June 2017

NMDC newsletter: June 2017
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: June 2017
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  NMDC Vice-Chair

Kew Gardens re-joins NMDC

Party manifestos

Questions to ask election candidates about the arts

Nesta calls for more scientists in Parliament

Ironbridge Gorge receives up to £1m of HLF funding towards endowment fund

Great Places Scheme launches in Wales

Art Fund charitable giving increases by £5m

German plans for ‘safe haven’ for international curators under pressure

New museum considers what it means to be European

Museums will be vital post-Brexit, argues V&A Director

National Museums Scotland seeks to raise £1.98m for Galloway Hoard

Brunel collection donated as Cultural Gift to new museum

M+H Award winners announced

TEG Lending and borrowing experiences survey 2017

Brazil – UK exchange programme for museums and cultural institutions

How world cities fund culture
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  NMDC news  |  General Election  |  Sector commentary on the Election  |  Members’ news  |  Funding  |  Museums and Europe  |  A Time of Gifts  |  Awards  |  Events  |  Surveys  |  Tourism  |  Tech  |  Education  |  International  |  Sold and on hold  |  And finally….  |  Jobs  
 
 
  NMDC news  
 
 
 The newly reopened Ancient Egyptian Galleries at the World Museum, Liverpool, photographed by Gareth Jones
The newly reopened Ancient Egyptian Galleries at the World Museum, Liverpool, photographed by Gareth Jones
 
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  NMDC Vice-Chair  
 
 
Iain Watson has been elected to the role of NMDC Vice-Chair, a new position created to lead NMDC's advocacy and policy work on regional and local authority museum issues.  Iain, who has been Director of Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums and an NMDC member since 2010, also sits on the Museums Association Board as well as the English Civic Museums Network and the MA's Taskforce, so NMDC members agreed he is ideally placed to take on the role of Vice-Chair. 
 
Also: Dr. Kevin Fewster, Director of Royal Museums Greenwich, has joined the NMDC Advisory Committee in place of Diane Lees who stepped down as NMDC Chair in April.
 
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  Kew Gardens re-joins NMDC  
 
 
Richard Deverell, Director of Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, has joined NMDC's membership.  Kew was an original founder member of NMDC when it was formed in 1929, but left in 2003.  As a national collection Kew will join the NMDC as a non-museum associate member, alongside the British Library, The National Archives and National Library of Scotland.
 
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  NMDC staffing news  
 
 
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kathryn Simpson as NMDC's new Policy and Projects Manager.  Kathryn joins us from the London Design Biennale where she was most recently in post as International Relations Manager. She previously worked on policy and strategic relations at the Whitechapel Gallery following a Policy Advisor role at Defra.
 
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  General Election  
 
 
  Party manifestos  
 
 
Political parties have published their manifestos ahead of the General Election on June 8th. Labour has a section dedicated to culture and the creative industries, while other parties spread references to the sector throughout their manifestos. The Liberal Democrat Party says it will:
 
  • Maintain free entry to national museums and protect sports and arts national lottery funding.
  • Create creative enterprise zones to ‘grow and regenerate’ cultural output across the UK.
  • Protect arts and creative subjects in the curriculum and remove barriers to studying these subjects.
  • Double the number of businesses hiring apprentices including creative industries.
  • It  also asserts that funding for arts is ‘put at risk’ by Brexit, which the Liberal Democrats oppose.
 
The Labour Party describes the UK’s creative industries as ‘the envy of the world’, and its manifesto promises to put them at the heart of Brexit negotiations and industrial strategy. If elected it also promises:
 
  • A £1bn Cultural Capital Fund administered by the Arts Council to spend over a five year period. This would upgrade cultural and creative infrastructure to be ‘ready for the digital age’. Referencing how cuts to local authorities and ACE have created a ‘tough climate’ for some museums, the manifesto promises to spend some of the fund on projects to increase museums’ income and viability.
  • It will support free national museum entry; widen access to the Government Art Collection and continue to support First World War commemorations.
  • £160m would be spent on an arts Pupil Premium for children in every primary school, to support cultural activities over the long term. It will ‘review the Ebacc performance measure’ to make sure arts are not sidelined.
  • A creative careers advice campaign will be developed for schools to highlight the range of jobs available from the tech sector to theatre production. Labour will work with unions and employers to eradicate a culture of low pay so that those from less wealthy backgrounds can pursue work in the arts. Unpaid internships would be banned.
  • It wants to maintain UK involvement in innovation and education programmes such as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus.
  • Free movement has been repeatedly raised by groups from the cultural world responding to Brexit. Labour says ‘free movement will end’ on Brexit, that it would create a new ‘migration management system’ not favouring any particular area of the world, and consult with businesses and unions where there are skills gaps. It will ‘protect those already working here’.
 
The Conservative Party manifesto promises strong support for the arts, with more support outside London. It adds “it is also wrong that while some of our major cultural institutions have made efforts to gain a presence across the UK, others have not. We will put this right.”
 
Additionally:
 
  • It supports free entry to national museums and will introduce a new ‘cultural development fund’ to use cultural investment to turn around communities.
  • It will help build up the investment funds of universities so they will ‘lead the expansion of our R&D capacity’.
  • Some sectors have a skills shortage and the new immigration system will ‘address the immediate needs’, while developing skills needed for the future.  Immigration will be limited to ‘tens of thousands’. Overseas students will remain part of the immigration statistics.
  • In education, the aim is to raise the number of children taking the Ebacc to 90% by 2025. It will introduce a ‘curriculum fund’ to encourage Britain’s ‘leading cultural and scientific institutions, like the British Museum’ to develop materials for schools.
  • There will be a UCAS style portal for young people seeking technical education and discounted bus and train travel for those taking part in apprenticeships.
  • It will move significant numbers of public servants outside London, including arm’s length bodies. (The Arts Council is one such arm’s length body and so might be considered a candidate for such a move).
  • It will continue to promote the UK’s cultural institutions around the world and put the BBC World Service and British Council on a ‘secure footing’ to help achieve this.
 
The SNP’s manifesto makes no direct mention of arts, culture or museums, but touches on related issues of education, tourism and migration.
 
  • It will campaign to reinstate the Post Study Work Visa for those attending university in Scotland, and seek clarity about what will replace funding for schemes such as Horizon 20:20.
  • Tourism is a vital part of Scotland’s economy: the SNP will press for border checks which are as seamless as possible after the UK exits the EU, so as not to discourage international visitors.
  • It will seek a devolution of immigration powers so Scotland can have a policy that ‘works for our economy and society’.
 
The Stage, Manifestos: Labour Party (Creative Industries from pg 95), Liberal Democrat, Conservative, SNP, Museums Journal (scroll for cultural summary of all manifestos) Heritage Alliance
 
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  Sector commentary on the Election  
 
 
  Ebacc and the arts  
 
 
The Conservative Party manifesto remains committed to the Ebacc – a core of subjects which do not include an arts GCSE, aiming to enrol 75% of pupils in the next parliament and 90% by 2025. The arts education campaigning group Bacc to the Future has called on the government to 'urgently drop its plans to press ahead with an unreformed EBacc’. The Creative Industries Federation also expressed regret that the manifesto did not include plans to address the decline in creative subjects. The Stage
 
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  Questions to ask election candidates about the arts  
 
 
The National Campaign for the Arts has published a one-page prompt sheet to help members of the public to question their candidates about their commitment to the arts. It suggests three questions – ‘what will you do to protect arts funding?’, ‘how will you make good arts education available to everyone?’ and ‘what will you do to ensure everyone has access to the best art, wherever they live?’ Each question comes with brief commentary and statistics such as ‘participation in structured arts activities can increase cognitive abilities by 17%’. NCA encourages people to share the pdf as widely as possible.  NCA
 
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  Migration  
 
 
Europe Street News analyses party approaches to migration and finds all three major parties seek to secure the rights of EU nationals in Britain and British citizens in the EU. It points out that the tone varies, however: the Liberal Democrats will give rights to EU citizens unilaterally, and Labour pledges to deal with the issue ‘immediately’. The Conservative manifesto speaks of ‘entitlements rather than rights’ and aims for a lower figure which will include international students. Labour will not include international students in immigration figures. Europe Street News
 
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  An absence of ivory  
 
 
Commentators note that the 2015 Conservative manifesto commitment to ban all trade in ivory produced since 1947 has been dropped from the 2017 version. Instead it contains a ‘general pledge to work with international organisations to protect endangered species’. The change will please many in the antiques trade who have campaigned against a complete ban, but wildlife charities and Prince William are among those who had been in favour. China closed its ivory trade at the end of 2016, and wholesale legal ivory prices have since fallen by two thirds. The Labour manifesto contains a commitment to banning sales. Antique Traders Gazette, Guardian, Guardian
 
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  Nesta calls for more scientists in Parliament  
 
 
41% of graduates in 2016 obtained a degree in a STEM subject, but only 9% of candidates standing for Parliament for a major party have a science degree. Nesta argues that this is a problem as politicians address issues from gene editing, climate change and the automation of the labour market. Many gamechanging scientific issues ‘barely feature’ in election manifestos or parliamentary debates. Nesta
 
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  Members’ news  
 
 
 Sensational Butterflies runs at the Natural History Museum until September. Photo courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum.
Sensational Butterflies runs at the Natural History Museum until September. Photo courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum.
 
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  Ironbridge Gorge receives up to £1m of HLF funding towards endowment fund  
 
 
Ironbridge Gorge has created an endowment fund to support some of the buildings on its site, and HLF has promised match funding of up to £1m for any money donated over the next four years. The funding will generate an income for the preservation and repair of the Old Furnace and other buildings associated with the birth of the Industrial Revolution.  The endowment will also help create better access and interpretation for the public. The Ironbridge Gorge Trust hopes to eventually build the fund to £15m. Shropshire Live
 
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  Mummy is back!  
 
 
The Ancient Egyptian gallery at the World Museum in Liverpool has been extended and reopened, which includes giving the public access to the Mummy Room for the first time in 150 years. The ten mummies form the largest collection on display in the UK outside the British Museum. The collection tells a story spanning 5,000 years from the first settlers in the Nile Valley to the Roman period. Some objects also have a compelling modern history: damaged when Liverpool was bombed in May 1941, they are being redisplayed for the first time in 76 years, following conservation. The work was funded by various foundations and trusts including the DCMS/Wolfson Museums & Galleries Improvement Fund. Art Newspaper, Liverpool Museums
 
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  York Art Gallery commended at EMYA 2017  
 
 
The winner of European Museum of the Year Award 2017 has been announced as the Museum of Ethnography (MEG) in Geneva, Switzerland. Judges were impressed that after almost a century in operation, the museum has managed to transform its mission and approach: multiculturalism and multidisciplinary work are now central to how it operates. There were 46 nominees from 24 countries for the prize which recognises the social impact of museums.  York Art Gallery was the only UK institution on the shortlist this year, and was one of six runners up to receive a Special Commendation. Judges praised it for reviving Victorian splendour and for ‘fostering an intense dialogue between contemporary and traditional art’. Applications for EMYA 2018 are open until 12th June: the fee for entry is €500. NEMO, EMYA, EMYA (2018 prize), Museums Journal, Museums Journal
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  European Year of Culture to receive £8m  
 
 
The European Parliament has voted to make £8m in funding available for the European Year of Culture 2018, which will celebrate the continent’s shared heritage. Further details of how to participate are to follow. NEMO
 
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  Archaeology research funding the most vulnerable post Brexit  
 
 
The Royal Society has compiled a report listing which academic disciplines are most dependent on European funding, and therefore will be more exposed post-Brexit. Archaeology tops the list, with 38% of research funding coming from Europe, followed by classics and information technology. University of York archaeologist Matthew Collins told Buzzfeed “in archaeology we’re more worried than most. There’s no doubt that British-based archaeologists have been extraordinarily successful in these [EU grant] competitions.” Royal Society (full report), The Scientist
 
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  Great Places Scheme launches in Wales  
 
 
HLF has launched its Great Places scheme in Wales, making a £1.5m fund available to not-for-profit organisations for schemes using arts and culture to promote growth in the local economy. Each grant will be from £100 - £500k. Suggested activities include using arts and culture to provide local education or health services, helping develop skills of people locally, or creating an event with community benefits. Kay Andrews, Chair of HLF in Wales said “we are promoting a step-change in thinking and it is a natural progression from some initiatives already in place such as the Welsh Government’s Fusion programme and the Arts Council’s Ideas, People, Places programme.” Expressions of interest should be made by mid August, and final applications delivered in December. Projects will be selected in March 2018. HLF
 
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  Welsh Transformation fund receives £2.7m  
 
 
The Welsh government has announced a new £2.7m Transformation Fund open to museums, libraries and archives in Wales. It builds on a previous scheme which allowed libraries to extend their services. Six museums will benefit from the fund, including Tenby Museum which is creating tactile signage and Oriel Ynys Mon which is creating new educational facilities. Funding will also support the digital offer of museums and libraries. Among other initiatives, this will allow them to install the National Digital Library Service, which makes free ebooks available to the public. Wales.gov
 
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  Art Fund charitable giving increases by £5m  
 
 
The Art Fund increased its giving to museums and galleries to £16m during 2016 - 17 – £5m more than the previous year. The spend includes £4.5m grants to museums to purchase works of art; supporting 400 curators and £1m for the New Collecting Awards. Art Fund membership has grown to 123,000. Art Fund Chairman Lord Smith of Finsbury said “we know these are difficult times for UK museums and that, for many, the future looks uncertain.  Over the past year our work – not just as a funder, but also as an advocate of and ally to arts organisations – has never seemed more important, or more crucial.” Art Fund
 
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  Museums and Europe  
 
 
  German plans for ‘safe haven’ for international curators under pressure  
 
 
Curators who are under political pressure in their own countries could find a safe haven in Germany under a scheme being championed by Marion Ackermann, Director of the Dresden State Art Collections (SKD). She says curators are under threat from increasingly authoritarian governments in countries including Poland, Hungary and Turkey. SKD will establish colloquia which will allow curators to keep in touch internationally, and detect when there is a problem. A Brazilian curator Marcelo Rezende has taken up a post in Germany after being invited to leave the Museum of Modern Art Bahia because local authorities disliked his approach. Ackermann hopes to make the political circumstances of international applicants for German curatorial posts a formal criterion in the future. Art Newspaper (subscription only)
 
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  New museum considers what it means to be European  
 
 
After ten years of planning, the £47m House of European History has opened in Brussels.  It includes items from more than 300 collections from across Europe. The new museum does not explore the individual timelines of each country, but instead looks at themes that shape the whole continent – from its (fluctuating) borders, to its 19th century global power, post-FWW collapse, 1970s global recession and the rise of the EU. In recent times, it explores how the EU both won a Nobel Peace Prize for its work towards peace and reconciliation and attracted criticism for the economic suffering of millions of EU citizens. Former European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering said "the House of European History is intended to help citizens to step into the future wisely and with confidence, a future which, from today’s standpoint, looks likely to be troubled and full of threats. It is a house which, by showing us the dynamics of European history, enables us to better understand recent history, as well as the present.Museums Journal, House of European History
 
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  Museums will be vital post-Brexit, argues V&A Director  
 
 
Zig-zagging deftly through V&A exhibition history – from the 1862 display of royal wedding presents, to a 1946 show of British industrial design, to its newly opened Pink Floyd exhibition – Director Tristram Hunt argues that museums are vital in a post-Brexit era, showcasing world-leading knowledge and expertise. He points to the £3bn generated by London cultural tourism, 80,000 jobs and the ‘worldwide benchmark’ that the quality of UK museum exhibitions provide. Successful touring exhibitions have a remarkable reach: V&A’s Bowie exhibition has now been seen by 1.8m people “offering a radical, creative conception of what the UK means beyond Downton Abbey and Buckingham Palace”. Museums also provide context at home: “at a time of too much religious and ethnic distrust, alongside parochial and nativist sentiment, museums help to explain the complex interweaving of peoples and places across time. At the V&A I am always astonished, as I move from the Islamic to the European to the south Asian galleries, at the depth of cultural cross-fertilisation across the design traditions.” He argues that as the UK makes its way post-Brexit, the first class quality of UK museums will be a ‘core asset’ continuing to attract people to visit and collaborate. Hunt was also at the Hay Festival arguing that London institutions are too out of step with non-metropolitan audiences and that this needs to be addressed: museums cannot be ‘more Davos than Daventry’. Evening Standard, Guardian (scroll half way down)
 
Also: The artist Patrick Brill, writing as his alter ego Bob and Roberta Smith, presents a much less positive image of museums in a post Brexit world, inviting us to imagine museums meeting the same fate as post-Dissolution monasteries “the new Switch House extension covered in ivy and buddleia, pigeons and seagulls nesting in its Modernist brickwork, its oak floorboards curling up with water damage and its artworks not in a public collection, free to view, but lining the walls of a yacht.” More concretely, he asks what will replace the €1.46bn spent on the arts in the UK through Creative Europe, and whether the UK will leave the Erasmus exchange scheme. Guardian
 
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  Migration museum fills a gap  
 
 
America, Australia, Denmark, France, Belgium, Germany and Ireland each have significant museums exploring the place in their history, but until recently, the UK’s otherwise fairly comprehensive museum sector has had nothing similar. Writing about her role as Chair of the new National Migration Museum, former MP Barbara Roche says there has been “anxiety about opening up discussion and debate on a potentially charged and challenging topic. But what seems clear to me – and to so many people from across the political spectrum who have pledged their support – is that with migration at the centre of current debates around Brexit and identity, there has scarcely been a more important time to establish a national cultural institution exploring the central role that migration has played in shaping who we are.” The museum is temporarily housed at The Workshop, Lambeth High Street, until at least February next year. Guardian, Migration Museum
 
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  A Time of Gifts  
 
 
  Brighton Museum to open new archaeology gallery after donation  
 
 
Brighton Museum is opening a new archaeology gallery in Summer 2018 following a generous gift from an anonymous private donor. The region has a rich archaeology and the new gallery will focus on personal stories of people who inhabited it in much earlier periods. The museum is using scientists working on DNA profiling to help find out more about its collections and these lives. Brighton Museums
 
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  MOSI gift ‘in limbo’ as it seeks anonymous donor  
 
 
MOSI is highlighting why it is important for people to identify themselves to staff when they gift items to the museum. An anonymous donor has posted a rare 1882 goods invoice to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. The museum has no similar holdings, and the item plugs a gap in its knowledge. However, under the Code of Ethics the gift cannot be displayed or used without knowing its source. Information manager Jan Hicks blogs “very occasionally, we receive archives from anonymous donors who send documents in the post or drop them off at the information desk during a visit to the museum. It’s often archive material that we really want to keep. The frustrating thing is that without information about the person donating the archives and the story of how they came to own them, we can’t add these archives to our collections. If our mystery donor is reading this, we’d be thrilled if you got in touch so we can officially add this goods invoice to our permanent collection and say thank you for sending it to us.” In the meantime, the goods invoice will remain ‘in limbo’ – cared for by the museum, but not an official part of its collections. Manchester Evening News, MOSI blog
 
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  National Museums Scotland seeks to raise £1.98m for Galloway Hoard  
 
 
National Museums Scotland has until November to raise the £1.98m necessary to acquire the Galloway Hoard – Viking gold, silver and jewelled objects found by metal detectorist Derek McLennan in 2014, alongside textiles, leather and wooden fragments which are incredibly rare survivals from this period. If funds cannot be raised, the hoard will transfer to the finder. Meanwhile Dumfries and Galloway Council has lost a bid to house the treasures, which it hoped to display in Kirkcudbright Art Gallery to attract a new wave of tourists. NMS says its considerable in-house specialist knowledge will be needed to ‘conserve, interpret and prepare’ the finds. Gordon Rintoul, Director of NMS told Museums Journal “It’s fair to say that we have got a common aim in that we believe some of the hoard should be on display in Dumfries and Galloway. We were upfront from the beginning about acquiring it and allowing Dumfries and Galloway to display part of it. We are in dialogue [with the council] about that.” Museums Journal, NMS (appeal), NMS (press release), Herald Scotland, Guardian
 
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  Brunel collection donated as Cultural Gift to new museum  
 
 
Being Brunel is a new museum opening in early 2018 in formerly derelict 20th century buildings near the SS Great Britain in Bristol. It will celebrate the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The museum’s collections have received a significant donation of 850 Brunel-related items brought together by Clive Richards over a ten-year period, which he is giving under the Cultural Gifts Scheme. The items are personal as well as professional – from letters about building the Suspension Bridge and railways to family photographs, Brunel’s cigar case and school reports. Chief Executive of the Brunel Trust Matthew Tanner said “Clive Richards has been instrumental in helping the SS Great Britain Trust realise its vision of establishing the national Brunel museum where many of these items will be displayed to the public for the very first time. The Clive and Sylvia Richards Charity has additionally made a significant donation towards the construction of the new museum. Clive’s great passion collecting items relating to Brunel is an extraordinary gift to the nation.” Being Brunel
 
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  Awards  
 
 
 Courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum
 
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  M+H Award winners announced  
 
 
M + H has announced the winners of its annual awards over eleven categories. These include:
 
  • National Museums Scotland won Permanent Exhibition with its ten new galleries, covering subjects from Fashion to Design and Technology.
  • Two awards for volunteers and volunteer teams: the latter was won by the Community Curators of the People’s History Museum’s LGBT exhibition ‘Never Going Underground’.
  •  The Innovation Award was won by Historic Royal Palaces for the The Lost Palace
  • The Fitzwilliam Museum and Hamilton Kerr Institute won the Restoration or Conservation category for a decade of work on and research into Sebastiano’s Adoration of the Shepherds which allowed the painting to go on show for the first time in 70 years.
  • The Hallaton in the Great War Research Group won Project on a Limited Budget. Participants wrote biographies of 215 people connected with one small village who served in the First World War.
  • The winner of Best Marketing Campaign was also linked to FWW commemoration: the 14 – 18 NOW/ Jeremy Deller ‘We’re Here Because We’re Here’ event, which included hundreds of volunteers dressed as soldiers in public spaces.
  • The Novium in Chichester won best Temporary or Touring Exhibition for ‘Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey’.
  • The National Trust received a one off Special Recognition Award for its creative partnerships, visitor engagement and remarkable growth in visitor numbers.
  • The International Award was won by the new Helsinki City Museum.
 
M + H
 
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  Events  
 
 
  Sharing Collections Symposium  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland and National Museums Scotland are running a joint one day Sharing Collections Symposium. It will look at lending, borrowing and touring exhibitions and what support is available nationally and internationally. There will be a six-month support programme after the symposium. Speakers include Dana Andrew on ICOM’s international loans support, and Dr Xerxes Mazda from NMS on why loaning is worthwhile. Tickets are £25 for those who work or volunteer in the Scottish museum sector or £50 for attendees from outside Scotland. The event takes place on 14th June at National Museum Scotland. MGS
 
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  Get what you give? The value and benefits of proactively lending collections  
 
 
The British Museum’s National Programmes team is running a free conference on the value of lending, supported by the Vivmar Foundation. It explores how museums of every size, as well as non-museums with collections can become involved in lending.  It takes place on 31st August. Lunch will also be provided. British Museum
 
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  Measure what matters  
 
 
The Happy Museum is running its annual workshop on holistic evaluation in museums. It covers approaches which help to evaluate during rather than after a project; the usefulness of ‘light touch’ creative approaches which nevertheless generate strong evidence and teaches how to use the LIFE survey (Learning, Interaction, Feeling, Environment). The event takes place at the Fazeley Studios in Birmingham on 13th June. Tickets are £50 to cover costs, but contact [email protected] if you need a concession to make attendance possible. Happy Museum
 
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  Culture, Health and Wellbeing conference  
 
 
The International Culture, Health and Wellbeing conference will draw together the latest research into using culture for wellbeing. Keynote speakers include Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of Public Health England. There will be sessions on museums and wellbeing research, including a look at practice in Holland, Singapore and the UK. Social prescribing, dementia and the arts, artists in acute care settings and digital media in care homes will also be explored. The event takes place in Bristol on 19th – 21st June. Tickets are from £150 per day. Culture Health & Wellbeing
 
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  Surveys  
 
 
  TEG Lending and borrowing experiences survey 2017  
 
 
The Touring Exhibitions Group is running a survey to get a snapshot of lending and borrowing experiences in the UK. The information will help TEG develop its Preparing to Borrow programme. It will take around 10 minutes to complete and participants will be entered into a prize draw for a workshop and travel bursary. The survey is open until 31st July. TEG
 
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  To the doors of the museum  
 
 
MALD, the Welsh government’s museums, archives and libraries division is developing guidance to tackle transport barriers to culture. The work is part of the wider ‘Fusion: tackling poverty through culture’ programme. Tom Cosson is seeking examples of good practice from previously successful projects such as working with bus companies, building transport into wider cultural programmes or using the Pupil Deprivation Grant to meet transport needs. If you can help, case studies up to 250 words should be sent to [email protected] by June 9th - accompanying photographs would be appreciated where available.  Wales.gov (Fusion programme overview)
 
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  Tourism  
 
 
  Lonely Planet loves Leeds (for its culture)  
 
 
Travel publisher Lonely Planet lists Leeds as fifth in its selection of the top ten cities to visit in Europe in 2017. It describes it as a ‘pilgrimage city for craft beer [and] budding arts hub’ before recommending Leeds Art Gallery, which reopens in October, and the transformation of the ‘atmospheric mill district’ into a shopping and eating hub. Leeds is the only UK city to make the list, which is led by Zagreb in Croatia and Gotland in Sweden. North Wales also features in the Lonely Planet ‘Best world region’ list, but its citation highlights trampolining, the caverns of Blaenau Ffestiniog and skies ideal for stargazing rather than cultural attractions. Guardian, Lonely Planet (best in Europe), Lonely Planet (best region)
 
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  Natural History Museum develops a less carnivorous menu  
 
 
Although attracting millions of visitors to look at the remains of terrifying carnivores, the Natural History Museum has tweaked its cafe menu to cater better for vegans, vegetarians and parents and children in search of healthier eating options. Last year the Soil Association’s ‘Out to Lunch’ campaign scored twenty attractions on healthy and sustainable menus, with the Eden Project at the top, and NHM joint bottom with Brighton Pier. NHM’s new innovations include free side salads and less sugary desserts for children, a wider range of meat free options, and more information about the provenance of ingredients: meat is British, and eggs are free range. The Soil Association will produce a new list in 2018, and in the meantime continues to talk to UK attractions about their food offer.  Soil Association
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  Charity commission issues ransomware advice  
 
 
The Charity Commission has published guidance for charities about how to avoid the ransomware attacks which affected 200,000 organisations in 150 countries during May, including several NHS Trusts. Crucial advice includes:
 
  • Install updates to computer systems as soon as they become available
  • Make sure anti-virus software is up to date
  • Backup business critical files on a medium not connected to your computer network
  • If you are nevertheless infected, don’t pay the ransom.
 
There is a reporting line run by Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040 for organisations infected with ransomware or affected by other types of cybercrime. ‘Whaling’ or very well researched scams aimed at individual senior figures in large organisations is also increasingly common. Speaking to Museums Journal Bristol Culture’s Zak Mensah said that keeping a backup at several UK locations was central to his organisation’s security arrangements. Gov.uk, Museums Journal, SCMagazine
 
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  Exhibitions tax relief  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland has published a brief guide, relevant across the UK, to the pause in the government plans for tax relief on touring exhibitions. It says that there can be no certainty about if or when the tax will be enacted (though it seems relatively likely to happen eventually). It advises organisations arranging an exhibition which they hope will be eligible for relief to continue to collect the relevant data. MGS
 
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  Education  
 
 
  All Hull schools now participating in the City of Culture  
 
 
Hull City of Culture has been working with regional bridge organisation CapeUK to create a comprehensive programme for schools and teachers, running throughout 2017. Every school in Hull is now participating in the ‘No Limits’ programme, either at the online and core levels, which are free, or at the enhanced level for which there is a small charge. CapeUK’s Development Director Drew Rowlands says: “I get a sense that there is overwhelming positivity towards what is on offer, and whilst I think it’s fair to say that schools feel inundated or even swamped with opportunities, they recognise the uniqueness of the opportunity and are therefore embracing as much as possible.”  Many Hull schools are scored low on Ofsted attainment standards, and are using the opportunities from the City of Culture to pick up new teaching and learning skills. Some teachers are taking part in a RSC programme, which includes learning the theatre company’s rehearsal room techniques, and how these can be applied to teaching the curriculum. A New Direction
 
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  International  
 
 
 Courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum
Courtesy of the Trustees of the Natural History Museum
 
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  Brazil – UK exchange programme for museums and cultural institutions  
 
 
The British Council has launched an exchange programme between UK and Brazilian museums and cultural institutions. The aim is to create deeper understanding between the two cultures and enhance professional development. Applications should be made at an institutional rather than individual level; the person chosen for the exchange must be a full time member of staff with at least three years’ experience in the sector.
 
Travel and placements are for between two weeks – one month and must take place from August 2017 – mid March 2018. The deadline for applications is 25th June, successful applicants will hear by 15th July. British Council
 
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  In Harm’s Way: aspects of cultural heritage protection  
 
 
The British Council has published ‘In Harm’s Way: aspects of cultural heritage protection’ which gives an overview of current thinking around the subject as various nations step up their work to keep heritage safe from war and looting. It outlines the long history of cultural protection – beginning with arguments against vandalism voiced during the French Revolution and American Civil War, and then discussing the relatively new Cultural Protection Fund and the British Council’s role in its delivery. There are also short essays from staff at Blue Shield, the V&A and the army’s Cultural Property Protection group. British Council
 
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  How world cities fund culture  
 
 
The World Cities forum has published the first global comparative study on how sixteen major cities across the world – from the US to Europe and China – sustain their cultural offer. It asks whether there is a ‘best’ way to fund culture, and intends the data to help leaders see what their options are, by comparing practice across the world. For instance, private giving dominates city culture funding in the US, but this slice of money doesn’t exceed 19% anywhere else globally except Tokyo. Corporations, not individuals, dominate private giving in Asia. Crowd and social funding are beginning to appear, but are a tiny part of the whole picture. The report also looks at how funds for education and tourism are used for cultural purposes. Paris spends the most public money on culture each year at $3.3bn, followed by Moscow ($2.4bn) and London ($1.6bn). The report also devotes a chapter to London funding: investment from ACE, English Heritage, DCMS and the National Lottery contribute significantly to the total $1.6bn. The Greater London Authority’s $19m (£14.6m) budget for culture is 5% of its available funds, and a fraction of the total London spend. Even after cuts, local authority money accounted for 27% of all direct public expenditure on culture in 2014 – 15. World Cities Forum, World Cities Forum (full report – London from page 59)
 
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  Sold and on hold  
 
 
  Museum faces closure as corporate bookings vanish  
 
 
The Gordon Highlanders Museum has launched a fundraising campaign to find £300k over the next three years. Although visitors have increased by 18% since 2014, and admissions-generated income by 61%, the museum is struggling due to a collapse in corporate bookings for its spaces, which have previously been the mainstay of its financial security. In particular, a slump in oil prices has led to less demand from oil and gas firms. Hence the museum’s profits are down by nearly 80% overall. The museum’s collections relate to a regiment that existed for over 150 years, and include uniforms and 11 Victoria Crosses. Museums Journal, Gordon Highlanders Museum, BBC, The Scotsman
 
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  Former Red House Museum to be sold after community interest bids rejected  
 
 
Kirklees Council has said that it will sell the building of the former Red House Museum, after three bids from Community Interest Groups were rejected as ‘too commercial’. A councillor involved in one of the bids, which involved using Red House as a nursery, hopes to appeal the decision. The building is associated with Charlotte Bronte, who was a frequent visitor in the 1830s and mentions it in the novel Shirley. Telegraph & Argus
 
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  BMAG pauses redevelopment plans  
 
 
Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery has cancelled its tender for an architect to work on an £18m project to improve its premises, as the work is delayed for an indefinite period, although the museum hopes to continue eventually. A BMAG spokesperson said “a change generated by a key stakeholder has resulted in a major scope and major time frame revision.” Museums Journal, Architects’ Journal (sign up for access to article)
 
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  And finally….  
 
 
  Beyond the Fail whale – creative inhabitants of 404 purgatory  
 
 
Hyperallergic has curated a joyful collection of museum 404 pages, which meld together the comedy of minor disappointment with the variety of institutional collections. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum presents the reader with a shot of the vastness of intergalactic space with ‘404 Page not found: Houston, we’ve had a problem’ written over a black hole. The Vasa Museet – a Swedish maritime museum – offers a listing sailing ship; Museo del Prado somewhat overreacts with a weeping woman taken from a 13th century crucifixion tableau. By contrast, Seattle Art Museum tries to cheer up its audience: “The page you are looking for does not exist! We’re sorry for the inconvenience. In exchange, we’d like to offer you this video of a baby seal visiting the shoreline at Olympic Sculpture ParkHyperallergic, Seattle Art Museum (cute seal)
 
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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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