May 2017

NMDC newsletter: May 2017
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  NMDC newsletter: May 2017
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Manifestos for museums and culture

Launch of exhibition tax relief scheme delayed

Derby’s Museum of Making plans for 2020 opening

DCMS review of the Arts Council published

Less talk, more action: AIM invites participants for Diversifying Museums project

Postal Museum and MailRail open in July

WWI boat rusting near the arctic may be returned to Hull

V&A uses Museum of the Year winnings to fund design education

‘Here for another 150 years’ – Wardown House Museum reopens

Weston loan programme offers funds for loans from national to regional museums

Collective ‘Mindgrowing’ campaign brings 10% more visitors to Oxford museums

Museum of the Year shortlist announced

Report highlights ‘inaccessible’ placements in the creative industries

Karen Bradley talks about Cultural Protection Fund to G7 Culture Ministers
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Election 2017  |  Members’ news  |  Policy reviews  |  Reviving industrial glory  |  Government  |  Funding  |  Museums and wellbeing  |  Visitor statistics  |  Awards  |  Events  |  Work  |  Unsanitised histories  |  Suspended projects  |  International  |  Collections  |  Tech  |  Jobs  |  And finally…  
 
 
  Election 2017  
 
 
 Images this month are from the Oxford University Museums in the GLAM group. Its recent joint marketing campaign has grown visitors overall by 10%, and by over 30% at some smaller venues. This image c. Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Images this month are from the Oxford University Museums in the GLAM group. Its recent joint marketing campaign has grown visitors overall by 10%, and by over 30% at some smaller venues. This image c. Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
 
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  Manifestos for museums and culture  
 
 
Following the announcement of a General Election on 8th June, culture and heritage sector bodies have highlighted what they would like to see in party manifestos:
 
The Museums Association has published a museums manifesto outlining priorities for the sector that should be adopted by the next government. Issues it raises include:
 
  • Free entry to national museums has been a success, doubling museum visits since 2001, and bringing educational and economic benefits. The next government should commit to continuing this policy.
  • Local authorities now spend 31% less on museums than in 2010, leading to shorter opening hours, a loss of skills and expertise and some museum closures. The government should mitigate the effect by working with local authorities, and increasing ACE's National Portfolio funding so it can be extended to more museums. Growing receipts from gambling taxes could be one source of this extra funding.
  • Brexit should not make it more difficult for tourists to visit from the EU. There should also be no new barriers for museum staff, or tariffs for museum objects passing between the EU and UK.
  • The Museums Review was due to be published in May 2017. The MA calls on the new government to continue the work of the Museums Review team and publish a report quickly during the next parliament.
  • Many museums have experienced a sharp increase in business rates. Government should simplify the rates and reduce the burden on museums.
 
Museums Association
 
The Creative Industries Federation has produced a brief ten-point manifesto for the sector as the government steers through Brexit.  Its wish list includes making it possible to easily move talent and intellectual property after the UK leaves the EU, introducing a new visa system, and maintaining national and local public investment in culture and the arts. The manifesto also promotes education to fill the UK’s creative skills gaps and suggests a creative skills commission on ‘practical measures to equip the next generation for 21st century life’. Creative Industries Federation
 
The Cultural Learning Alliance has published a manifesto for arts and cultural learning, calling for the government to protect and enhance children’s access to study in this area in schools. It says action will help diversify the workforce and give children the skills they need for 21st century life. CLA's requests include:
 
  • No school should be judged outstanding without a broad curriculum which includes arts and culture. Schools should 'humanise' the STEM subjects by fusing them with the arts. 50 'STEAM' schools should be created, specialising in this blend of subjects.
  • Music Hubs, Museum and School Partnerships and other similar projects funded by the Department for Education via the Art Council have been a success. This work should continue to be supported.
  • Every school with primary aged children currently receives around £8k as a 'Pupil Premium' for the promotion of PE and sport. CLA proposes a similar ringfenced sum to promote arts and wellbeing. This would allow schools to develop personalised programmes with the local community and arts organisations.
  • Plans for Brexit should support a strong and stable arts sector, which protects the talent pipeline and access to funding.
  • There should be a more joined up approach between education (currently suffering from a shortage of arts teachers), employers (who want new recruits with creative and entrepreneurial skills) and local authorities (where cuts risk damaging educational and arts opportunities).
  • Arts and culture should be at the heart of regeneration schemes, devolution and Growth Deals, as well as being included in Local Economic Partnerships.
 
Cultural Learning Alliance
 
The Heritage Alliance has published its own election manifesto, also highlighting EU funding, fiscal policy and supporting skills. Detail includes:
 
  • £450m of EU funds has been spent in sectors relevant to heritage in the last decade. Any replacement for the Common Agricutural Policy should support rural heritage assets such as dry stone walls, vernacular buildings and monuments. CAP has supported 24,000 such structures.
  • There should be a reciprocal exemption from rules to limit movement between the UK and EU for heritage workers.
  • Current government apprenticeship programmes such as Trailblazers tend to favour larger industries - there should be more attention to niche apprenticeships often needed in the heritage sector.
  • There is a 'perverse incentive' to knock down old buildings and build new ones because there is no VAT on new builds, but 20% VAT on restoration projects. Government should revise policy to help heritage buildings to survive.
  • HLF funding has transformed the way heritage is cared for; government should continue to protect the 20% of funds being spent on heritage projects.
 
Heritage Alliance
 
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  Museums Day postponed  
 
 
Due to the announcement of the snap election, Museums Day – a day of political advocacy planned by NMDC and the Museums Association for 15th May – has had to be postponed. The date unfortunately falls within the pre-election purdah period, when Parliament is dissolved and restrictions are placed on the political activities of arms-length bodies including many NMDC member museums.  Museums Day will instead be held in Autumn 2017; more details will follow shortly. Museums Journal
 
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  Launch of exhibition tax relief scheme delayed  
 
 
The election announcement also means that the launch of the new tax relief on museum and gallery exhibitions, expected to come into effect from April, has been delayed. The tax relief was one of a number of clauses that were dropped from the Finance Bill in order for it to pass through Parliament in the limited time available before it was dissolved. The Financial Secretary to the Treasury said there had been no policy change and that government would legislate at the earliest opportunity, although it will be up to the incoming government to decide what to recommend to Parliament. It may therefore now be 2018 before the relief is available, although it is also possible that claims could be backdated to 1st April 2017. Arts Council England will be publishing practical guidance on the new relief when details are confirmed. Museums Journal
 
Also: CILIP, the library and information association, has launched the ‘Facts Matter’ campaign in the run up to the General Election. The campaign will call on politicians to promote the need for evidence-based decision making as the foundation for a strong democratic society, as well as promoting the work of its members in achieving that goal. CILIP Chair Karen McFarlane said the campaign is “an opportunity to strengthen public trust in our institutions and to highlight the need for better evidence, supported by trained and qualified information professionals.” CILIP
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
  Derby’s Museum of Making plans for 2020 opening  
 
 
The architectural plans which will transform Derby Silk Mill into a new Museum of Making have been made public by Derby Museums Trust. The £16.4m project will restore the Silk Mill building, open up new parts to the public and bring together museum displays with spaces for innovators, makers and creators to develop their skills. Volunteers have already given more than 170,000 hours to help the Trust reach this stage. Project Director Hannah Fox said “this will be a huge change for the museum, the building itself and for Derby’s tourism scene.” M+H, Derby Telegraph
 
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  National Museums Scotland debuts internationally with primate exhibition  
 
 
National Museums Scotland will be touring exhibitions internationally for the first time, starting with its popular ‘Monkey Business’ now renamed as ‘Monkeys! A Primate Story’. Its destinations include Belgium, Australia and Spain. Director Dr Gordon Rintoul said “we have been lending material from our collections for many years and I am delighted that our exhibitions will now tour internationally for the first time, playing their part in promoting Scotland on the world stage.” Museums Journal, NMS
 
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  Erratum: Tate St Ives  
 
 
In an article last month on the reopening of Tate St Ives, we mistakenly said that the museum currently has 20,000 annual visitors; in fact the figure is 200,000. Further descriptions and mock-ups of the new sunken gallery can be seen here. It will open to the public from 14th October. Museums Journal
 
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  Brighton Museums become Cultural Trust and seeks trustees  
 
 
The Royal Pavilion & Museums in Brighton will soon be managed by a new Cultural Trust, which will also run the Brighton Festival. A new Shadow Board of independent trustees is being appointed for the trust, who should have demonstrable experience in culture, arts and heritage, or specialist skills such as law, charity finance or transformational change. Applications are open until May 7th. Brighton & Hove
 
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  Policy reviews  
 
 
 Linguamania Friday Night Live outside the Ashmolean Museum, photographed by Ian Wallman.
Linguamania Friday Night Live outside the Ashmolean Museum, photographed by Ian Wallman.
 
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  DCMS review of the Arts Council published  
 
 
DCMS has published its tailored review of the work of Arts Council England. The report is largely positive and affirms that ACE’s work is needed, financially efficient and widely regarded as resulting in good art by respondents from across the sector. 82% of respondents thought the Arts Council provides good value for money, and 89% thought it added some or considerable value to the sectors it supports. 69% thought it supported its goal of ‘excellence’ well or very well. However, less than half of those who responded from the museum sector thought museums were well understood or ingrained in ACE’s culture. It is hoped that the appointment of Sir Nicholas Serota as new Chair will help the further integration of museum culture into ACE.
 
The report identified four areas for strengthening effectiveness:
 
  • ACE should work with DCMS to better define its role as a development agency and feed priorities into its ten-year plan. Issues include enhancing the financial stability of cultural organisations and making museums and libraries more integrated in its work.
  • ACE should clarify how it makes its grant making decisions, and shift its evaluation from outputs to outcomes.
  • It should create a more strategic and challenging framework to assess its own performance.
  • ACE’s governance is strong, but the report seeks more clarity around its appetite for risk, and it should take steps towards transparency.
 
ACE will respond to the review and publish a plan for implementing its recommendations by June. Gov.uk, M+H, ACE blog, Museums Journal
 
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  Education committee reports on university needs post-Brexit  
 
 
The Commons Select Committee on Education has produced the report ‘Exiting the EU: challenges and opportunities for Higher Education’. It says that the UK has a world class HE sector, and that the government must move quickly to reassure students and staff so that its reputation is not damaged. Many of the concerns in the report echo those of the cultural sector about the movement of people and facilitating collaboration. The Committee recommended priority areas for action including:
 
  • EU university staff already working in the UK should have their status confirmed before the end of 2017, and there should be guarantees that the 2018–19 cohort of students will be able to come on the same financial terms as the previous year, to create stability.
  • The immigration system should facilitate, not obstruct, the movement of people for Higher Education after Brexit. Students should be removed from the net migration target and academics from all parts of the world should undergo an easier process than Tier 2 for coming to the UK.
  • The UK should aim to remain part of the Erasmus+ exchange programme for students, and if this is impossible, put an equivalent programme in its place.
  • The government should establish new regional growth funds to replace European funding and support the HE sector.
 
Parliament.uk
 
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  Less talk, more action: AIM invites participants for Diversifying Museums project  
 
 
AIM is inviting museums to help create an effective toolbox to diversify museum visitors. It comments ‘the sector has been talking about diversity for so long’ – but many statistics on visitors have not shifted. Backed by arts funding bodies from all four UK nations, the project aims to give practical, effective guidance so that museums can take long term action. Three consultants have been appointed who are now seeking input from a broad mix of museums to inform the creation of a suite of tools. A literature review is also taking place. By the end of the project AIM hopes to answer the questions ‘what are the factors for success?’ and ‘what do we need to do to change and influence both internally and externally?’ The deadline for expressions of interest is Friday 5th May. AIM, Julie Aldridge (various forms for registering interest in participating now or later).
 
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  Survey: Orphan works database  
 
 
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) is setting up and managing a single European database on Orphan works. It is carrying out a survey of organisations likely to use the database, including libraries and museums, to make sure that the system is as useful as possible. The survey is open until 19th May and EUIPO can also be contacted with an queries at [email protected]  EUIPO
 
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  Reviving industrial glory  
 
 
  Postal Museum and MailRail open in July  
 
 
A major new museum will open in London in July at Mount Pleasant, an area previously little visited by tourists. The Postal Museum will tell the story of five centuries of social and communication history – from Henry VIII, who first commissioned a rudimentary royal postal service in 1512, to modern hyperconnectivity. The museum includes the reopening of part of the MailRail tunnels which carried post for 6 miles under the capital from 1927 until it was mothballed in 2003. Museum objects include forgotten vehicles like the Royal Mail bus, an early green and gold hexagonal post box and a pistol used by a mail coach guard. The £26m project was funded by HLF, Royal Mail and the Post Office as well as private donors. The Postal Museum, ALVA
 
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  WWI boat rusting near the arctic may be returned to Hull  
 
 
The steam trawler the Viola was built in 1906 in East Yorkshire, saw action in the First World War and has spent the last fifty years rusting in the polar climate of South Georgia in the Southern Ocean. There is now a plan to return the vessel to Hull and preserve it as a museum piece as part of Hull’s City of Culture celebrations. Funds for the £3m project are being raised privately, and it is hoped that apprentices and college students will help restore the boat. Mirror
 
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  V&A uses Museum of the Year winnings to fund design education  
 
 
The V&A has revealed that it will be spending its £100k winnings as Museum of the Year 2016 on a design education programme for 11 to 16 year olds, DesignLab Nation. The museum hopes it will fill the design skills gap in the UK as well as supporting the curriculum for the revised Design and Technology GCSE. The three-year secondary school programme will run in cities with a design and industrial heritage and in partnership with local museums. Confirmed locations include Coventry, Blackburn and Sheffield, with two further cities yet to be announced. V&A Director Tristram Hunt said “the V&A has a responsibility to protect and promote design education for the future. By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A delivers on our founding purpose, to educate and inspire the artists, innovators, designers and creatives of tomorrow.” Each DesignLab Nation partnership will be delivered by specialists from local design practices and enhanced by loans from the V&A’s collections. BBC, V&A
 
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  ‘Here for another 150 years’ – Wardown House Museum reopens  
 
 
Wardown House Museum has reopened after a renovation process which cost £3.5m but which has been more remarkable for the changed relationship of the museum with locals, and for the 120 volunteers and 1,500 online champions who have helped with the reboot. Karen Perkins, Director of Arts and Museums at Luton Culture said “it was a nice little local history museum that attracted 40,000 visitors a year, but we felt the visitors who came were unrepresentative of the diversity of Luton and it felt like we were in the doldrums a bit.” The subsequent ‘Museum Makers’ project engaged people in working on collections, events, talks and tours. In turn, this regalvanised group helped plan the renovation of the site. The dilapidated infrastructure has now been restored so ‘the building will be here for another 150 years’, more collections are on display in more connected spaces, and the museum is hoping for Designated status for its collection of 600 hats. M+H, Luton Culture
 
Also: Jorvik Viking Centre has reopened 16 months after being ruined by the York floods. The attraction raised £1.5m in the period, as well as relying on good insurance, including the business interruption cover which allowed the Centre to maintain a presence elsewhere in York while work took place. M+H
 
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  Tate vs Neo Bankside to go to court  
 
 
Residents at Neo Bankside, a block of flats adjacent to Tate Modern, have filed a legal claim against the Tate as part of an ongoing dispute about gallery visitors being able to see into the flats from a viewing platform at Switch House. Former Tate Director Nicholas Serota had previously suggested ‘net curtains’, and it has been argued that flats were originally advertised when the Tate’s building plans were fully formed. Guardian writer Oliver Wainwright relates the dispute to situations such as the Wapping Project and pub music venues, where culture gentrifies and raises the house prices of an area but then is forced to retreat under the laws of ‘nuisance’. Tate cannot comment due to the live legal case. Guardian, Artnet
 
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  Government  
 
 
 GLAM joint marketing campaign press shot, photographed by Ian Wallman.
GLAM joint marketing campaign press shot, photographed by Ian Wallman.
 
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  Museum bodies ask Welsh government to encourage regional working  
 
 
AIM and the Welsh Museums Federation have both urged the Welsh government to create regional bodies to help local museums work together as part of the Reforming Local Government White Paper. A report on Welsh local museums in 2015 found that many lacked the funding, skills and investment to attract 21st century visitors, and recommended three collaborative regional groups to give support. The report was subsequently endorsed by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates. AIM and the Federation hope that their input will help nudge the government into action. AIM writes “given that reductions in local authority funding for museums have direct and indirect impacts on many [independent] museums, their future ability to care for and make available Wales' heritage needs to be fully considered within any regional services or collaborations.” Welsh Museums Federation, Welsh government (2015 museum report)
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  Weston loan programme offers funds for loans from national to regional museums  
 
 
The Art Fund is launching its £750k three-year Weston Loan programme in July. It is designed to help regional museums fund major strategic loans from national collections. The work is supported by the Garfield Weston Foundation and will complement the Touring Exhibitions Group’s ‘Preparing to Borrow’ workshops, and ACE’s ‘Ready to Borrow’ funding scheme. The Art Fund hopes to build relationships between regional and national museums, and allow regional museums to build the profile of their own collections displayed alongside strategic loans. ‘Quick fire/ quick win’ loans and long term development requests will both be encouraged. Most grants will be £10–20k, and 100% funding for a loan project is possible. Museums can approach Penny Bull at [email protected] to discuss their ideas and potential requests before the fund opens in July. Art Fund, AIM
 
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  Museum hopes to marry Victorian and contemporary in a flood of colour and light  
 
 
Leeds Art Gallery is using the Art Fund’s crowdfunding platform, Art Happens, in hope of raising £17k for a contemporary modern artwork for its Victorian staircase. It wants to commission the artist Lothar Götz, whose previous work has covered large wallspaces in brightly coloured triangles. The gallery is closed until October for refurbishment, during which the stairs will regain the natural light lost due to work in the 1970s which hid the buildings glazed roof. Through the new installation the gallery wants to entice visitors to new second floor contemporary galleries while also showing that Victorian and contemporary style can work together. The crowdfund opened for 30 days from 18th April, and was 32% funded by early May. Art Fund, M + H, Google (more Götz installations)
 
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  Prosper: business advice for cultural organisations  
 
 
Creative United has launched a new, free nine month development programme for museums, libraries and arts organsations wishing to gain business skills. The programme is supported by ACE and includes masterclasses, workshops and one-to-one advice. The deadline for applications is 31st May. Creative United
 
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  Textile Society offers £5k conservation award  
 
 
The Textile Society is offering up to £5k for a museum, archive or conservation studio wishing to fund a textile project which will lead to greater public access or engagement with textile collections. Previous winners include the George Marshall Medical Museum which needed £600 to conserve a rare child’s 19th century pneumonia jacket, and the Marx Memorial Library’s display of six ‘visually stunning’ banners created in response to the Spanish Civil War. The deadline for applications is 1st June. AIM
 
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  Museums and wellbeing  
 
 
  Object handling and wellbeing for people with dementia  
 
 
The results of a ‘quasi experimental’ study which tracked the effect of museum object handling on those with dementia has found a significant increase in wellbeing for people in the early to middle stages of the disease. The study was led by academic Paul Camic as part of his long-standing Museums on Prescription project, and published in the Journal of Health Psychology. It found object handling works well for people in small groups, and does not exclude those with visual impairments. 69 of the 80 participants had not visited a museum or gallery in the previous five years. Researchgate
 
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  Migration museum opens temporary London home  
 
 
The Migration Museum has gained a temporary home at the old site of the Fire Brigade Museum until spring 2018. It has been running as a project since 2011 and hopes to eventually find a permanent base. The year-long home will allow it to show its updated multimedia exhibition ‘Call Me by My Name: Stories from Calais and Beyond’ and widen its audiences. M+H
 
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  Visitor statistics  
 
 
 Pitt Rivers Museum
Pitt Rivers Museum
 
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  Collective ‘Mindgrowing’ campaign brings 10% more visitors to Oxford museums  
 
 
Oxford University’s Gardens, Libraries and Museums (known as GLAM) has launched a new marketing campaign to get visitors from the UK and abroad to see its attractions as a group, and become more adventurous in exploring all seven sites. The Mindgrowing campaign comes with specially commissioned illustrations, posters and maps, which draw connections between similar collections at different sites, and make it easy to see what visitors can do with their available time. Mindgrowing materials have also been produced in Mandarin, to help develop Oxford’s Chinese tourist market. Initially GLAM hoped that the campaign would increase visits by 2%: this target was met by the Ashmolean, but smaller museums have seen a much larger initial increase, with 36% more visiting the Museum of the History of Science over a two-month period. The whole group averaged a 10% increase in visitors in February and 9% in March. The campaign has also allowed the museums to work together to share resources more effectively. M+H, MIndgrowing
 
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  Taking Part statistics published on museums and diversity  
 
 
Taking Part has published two new reports for the period 2015–16, focusing on the ethnic breakdown of adults attending DCMS funded sectors and on general statistics for museum visits. Most figures are broadly comparable to the previous year, and only show significant trends over a decade. The reports showed that:
 
  • The proportion of people visiting the arts and heritage has been broadly static since records began in 2006. Library visits have fallen for all socio-economic groups. Museums are the only sector showing a rise in visits. However, it is also the sector with the largest gap between socio-economic groups: the upper group is 24.1% more likely to visit a museum than the lower socio-economic group.
  • The region with the highest proportion of adults visiting a museum was London at 62.1%, the lowest was the West Midlands at 44.4%.
  • Over the last 5 years, disabled people have been between 6 to 10% less likely to visit a museum or gallery than non-disabled people, there is an 8.3% gap (55.1% vs 46.8%) for 2015-16.
  • The relatively low percentage of Black and Asian people in the whole sample means it is more difficult to draw firm conclusions: for example 53.1% of White people visited museums and galleries in 2015-16 within a 1.3% level of confidence, and 41.3% of Black people visited but with the possibility of a 9.3% differential – so the true figure could be as low as 32% or as high as 50.6%. In BME groups overall the range is 43.1% - 53.3%, but averaged at 5% lower than white groups at 48.2%. This is a much closer gap than in 2014-15, but larger BME sample sizes would be needed to see if shifts of a few percentage points represent real change.
  • Museum visits remain stable: 52.5% visited a museum at least once in 2015-16, 30.6% of the whole population visited once or twice, 18% 3-4 times and 3.6% once a month.
 
Gov.uk, Taking Part (overview), Museums Journal,
 
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  Awards  
 
 
  Museum of the Year shortlist announced  
 
 
The Art Fund has announced an eclectic shortlist for 2017 Museum of the Year, an award which comes with a £100k prize. The shortlisted museums are:
 
  • Lapworth Museum of Geology, which has recently been transformed from a ‘niche academic institution into a dynamic public-facing museum’ with the help of a £1.5m HLF grant towards the £2.7m redevelopment. Staff say that a very different audience is visiting and that the museum fills a gap for a natural history museum in the Midlands.
  • The National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art in Newmarket, which reopened in 2016 with new galleries, exhibition spaces and a centre for retraining race horses.
  • Sir John Soane’s Museum, which has been restored to look as it did when Soane died in 1837. The museum has opened up a second floor as well as the kitchens and the basement which the public have never previously seen. It has also created new exhibition spaces and hosted work by Mark Quinn inspired by Soane’s collections.
  • Tate Modern’s Switch House, which opened last year and focuses on contemporary art and ‘the growing desire of audiences to participate’. Tate Exchange is an area where audiences can meet with artists. Visitor Assistant Adeola Ajediti said “I’ve seen people walk in here for just ten minutes and they end up spending five hours.”
  • The Hepworth Wakefield, which celebrated its fifth birthday in 2016 and has just launched a major new sculpture prize as well as strengthening its exhibitions, learning programmes and visitor numbers.
 
The winner will be announced at the British Museum on 5th July. BBC, Art Fund, Telegraph, Guardian
 
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  Nominations open for Family Friendly Museum Award  
 
 
Kids in Museums has opened nominations for its annual Family Friendly Museum Awards. Anyone can make an initial nomination from children to parents and museum staff. The deadline is 2nd June. Volunteers will then create a shortlist to be visited by families to choose and overall winner. Kids in Museums
 
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  Events  
 
 
 Oxford University Museum of the History of Science, which has seen a 36% visitor increase in two months.
Oxford University Museum of the History of Science, which has seen a 36% visitor increase in two months.
 
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  DCMS supports Spoliation conference  
 
 
The DCMS and the UK Spoliation Advisory Panel are organising a conference on Nazi-looted art at the National Gallery on 12th September. '70 years and counting: The final opportunity?' highlights that 20% of Europe's cultural treasures were looted during the Second World War, frequently from Jewish people. It is estimated that 100,000 items remain in public and private collections across the continent. The Conference seeks to build greater co-operation across Europe and elsewhere, and accelerate returns. Full details of the conference and a brochure are being prepared: email [email protected] to register for the Conference and receive these when they become available.
 
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  National Summer School for Arts Fundraising and Leadership  
 
 
Leeds University and Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy are again running their National Summer School for Arts Fundraising and Leadership. The five-day intensive course is for managers and fundraisers with at least three years’ experience. Cultural policy and changing business models are among the topics. The school takes place from 16th to 21st July and costs £1,850 +VAT. Arts Fundraising
 
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  OUMP digital learning in museums event  
 
 
The Oxford University Museums Partnership is offering a one-day event on digital learning in museums, in partnership with the Digital Learning Network. The event explores how museums are involved in formal learning – from primary school to higher education – and how digital innovation can be part of the learning process. There are speakers from museums including the Scott Polar Institute, British Museum, RAMM and North Carolina Museum of Art as well as from Fish In A Bottle, which has created digital content with museums for many years. The event takes place at the Museum of Natural History in Oxford on 16th June. Tickets are £50, or £40 for those taking up free membership of DLNET. OUMP
 
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  Towards an Entrepreneurial Mindset  
 
 
OUMP is also running its one day course ‘Towards an Entrepreneurial Mindset’ with Said Business School on June 8th. Trainers have extensive experience of transforming individuals, organisations and practices from museums to the business world. It explores how museums can ‘reinvent themselves as businesses’ while retaining their values as cultural and community spaces. Tickets are £95. OUMP
 
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  Event Scotland opens fund for Year of Young People  
 
 
Event Scotland has opened a £700k fund for organisations in the festivals and event sectors who wish to run events in celebration of the 2018 Year of Young People. Young people are defined as 8 to 26 for the purpose of the themed year, and events should help give them a platform to be heard. Funds range from £5k to £40k per project. The deadline for applications is noon on 12th June. Event Scotland
 
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  MGS conference ‘Inequalities: Bridging the Gap’  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland will be holding its annual conference on 12th October on the topic of ‘Inequalities: Bridging the Gap’, especially focusing on education, health and widening access. There will also be a marketplace and opportunity to draw on knowledge from outside the museum sector. The event takes place at the John McIntyre conference centre in Edinburgh and tickets are £110-£180. MGS
 
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  European Sponsorship Association (ESA) Arts Sponsorship Certificate  
 
 
The first dedicated arts and culture certificate, led by the European Sponsorship Association (ESA) in partnership with Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy and Cause4, returns for a third year this Autumn. The 12-week distance learning qualification is designed for people who either work currently within development and marketing positions, or who want to become skilled in these areas. The course is £950 or £1,250 (+VAT) depending on the size of the funding organisation. There is a £100 discount before 28th July, and further reductions for charities and ESA members. A previous participant from Newcastle Theatre Royal writes ‘this course has given me both real professional development and much practical assistance in the logistics and challenges of a role in arts sponsorship’ ESA
 
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  Work  
 
 
  Report highlights ‘inaccessible’ placements in the creative industries  
 
 
The think tank IPPR has published a report, ‘The Inbetweeners’, on unpaid work among graduates. It found that internships have grown by 50% since 2010, but only around one in six are formally advertised, with many more being apparent only to those with the right connections. Some internships also offer little in the way of new skills in return for free labour. Only 56% of graduates aged 21 to 30 are now in ‘graduate jobs’, so an oversupply of qualified people makes it easy for employers to offer long term unpaid work, which only wealthier graduates can afford to take up. Although the report’s findings apply across all sectors, it found that the pattern was particularly prevalent in the creative industries. The report proposes:
 
  • A ‘national opportunity programme’ should offer residential placements for those from less advantaged backgrounds.
  • Universities should help broker placements for their students.
  • A proportion of apprenticeship levy funds could be used for graduate placements.
  • An association should be created to give a voice to interns, to raise issues such as access and the quality of skills learned during unpaid work.
 
The report comes with a guide for employers who would like to develop high quality placements. IPPR (report), IPPR (guide for employers), Yorkshire Post, Guardian
 
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  Dedicated job centres planned for creatives  
 
 
The Creative Society, a charity which helps young people to find work in the Creative Industries is planning to open a Creative Job Studio – a job centre specifically for creatives – at Somerset House in London. It hopes to expand the idea beyond London and already runs careers events in Manchester, Ipswich and Liverpool. Chief Executive Martin Bright said its work would focus on ‘people who are not from the traditional backgrounds that go into the creative industries.’ The Stage
 
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  Unsanitised histories  
 
 
 Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
Oxford University Museum of Natural History.
 
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  Penrhyn Castle addresses the fallout from a century-old strike  
 
 
Penrhyn Castle in Wales is staging an exhibition about the slate strike of 1900, an event which saw a standoff between the castle’s owner and local workers and ended in such bitterness that many local people still refuse to enter the castle more than a century later. Penhryn looks like a grand medieval building, but was built in the 19th century as an expression of the status of its owners. Its slate quarry generated £133k in 1899, the equivalent in economic worth today of around £138m. A strike over pay and conditions by its 2,800 workers began the following year, resulting in the founding of the trade union and Labour movements – and in many workers leaving the area or emigrating to America. In 1903 it was crushed, and the remaining workers returned, however the reopened quarry was never so profitable because of changing market conditions. Today, Penrhyn Castle is owned by the National Trust. It has commissioned artists Walker & Bromwich, who are making a huge inflatable sculpture of the quarry as part of an installation to acknowledge the history of the site. They told the BBC "the pain from over 115 years ago is still felt within communities - it really tore this community apart through the suffering and the deprivation. The work aims to being to acknowledge what happened." BBC,
 
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  Selfies at Auschwitz: managing the tension between memorial and tourism  
 
 
A conference at Glasgow Caledonian University will deal with the issue of tourist behaviour at sites which memorialise the Holocaust. ‘Dark Tourism Sites related to the Holocaust, the Nazi Past and World War II’ will explore how dark tourism draws people to remember the past, but can evoke inappropriate reactions, such as seeing Auschwitz as a ‘selfie opportunity’. The conference will look at education, learning and best practice for sites with tragic connections, understanding audience perceptions of ‘dark tourism sites’, and exploring environmental degradation when large numbers of tourists descend. Speakers from US and German Holocaust museums will be participating. The event takes place 28th June to 1st July and tickets are £200. Moffat Centre, The Times (register to read full article)
 
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  Streets, statues and slavery  
 
 
The issues raised in the ‘Rhodes Must Fall’ campaign, around memorials to a now-uncomfortable past, have resurfaced in Bristol.  Major concert venue Colston Hall will reopen after refurbishment in 2020 with a new name, because the 17th century Bristol philanthropist Edward Colston acquired his fortune through slavery. Bristol band Massive Attack has previously boycotted the hall because of its name. Colston's name also appears prominently across the city on buildings, schools and street signs, but the campaign group Countering Colston says that this amounts to celebrating his life. Conservative Councillor Richard Eddy said that Bristol’s association with slavery is well represented in local museums including M Shed and that only a ‘tiny minority’ support wide removal of Colston’s name.  Similar debates are playing out in other cities. The Legacy of British Slavery database has 3,749 UK addresses relating to slave owners. John Oldfield, Director of the Wilberforce Institute at Hull University told the Guardianthe danger is we end up erasing the past rather than problematising it. An alternative strategy might be to use these names as a way of drawing attention to the complexities.” Others argue that name change is an opportunity to highlight groups hidden from history.  In Glasgow, a local councillor has suggested that streets named after tobacco magnates should be changed. Nina Baker said “I thought we could start the ball rolling by raising awareness. I’d seen something about Spain doing this, renaming streets that had been named after fascist-era people after women freedom-fighters.” Some places have evolved complex layers of meaning over time: Penny Lane in Liverpool was named after slave ship owner James Penny, but is now is far more famous (and lovingly graffitied) because of its association with the Beatles. Writer Amit Chaudhuri suggests that the strengthening reactions for and against statues and place names reflect present realities: a backlash against multiculturalism, and a widening divide between rich and poor. For some, he says “the affluent of the past, who became affluent out of exploitation – statues of those people begin to kind of chafe.”  The Guardian, Countering Colston, Telegraph, Bristol Post, Bristol Post
 
Also: Julia Deathridge has blogged for UCL about human remains, particularly in London university museum collections, and public attitudes to display. UCL
 
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  Ditchling Museum confronts Eric Gill’s child sexual abuse  
 
 
The Ditchling Museum is discussing artist Eric Gill’s sexual abuse, including that of his two daughters, in a new exhibition ‘Eric Gill: The Body’. It features eighty works from public and private collections, and has also involved consultation with groups for survivors of sexual abuse. Front of house staff received training from staff at the Wellcome Collection which has experience of dealing with displays on difficult subject matter. Museum Director Nathaniel Hepburn said the central question of the exhibition is “whether art transcends any human biography or whether it is acceptable to ever show art by someone guilty of such horrendous crimes. For most [visitors the answer] will change with each artwork they are looking at, each work will elicit different responses in each person.Museums Journal
 
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  Suspended projects  
 
 
  Lancashire historic mills remain closed as English Heritage takeover talks fail  
 
 
Talks between English Heritage and Lancashire County Council which aimed to find a way to keep two historic mill museums open have failed. Helmshore Mills Textile Museum and Queen Street Mill in Burnley, closed last September because of Council funding cuts. English Heritage saw the value of the two Designated sites, and had been interested in taking them over, but cannot afford the associated costs. Lancashire County Council will continue to meet with Historic England, ACE and HLF in an attempt to find a way to care for and reopen the two buildings. Beryl Roston who chairs the friends of Helmshore Mill said “It is heartbreaking. We were pinning our hopes on there being some agreement. There is nothing that can be done now until after the local elections on 4 May. We are in a limbo state again.Museums Journal
 
Also: An HLF bid for a new £23m museum and art gallery in Swindon may be delayed or cancelled following the resignation of the Director of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust. There had been some local opposition to the plan by local people who would prefer to see money invested in a building associated with Swindon’s railway history. Local council member Jim Robbins said the plans would probably not now progress this year, but would be ultimately successful if stakeholders can find agreement. A new Director, Rod Hebden, has been appointed. Museums Journal (new appointment), Museums Journal
 
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  International  
 
 
  Partnerships forming to celebrate Mayflower 400  
 
 
2020 will be the 400th year since the Mayflower sailed to America. International partners are planning events, with major work taking place in Plymouth as well as towns across England including Doncaster, Harwich and Boston. Organisers hope these will have a ‘transformational’ effect on involved communities. Mayflower400, DCMS blog
 
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  Karen Bradley talks about Cultural Protection Fund to G7 Culture Ministers  
 
 
Culture Secretary Karen Bradley has given a speech at a meeting of the G7 Culture Ministers in Florence, describing the multi-faceted work of the Cultural Protection Fund. This includes training at the British Museum for Iraqi ‘site inspectors, excavators and experts’ who are now using the skills they have learned in Iraq. Bradley added that the UK would remain committed to ‘help protect the world’s treasures and palaces after it leaves the EU. Gov.uk, NEMO
 
Also: Archaeologist Mary Shepperson is working in Iraq for the British Museum, training Iraqis to preserve archaeological heritage, funded by the UK government’s Cultural Protection Fund. She has written for the Guardian about how Iraqi antiquities service was once the finest in the Middle East, how it was ruined by sanctions and conflict, and is now on the long road to recovering lost skills with international help. Guardian
 
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  Weakening pound attracts 6% more international visitors  
 
 
5.2m international visitors came to the UK in January and February this year, a 6% increase compared to the same period in 2016, according to VisitBritain figures. They spent £2.7bn, an 11% increase. The growth is likely to be caused by the weakening pound making the UK much cheaper to visit. ALVA
 
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  Collections  
 
 
  Export bar for ‘lavish’ iron railings of a vanished London house  
 
 
Built in 1740, Chesterfield House was once one of the most imposing addresses in London, and its demolition in the 1930s led to the creation of the Georgian Society. Now Culture Minister Matt Hancock has placed an export bar on one of the few survivals from the building: ‘lavishly decorated’ ironwork railings which once stood outside. They represent the peak of wrought ironwork in the UK. The asking price is £305k, and the bar is in place until 3rd July, with a possible extension to October. Gov.uk
 
Also: A Meissen figurine has received an export bar. The asking price is £270k + VAT Gov.uk
 
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  Life in a gold room  
 
 
York Museums Trust is currently displaying Albert Moore’s ‘A Revery’, featuring a woman sitting in an elaborate gold room, and is hoping to raise £3.6m to keep the work of the York-born artist in the city. York Museums Trust
 
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  ACE announces new acquisitions  
 
 
The Arts Council has announced a list of 45 works by 29 artists acquired for its collection in 2016-17. A number of the acquisitions are gifts. Bryan Moseley said “when the Arts Council Collection acquired my painting Northern Ritual in 2012, they were the first public institution to invest in my work. As part of an Arts Council Collection touring exhibition, it was then seen by over 185,000 people.”  He has now given two further pieces ‘Bones of Time’ (2013) and James (2016) to the Collection. The Collection also acquired works by Phyllida Barlow, Andy Holden and Yinka Shonibare last year. ArtLyst,
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  AIM launches new website  
 
 
The Association of Independent Museums has launched a new website, which includes its own events and projects, plus a section for heritage trustees and resources such as case studies from museums and heritage sector news. It also more prominently features its social media platforms, to encourage conversation and ideas sharing among its members and the wider sector. AIM
 
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  Guide to stronger data protection rules for charities  
 
 
From 25th May 2018, stronger rules on data protection use will come into force via the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR). Charities will no longer be exempt from the stronger fines applied to the commercial sector. The Heritage Alliance has published a four-page simple guide to the changes. Issues include:
 
  • Consent to personal data use must be separate from other terms and conditions.
  • Pre-ticked opt-in boxes are now allowed; consent must be active not passive.
  • Consent for different kinds of data use cannot be bundled together.
  • It must be as easy to be removed from an organisation’s database as it is to sign up.
  • Organisations of over 250 people will have an additional obligation to maintain internal records of how data has been processed.
 
The UK will remain part of the EU until March 2019. Therefore, regardless of whether the UK decides to stay in sync with the regulations post Brexit, there will be a ten-month window where UK charities must conform to the EU GDPR rules. Heritage Alliance
 
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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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  And finally…  
 
 
Actor Samuel West reports that a thief stole a Gerard Hoffnung cartoon from the Royal Festival Hall – and then returned it with an apologetic label explaining that he or she had been drunk. The drawing by Hoffnung (d.1959) shows a middle-aged man playing a church organ. RFH has redisplayed the picture, along with the label featuring the thief’s rather lovely handwriting. It begins: ‘I am ashamed to say that I pinched this picture from a backstage corridor on a very drunken night. I am very sorry and hope that it can now be returned to its rightful place’.  Twitter
 
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