Research shows V&A Dundee is worth £75m to the Scottish economy
New research commissioned by V&A Dundee into the economic effects of the museum indicate that it was worth £75m to the Scottish economy in its first year, far more than the £23m initially anticipated. There were 833,000 visits to the museum, (well above the expected 500,000), with visitors spending £32m with other Dundee businesses, including £16m of new spending created by the museum. Tourism in Dundee is now worth £10m a month to the city. The museums comments “we are proud to have attracted new first-time visitors to the city, many of whom may not have visited Dundee before. There is also evidence that many people who visited plan to return.” Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said “V&A Dundee is a powerful symbol of Dundee’s new confidence and the strong future of design and innovation across our nation” adding that “it has more than proved its cultural value” after the Scottish Government invested £38m in its construction. BBC, V&A, M + H, STV
Boris Johnson launches UK Year of Climate Action at the Science Museum
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched the UK Year of Climate Action in an event at the Science Museum, alongside Sir David Attenborough and Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte. The Year will draw together government, business, civil society groups and cultural institutions to address the issue. The Science Museum also announced its own significant programme this year, including:
The first exhibition on climate capture and storage, discussing everything from nature-based solutions such as preserving peat bogs, to mechanical approaches.
Manchester Science Festival, produced by the Science and Industry Museum in October, will explore how we should approach climate through the lenses of cities, the natural world and ourselves.
A series of conferences taking place this Spring to explore the theory and practice of sustainable curating.
All of these events complement the UK’s role as host of the UN’s 26th Climate Change Conference in Glasgow this November. Johnson said "let’s make this year the moment where we come to together with the courage and the technological ambition to solve man-made climate change and to choose a cleaner and greener future for all our children and grandchildren." SMG Director Sir Ian Blatchford said “there is no more pressing issue facing the world, and the five museums in the Science Museum Group are uniquely placed to engage a huge audience around the science of climate change, and the technological challenges and solutions around the crucial energy and food transitions we need to achieve. Our visitors are the engaged citizens and scientists of now and tomorrow.”SMG, The Ecologist, Year of Climate Action
‘A planetary emergency’: NHM places climate at the centre of its strategy to 2031
The Natural History Museum has entitled its strategy to 2031 ‘A planetary emergency’, placing biodiversity loss, habitat destruction, pollution and extinction alongside climate change as critical concerns for the decade and for the museum. NHM is home to 800 scientists and sees expanding knowledge as a vital part of the solution, but in itself not enough – it will also seek to harness public engagement to ‘make an impact far beyond our physical limits’. Its major plans include:
Becoming the first museum in the world to set a science-based carbon reduction target in line with the Paris climate agreement 1.5°C global warming trajectory.
Developing a new offsite centre to free up more space for visitors in South Kensington, and creating new galleries including one for young children.
It will also create a new science and digitisation centre to protect past collections and enable the museum to apply ‘brilliant minds and 21st century technologies’.
It will transform its five acre grounds for the Urban Nature Project, which will describe how cities can become havens for wildlife, promote citizen science projects and be the centrepiece of a nationwide network.
Its work will be driven by an ‘advocates for the planet’ approach which will first establish a connection to nature through ‘memorable and emotional experiences’, then share stories to allow people to place themselves in the history of the planet, and finally empower visitors to make informed decisions about their own behaviour and actions in the light of this. Director Sir Michael Dixon said “our strategy is built around our vision of a future where people and planet thrive. Our ethos is one of hope that by working together we can change the current path. The Museum is well placed to make a difference.”NHM (overview), NHM (press release), NHM (full strategy document), M + H, ALVA, Museums Journal
Horniman publishes more detail of plan to become carbon neutral by 2040
Meanwhile the Horniman, which declared a climate emergency last year, has published more detail of how it will work in practice to become greenhouse gas neutral within 20 years. The museum will reframe its extensive natural history and living collections, including the gardens and aquarium with the ‘Nature and Love’ project to emphasise sustainability; it will hire a full time Climate and Ecology Action co-ordinator, move towards electric vehicles by mid-decade and reduce business flying. It will also create an Environmental Champions Club to support visitors to make their own changes. The Horniman also joins numerous arts organisations in the second round of the ACE/Julie’s Bicycle accelerator programme on climate. Director Nick Merriman told The Art Newspaper “if we’re serious about becoming greenhouse gas neutral by a particular date, we need to start making that transition now”Art Newspaper, Horniman (climate and ecology manifesto), ACE
Images this month: National Museums Scotland spring programme
Images this month feature forthcoming events and exhibitions at National Museums Scotland, ranging from 'Tyrannosaurs' which includes life-size cast skeletons and augmented reality; 'Parasites: Battle for Survival' which explores the battle against five tropical diseases and the parasites that cause them, as well as events marking Chinese New Year. We also feature the Oxford Museum of Natural History main hall in 1890, as it prepares for the first refit in 20 years. NMS, OUMNH
Arts Council England has published its strategy for the next decade ‘Let’s Create’, outlining the principles that will shape its work. Discussions involving around 5,000 people highlighted issues that most need addressing, particularly a mismatch in how people perceive ‘the arts’ compared to the sector, a geographic unevenness of opportunity, including in educational chances for children, a lack of diversity in the sector, fragile business models of many creative organisations and a retreat from risk and talent development. In response, ACE plans a shift of emphasis towards individual creativity with a reach to every ‘town, city and village’. It will also increase advocacy for creativity in education and have an eye to the best examples globally as well as nationally in striving for the highest possible quality. Those seeking ACE funding will have to address four investment principles and explain how they are being met. These are:
Ambition and quality – recognising that talent can be found in every kind of artform in any venue, and expecting that those seeking funding will have mapped out a pathway to attain the best possible quality.
Dynamism – this includes responding to changes in the public’s tastes and habits, and the transformational effect of technology. Some organisations may need to change both missions and business models in response.
Environmental Responsibility – from an organisation’s own carbon footprint to how it communicates this pressing issue through public programming.
Inclusivity and relevance – addressing “persistent and widespread lack of diversity and inclusivity in cultural organisations’ leadership, governance, workforce and audience”.
ACE Chief Executive Darren Henley emphasised that the strategy is deliberately not over-prescriptive. He said "ten years is a long time. If a Strategy spanning such a period is to succeed, it needs to be flexible, not rigid; a guiding light, rather than an instruction manual. So what we have set out here is not an action plan, but a vision: of the richer, wider, deeper role creativity and culture can play in this country." A series of delivery plans will focus on detail over time. The Local Government Association welcomed the emphasis on the “role of culture in building and sustaining communities and confirming the central importance of local authorities in place-making” which it described as an ‘important shift’. Conversely, a group of cultural academics have published 'Ace in a hole' arguing that ACE must do more to rebalance a system which favours those who already enjoy culture. ACE (strategy), ACE (blog), Guardian, Guardian, Arts Professional, Arts Industry, LGA, Cultural Learning Alliance (analysis of education component) Museums Journal
Also: ACE has announced that it is developing new guidance on the restitution and repatriation of cultural objects, which will be published later this year. ACE says it is aimed to “encourage a more proactive and coordinated approach from the sector, by providing museums with a practical resource to support them in engaging with and responding to this complex and important issue”. ACE (museums’ newsletter, scroll), ACE (sign up to museums’ quarterly newsletter)
APPG on Creative Diversity reforms for new Parliament
The All Party Parliamentary Group on Creative Diversity has reconvened for the new Parliament. It is now jointly chaired by Chi Onwurah, Labour MP for Newcastle and Deborah Bull, cross-bench peer and Vice Principle of King’s College London, who also leads King’s cultural work. APPG on Twitter
As the Government begins negotiations to establish the nature of the deal between the UK and EU following Brexit, issues most directly affecting the cultural sector are being raised:
The Creative Industries Federation has issued a brief statement seeking temporary mobility of people and goods alongside frictionless trade; no dilution of ‘gold standard’ UK IP protections; regulatory alignment, particularly pointing to data, qualifications and audiovisual rules and a landscape which encourages inward investment. It also said that Creative Europe enables 40% of sales of all UK independent films in Europe and that the UK should negotiate for continued access. CIF,
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he will scrap a proposed £30k salary ceiling for immigrants arriving after Brexit under an ‘Australian-style’ points system. The Creative Industries Federation welcomed the news, but said it should also be shaped to work for freelancers, micro-businesses and project work. The Times (£), CIF,
The UK will not implement the European Copyright Directive, which become enforced in Europe from 2021. The UK was among 19 nations supporting the legislation at the European Council in April 2019, but the Government now says that “any future changes to the UK copyright framework will be considered as part of the domestic policy process.”CMU, Wired
The future of European funding programmes is also being discussed:
The Creative Europe Desk has issued clarification on UK participation in the light of Brexit. UK organisations can continue to apply to the programme until the end of 2020; successful applicants will continue to receive funding for the life of that project. For the new round of Creative Europe from 2021 – 27, participation is open to non-EU countries, but the UK’s exact opportunities will be decided during forthcoming negotiations. Creative Europe (participation guidance), Creative Europe (2020 opportunities)
In January, MPs voted against an amendment to the Withdrawal Agreement, requiring the Government to negotiate continued membership of the Erasmus programme. However, this does not mean that the UK is ruling out Erasmus: Minister for Universities Chris Skidmore said that the UK will be ‘open to participation in the new Erasmus successor programme from 2021’ and ‘this will be part of future relationship negotiations with the EU once the scheme has been finalised.’ Europe Street News (scroll), inews, The Art Newspaper
Digital Cultural Network launches new course on essentials of digital marketing
ACE’s Digital Cultural Network has launched a new training session covering social media, digital advertising and data analytics in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. It is aimed at those responsible for strategic digital planning or marketing and comms, and will explore topics including social search and widening audience reach. The event is also an opportunity to meet and ask questions with members of the Digital Cultural Network team. Training is free, and the two initial workshops will take place at FACT, Liverpool on 11th February and Derby QUAD on 28th February. There are plans for a further eight sessions at cities around the country until Spring 2021. DCN (FACT Liverpool), DCN (Derby QUAD)
Also: Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy has published new training events for the spring, including a course on digital tools for fundraisers (London/Manchester), plus other face to face and e-learning courses. AF&P
Taking England to the World: one day course for tourism businesses and attractions
VisitEngland is running a free one-day course for businesses and organisations with an interest in tourism, to learn how to attract international visitors. Developed through the Discover England Fund, the course teaches about travel distribution systems and promoting a product in international markets. The training is most suited to SMEs, but all sizes of organisation are welcome. The first events take place in six cities across the UK between 11th February and 21st April. VisitBritain
Workshop: putting cultural institutions to work to address climate change
The consultancy Curating Tomorrow and the World Museum, Liverpool have announced a two-day practical workshop on addressing climate change through museum collections, exhibitions and events. Aimed at non-specialists, it will give a better understanding of climate change causes and impacts, and 'explore tools for communicating about climate change to get beyond doom and gloom'. Day two will help participants to develop an action plan for their organisation. The event takes place at the World Museum, Liverpool on 25th - 26th March. Tickets are £40 for one day or £60 for two - booking opens shortly. Curating Tomorrow
Climate + Culture + Collaboration in Leeds explores how to scale up through partnerships
Culture Forum North is holding an event ‘Climate + Culture + Collaboration’ to explore how tactical collaboration can help scale up responses to the climate emergency, and how to place artistic enquiry within climate change research. The keynote speaker is Michelle Dickson, Director of Strategy at ACE, with other sessions from Manchester Arts Sustainability Team, Opera North and the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. The event takes place at Leeds Beckett University on 27th February. Tickets are £15 - £35.Culture Forum North
Season of Change 2020 is a UK wide programme showcasing cultural leadership and climate action, taking place from June – November 2020 in the run up to the UN’s COP26 climate negotiations in Glasgow. It is led by Artsadmin and Julie’s Bicycle; partners already include Manchester Museum and Sage Gateshead; organisations are invited to sign up for updates and to explore ways to get involved and host events. Season for Change
Also: Julie’s Bicycle is holding a culture, climate and leadership summit, ‘We Make Tomorrow’, at the Royal Geographical Society on 26th February. Julie’s Bicycle
Three interlinked festivals on the topic of older people and creativity take place during May, with partners including Age UK and the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance. Cultural organisations are invited to register to take part and add events to the listings. Age of Creativity
The National Army Museum is offering a series of events throughout the spring for museum professionals, with a particular focus on the needs of military museums. Topics include textile conservation, army collections 101, radiation safety in military museums and introductions to conservation and curation. Tickets are £100 - £400 (depending on length of course) and there is a 50% discount for AIM members and some free tickets for R&CM delegates. NAM
V&A intensive course: Generating New Income Streams, plus study days and curator training
V&A is holding a week-long intensive course ‘Generating New Income Streams’ covering topics including retail, membership, venue hire, catering and licensing as well as helping to identify each institution’s assets and where it should concentrate effort. The course is led by experts from V&A’s large commercial department, and runs from 16th – 20th March. Tickets are £1.5k. V&A’s other early Spring courses include a study day on Prehistories and Futures of Machine Vision (£5 - £15) and ‘Curating Now: Roles of the Contemporary Curator (course, £240 - £260, 25th February – 16th March). V&A (new income), V&A (course list to March)
Garden Museum offers guide to museum catering from the ‘best café in the world’
The Garden Museum is holding a one-day event ‘Catering in Museums’ on 16th March. The museum itself won a ‘best café in the world’ award in 2018, and the programme also draws expertise from Tate, Zafferano and others. Tickets are £150 - £175. Garden Museum
The Association of Independent Museums is holding its 2020 annual conference at Port Sunlight Village on 18th – 20th June, with the theme ‘Fit for the Future’, looking particularly at organisational and personal resilience. A full programme is yet to be published but the speakers list includes many independent museum leaders, and representatives from ACE, DCMS, universities and corporates. Early bird tickets are now available. Early bird tickets for the whole conference including dinner start at £280 or one-day tickets from £100. AIM
Creative Nation 2020: major creative industries conference
The Creative Industries Federation and Creative England have announced Creative Nation 2020 described as the ‘inaugural event bringing the creative industries together’ as the two bodies themselves prepare to merge. The programme will cover issues including trade, Brexit, sustainability and creative talent as well as the background economic, political and investment landscapes. The event takes place on 19th May at Kings Place, London. Early bird tickets are £120 - £200. CIF
2020 Working Internationally Conference: Soft Power in Turbulent Times
In 2019, the UK lost its top spot in the Soft Power Index, with the authors of the report pointing to Brexit and internal turbulence as relevant factors, but also highlighting its reputation for ‘engagement, culture, education, and digital’ as continuing strengths. As Brexit continues to unfold, the 2020 Working Internationally conference will look at the role museums and galleries can play in supporting the UK’s soft power. Speakers include Dr Natalia Grincheva, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and author of ‘Global Trends in Museum Diplomacy and Museum Diplomacy in the Digital Age’, Nick Marchand, Head of International, V&A and Terry Simiote an assistant curator at the Livingstone Museum, Zambia. Topics will include digital soft power, changes over the next decade and how soft power relates to restitution and decolonisation. Tickets are £79 or £49 for NMDC and ICOM UK members. The event takes place at Leeds Art Gallery on 12th March. ICOM
The Association for Heritage Interpretation is offering two workshops this Spring. The general heritage interpretation course includes a live session at Hampton Court on 12th March, with pre- and post-workshop study carried out remotely. Tickets are £125 for AHI or GEM members, or £160 for non-members. There is also an event on writing for children and families on June 3rd at Salisbury Museum. Tickets are £80/£100. AHI (heritage interpretation), AHI (children and families)
Digital training from Culture24: from the dark side of social media to building human connections
Culture24 is offering a variety of events in the next month, sharing insights from its deep dive research into how digital can better support work in the cultural sector. Events include:
The latest Let’s Get Real conference, this time with the theme ‘Deepening human connections: digital and values-led practice’. It will explore how to build human connections where digital supports a project but is not the main driver. Participants can submit a recent digital project to the ‘Crit Room’ for feedback. The conference takes place at the National Army Museum on 2nd March; tickets are £175. LGR
A workshop ‘dealing with the dark side of social media’ which uses the LEGO Serious Play approach to consider the ethics of social media, especially in relation to big corporate actors such as Facebook, Google and YouTube. The event takes place at the National Army Museum on 3rd March; tickets are £330, with a £40 discount for those also attending Let’s Get Real the previous day. Culture24
Since 2017, the One by One project has explored the best ways to increase digital literacy in museums. Culture24 is now spreading the lessons learned in four free workshops in Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds and Edinburgh in late February. Some travel bursaries are available. One by One
Also: The Arts Marketing Association are offering a digital bootcamp in London on 30th March, covering acquisition, behaviour and conversion. Tickets start at £75 + VAT and five bursaries are available to cover up to 100% of costs. AMA
Kids in Museums has announced its second ‘Carnival’ event, bringing together the best museum work for children and young people across the UK, including case studies from those shortlisted for its Family Friendly Museum Award. Topics include family events on a shoestring and reaching out to non-visitors. The event takes place at the Museum of Liverpool on 29th April; tickets are £32.93. Kids in Museums
Also: As the redesign of the Museum of Childhood gets underway The Guardian has published a long feature on how museums around the world are designing for and with children. Guardian
The Audience Diversity Academy is an ACE-supported online programme, including one to one mentoring, one in-person training day and five webinars. It runs from April – December, but the deadline for applications is 9th March. Tickets are £199 - £299 + VAT (with costs heavily subsidised by ACE). AMA
Creative & Cultural Skills recently published a Best Practice Recruitment Guide for Creative Leaders and is now offering a series of free guidance sessions across the country to discuss its findings. The work is intended to make a 'real step-change in the conversation', moving past tick box exercises to 'value difference in all its guises' Events are already underway, and run until 27th February. C&CS
ICOM UK, with support from the British Council, is offering a new round of travel grants for UK organisations seeking to build reciprocal international partnerships and projects. Each organisation applying can seek up to £700 for travel to greater Europe or £1500 for travel beyond greater Europe. £28.5k is available in total, 50% of which is ring-fenced for work with ODA countries. This fund does not support travel to conferences and events. ICOM offers a series of examples of previously successful applications on its website, including a Bristol Museums staff member visiting Jamaica. The deadline for applications is 9am on 2nd March, decisions will be made c. 16th March and travel must be complete by 14th December. ICOM UK, OECD (ODA countries list), ICOM (examples of successful applications)
The ACE-supported Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy annual Fundraising Fellowship programme helps develop confident and entrepreneurial fundraisers for the arts and cultural sectors. It is now seeking a cohort of ten people – whether employees or freelancers – who are working in the cultural sector and who would benefit from developing fundraising skills. The course is free, but employers have to commit to giving participants ten working days to attend the course. Training includes face to face and online sessions as well as mentoring and networking. Successful applicants will also gain free additional benefits to their wider team, including £500 worth of training. The deadline for applications is 14th February. Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy
NLHF and M + H launch a new Sustainable Project of the Year Award
The National Lottery Heritage Fund is supporting a new category of Sustainable Project of the Year as part of the Museums + Heritage Awards. The award will be available from this year, and there is an extended deadline to 21st February to apply for this category. Judges will be looking for innovations including green visitor travel planning, sustainable procurement, energy efficiency and recycling. NLHF’s Isabel Hunt said “Urgent action needs to be taken for the future of our environment and it’s never been more important for us all to think, and act, sustainably through the work we all do in the heritage sector.” A shortlist for all the M + H Awards will be published in late March, and winners will be announced in May. NLHF, M + H (entry form)
Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance announce new Awards
The Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance has announced new Awards, which it will be giving for the first time at its inaugural conference in Derby on 19th - 20th March. The overall theme is 'a culture of caring' with specific awards for partnership work, practitioner care in project design and addressing climate change. The deadline for entries is 21st February. CHWA
Hunting trophies: call for evidence extended deadline
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is holding a consultation on the extent of and impacts from the import and export of hunting trophies. The Government is concerned that the UK does not threaten the conservation of species abroad, and is reviewing its import/export controls. The deadline to respond has been extended for one month to 25th February. Interested parties can use the online form or write to h[email protected]. Gov.uk, DEFRA
New Centre for Cultural Value: survey and consultation event
The newly-created Centre for Cultural Value, based at the University of Leeds, aims to build a bridge between academic study and cultural practice and is consulting widely including through a short survey. It takes ten minutes to complete and closes on 5th March. Alternatively, there is a discussion event at Leeds Art Gallery on 3rd March. University of Leeds (survey), University of Leeds (event booking)
ACE is seeking feedback on its Museum Development programme, both from museums that have been involved, and those that decided not to take part. The survey should take ten minutes to complete and the deadline for responses is 14th February. ACE
Major report and website map the independent museum sector in detail
Mapping Museums, a four year research project, supported by AHRC and led by the University of Birkbeck, is about to publish a major new data, focused on independent museums. In the late 20th century, there was a huge growth in this part of the sector, with independents differing so much from public museums they were judged to have revolutionised the field. However, little systematic information was collected about when they opened, subjects covered or if they survived. The Mapping Museums project will publish longitudinal information covering the period 1960 – 2020, with four outputs:
A database of information covering around 4,000 museums, which will be free to use under the terms of the Creative Commons (BY) licence.
‘Mapping Museums: a report on the data’ – a publication aimed at organisations with responsibility for UK museums. It covers topics including openings and closure, subject matter, accreditation status, size and location.
A website, which as well as housing the database, will give a variety of back up information, including research methods, interviews, films and podcasts.
A monograph will also be published in 2021 drawing on the data, historical research and interviews with museum founders to explore why so many museums were founded in the late 20th
The database and website will be live at www.mappingmuseums.org from 17th March. There will also be a panel discussion and launch at London Transport Museum, also on 17th March from 6.30pm. Speakers include Maggie Appleton, CEO of the RAF museum and President of the MA and Andrew Lovett, AIM’s Vice Chair. Tickets are free, but it is necessary to book. Mapping Museums (event booking), University of Birkbeck (blogs and background to project)
£250k awarded by NLHF for Geographic Museum Forums in Scotland
The National Lottery Heritage Fund has invested £250k in supporting the network of 12 geographic museum forums across Scotland. These are peer-led groups which respond to regional needs, and which have been working more closely with Museums Galleries Scotland over the last year. Forum Connections will run for four years from April 2020, with a newly appointed Forums Facilitator and support from MGS staff. Caroline Clark, NLHF’s Director Scotland said “we have long been in the business of building resilience into the individual heritage projects we support. Now we are delighted to fund an initiative which will create a network of support to many museums, allowing them to work in partnership to build their own successful futures.” MGS, MGS (forums facilitator post)
Heritage Counts data notes sector skills gap and the economics of uniqueness
Historic England has published ‘Heritage Counts 2019’, its annual data set on the sector, this year focusing in on Heritage and the Economy. The report estimates a GVA of £31bn, providing 464,000 jobs. However, there are also skills gaps in the sector, with 11% of firms reporting a skills gap in their workforce and 6% operating with at least one skills shortage. It also notes that 35% of UK citizens choose their holiday destination partly for the local heritage, and makes the case that places with a unique identity will prosper in the long term better than those with no distinctive features. Historic England (Heritage Counts), Historic England (Heritage and Society report)
Plugged in, Powered up: National Archives launches capacity building programme
The National Archives has launched a strategy and programme running to 2022, to support the archives sector in meeting its digital ambitions. Based on a survey of more than 300 archives professionals, the resulting programme will have more than 20 strands; some already underway include:
Working with the British Library and Birkbeck, University of London to create a postgraduate certificate in Computing for Cultural Heritage.
The development of ‘Novice to Ninja’ digital preservation guidance in partnership with the Digital Preservation Coalition.
The introduction to the strategy comments that “the digital realm is now a place where history happens: a president’s tweets, an email commissioning a composer to write a symphony, the Word document comprising the manuscript of a novel (complete with tracked changes), the memes that spread like supercharged Rowlandson prints; the website of a public inquiry.” The National Archives’ programme aims to help archivists become ‘surefooted’ across such a vast digital landscape, and also learn skills such as storytelling as a facet of public engagement, as well as confidence in addressing access and preservation. National Archives (press release), National Archives (strategy)
ACE continues podcasts on the art of leadership with a look at crisis management
Broadcaster Kirsty Lang is hosting a new series of podcasts created for ACE about the Art of Leadership. The first, released in November, considered what makes a good or bad board. The new episode explores leadership during a crisis, with guests offering examples from their own experience, including Tim Crarer on chairing Wiltshire Creative at a time when the Skripal poisoning had a huge impact on Salisbury residents and tourists and Tony Butler, Executive Director of Derby Museums on his decision to leverage public support when facing a funding crisis because of local authority cuts in 2015. Freelance Executive Producer Donna Munday also discusses how to respond on encountering financial mismanagement. The show also explores how to plan for the unexpected, how business sponsorship can become a reputational issue, and how media channels – from social media to local press and radio – should be approached in the event of any crisis. ACE is complementing the podcasts with case studies and toolkits for leaders. ACE
National Archives scopes risk management for digital archives
The National Archives will be working with partners including the University of Warwick on a £93.5k project to apply risk management techniques to digital preservation. ‘Safeguarding the Nation's Digital Memory’ will create an evidence base as well as mapping and explaining the network of risk events, actions and impact on heritage. John Sheridan, Digital Director at the National Archives, said that applying risk management techniques would be transformational for the sector. National Archives
Constructing sustainable curation: new plans at the Serpentine
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director at the Serpentine Galleries discusses how his institution will be approaching ecological challenges for The Art Newspaper. In addition to appointing a curator dedicated to ecology and the major project ‘Back to Earth’ inviting artists to respond to climate, the gallery is also confronting nuts and bolts issues. Obrist asks “for example, what is the ecological cost of shipping artworks for exhibitions? This is important for a gallery that does not have a permanent collection. Can we explore what might be called sustainable curation and develop new standards and practices?”The Art Newspaper
Also: Museum plans in this area come as a variety of large bodies publish plans towards carbon neutrality within 15 to 20 years – from Finland to multinationals Microsoft and Amazon, to the Mayor of London. However, a gulf between theory and practice often remains: for example, 47% of English Councils say they do not have a strategy in place, despite a commitment in theory to carbon neutrality by mid-century, and The New Republic points to statistics suggesting that tourism is responsible for 8% of all greenhouse gas emissions, with figures likely to rise.
Snapshot of the culture sector’s carbon footprint in latest NPO report
Julie’s Bicycle and ACE have published ‘Sustaining Great Art and Culture’ – the annual environmental report for the majority of ACE National Portfolio Organisations. 89% of NPOs reported this year, giving the picture for a significant slice of the sector. The figures show that:
The cultural sector has already made substantial changes in the period 2012 - 18, with a 35% reduction in carbon emissions and 23% in energy consumption, also saving £16.5m. (However, the portfolio is now 20% bigger, so direct comparisons with recent figures should not be made).
Environmental impact remains significant – including 21 million km of business travel, and 154k tonnes of waste, with an estimate that it would take 115,000 trees 100 years to absorb the overall carbon footprint of those reporting.
The 2018/19 combined museum footprint of 41% or 46,946 tonnes CO2 is based on data reported by 63 organisations out of 72 in ACE’s portfolio.
Seven larger museums are among 30 organisations involved in the Spotlight programme – aimed at carbon reduction for cultural organisations with some of the biggest buildings and energy consumption. These also meet for peer learning and aim to reduce emissions by 2% each year, with a view to reaching zero carbon by 2050.
There is high take up of simpler actions: 54% of cultural organisations have installed energy efficient lighting, 64% are taking steps to eliminating single use plastic and 70% are promoting virtual communications as an alternative to travel.
The report also notes signs of cultural shift within organisations, ranging from greater board and senior management engagement, many more creative and exhibition outputs directly discussing the environment, and organisational strategies placed in the context of international policy making, such as the Paris Agreement.
Lisa Broadest, Head of Operations at Leeds Museums and Galleries praised participation in the Spotlight programme and said that working across the city and in a wider network has been essential in meaningfully addressing climate change: “[it] has brought us together with other organisations across the Council and Leeds’s cultural sector, such as Opera North and Sustainable Arts in Leeds. It has provided a useful space to consider the unique qualities cultural organisations can bring to making a difference locally and globally.” Claire Buckley of Julie’s Bicycle comments “while the museum sector has not previously been as proactive as other disciplines, this is changing, especially in the last couple of years. It is particularly exciting to see the growing number of museums threading environment thinking and action through across operations, programming, collections and learning.” Julie’s Bicycle, Julie’s Bicycle (Leeds Museums case study), Julie’s Bicycle (all recent case studies)
Also: The National Trust, which turns 125 this year, has announced its major plans for the next decade, which include becoming carbon neutral by 2030 Twitter, National Trust
Art Fund seeks to raise £3.5m to save Derek Jarman’s Prospect Cottage as creative centre
The Art Fund is seeking to raise £3.5m through crowdfunding to preserve Derek Jarman’s cottage near Dungeness power station, which was central to the artist and film-maker’s acclaimed diary of gay activism and seashore gardening, Modern Nature. Some important and vulnerable works, including Jarman’s sketchbooks, letters and photographs, will be transferred from Prospect Cottage and placed on permanent loan to the Tate. The cottage itself will become home to a residency programme for writers, artists and activists and members of the public will be able to apply to visit for the first time. More than half of the £3.5m had been raised by early February, with designer Sandy Powell promising to donate her Bafta suit, signed by many actors, towards the preservation. Art Fund, The Art Newspaper, Guardian
MGS makes changes including removing mandatory match funding for its 2020 grants
Museums Galleries Scotland has announced its range of grants to museums for 2020, with some changes to clarify the process and make it easier for museums to apply. Changes include:
It has removed the requirement for match funding for the Museums Development Fund and Festivals Fund. However, a contribution is still encouraged, and where a museum seeks 100% support from MGS it will need to give reasons for this request.
The upper limit for the Small Project Fund has increased from £5k to £10k.
The Purchase Fund has been renamed as the Equipment Fund to better express its purpose.
All funds are expected to make an impact on at least one area out of collections, audience engagement, work development or sustainability. Most funds are only available to accredited museums, but there is a fund of £1.5k to help non-accredited museums to attain the standard. MGS (full range of grants and deadlines for 2020)
New £7m Youth Accelerator Fund supports Kicking the Dust and other cultural projects
DCMS has announced a new £7m Youth Accelerator Fund to address urgent needs in the youth sector. NLHF will receive an additional £1.27m from the fund to support its Kicking the Dust strand which gives young people aged 11 - 25 more power to shape cultural policy and projects. NLHF will also be sharing findings from the first two years of the project throughout 2020. Quoting the comment of one young participant ‘if it’s always the same people in the room, you will always get the same ideas’, it recommends more opportunities for young people in heritage, including a chance to co-manage, partnerships with youth organisations, greater diversity and changing attitudes among culture professionals. Other recipients of youth accelerator funds include ACE, which receives £500k for music projects and UK Youth, a group of youth clubs which will run a £1.15m small grants programme to deliver new sessions in youth group settings. NLHF (blog on two years of Kicking the Dust), NLHF (new youth funding), Gov.uk
Nine museums share £300k from MGS Museum Development Fund
Museums Galleries Scotland has announced the nine museums that will receive a combined £300k for work which ranges from redevelopment to collection preservation and international partnerships. The recipients include:
Surgeons’ Hall Museum, which receives £60k towards the ‘Body Voyager’ gallery space that will explore robotics in surgery, including interactive and immersive dimensions.
The University of St Andrews receives £56k towards assessing collections which contain hazardous substances, and making them more accessible.
Perth City Hall Museum receive £59k to conserve 462 objects from their Nationally Significant Collection of unique archaeological, social history and world cultures material. This work will contribute to the opening of a new attraction in late 2021 or early 2022.
The David Livingstone Birthplace receives £39k to develop partnerships and networks with museums in Africa which also hold collections relating to Livingstone.
MGS CEO Lucy Casot said “many of the museums are using the grant to strengthen their position in these changing times through developing their financial sustainability, increasing digital use in exhibitions, and creating peer to peer learning opportunities.”MGS (full list of recipients), Surgeons Hall Museums, Culture Perth & Kinross, David Livingstone Trust
£5m awarded for culture, museums and nature in the Highlands and Islands
Scottish Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop has announced that nine projects in the Highlands and Islands will shared £5m from the European Regional Development Fund. This will support work which promotes wildlife, culture and natural beauty. Recipients include Kilmartin Museum which receives £700k towards renovation and a new learning centre, National Trust Scotland with £923k towards a new visitor centre and the Ulva Cultural Heritage Project which receives £813k to restore accommodation at Ulva House and support a university research project into Ulva’s history. Experience UK, Kilmartin Museum
Government confirms that 2022 cultural festival will go ahead
The Government has confirmed that a major 2022 cultural festival, first announced in 2018 with £120m in funding, will go ahead. The year coincides with various other anniversaries, including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and the centenary of the BBC as well as being the year of the Commonwealth Games which take place in Birmingham. Martin Green CBE, who ran Hull’s year as City of Culture and was Head of Ceremonies for the 2012 Olympic Games has been appointed to lead the work. Interviewed by The Guardian he was keen to shake off some negativity in the reporting of the festival saying that it should ‘fervently look forward … I don’t think it should be a festival of nostalgia.’ Arts Industry, Capx, Gov.uk, Guardian
Museums at Night Festival ends due to lack of funding
Culture24 has announced that it will no longer be running its Museums at Night festival, which ran from 2009, and has been without sponsorship since 2017. However, Culture24 notes that the sector has developed its Lates offer in the last decade: “when Culture24 took on the Museums at Night festival in 2009, museum Lates were still in their infancy… We are pleased to see this expertise is now more widespread with year-round Lates taking place in numerous cultural and heritage organisations.” Museums Journal, Culture24
The Government's Rural Growth Programme Fund offers £20k - £170k for capital projects that create jobs and growth for the rural economy. The fund specifically seeks bids which enhance rural tourist infrastructure and museums and galleries can apply. The deadline for expressions of interest in the latest round is 16th February. Gov.uk
UK contributes to preservation of Auschwitz-Birkenau site
The UK Government has announced that it will contribute £1m to preserving the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, in the aftermath of events marking 75 years since the liberation of the camps. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said “I know how important it is that future generations are aware of the stories of survivors. This donation will help to support the preservation of the site so that we can never forget the horror of the Holocaust.” Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has announced that London will also contribute £300k to the preservation. Meanwhile German concentration camp sites are reporting a rise in visitors with pro-Nazi views or questioning the legitimacy of Holocaust remembrance. Gov.uk, Mayor of London, Irish Times
Anholt Nation Brands Index finds UK comes fourth for overall image, but 16th for welcome
The Anholt-Ipsos Nation Brands Index has published results of its annual survey of how 50 countries are perceived internationally, with responses drawn from a panel of 20,000 consumers in 20 countries. In 2019, VisitBritain also funded additional surveys in Spain and the Netherlands. Overall, the UK came fourth in the list, behind Germany, France and Canada, one place down from 2018. Respondents were asked questions within six broad topics: tourism, culture, people, ‘immigration-investment’, exports and governance. Findings include:
The UK came fifth overall for culture, consisting of third for interesting and exciting contemporary culture, seventh for rich cultural heritage and fifth for excelling at sport.
Among the cultural products associated with the UK, museums came top, mentioned by 47% of respondents, followed by music (43%) and film (39%).
The UK was fourth for tourism overall, including fifth for being rich in historic buildings and monuments, but scoring its lowest rank in any category (26th) for perceived richness in natural beauty. VisitBritain comments that although the UK has never scored higher than 18th out of 50 on this measure, this is partly shaped by countries scoring very closely together on this point.
Other major strengths include coming second as a good place to study, fourth as an exporter and provider of high quality goods and fifth as a contributor to science and technology.
However, the UK is falling down the list in terms of perceived welcome, coming 16th for ‘if visited, people would make me feel very welcome’ – the fourth year-on-year decline. Welcome was at its highest in 2013 (tenth) and is now at its lowest point since the survey began in 2008.
The UK also scores outside of the top ten for behaving responsibly on the environment (13th) and for international peace and security (12th).
Among other countries, Germany ranks top overall for the third year, having come second in 2015 and 2016. The US remains in sixth place, having not seen recovery from its fall of five places in 2017.
The report also tracks which tourism words are most strongly associated with the UK with high scores for ‘educational’ (35%), ‘fascinating’ (32%) and ‘exciting’ (31%) with few people thinking that a visit would be ‘boring’ (6%), ‘depressing’ (5%) or ‘risky’ (5%). VisitBritain
Welsh Government creates £60m tourism fund to support infrastructure and off-season visits
The Welsh Government has announced it will invest £60m in tourism over the next five years, with two new funds: £10m for Brilliant Basics to maintain infrastructure and £50m Tourism Investment Fund for ‘reputation enhancing’ capital projects. It will also seek to increase off-season visits and encourage people to stay for longer. ALVA, ITV
Glasgow Council considers closing its Gallery of Modern Art
The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMa), which opened in a former library in 1996, attracts around 630,000 visitors each year and is the seventh most visited tourist attraction in Scotland. However, Glasgow Council is now considering closing the building and moving collections elsewhere in order to save £538k, part of wider cuts of £50m to be made overall in the coming year. The Council owes around £548m over an equal pay scandal which stretches back to 2006. Other proposals include closing libraries in the city, including a Carnegie library which opened in 1905. The Scotsman
Hepworth Wakefield announces new artists for third year of School Prints Programme
The Hepworth Wakefield is now in the third year of its School Prints programme, which sends a free set of limited edition prints by leading contemporary artists to schools in the Wakefield area, allowing young people to have direct access to high quality art in their own environment. This year, Turner Contemporary is also a partner and schools in Margate will benefit. The three new works commissioned this year are by Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Laure Provost and Linder Sterling. Accompanying the art is an in-depth programme with artists, in schools and at the gallery, to encourage creativity across the curriculum. By 2022, all primary schools in Wakefield and five secondary schools will have specially commissioned prints on display. This programme is financially supported by sale of a limited edition to the general public: this year 40 sets will be available at £500 each. Hepworth Wakefield, Hepworth Wakefield (short film on the first two years of the programme)
Sign up for the ACE Cultural Property listings alert
ACE invites museums to sign up to receive an alert when a notice of sale is added to its Private Treaty Sales page, or when items received under Acceptance in Lieu or the Cultural Gifts scheme are available for allocation. ACE
‘Myrowr of Recluses’ – export bar for a 15th century guide for hermits
Arts Minister Helen Whatley has placed an export bar on ‘The Myrowr of Recluses’ a decorated Middle English manuscript describing how to live as a hermit or anchorite. Although it is not known how many hermits lived in England in 1414 when the manuscript was written, there were around 200 in the 13th century. The text was probably aimed at women and is linked to the Benedictine nuns at Barking Abbey, a renowned house of educated women. The asking price is £168,750 and the export bar runs to 13th April with a possible extension to 13th August. An export bar has also been placed on a group of early 18th century watercolour albums, showing newly introduced plants from across the world. ‘The Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands’ and ‘A Commonplace Book’ are valued at £2.5m. The export bar runs to 16th April, with a possible extension to August. Arts Industry,Gov.uk (watercolour albums), Gov.uk (guide for hermits)
Also: An export bar has failed to keep the Joseph Wright of Derby painting ‘Two Boys with a Bladder’ in the UK and it will now be exported to the J Paul Getty Museum in the US. The Art Newspaper
Thomas Cook archive to be preserved in Leicestershire
The archive of Thomas Cook’s 178 year history has been sold to the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland, preserving the internationally significant collection for the future. Senior archivist Robin Jenkins said “this is an internationally significant archive relating to a company which began in Leicester and was operated from there in its formative years. We already house an important Thomas Cook collection relating to both the man and his business.” An exhibition about Thomas Cook will also be opening at two Leicester museums in June. Peterborough Telegraph