Raheem Sterling Foundation and National Portrait Gallery launch a new youth engagement and skills programme
In a bid to raise the career aspirations of young people interested in expressing themselves through art, the Raheem Sterling Foundation and the National Portrait Gallery have launched a new creative youth engagement and skills development programme Making of Me in London. The programme, which will combine photography and portraiture, will enable participants to produce a piece of art by collaborating with photographers, filmmakers and digital producers to explore themes of self-identity, representation, place and community, and will give 30 young people from London the chance to learn a variety of skills and the knowledge needed to progress into future creative careers. Chair of Trustees for Raheem Sterling Foundation Clive Ellington said that “social mobility, education and employment make up the Foundation’s 3 pillars and this project is a perfect fit for what we are aiming to achieve”. Director of Learning and Engagement at the National Portrait Gallery Liz Smith said “Making of Me will provide the project participants with access to the Gallery’s inspirational Collection, as well as exciting and creative opportunities within our sector”. The project will start in Autumn 2022. National Portrait Gallery, Raheem Sterling Foundation, The Art Newspaper
Also: Following the most significant redevelopment in its history, the National Portrait Gallery in London has announced that it will reopen its doors on 22nd June 2023. The redevelopment project – Inspiring People – has included a comprehensive redisplay of the Gallery’s collection from the Tudors to today, which will be displayed in refurbished galleries, and the restoration of the Grade I listed building and many historic features. National Portrait Gallery
RAF Museum secures investment from the NLHF for Midlands development programme
The Royal Air Force Museum has been awarded investment from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for its ‘Inspiring Everyone: RAF Museum Midlands Development Programme’. The project will deliver a major regional engagement programme as well as a site transformation. An immersive exhibition will explore today’s RAF, a new Learning Centre will provide bespoke facilities, and a purpose-built Collections Hub will enable the Museum’s stored collection to be shared with the public for the first time. The project will also support the Museum to achieve its commitment to Carbon Net Zero by 2030 as they will work with the RAF’s environmental think tank to invest in sustainable technologies and operations. RAF Museum CEO Maggie Appleton said “I’d like to thank the National Lottery Heritage Fund on behalf of all our staff, volunteers and Trustees for the generous support they have given us – we could not be happier!” The project will be supported by a number of funders including The National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as the RAF Museum's own investment. The National Lottery Heritage Fund has generously supported the RAF Museum's application for £5m at first round towards its £22.1m RAF Museum Midlands Development Programme. The Museum will now enter into a development phase, before building work commences in early 2025, and is expected to be complete by summer 2027. RAF, NLHF
Also: the RAF has unveiled its Royal Charter as part of its 50th birthday celebrations. The Royal Charter was granted to the Museum this year in recognition of its objectives to educate and inform the public and members of the RAF about the history and traditions of the RAF; and the role of the RAF in relation to the armed forces of the realm, other air forces and aviation. The Royal Charter is now on public display in the museum’s refurbished entrance to their Hangar 3 entrance at London. RAF
Keith Piper commissioned to create a new artwork to respond to Tate Britain’s controversial Rex Whistler mural
On 13th December, Tate announced that British artist Keith Piper will create a new work to be shown alongside and in dialogue with the Rex Whistler mural at Tate Britain. The room containing Rex Whistler’s 1927 mural closed as a restaurant at the start of the pandemic. The mural, The Expedition in Pursuit of Rare Meats, includes a scene in which black children are shown enslaved and being led on a leash. At the start of 2022, it was announced that a contemporary artist would be invited to create a new site-specific installation alongside the mural; that the room would reopen as a display space which critically engages with the mural’s history and content, including its racist imagery; and that Tate Eats would look to develop new dining offers in other spaces at Tate Britain in due course. This approach was developed through a series of discussions held in 2021, which invited voices from inside and outside Tate to explore possible next steps, including artists, art historians, cultural advisors, civic representatives and young creative practitioners. Piper’s new work is currently in production and will be unveiled in autumn 2023. Tate, The Art Newspaper, Art Review
Museum of London’s leading site closed after 45 years
On December 4th, the Museum of London closed their leading London Wall site after 45 years in operation. The institution which is to be rebranded as the London Museum, will move into new state of the art premises at West Smithfield in 2026. Exhibitions continue at the museum’s site at the Docklands. Museum of London, Experience UK
V&A to open Phase Two of the museum’s Photography Centre
The V&A has announced that the second and final phase of the V&A’s Photography Centre will open 25 May 2023. Once open, the Photography Centre will become the largest space in the UK for a permanent photography collection, and the seven galleries will showcase the museum’s world-leading holdings and enable visitors to experience photography and its diverse histories in new ways. Two of the new rooms will showcase global contemporary photography and cutting-edge commissions in rotating displays. The other new spaces – a room dedicated to photography and the book, and an interactive gallery about the history and use of the camera – will shine a light on the processes involved in photography, as well as the study and presentation of the medium. These new rooms join the three existing galleries, with two galleries for changing displays from the collection and a space dedicated to digital media, which will also present new content. V&A Senior Curator of Photography and Lead Curator of Phase Two of the Photography Centre Marta Weiss said: “Photography lies at the heart of the V&A. The museum has collected photography since 1852 and continues to acquire the best of contemporary practice. As photography plays an ever-increasing role in all our lives, the expanded Photography Centre will be more relevant than ever.” V&A
Tullie House secures funding for Phase 2 of its capital scheme
Tullie House’s capital scheme Project Tullie is based on a Masterplan produced in 2018. The Masterplan identified a phased programme of work costing £30m+ over 10-15 years. Phase 1 has been delivered and they have now secured all of the £4.2m funding required for Phase 2. This includes £2m from HM Treasury now administered by ACE on behalf of DCMS; just below £1m from Town Deal and from the Future High Streets Fund; and the balance from Tullie House’s own reserves. Phase 2 will involve creating a new entrance, welcome area and introductory gallery. De Matos Ryan have been appointed as principal designers. Tullie House have also received a Stage 1 Pass for Phase 3 which involves opening up parts of the Victorian building to create new community galleries and spaces for school groups. The total for this phase is £6.5m and they have been awarded £4.5m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Images this month: work from upcoming exhibition Visions of Ancient Egypt at Laing Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Visions of Ancient Egypt: Art, Design and the Cultural Imagination, open from 28th January - 29th April at the Laing Art Gallery examines the enduring appeal of ancient Egypt in art and design, exploring how ancient Egypt has been re-imagined across time to suit different ambitions and to construct changing identities. It includes paintings, sculpture, photography, fashion and jewellery and traces how process of re-invention, appropriation and subversion have generated multiple visions of Egypt since the Roman period.
Museums eligible for higher level support in Energy Bill Relief Scheme
On 9th January, the Government announced the outcome of the review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme and published guidance. The scheme includes support for all business, charities, and public sector organisations, with support at a higher level for 'energy and trade intensive industries'. Museums, libraries, archives and historic buildings are among the limited number of sectors eligible for this increased level of support, in recognition of their vulnerability to energy price increases. This higher level support is subject to a maximum discount and price threshold which is:
electricity - £89 per MWh with a price threshold of £185 per MWh
gas - £40 per MWh with a price threshold of £99 per MWh
Museums, galleries, libraries, and other eligible organisations will need to apply for the higher level of support. The mechanics of the scheme have yet to be finalised. Gov.uk
Arts Council England have announced details of the next rounds of the programmes that make up the Cultural Investment Fund: the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND), the Libraries Improvement Fund (LIF), and the Cultural Development Fund (CDF). New rounds of MEND and LIF will open in early 2023 with £22.6mn available through this round of MEND, and £10.5mn through LIF, although funding amounts may be subject to DCMS business planning. This will be the final round of LIF, while further applications for MEND will take place in early 2024, alongside another round of CDF. Guidance for MEND and LIF will be published on 6th February 2023. More information including application details can be found here. ACE will be running webinars for applicants to LIF on 13th February which can be signed up to here and regarding MEND on 27th February which can be signed up to here.
Welsh Government to fund new toolkits for museums in Wales
The Welsh Government have commissioned Headland Design with Kevin Mason to undertake a review of existing significance toolkits and to test and develop a new Collections Significance Toolkit for museums in Wales. As part of the work, training sessions are being offered to introduce museum staff, trustees and volunteers to the new Toolkit. The first session ‘An Introduction to Significance’ will cover the basics and introduce the concept of significance of museum collections. This will be held on 26th January 10:30am-12:30pm via Zoom. You can sign up to the event here. The second session ‘A New Toolkit for Significance’ is aimed at people who have some experience of undertaking a Collections Review or Significance Statement and will introduce the new Toolkit and Action Plans, discuss some of the case studies and will provide an opportunity for people to discuss how they are going to assess significance. This will be held on 30th January from 2-4pm on Zoom and can be signed up to here.
Also: The Welsh Government has commissioned Kevinjbolton Ltd, Headland Design Associates and Kevin Mason to undertake research to scope out a new national recognition scheme for culturally significant collections held outside of the national collections, which includes engaging in consultation with the museum, archives, and library sectors in Wales to establish whether there is an appetite for a recognition scheme in Wales. The consultation will consider the benefits and challenges of a new scheme and key considerations that might apply to museums in Wales. If you would like to be involved with the consultation, please email [email protected]
Also: David Anderson is to step down as Director General of Amgueddfa Cymru - Museum Wales in April this year, having led the organisation since 2010. From April, David will be an Emeritus Fellow at Amgueddfa Cymru, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Governance at Cardiff University. Amgueddfa Cymru
MOI has developed a new tool for museums looking to increase their impact
The MOI Museums of Impact project (2019-2022) has developed an impact-oriented self-evaluation framework specifically designed to reflect current issues in the societal impact of museums. The framework supports capacity development in museums, helping organisations to take control of their own impact. The museums can use the framework to take a critical and shared look at their own activities and performance to find the potential areas for development towards increased impact. The project engaged over 1000 museum professionals across Europe in discussing the development and content of the tool. The MOI Framework is designed to be a modular and flexible support for team discussions. The tools are available on NEMO’s website. NEMO
ACE publishes its report of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest for 2021-22
Arts Council England’s report under Sir Hayden Phillip as Chairman describes the outcome of 19 works of art and objects of cultural interest considered by the committee and also one from the 2018/19 reporting period. On the reviewing committee’s recommendation, the Secretary of State put in place temporary export-deferrals for a wide range of national treasures, with a total value of £113,829,831 which is the third highest total in the last 10 years. ACE
Art Fund grants of £1.8mn awarded to 45 museums and galleries
45 museums, galleries, historic houses, trusts, and professional networks have been awarded grants through the latest round of Art Fund’s Reimagine scheme. Recipients are located in all four nations. The funding programme in 2022 was designed to help museums address reengaging audiences lost over the pandemic, reach new people and deepen relationships. The funding provides vital support for the industry, enabling museums and galleries to reimagine engagement with audiences by developing access, expertise, and digital capacity. Among the projects to be supported are:
Using digital media, V&A Dundee will create new ways for visitors to engage with their building, increase understanding of exhibitions and collections, and increase accessibility through the development of immersive multimedia tours, including a new audio described way-finding guide and BSL tours, innovative multisensory tours, new interactive interpretation of objects, and tours in foreign languages. The project will make the temporary and permanent exhibitions more accessible and inspire people through design in fun, innovative ways, creating new offers which will help boost the museum’s audiences.
Walker Art Gallery, part of National Museums Liverpool, will use its grant for ‘Black Girl Magic’, a research and collecting project, culminating in a major exhibition celebrating Black British women’s creativity from 1970 to today. It will address the ‘double invisibility’ of Black British women artists in public collections and established art histories, and decolonisation of curatorial methods.
Tramway will bring contemporary art to green spaces across the southside of Glasgow through a series of Art in the Park commissions, with an associated public programme including a walking trail to encourage local people to explore and engage with the commissions. Tramway is an arts venue operated by Glasgow Life, a charity which works to benefit the people of Glasgow through culture and sport programmes and events. Art Fund
The Museums Association and Art Fund jointly commissioned One Further and Cultural Associates Oxford to undertake an action learning research and evaluation project into digital impact in museums and galleries. The Museums Association and Art Fund awarded over 200 grants for work by museums and galleries in the digital space that was necessitated by the pandemic. In an attempt to assess the impact of this work, the report aims to help museums better understand the purpose and benefits of digital work. Museums Association
Applications are now open for the AIM Arts Scholars Brighter Day Grant Scheme. The priority of the scheme is to ensure museums at risk of closure, losing vital skills and knowledge, or who are unable to provide effective collections care, are supported to ensure future viability. The scheme has a special focus on small museums and others that have found it difficult to access support. The fund will support education, training, curation, and exhibition projects that address collections care and sustainability of historic and decorative arts collections. Examples of projects that can be considered for support include: work that will improve collections care and reduce energy use and costs, digitisation of collections, creating training opportunities for people from backgrounds under-represented in museums, for example non-university or from culturally diverse backgrounds. Grants can be applied for at a minimum of £1,500 and maximum of £8,000. Museums can only apply for one grant per round. More information including how to apply can be found here.
Each year Museum Development England launch a survey, asking museums within the Accreditation scheme to provide data on their workforce, finance, audiences and insight. This year’s survey helped Museum Development England to understand the impact of the pandemic on opening hours and visitor numbers, museums finances, growth of digital, as well as workforce wellbeing and volunteer engagement. What is striking in the survey is the way that key factors such as location and workforce have influenced the severity of the impacts on enforced closures and volunteer and visitor hesitancy for museums across the country. For example, the larger the museum the more likely they were to be operating at higher levels of capacity. The negative impact of Covid-19 has not just been about loss of income or visitors, as the survey highlighted the sustained damage to volunteer capacity within the sector. The full survey can be read here.
Marking 50 years of UK-Vietnamese diplomatic relations, and 30 years of the British Council’s presence in Viet Nam, the UK/Viet Nam Season between June and December 2023 aims to ignite new collaborations that celebrate the best of UK-Vietnamese partnerships and strengthen the connections between the people of the UK and Viet Nam. Applications are now open for the UK/Viet Nam Collaboration Grants worth up to £50,000. The British Council is looking for innovative partnerships and co-created projects. Project proposals should be collaboratively developed and delivered by at least one UK-based organisation and at least one organisation based in Viet Nam. Projects are welcomed from a diverse range of organisations in the arts, creative industries, and higher education, addressing the Season’s themes of ‘Climate and the Environment’ and ‘Shared Heritage’. Applications close on 5th February 2023. British Council
ACE to suspend the minimum temperature requirement within GIS
To support museums with rising energy costs throughout the winter months, Arts Council England has agreed, with DCMS, to suspend the minimum temperature requirement within the Government Indemnity Scheme for the next four months December – March. The standard requirement for temperature is 16 degrees Celsius – 24 degrees Celsius with a maximum fluctuation of 4 degrees Celsius within 24 hours. The minimum requirement of 16 degrees Celsius will be suspended to 31st March 2023. GIS continues to require environmental conditions to be maintained 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the loan period from the time the indemnified object arrives until it departs from the loan venue. Relative humidity, temperature, light and UV levels are to be monitored through the loan period in the space within which the indemnified object is contained. ACE
The Museums Association is holding an event for its members on 9th March which follows on from a session at last year’s MA Conference in Edinburgh. The English Civic Museums Network in partnership with the MA will hold this online event to explore the themes of workforce, governance, commerciality, museums and society, and collections in an attempt to reimagine the future of the sector in order to survive the various challenges facing it. More information including on how members can sign up to the event can be found here.
DAM for Museums 2023 and Technology for Museums 2023
Henry Stewart Conferences are running two connected events in 2023. DAM and Museums on 9th February aims to show how today’s infrastructure and technology supports art and culture, and how a Digital Asset Management system is becoming the creative link between technology and art. The event includes keynotes from the industry’s leading experts, panel discussions and a chance to network with fellow professionals. The second event, which is also online on February 9th aims to examine how the world’s leading cultural institutions are using innovative digital solutions to manage their collections better, offer unforgettable experiences to their visitors and expand beyond their physical boundaries by utilising modern communication channels. Register for both events here. DAM and Museums 2023, Technology for Museums 2023
MuseumNext are holding a summit with twenty presentations which aims to share ideas and best practice from those leading health and wellbeing work in museums around the world. Some of the subjects covered at the summit are: how museums can support the mental health of socially isolated adults; how museum based meditation can boost mental health; how to make museums accessible to those in hospital; and how can museum programmes build resilience in children. The virtual summit will be held on the 6th and 7th of February and tickets can be purchased here. MuseumNext
The Group for Education in Museums have a number of training courses:
On the 1st and 9th of March, GEM will hold a training course on developing anti-racist practice in museums. This course will focus on objects and collections as well as audiences and communities and will be an opportunity to build skills, capacity, and commitment to the development of anti-racism practices. Places can be booked here.
Between the 20th February and the 20th March, GEM will hold a live virtual learning course on museum learning basics. It is aimed at pre-career and early career museum professionals interested in delivering learning. Places can be booked here.
Between the 20th April and the 11th May, GEM will hold a course on developing SEND-inclusive (special educational needs and disabilities) learning with confidence. It is for experienced learning professionals wishing to develop their SEND practice, create change within their organisations or freelance work to develop best practice and advocate for SEND in museums. Places can be booked here.
On 27th April, 2023, the Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) will host a one day conference at the British Film Institute on the Southbank, London. The conference will reflect on policy changes over the last 25 years and ask where next for the creative industries. Due to generous support from the AHRC, attendance is free, but places are strictly limited due to venue capacity. Interest can be registered here.
This year’s Cornwall Heritage Awards takes place on Wednesday 8th February from 2-5pm. An afternoon symposium will take place before the award presentations where attendees will have the opportunity to meet colleagues from other organisations, potential collaborators, and sector leaders. More information including on how to book tickets can be found here.
On 27th January, Culture Connect will hold an online masterclass ‘Navigating International Collaborations’ which aims to help cultural professionals from around the world to develop a new collaborative mindset to lead successful cross-cultural projects and make the most of their international engagement. Tickets can be booked here.
Culture Connect have also launched a new edition of the Culture Dialogue Survey on the future of touring exhibitions in collaboration with Touring Exhibitions Organisation (Teo). They invite members of the touring exhibitions community to contribute their thoughts and vision of touring in a new international survey. It is open for submissions until 10th March 2023 and the survey results will be presented by Culture Connect in a report which will be unveiled at Teo Live hosted by Teo on 11th May 2023. The survey can be responded to here.
On 27th February and 6th March, Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy will host a course on the essentials in crowdfunding. The course will explore the key skills needed to develop and launch a successful crowdfunding campaign. It is aimed at those with a specific project in mind which they’d like to support through crowdfunding, those who think they may want to run a crowdfunding campaign in future, and those interested in developing knowledge about how crowdfunding works. More information, including on how to book a place on the course can be found here.
On 15th March and 22nd March, a course will look at the essentials in legacy fundraising. The course is aimed at arts organisations interested in building legacy giving programmes who are looking for a roadmap to get started on that journey. More information on the course and booking details can be found here.
A third course on 21st and 28th March will look at TikTok for Arts Fundraising. The course will explore TikTok as a platform, and its potential to grow new audiences. It is aimed at those with a professional TikTok account who are interested in further exploiting the platform for audience engagement and fundraising, as well as those new to the platform who would like to find out more about using it in the future. Information on the course including how to book can be found here.
On the 2nd and 3rd March 2023, Gallery Climate Coalition in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery will hold a two-day symposium ‘Climate Crisis >> Art Action’. Featuring voices from leading visual arts and environmental organisations as well as change-makers beyond the sector, the event will tackle the critical environmental issues facing the UK’s public arts institutions. The symposium will consist of a day of panel discussions and presentations, followed by a day of action-focused workshops and aims to provide context and clarity by pooling expertise and data to identify solutions and equip participants with the knowledge and ambition to take effective action. The programme has been designed specifically for UK-based non-profit visual arts organisations and is supported by the AKO Foundation. It will be held at Bishopsgate Institute in London on the 2nd and 3rd March. Interest in the event can be registered here.
On 25th January, Rebuilding Heritage are holding a webinar ‘Communicating Effectively in Times of Change’. The webinar will examine how heritage organisations can communicate clearly, confidently and consistently when faced with difficult circumstances and changing times. The event is hosted by communications expert Phil Hayes. Containing references to real-life examples, the webinar aims to help people understand the steps needed to take to develop a robust approach to planning communications in challenging times. Free places can be booked here.
The 2023 New Year Honours was the first honours list issued by King Charles III which saw Roland Keating knighted. The honours list emphasised that as Chief Executive, he has transformed the British Library in its engagement with people and communities, overseeing the historic expansion of legal deposit to cover digital publishing and the web domain, adding vital new research collections to the national record of UK life for future generations. Also noted is his work in opening the National Newspaper Building; the incorporation into the Library of the Public Lending Right function; and the launches of the national network of Business and IP Centres to support UK entrepreneurs, and the Living Knowledge Network of public and national libraries. Additionally, Frances Morris, Director of Tate Modern, has been awarded a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to the arts. Frances Morris has played a key role in establishing Tate, and in particular Tate Modern, as one of the most important and popular galleries of modern art in the world. The influence of Morris’ thinking can be seen in the way international institutions have since adopted her way of seeing and presenting art. Gov.uk, Tate
This year’s Museums + Heritage Awards will be closing for entries on 1st February, with a combination of free-to-enter categories, paid-for categories, new special nomination awards, and two international categories. All categories apply to projects/organisations based in the UK with the exception of two which are open to international entries: International Exhibition of the Year and Best Use of Digital (International). Information on category criteria, eligibility dates and fees and on how to enter can be found here.
The Family Learning Awards from Campaign for Learning celebrate imaginative, innovative and inclusive learning. This year there are four categories in which you can enter your family learning activity, event, or initiative. These are:
Family Learning in the Early Years Award
Award for Family Learning to Support Financial Resilience
Award for Family Learning to Support Health and Wellbeing
Award for Family Learning to Support STEM
The awards are free to enter and open to any UK organisation working with families. Enter by 31 January 2023. Find out more here.
Edward Appleyard to take on Chief Executive role at the Thackray Museum of Medicine
The Thackray Museum of Medicine has announced that Edward Appleyard will assume the role of Chief Executive this month. Most recently, Appleyard worked as Director of Engagement at Harewood House Trust, overseeing all aspects of audience engagement which drew on two decades of experience working in arts and culture environments. The Thackray Museum of Medicine has also been nominated for European Museum of the Year 2023. The announcement of the winners will take place during the Annual Conference of the European Museum Forum in Barcelona between the 3rd and 6th May 2023. Thackray Museum of Medicine
Collections Trust Award 2022 open for applications
The Collections Trust Award highlights the often-unsung achievements of those who manage the collections that lie at the heart of all museums. This year, Collections Trust would like to celebrate recent collections-based work related to their rethinking cataloguing campaign and changes within the Spectrum standard. The winning museum will receive £1000 to spend on an agreed collections management activity. Applications can be submitted here.
Also: the Museums Association has recently hired three new members of staff to work on policy, campaigns and their new ‘Mindsets + Missions’ project. Museums Association