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  Queen’s House reopens in Greenwich  
 
 
The Queen's House, part of Royal Museums Greenwich, is reopening to the public on October 11th displaying a varied art collection including some pictures on loan which were in the palace when it opened in 1638. When commissioned by Anne of Denmark in the early 17th century it was the 'most modern house in England', designed with purely classical style unlike the redbrick of Tudor palaces. The interior of Inigo Jones's creation includes painted, carved and gilded ceilings and wrought iron stairs. Curator Christine Riding says “we wanted to do something that had nothing to do with the sea, but recreated some of the princely splendour originally associated with the house.Londonist, Guardian
 
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  British Library launches UK wide network with 21 major libraries  
 
 
The British  Library has launched a new Living Knowledge network, connecting it to 21 major libraries across the UK. The network is funded by ACE for a two-year initial period and will:
 
  • Allow knowledge exchange, so world class library services reach diverse communities;
  • Develop joint programmes, activities and content;
  • Form partnerships to strengthen funding applications and evidence gathering.
 
The project is part of the British Library’s wider Living Knowledge strategy which since 2015 has aimed to make intellectual heritage available to all. British Library
 
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  Burrell Collection closes as first works go on international tour  
 
 
The Burrell collection is closing on 23rd October for its long-planned major refurbishment, which will eventually allow more than 90% of its 9000-piece collection to be on display, including opening basement stores to the public. The building's carbon footprint will also shrink as it becomes an energy efficient modern museum. Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum will be displaying some of its works during closure. M+H
 
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  This month’s images: breathing sculpture at RAMM  
 
 
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is hosting original and dynamic work by artist Michael Shaw. Its gallery is now dominated by a massive, inflatable sculpture. Shaped by the gallery walls, high ceiling and annexe, and animated by cyclical inflation and deflation, the amorphous orange object becomes a living, breathing thing. Michael Shaw’s other responses to artefacts from the museum collections are made in metals, plastics and natural materials, using laser cutting and rapid prototyping. They sit alongside the originals which are displayed as a 21st-century Cabinet of Curiosities. ‘Sculpting the Museum’ will be on display to 13th November. RAMM
 
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  Politics  
 
 
 'Naughty but nice' - inspired by nautilus. Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
'Naughty but nice' - inspired by nautilus. Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
 
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  ‘The hipster is a capitalist’ – Matt Hancock gives speech about the Creative Industries  
 
 
In his first speech to the creative industries sector as Culture Minister, Matt Hancock described the huge international success of UK cultural products and traced their genesis to bodies like ACE, which nurture creative talent. He pointed to BBC Worldwide, which is the biggest non-American distributor of TV, the UK music industry which is the second largest exporter in the world, and mentioned that Grand Theft Auto Five, which took $1 billion in three days and was created in Edinburgh. He traced the successes back to creative quarters in towns and cities across the country: “from Manchester to Margate, Dundee to Dalston, start-ups and entrepreneurs come to cluster around the creative institutions that make up a city’s cultural quarter. The lesson is clear: make an area interesting and you attract interesting people to work there. The hipster is a capitalist. Cultural rebirth, connectivity, and economic revival go hand in hand.” Hancock said he would work to support the sector in three ways:
 
  • Placing the creative and digital industries at the heart of government industrial strategy, with a regulatory and public investment framework supporting growth, and acknowledging the success of tax reliefs;
  • Encouraging greater access to the sector, both geographical and demographic, through various schemes including Project Diamond and Cultural Citizens;
  • Encouraging the synthesis of culture with digital technology.
 
Gov.uk
 
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  The printing press revolution revisited: University museums in a digital age  
 
 
Matt Hancock also gave a speech at the University Museums Group annual conference, in which he focused on the effects of the digital revolution, comparing it to strides in information technology in the past. “Just as the invention of the printing press, in the century before the founding of the Ashmolean, led to a radical collapse in the cost of storing and transmitting information, and wrought in its wake the end of feudalism, the breakdown of the power of the church, the start of mass education, the global transmission of ideas and the empowerment of man, so the digital revolution has once again radically collapsed the cost of storing and transmitting information, challenging established power, enabling the global spread of education, and bringing with it once again the disruption that causes and the potential to emancipate billions of people around the world.” He argued that this offers new worlds of possibility for museums to open up their collections – pointing to the 200,000 strong audience for Dr Gabriele Finaldi’s ‘Beyond Caravaggio’ live broadcast on Facebook. He said that as Minister for Digital as well as Culture, he wanted to drive that synthesis so that Britain can become a world leader. Gov.uk
 
Also: In a speech to the Conservative Party Conference Culture Secretary Karen Bradley highlighted the importance of culture to the UK economy, noting that tourism and the creative industries contribute more than £60 and £87 billion respectively, and comparing this to the automotive industry which is worth £19 billion. You tube (full speech)
 
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  Lobbying clause revived  
 
 
A new Lobbying (Transparency) Bill has been introduced to Parliament, including a revision of the anti-lobbying clause which was removed due to significant problems in April. Submissions to public consultations are no longer included as lobbying activity, nor is 'communication by media workers'. However, all charities, not-for-profit groups, and interest groups spending more than £5k per quarter on lobbying must now register. This sum includes money spent on salaries. Lobbying is defined as setting up meetings with government officials and ministers and seeking to modify policy. Heritage Alliance (scroll), Parliament.uk (full text of Bill)
 
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  Ed Vaizey takes stock: debate on funding for the arts  
 
 
Former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey led a Westminster Hall debate on funding the arts and culture, reflecting on his time as the longest serving minister for the arts. He said that since he made no speech on his departure in July perhaps I can treat this motion as a review of some of the things that I did as an Arts Minister and explain why I think there is an opportunity to increase Government funding for the arts”.  The debate was notable for frequent agreement across party lines about the value of the arts, and the ‘false economy’ of cuts. On the Conservative benches, Vaizey and his successor, Matt Hancock agreed on the importance of investment. The new Chancellor has also indicated that he shares George Osborne’s view on the importance of investing in the arts. Vaizey and Hancock both said that the government had been unjustly characterised as cutting cultural spend: Hancock adding “Government funding plus lottery funding rose from £560 million when we took office in 2010 to £683 million last year, which is a £123 million uplift”. Nevertheless, Vaizey praised the resilience of the sector in difficult times, including its ability to generate money through business streams and philanthropy.
 
Deidre Brock, an SNP MP and formerly a Deputy Provost for the Arts and Tourism in Edinburgh, raised the stark choices being faced by councils in Birmingham, Newcastle and elsewhere and the large reduction to arts budgets. Will Quince, Conservative MP for Colchester, called for more emphasis on participation as well as attendance and said he had raised Ebacc content and the arts with the Department for Education.
 
Former Labour Shadow arts minister Thangam Debbonaire gave a personal insight into the spread of cultural organisations into social and health contexts, following her cancer treatment: “When I was being treated at Southmead hospital last year, I was privileged to see the cathedral to health that has been created there, and how much art and culture was built into the fabric of the building. There are works of art, changing exhibitions and a grand piano at which a variety of musicians play all sorts of wonderful music, which uplifted me in moments when otherwise I felt very down.”
 
Matt Hancock ended the debate by emphasising the importance of culture to national identity, saying “the arts are central to how we are seen and how we see ourselves as a nation, which will only become more important as we negotiate our exit from the European Union and ensure that Britain is an open, optimistic, progressive and positively engaged country.” Hansard
 
Also: Ed Vaizey has also written an article for Artsdesk, making the case for a ‘tiny’ £50m increase in arts funding, supporting tourism, soft power and the creative industries, as well as local councils. He said “there are many local authority museums that play on the national stage, and I hope the forthcoming museums review recognises that”. Artsdesk
 
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  Possible futures for National Museum Wales  
 
 
The consulting firm PwC has produced a feasibility study exploring four options for the delivery of national heritage services in Wales including National Museum Wales. Option one, which they recommend implementing at once, involves improving the commercial skills and joint working of heritage organisations; option two is creating a new charity able to operate commercially; and option three the creation of a new executive agency. Option four would be to merge existing heritage organisations, a route which it says would require careful thought. The Museums Association has expressed concern that some of these paths would see National Museum Wales’ functions brought under the direct control of the Welsh government. It says that there is no precedent for such a move and that no other government in the UK has sought to directly govern its museums. NMW said “we are actively seeking clarification from the Welsh Government on its proposals for the creation of Historic Wales including its role and purpose. Any outcome needs to respect the independence, individual identity, integrity and core purpose of Amgueddfa Cymru as a national museum, a registered charity and limited company, operating under a Royal Charter.”  Museums Journal, Welsh Government
 
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  Surveys and consultations  
 
 
  MA annual survey now open  
 
 
The Museums Association’s Annual Survey is now open. It replaces the Cuts Survey which has run in previous years and will be used to gather data for advocacy. The survey covers all parts of the UK and museums of all sizes; any member of staff with a good overview of a museum’s functions can fill it in. Topics include type of museum; visitor numbers and engagement; museum finances; volunteers and staff; education work; and challenges and opportunities for the future. The survey closes on 28th October.  Museums Journal
 
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  AIM campaigns to extend temporary exhibition tax relief  
 
 
As reported last month, the government is consulting until 28th October on its plans for tax relief for temporary and touring exhibitions. However, the Association of Independent Museums has highlighted concerns that the proposed relief does not apply more widely to permanent exhibitions, and points out that hundreds of museums without temporary exhibition space will miss out on the benefit. AIM says “tax credits for other industries were substantially modified as a result of the consultation responses, so it is really important that the government hears from as many museums and galleries as possible about how the tax relief will help them deliver better experiences to the public but the importance of not putting an artificial time-frame on the duration of exhibitions.” AIM
 
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  Inquiry: the impact of Brexit on the creative industries and tourism  
 
 
The Parliamentary Culture Media and Sport committee has launched an inquiry into the impact of Brexit on the creative industries, tourism and the digital single market. The enquiry asks for evidence on:
 
  • Employment in the creative industries and tourism: Will the UK will be able to attract talent from across the world?
  • Anticipated impacts on inward and outward tourism through visa requirements and the change in value.
  • What should happen in relation to copyright after the UK leaves the EU?
  • The UK digital market is worth £118bn and 43% of exports currently go to the EU - what are the fears and advantages of being outside the single market?
  • What will be the impact of the loss of European Union funding, both specialised (such as Creative Europe) and general (such as Regional Development Fund)?
 
NMDC will be submitting a response to highlight potential impacts for members. The closing date for submissions is 28th October. Parliament.uk
 
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  Education  
 
 
  Kenneth Baker says Ebacc looks to the past, not the future  
 
 
Former Education Secretary Kenneth Baker has published a report on the future of education in his role as Chair of the Edge Foundation, which raises the status of technical and vocational learning. He argues that technology will transform the skills needed for work, and 15 million jobs are at risk from automation. Despite this, the core constituents of the Ebacc are scarcely different from the syllabus drawn up in the Secondary Regulations in 1904. He suggests that the line between technical and academic qualification should be abolished, and the children should take exams over a longer period between 14 and 19. He also proposes including a creative GCSE option such as music, dance or drama, pleasing campaign groups which have been concerned about the decline of arts at GCSE. Baker says that his proposals are informed by the experience of creating a curriculum during the 1990s which he later realised was too prescriptive. He writes “as more young people are directed towards this narrowly academic curriculum, the risk of disengagement will increase. The symptoms of disengagement start with boredom, but can develop into disruption, disobedience and truancy. The point has already been made by the Social Mobility Commission.”  Arts Professional, Edge Foundation
 
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  Critical distance: brains distinguish between art and real-life  
 
 
Scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam have been measuring how people's emotional responses to objects and images differed when they were told they were looking at art. They found that people responded more strongly to 'real' objects than to art, but were more likely to say that they liked images described as art. The ‘down-regulation’ of emotional response when asked to look at something that is not ‘real’ may be a way of entering a more reflective and critical mode. The research is in early stages, but is suggestive of visitors’ emotional state while looking at pictures in a museum or gallery. Observer, Science Daily
 
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  Events  
 
 
 Slots Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
Slots Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
 
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  NMDC at the MA Conference: working with national museums, and advocacy  
 
 
NMDC is holding a networking event at the MA Conference in Glasgow on Monday 7th November. If you are a delegate at the Conference, join us at 4pm in the Douchart 2 Room to hear how national museums work collaboratively across the museum sector and share good practice about how to initiate successful projects. Partnerships Managers from national museums will be available for informal discussion of ideas for working together. Museums Association
 
NMDC is also hosting a Museum Practice workshop about influencing and advocacy skills. NMDC's Katie Childs will be joined by Emmie Kell, Chief Executive of the Cornwall Museums Partnership, to provide tip and ideas. Join us at 3pm on Monday 7th November in Workshop Room 2. Museum Practice workshops
 
Also: Dana Andrew, Co-ordinator of the Working Internationally Regional Project (in which NMDC is a partner) will be hosting a Museum Practice workshop at the MA Conference looking at how smaller museums can develop international partnerships (Tuesday 8th November, 11am, Workshop Room 1). You can also find out more at the Working Internationally stand in Exhibition Hall.
 
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  Young Audiences Phase 2: Seize the opportunity to better engage young people digitally  
 
 
Culture24 is offering a second collaborative learning experience about young audiences as part of its Let’s Get Real programme. It will teach how to get better at serving the changing needs of children and young people through digital technologies and digital content. The deadline for applications is 31st October. Culture24
 
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  The Artist in a Collected World  
 
 
The Artist in a Collected World is a one-day conference bringing together artists, curators and museum professionals to explore the different ways in which visual artists have worked with national collections. The event looks at why this kind of collaboration has become more common in the last decade, and what artists and museums have gained. It takes place on 28th October at Chelsea College of Arts, tickets are £8.50. Chelsea College of Arts
 
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  Antiquities trafficking - 21st century developments  
 
 
The Icon Scotland Group’s 19th Plenderleith Lecture will be on the subject of antiquities trafficking, given by Dr Neil Brodie, Senior Research Fellow, Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa Project at the University of Oxford. The volume of antiquities trafficking has increased since the 1950s and has involved more routine criminal involvement.  Dr Brodie looks at the statistics and suggests some countermeasures. The event takes place on 24th November from 6pm at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Glasgow. Tickets are £6-13. Eventbrite
 
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  Individual Giving, Major Gifts and Legacies  
 
 
The second in this year’s series of events on fundraising from Oxford University Museums Partnership looks at individual giving, major gifts and legacies. It aims to develop confidence around seeking philanthropy – from developing Friends’ schemes and keeping members engaged, to evolving relationships with individuals before and after a major gift. The event takes place at the Ashmolean on 8th November and tickets are £50. OUMP
 
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  Leading Culture in the 21st Century  
 
 
King’s College London is offering a new course for cultural leaders whose work leads them to collaborate across the world – from Asia to Australsia, Europe to America. It is a bespoke opportunity to work with an international peer group on issues including leadership, resilience, risk and business innovation. The course runs from 6th–13th April 2017 at King’s and costs £3,750 if booked before 30th November. KCL
 
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  Communicating climate change: call for papers  
 
 
Universities in Manchester have joined a coalition which is creating a conference on how to communicate climate change to the public. Manchester Museum is among those promoting a call for papers for the World Symposium on Climate Change Communication which takes place in Manchester on 22nd-24th February 2017. The public across the world is often inclined to see climate change as irrelevant to their lives, even though its effects are local and can severely affect communities. The event will showcase experiences from research, field projects, and best practice in climate change communication. It will feature a broad range of speakers including scholars, social movements, practitioners and members of governmental agencies who are carrying out research and projects on climate change communication across the world. Hamburg University
 
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  The Business of Heritage  
 
 
A free symposium will take place on approaches to funding in the heritage sector, including crowdfunding, income generation and grant funding, led by Baroness Kay Andrews. Speakers include Lucy Jenner from Ditchling Museum which has crowdfunded £13.5k from 270 donors for the Big Steam Print, a project involving a 90-year-old steam roller and 300 metres of paper. The event takes place at the Keep, Brighton on 3rd November at 1–4.30pm. The Keep
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  Arts Council announces plans to 2022  
 
 
The Arts Council has announced its funding plans for the 2018–22 period, with a budget of £622m per year for its main funding streams: National Portfolio, Grants for Arts and Culture and strategic funds (all of which can now receive bids from museums, following recent merges in the funding system). Applications to the National Portfolio open on 26th October. ACE Chief Executive Darren Henley said he welcomed the ‘standstill settlement’ from the government and that ACE plans to spend down its lottery reserves.  Highlights of the settlement include:
 
  • There will be an increase of £37m per year for the National Portfolio to £409m. The extra money will be spent to increase NPO funding outside London by 4% and bring new, small and diverse bodies into the portfolio.
  • Grants for Arts and Culture will also see a budget increase of £10m to £87.5m, allowing the integration of bids from museums and libraries.
  • Strategic funds remain at £125m, with a focus on areas with low cultural engagement and on increasing diversity.
 
Culture Minister Matt Hancock welcomed a settlement which protects London budgets while giving more support to the regions. Evening Standard, ACE, Telegraph
 
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  HLF heritage endowments  
 
 
The HLF Heritage Endowment Fund which offers grants from £250k-£1m is open for applications until 13th October. The funding assists heritage organisations to begin building a fund to create a long-term annual income, and will be paid as match funding as organisations fundraise from elsewhere. Applicants must already have been funded by HLF. Previous recipients include the Watts Gallery Trust. HLF
 
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  Cultural attractions among fundraising award winners  
 
 
Each year the Institute of Fundraising runs an awards scheme for exceptional fundraising ideas across the industry.  A number of cultural attractions are on the 2016 shortlist – including Durham Cathedral, which charged visitors a pound a piece to help build a large Lego replica of the building and Pallant House Gallery for its Catalyst Endowment Fund appeal. Charity Digital News
 
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  Back to the garden  
 
 
  Hepworth Gallery plans major garden  
 
 
The Hepworth Gallery has announced the winner of its competition to find a designer for its new 600 m² riverside garden, which will be among the largest free gardens in the UK. Tom Stewart-Smith’s design is described as a modern romantic response to the diverse urban setting around the Hepworth. A £2.2m fundraising campaign has begun to pay for the garden. Stuart-Smith said “public commissions like these are scarce in the UK. I truly believe in the community and health benefits that gardens can bring and I am particularly excited by the socially transformative opportunities of this project.” M+H,
 
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  National Holocaust memorial planned for Parliamentary gardens  
 
 
The government has announced a competition for designs for a Holocaust memorial for the Victoria Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament. It has committed £50m towards total project costs for the memorial itself, plus a learning centre which will contain oral histories of survivors and a wider education programme. The UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation hopes that as the events of the Holocaust fade from living memory, the learning centre will help future generations respect and embrace difference and fight against prejudice. Its Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette, said “this timely announcement means that so many British Holocaust survivors will witness the physical embodiment of this nation​’s commitment to remembrance. They can be safe in the knowledge that we will continue to stand up against prejudice and hatred.” M+H, Malcolm Reading (architect, full competition details)
 
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  HLF says Parks Matter  
 
 
HLF has published a new report, Parks Matter, saying that although public use of parks is increasing, investment is declining, with 95% of park managers expecting further cuts. HLF, which has invested £850m in park infrastructure, is calling for leadership from local authorities to improve facilities and renovate historic features. HLF
 
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  Here comes the sun: Gloucester Cathedral goes solar  
 
 
Gloucester Cathedral has received planning permission for 200 solar panels on its south nave roof, making it the oldest cathedral in England (and possibly the world) to embrace the new technology. It is now fundraising 100k towards the costs. In addition to a smaller carbon footprint, the cathedral anticipating saving 25% on annual energy costs. Gloucester Cathedral,
 
Also: Following conservation work, Canterbury Cathedral has auctioned 144 lots of discarded stone from its structure, raising £210k for further conservation. Two pieces of 1428 Caen stone fetched the highest price of £7.4k each, but smaller items, suggested as book ends, consistently fetched prices around £500. Canterbury Cathedral
 
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  Collections and gifts  
 
 
 Untitled Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
Untitled Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
 
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  Festoons, cow skulls and an armless satyr: first company donation to the Cultural Gifts Scheme  
 
 
The art dealer Daniel Katz Ltd has used the Cultural Gifts Scheme to donate works to two museums. The Ashmolean has received an elaborate 16th century gilt bronze writing casket, featuring satyrs and cow skulls, which has been on loan to the museum since 2002. Meanwhile the British Museum has received 37 pen and ink drawings by John Flaxman (b. 1755), illustrating works by Hesiod. Edward Harley of the Acceptance in Lieu panel said “[this] marks the first use of the Scheme by a company and we hope that these gifts will act as a catalyst for more offers from companies in the future.” ACE
 
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  An appeal for a kneeling man: export bar on Titian drawing  
 
 
Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed an export bar on a Titian drawing Study of a Kneeling Man. It is one of only 11 Titian drawings in the UK, and £4.4m plus VAT is needed to keep it in the country. The study is believed to have been created for an image of the Pentecost in the 1530s. The export bar runs to 19th December with a possible extension to April 2017. Gov.uk
 
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  Appointments and retirements  
 
 
  Nicholas Serota to become new Chair of the Arts Council  
 
 
Tate Director Nicholas Serota will replace Peter Bazalgette as the new Chair of the Arts Council from 1st February 2017. Culture Secretary Karen Bradley said “Nicholas Serota has transformed the Tate during his time there, making it one of the leading art institutions in the world, and I am delighted he is taking up the position as Chair of Arts Council England.” Arts Council Director Darren Henley also welcomed the appointment, saying ‘I’m thrilled that we will now benefit from his insight and expertise’. Meanwhile the Guardian has written about the extent of his success in turning Tate into an internationally influential gallery. Gov.uk, ACE, Guardian
 
Michael Clarke has retired as Director of the Scottish National Gallery after 32 years at National Galleries Scotland.  NGS
 
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  Museum charging  
 
 
  Museum charging doesn't influence audience diversity, finds AIM report  
 
 
The Association of Independent Museums has published a major report on museums and charging, drawing from a survey of 311 institutions. The research included national, independent and local authority museums. 57% of those surveyed charged in some way (including for temporary exhibitions only), 43% did not charge at all for admissions. The research also included site visits to 20 museums where approaches to charging have changed in recent years. The report found:
 
  • There is no typical picture of a museum which charges - one in three local authority museums charge and one in three independent museums do not.
  • Free museums do not attract more diverse audiences than charging museums. This may be because of special conditions for local people, the young and those on lower incomes offered by charging museums.
  • However, visitors stay longer in museums with an entry charge
  • There is no consistent relationship between charging and secondary spend at museum shops and cafes, although there is some suggestion that secondary spend is more likely at some charging museums.
  • Museums are more likely to charge where the visitor economy is significant for income generation in the area as a whole.
  • Donations are not strongly affected by admissions policy, and tend to be shaped by other factors.
 
The report includes snapshots from museums which have moved to charging: in Brighton, although local residents still receive free entry, the perception of charging led to a fall in local admissions. At Birmingham Museums Trust, staff attitudes to charging – from positive to apologetic, affected how visitors responded to admissions fees. AIM has also published a practical 20-page document on assessing whether and how much to charge for an attraction. M+H, AIM, AIM (publication on assessing how to charge)
 
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  From pizza to pet crematoriums: enterprising curators and diversifying income streams  
 
 
ACE’s Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein has blogged on the changing role of curators and the imaginative diversification of income streams, following a visit to Barnsley’s museums.  Experience Barnsley is a new museum created at a time when local authority support for museums in the area has dropped. However, the curators have succeeded in engaging locals – particularly with a large participatory collecting project – and in creatively diversifying income streams. Most unusually they run a pet crematorium, but elsewhere Corinium Museum runs a profitable cinema, the Natural History Museum helps with police forensics, and Birmingham Museums Trust offers pizza making classes. Orna-Ornstein says that this sort of innovation often falls to curators – part of an evolution of the role which began 20 years ago, when curators were encouraged to engage with public programming rather than concentrate exclusively on the collection. He argues that this is a good thing and that the enterprise and creativity going into business planning also encourages original thinking in the core task of exhibitions and museum programmes. ACE blog
 
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  Statistics  
 
 
  Education correlates with arts attendance: 2015 Scottish Household Survey  
 
 
The Scottish government has published the 2015 statistics for its long-running Household Survey, including data and cultural participation and attendance. Findings include:
 
  • Around 9 out of 10 adults engaged in a cultural event during 2015, a rise of 5% since 2007.
  • 85% of women attended and 80% of men.
  • Educational level had the strongest effect on attendance: 94% of those with degrees or professional qualifications attend cultural events, but only 58% of those with no qualifications. 52% of the most qualified attended museums, compared to only 14% of those with no qualifications.
  • 32% of Scottish people visited a museum in the previous 12 months, 20% visited a gallery.
  • Museum visits peak in the 35-44 age group at 44%, and are at their lowest at 19% in the over 75s.
  • participation in the arts by regional deprivation was less stark, but nevertheless there is a 20% difference between the most and least deprived areas (68% vs 88%).
  • There is a 46% satisfaction rate with local authority museums and galleries – the same as 2014, and up 2% from the 2013 figure.
 
Scottish government (cultural statistics breakdown), Scottish government (whole survey)
 
Also: Creative Scotland has launched a survey to track the diversity of employees in the arts sector. It is open until 31st October and results will be published in spring 2017. Creative Scotland
 
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  DCMS publishes statistical handbook  
 
 
DCMS has published a handbook summarising the statistical data it gathers across its sectors. The 27-page booklet uses highly accessible infographics to give a snapshot of each sector, as well as an overview of levels of participation and economic impact. DCMS welcomes comments at [email protected], which will help to determine whether a handbook is released next year. Gov.uk
 
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  Diversity  
 
 
  Planning the museum workforce for the next decade  
 
 
Several arts bodies including ACE, AIM, the MA and MGS have commissioned a report, Character Matters, from BOP consulting on the current make-up of the museum workforce and what it should look like over the next decade. Based on 2,000 survey responses plus interviews and consultations, the research is described as 'the first of its kind'. Findings include:
 
  • As museums emphasise resilience, they seek employees who combine a specialism with a broader range of other skills and knowledge. Business management and digital skills are particularly valued - 22% of the workforce have had income generating activities added to their job descriptions in the last three years.
  • Most staff hold long-term contracts, although there has been a move towards short-term contracts within the last three years.
  • A small majority of staff, 55%, earn less than the national average of £27,600.
  • Psychologically, the workforce has a strong emotional commitment to its work, but is slightly more pessimistic and risk averse than average.
  • Men are more likely to hold senior management positions, but the most typical demographic for a museum workers is white women, 88% of whom will have a first degree and 59% a second-degree.
 
The report offers 30 recommendations for the future, among them:
 
  • Diversifying the workforce is a priority, and funders are encouraged to reward those who do so.
  • There should be more opportunities for workforce development. Sector bodies should create learning opportunities, both for groups focusing on a particular specialism and short courses for individuals.
  • Employers should pilot less traditional recruitment methods, initially for short-term posts. Apprenticeships and 'taster sessions' should offer young people routes into the profession.
  • Subject specialist networks should be developed and given more funding to ensure the retention of collections-based knowledge.
 
ACE’s Director of Museums John Orna-Ornstein welcomed the report saying “workforce diversity needs to be a priority for everyone across the arts and culture sector… Everyone working in the sector should have the opportunity for personal development; that is the responsibility of funders, sector bodies and every museum.” ACE (executive summary), ACE (full report), ACE (overview), M+H, AIM
 
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  MA launches diversity working group  
 
 
The MA has set up a Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Working Group to look at its own effectiveness as an employer in championing a diverse workforce. It will look at a range of issues from legal requirements to the socio-economic restraints which may hold back some in its workforce. Museums Journal
 
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  ‘The current core audience will become the minority’ – call for science centres to embrace wider audiences  
 
 
The Chief Executive of Newcastle’s International Centre for Life, Linda Conlon, has said that Science Centres have to embrace migrants and refugees or risk obsolescence. She was speaking at the Association of Science and Technology Centres conference in Florida. She said “if you’re thinking that this is something that can be shelved for a few years while you deal with greater imperatives, or that the answer lies in creating a few special programmes for minority groups - think again. This is not an optional box-ticking exercise. There will come a point, sooner for some of us than others, when the current core audience becomes the minority. When that tipping point inevitably occurs - we need to be ready.” She discussed the economic and social pressures which led to Brexit, but said that science could be a unifying force. She pointed to international science centres already leading the way, including German lessons from migrants at the Deutsches Museum in Munich, and the Explora science programme in Mexico which embraces Mexicans, Vietnamese and Chinese. ALVA
 
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  Egalitarian Trust to reopen as National Justice Museum  
 
 
The Egalitarian Trust, which runs the Galleries of Justice in Nottingham and an education arm, is rebranding as the National Justice Museum and will be reopening in February 2017 following £1m of investment from HLF. The museum holds the UK's largest collection relating to law, justice, crime and punishment. Chief Executive Tim Desmond said “Our central vision is to provide an opportunity for all to learn about the law so people can be inspired by their rights and responsibilities to make positive changes in their lives. We look forward to engaging…whether through exhibitions and activities available at our museum, or through our education programmes available at legal and heritage sites across the UK.” National Justice Museum
 
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  Tourism  
 
 
Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
Michael Shaw, photo Matt Austin, courtesy of RAMM
 
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  Most excellent European museums are in the UK, says Trip Advisor  
 
 
The travel rating site Trip Advisor has announced the results of its Travellers Choice Award for Museums. Seven of the top 25 museums in Europe are in the UK and include the British Museum (4th), V&A (7th) and National Railway Museum, York (20th). The top three museums were in Russia, Spain and France, with the Hermitage Museum as top pick. The order is generated by an algorithm. Museums Journal
 
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  Saving treasures, telling stories  
 
 
HLF and the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) are supporting a three-year project to make better use in Welsh museums of finds by metal detectorists. Hundreds of items are reported to PAS Cymru each year, and in 2015, 37 were declared to be treasure. The new scheme will help museums make strategic acquisitions. It will also reach out to non-traditional museum audiences in areas where finds have been made, and engage them with their local archaeology. The first community archaeology project will be ‘The Lost Treasures of Swansea Bay’ run by Swansea Museum. National Museum Wales
 
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  Titanic Belfast becomes ‘Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction’  
 
 
Titanic Belfast has been named Europe’s Leading Visitor Attraction 2016 at the World Travel Awards in Sardinia, often described as the ‘Tourism Oscars’. The attraction which has been open for only four years defeated competition including the Acropolis, Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace. Belfast Telegraph
 
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  Hull launches its City of Culture programme  
 
 
Hull has announced its year-long programme as City of Culture in 2017. The first event 'Made in Hull' will feature large scale illumination and projection across the historic skyline, plus a firework display to a special audio-visual track. Ferens Art Gallery will also be reopening, displaying the newly acquired Pietro Lorenzetti painting Christ Between Saint Paul and Peter, and Spencer Tunick’s photographs of hundreds of nude blue people, which he photographed in Hull earlier this year. The city has raised nearly double the money it originally planned for the festival: £32m instead of £18m. Hull has also seen £1bn of investment coming into the city since it won the City of Culture prize four years ago; Siemens is the most recent arrival, with plans to build an offshore windfarm. There are also plans for £100m of cultural infrastructure as a legacy. Yorkshire Water, Taitmail, Museums Journal
 
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  Heritage workforce doubles as the sector grows to generate £21.7bn in the UK  
 
 
The latest report from Historic England’s Heritage Counts survey focuses on the economics of heritage and reveals that heritage is now worth £21.7bn to the UK. £18.4bn comes from the tourism expenditure it generates. London remains the most valuable region, generating £5.4bn, and southern regions are more profitable than the north. Estimates of the heritage workforce have doubled in the last three years as the sector has developed: it is estimated that there are now 328,000 directly employed in heritage compared to 162,000 in 2013. ALVA, Heritage Counts
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  Instagram 101  
 
 
Many museums still do not see Instagram as essential for their social media offering. Mar Dixon, who recently brought 52 world museums together on one account, gives a potted practical guide to setting up on Instagram, and says the platform has evolved considerably since 2013. She highlights how some museum collections are ideally suited to its offer, and points to a large waiting audience on the service. M+H
 
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  Taming the Tentacruel: even more Pokémon Go  
 
 
Historic England is the latest cultural organisation to cast an analytical eye on the phenomenon of Pokémon Go, in a briefing which features a Tentacruel hovering menacingly near Parliament. There have been 100 million downloads of games since 7th July, and 78% of players are 18-34. The core demographic are men aged 21-27, with 34% playing the game. Pokémon players are therefore typically among those least likely to visit a heritage attraction (the most common age for heritage participants is 65-74.) Museums and heritage sites are grabbing the opportunity with this demographic: the British Museum has publicised its PokéStops on social media; two churches in Carmarthen, Wales are also highlighting their Pokémon. Historic England
 
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  Photojournalism meets curated collection in Tate Artificial Intelligence experiment  
 
 
Microsoft and Tate recently launched the IK prize for the best project providing insights into the Tate’s collection using artificial intelligence. Winners of the 2016 prize Fabrica used the £90k award to link just-published Reuters photojournalism with the Tate collection.  AI software searches for similarities between recent photographs and Tate images, then displays them together explaining reasons for the choice.  A juxtaposition between a brilliantly colour-saturated image of eunuchs applying makeup before a Mumbai festival and Two Ladies of the Lake Family by Lely is among the choices. The project will run for three months to the end of November, creating a growing virtual gallery. Tate
 
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  ArtUK expands its collection and invites organisations to upload their data  
 
 
ArtUK – which previously held data on all oil paintings in public ownership on its website - is expanding the kinds of art it accepts to drawings, prints and watercolours. It is also moving away from a centralised editorial model to one where all public institutions with holdings – from local councils to schools and fire stations – can upload their own information. The material will still be reviewed by ArtUK before publication. ArtUK
 
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  And finally… Strictly Come Warship  
 
 
As Ed Vaizey gloomily commented during the Westminster Hall arts funding debate “we live in a time of great turmoil: within the last hour, Mel and Sue have announced that they will not be presenting ‘The Great British Bake-Off’ when it moves to Channel 4.” Fortunately, there is comfort and familiarity to be found elsewhere in the BBC's listings: Strictly Come Dancing has jived its way onto one of the National Museum of the Royal Navy’s First World War warships. Contestant Louise Redknapp and dancing professional Kevin Clifton practised their moves and learned how to salute on ship M33 as they prepared for a sailor-themed routine on the show. The results were broadcast on 23rd September. Shaping Portsmouth
 
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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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