February 2011

NMDC Newsletter: February 2011
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NMDC Newsletter: February 2011
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Welcome to NMDC’s monthly news update...
In this issue:


Scottish Government confirms £5m funding for V&A at Dundee

The Scottish Government has committed almost £5m funding for the V&A at Dundee project over the next two years.  The commitment enables work to get underway in 2011 and means the project partners - the Universities of Dundee and Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise and the V&A - are now able to undertake substantive fundraising for the full costs of constructing the museum. Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will be appointed to head up the V&A's design team.  Scottish Government 

HLF consults on funding priorities for 2013-19

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is inviting views on its strategic framework for 2013-19.  From 2012-13 onwards the HLF expects to have an annual awards budget of around £300m: as a result of the Government’s review of Lottery shares, increased income after 2012 once the Lottery has paid its share of the costs of the 2012 Olympic Games, and strong Lottery ticket sales.  The consultation document, Shaping the future - for heritage, for everyone, seeks views on a range of areas including:
  • Expressing HLF’s three current strategic aims of conservation, participation and learning as a single aim in future - "making a positive and lasting difference for heritage and people".
  • Targeting more funds to identified strategic needs and reducing the amount of funding available through open programmes.
  • Prioritising heritage at risk.
  • Areas of heritage that are in most significant need of funding.
  • Whether Young people, Landscapes, Parks, Places of worship, Townscape regeneration are still the right priorities for HLF's targeted programmes.
  • Priority given in future to climate change, digital heritage, skills, heritage in private ownership and buying heritage items.
  • HLF's application processes.
The document ends with facts and figures about HLF’s work including:
  • Since 1994, over £1.3 billion has been awarded to over 3000 projects revitalizing museums and galleries and their collections, enhancing the experience of visitors and learners, and opening up and conserving archives;
  • There has been a steady increase in the proportion of HLF projects run by community and voluntary organisations from 40% in 2002 to 56% in 2009-2010.  The number of local authority and other public sector projects funded has been on a downward trend since 2002-03 from 29% to 17%. 
The consultation runs until 26 April.  Heritage Lottery Fund

Northern Ireland Museums asks public to oppose cuts

National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) are calling on the public to support a campaign against the proposed reduction of their budget.  The Northern Ireland Executive is currently consulting on its draft budget, which includes a proposed £4.8m cash budget cut to NMNI over 2011-15 (15.3% of cash by year four).  NMNI’s website provides a template letter for supporters to send to the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Nelson McCausland AM, stating concern at the impact of the proposed reduction on the NMNI’s “ability to operate as a strategic partner in tourism and learning” and suggesting that the cut would be “counterintuitive to the expressed emphasis on tourism.”  Northern Ireland’s Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) has published savings delivery plans and high level impacts assessment for each of its arm-length bodies.  To achieve the required cuts in expenditure by 2014-15, NMNI will need to make a 25% reduction in staffing levels, equivalent of 76 staff (FTE), as well as cutting public programmes, buildings maintenance and marketing.  NMNI anticipates that this in turn would mean shorter opening hours, leading to a further £565,000 loss of income in 2014-15. Arts Council of Northern Ireland issued a statement on 13 January expressing the view that "we feel we have been singled out as an easy target for a wholly disproportionate cut" and urging supportive responses to the Executive’s consultation.  The arts face a proposed cut of £4.2m, or 23% real terms over the four year period.  Declaring it “unfair” that DCAL, the smallest Northern Irish Department, is sustaining proportionately the second biggest cut, the Council states that it “will continue to vigorously challenge this unfair draft settlement for the arts”, and urges arts organisations to “make their case robustly and directly to the Assembly“. The Northern Ireland Executive's consultation on the draft budget has been extended until 16 February.  National Museums Northern Ireland  Department for Culture, Arts and Leisure  Arts Council of Northern Ireland

ACE to decide level of funding for V&A Purchase Grant Fund

In a House of Lords debate on 13 January, Government Minister Baroness Rawlings confirmed that Arts Council England will continue funding the V&A Purchase Grant Fund once it assumes responsibility for the museums and library functions of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, but said that the level of that funding has not yet been decided.  In response to a Parliamentary Question from Lord Howarth of Newport, Baroness Rawlings said: “Over the coming months, Arts Council England will be consulting those concerned before reaching a conclusion about the level of funding that will be made available to this grant for the next spending period.”  Lord Howarth reminded Peers that the fund - now only £900,000 per year and administered for the past 130 years by the V&A – “has been invaluable in enabling museums, libraries and archives… to make acquisitions for the public benefit, ranging from finds of archaeological treasure to modern literary manuscripts”.  With particular reference to the eligibility of archives for awards from the Fund, Baroness Rawlings said that “over the coming months, Arts Council England will consult the people concerned about whether archives will continue to be eligible…It is possible that archives will continue to be eligible.  The department is still in negotiations about which organisations will take responsibility for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council's wider responsibility for archives.  An announcement will be made shortly.”   Hansard record

Building financial resilience in the UK cultural sector

Mission Models Money (MMM) launched its new report, Capital Matters: How to build financial resilience in the UK’s arts and cultural sector, at the Culture Change conference in London on 27th January.  MMM’s research over the last five years indicates that for a number of reasons arts and cultural organisations continue to lack capital: the reserves which could help them both withstand financial shocks and support the evolution of a more financially resilient business models and external capital investment to support such development.  The report argues that a new forward looking, national, long term policy and support framework is needed to help build the financial resilience of the UK’s not for profit arts and cultural sector, especially those of medium sized organisations.  It includes case studies of organisations that pioneered new business models and made entrepreneurial use of schemes like the Venturesome and Esmée Fairbairn Foundation loans.  Mission Models Money


From 8 March, the Royal Observatory, Greenwich will be introducing charges for part of its site. Admission will be charged for Flamsteed House and the Meridian Line only. The Astronomy Centre with its three interactive galleries will remain free.  Explaining the change, the National Maritime Museum Museum's statement said: "Since moving to free entry in 2001, visitor numbers have increased to 1.58 million. This is a great success story, but also substantially increases wear and tear on the site. The Museum needs to ensure that it has the resources to manage visitors safely, while improving their experience and maintaining the world-famous site and displays at the Royal Observatory."  National Maritime Museum Back to top


Museums and galleries buck the trend as private investment in culture falls

New figures released by Arts and Business show that private investment in culture stood at £658 million in 2009/10, a 3% decrease from the previous year in real terms, but that private investment in museums rose by 13%.  The headline figures are: Culture (all art forms):
  • Total private investment down 3%
  • Individual philanthropy down 4%
  • Trusts and foundations up 11%
  • Business investment down 11%
  • Total private investment in museums up by 13%
  • Individual giving up 24%
  • Trusts and Foundations up 22%
  • Business investment down 10%
In total, museums received £94.7m of private investment, of which £72.3m went to major museums.  Within the museums sector, the increase in private investment was greatest for major museums (up 16%) including a 40% increase in individual giving (up to £29.4m).  Major visual arts organisations and galleries reported a 30% increase in private investment, including a 78% increase in individual giving to £41m.  The data is based on a survey of 4,676 organisations of all sizes, including 387 museums.  Arts and Business will launch the full analysis of the Private Investment 09/10 data later this month.  In the meantime, they have produced an interactive map and benchmarking tool which examines the data by region and art form and size of organisation.  Arts and Business

Arts Quarter Launches Legacy Fundraising Report

New research has examined why cultural organisations fall behind other charities when it comes to legacy fundraising, and has found that only 38% of cultural organisations actively promote legacy giving amongst their supporters.  The data comes from a joint survey by Arts Quarter and Legacy Foresight in November 2010, to which 198 organisations responded:
  • 41% of arts organisations and 37% of museums and galleries have received gifts in wills over the past three years.
  • The most common reasons for not promoting legacy giving were: lack of capacity (27%), other priorities (21%) and perceived lack of expertise (18%).
  • 21% of arts organisations without an active legacy strategy admitted that they had “never thought of working on this”
  • Half of all the arts organisations surveyed reported that legacy income will be important to their organisation in the next five years.
  • Within the arts, as in the charitable sector generally, the overall legacy market is highly concentrated, with the largest charities receiving a disproportionate share of legacy income.  87% of the arts organisations with annual income over £5m have received gifts in wills over the past 3 years, compared to just 10% of organisations with income under £500,000.
  • One large museum in London received over £0.5m a year in legacy income. 
Money from gifts in wills is worth around £2bn a year to British charities and accounts for about 5.6% of income across the not-for-profit sector as a whole.  In comparison, legacy giving specifically to the cultural sector remains low, providing just 1% of total income and 10% of private investment.  Arts Quarter

Crowdfunding for arts organisations

WeDidThis.org.uk, the first ‘crowdfunding’ platform exclusively for UK arts organisations and their audiences was launched on 26 January.  WeDidThis is intended to be a space for arts organisations to bring their audiences and supporters together to form a 'critical mass' of funders of the arts.  During 2011 WeDidThis aims to launch over 50 arts projects into the WeDidThis marketplace, from grassroots 'crowdsourced' artists and organisations to prestigious productions from larger arts and cultural institutions.  WeDidThis works by rewarding every donation (however small) with a personalised gift and aims to bring audiences and supporters closer to the creative process and help arts organisations become more open, and more resilient.  www.wedidthis.org.uk

US estate tax changes could reduce incentive to give to museums

An article in this month's Art Newspaper considers whether President Obama and the US Congress's decision in December to cut the US estate tax will discourage bequests to museums.  The rate at which estates are taxed has been cut from 55% to 35% with a $5m per person exclusion for two years.  The Art Newspaper reports that the new tax law does provide income tax incentives for charitable gifts, including measures in this financial year that encourage charitable gifts from retirement accounts and a two-year allowance of unlimited itemised deductions for charitable gifts.  The Art Newspaper


The National Galleries of Scotland has become a partner of the People’s Postcode Lottery and was presented with a cheque for £159,364 by Miss Scotland. The People’s Postcode Lottery, a charity lottery where members play with their postcodes to win prizes and raise cash for good causes, has raised over £11 million for charities to date.  20% of the proceeds from ticket sales go to selected charities and the money raised by players in each individual country (Scotland, England, Wales) stays in that country.  More Back to top


Culture Minister announces seed fund for digital innovation

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey used his speech at the Culture Change event on 27 January to argue that the arts industry should explore innovative and creative ways of using digital technology to serve its audiences and generate revenue.  Mr Vaizey announced that the Arts Council and NESTA will draw up proposals for a scheme to support this aim with up to a million pounds of seed funding for smaller projects that will share their learning.  The scheme is intended to be available across cultural and creative industries, whether they receive Government funding or not, help organisations become more businesslike, and offer practical help with the “nitty gritty of business, such as introducing digital innovations.”  DCMS   

Copyright owners to share cost of infringement cases

The Government has introduced draft legislation that would enable OFCOM to charge a fee to copyright owners and internet service providers to cover the costs incurred in dealing with a case of copyright infringement under the provisions in the Digital Economy Act 2010.  In September 2010 the Government announced that, under the new legislation, the cost of consumer notifications and appeals would be borne by rights holder and internet service providers (ISPs) at a ratio of 75:25 respectively.  DCMS

Culture Hack – bringing together museums and developers

The Collections Trust and the North East Regional Trust are organising Culture Grid Hack Day on Friday 18 February to bring together developers from museums and the commercial sector to experiment with the data from museums, libraries and archives.  The event will use data from the Culture Grid, the online service from Collections Trust which contains over 1 million digital records of objects from UK's museums, libraries and archives.  The hack day aims to experiment and build prototype applications that could benefit UK museums and establish new relationships between museums and developers from the commercial sector. www.culturegridhackday.org.uk     The event follows Culture Hack Day, produced by The Royal Opera House which took place on 15-16 January.  Some of the tools for exploring cultural content that were developed at that event have already been shared online.  Culture Hack Day   


Tate Liverpool is offering visitors the opportunity to download a free mobile audio guide to the Nam June Paik exhibition which runs until 13 March.  MP3 players are also available to hire in the gallery, free of charge.  Tate Liverpool Camerjam, Culture Label and Spark are organising a two day conference in London on 8-9 March exploring the use of mobile technology by cultural organisations looking at the opportunities it offers to generate new content and revenue streams, communicate with audiences, exploit content and exhibition archives and develop new partnerships.  More The National Portrait Gallery and British Library both released their first Smartphone Apps last month providing guides to the highlights of their collections.  National Portrait Gallery App   British Library 'Treasures' App The National Archives has launched Old Money, a new mobile phone application which uses historic price data from documents held at The National Archives to see what a sum of money from the past would be worth today and the spending power it would have commanded at the time. National Archives Wikimedia and the British Library joined forces on 14-15 January to host a two-day event to improve content relevant to the Library on Wikipedia.  The Wikipedia ‘editathon’, co-organised by Wikimedia UK and Library’s new Digital Research & Curator team, aimed to share the expertise of real-world cultural institutions with wiki-knowledge.  More Back to top


Choices for Change – deciding the future of publicly-run museums

Museums Galleries Scotland has announced fresh details of their Choices for Change campaign, which supports individuals and organisations making decisions about the future of publicly-run museums and galleries in Scotland.  The Choices for Change website has been enhanced to become a ‘one stop information shop’ for local authorities and other organisations aiming to run a high-quality museum and gallery service in the current budgetary climate.  As well as research into the various means by which this can be achieved, the website offers self-assessment tools for museums to focus on how they could make improvements.  Choices for Change

Sky Arts is media partner for Museums at Night 2011

Culture24 have announced that Sky Arts will be the official media partner for Museums at Night 2011.  The broadcaster will be supporting the campaign and going behind the scenes during the weekend in a documentary due to air on Sky Arts HD from late May.  Meanwhile, BBC 6 Music DJ and Culture Show presenter Lauren Laverne has become the Museums at Night campaign ambassador. Culture24 have also teamed up Future Shorts for Museums at Night to offer museums across the UK a unique opportunity to be part of a simultaneous film event, screening a selection of short films from around the world, with access to an online “Twitter Wall” that connects audiences in different cities through social media. Culture 24 are urging museums to register events as soon as possible to be included in publicity, including BBC History Magazine's printed Guide to Museums at Night.  The next deadline is 17 February.  Museums at Night  Future Shorts screening 

Collections Trust launches OpenCulture 2011

The Collections Trust has announced the launch of OpenCulture 2011, a new international two-day conference covering all aspects of collections management in museums, archives, libraries, galleries and private collections.  Billed as the ‘Greatest Collections Management Show on Earth’, the event will take place on 7-8 June at The Custard Factory in Birmingham.  OpenCulture is the Collections Trust’s 3-year programme to promote more open, democratic approaches to cultural Collections.  Collections Trust    

Museums and Heritage Awards 2011 – call for entries

The deadline for entries to the 2011 Museums & Heritage Awards for Excellence is 11 February.  Entries are invited in ten categories including: marketing campaign, permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational initiative, project on limited budget and the Winstan Bond Trophy for the Entrepreneurial Museum of the Year.  NMDC member Diane Lees, Director-General of the Imperial War Museum, is one of the judges for this year's awards.  The Awards Ceremony takes place at Church House, Westminster on 11 May.  Museums & Heritage Awards

Nominations open for National Lottery Awards 2011

Nominations are now the National Lottery Awards 2011.  Now in their eighth year, the Awards aim to raise awareness of projects funded by the National Lottery and recognise the difference that Lottery-funded projects make to people, places and communities all across the UK.  There are seven categories reflecting the main areas of Lottery funding including Best Arts Project, Best Education Project and Best Heritage Project.  The deadline for entries is 18 February.  National Lottery Good Causes


The Natural History Museum has opened a new Images of Nature Gallery putting images from the world’s largest collection of natural history artwork on paper, housed at the Museum, on display in a permanent gallery for the first time.  The displays include highlights from the Museum's collection of more than 500,000 pieces, along with modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanning specialists. More The Ashmolean Museum opened the Jameel Centre: Eastern Art Study Room on 4 January.  The Eastern Art study room will provide access to reserve collections of paintings and prints for students, scholars, and members of the public interested in paintings and prints from Japan, China, South and South-East Asia, the Himalayas, and the Islamic world.  More  The British Museum in partnership with five other UK museums including Glasgow Museum Service, Birmingham Art Gallery and Museums and Tyne and Wear Museums, is recruiting five Future Curators, for a work-based training initiative.  The scheme will offer trainees the opportunity to spend a total of 18 months at two museums where they will gain in-depth knowledge of the museum sector as well as an accredited diploma in curatorship.  British Museum Back to top


Looters in Egyptian Museum damage Tutankhamun’s treasures

A crowd of about one thousand people broke into the grounds of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo on 28 January which houses the world's most important collection of Egyptian antiquities including the treasures from Tutankhamun's tomb.  The Art Newspaper reports that the damage does not seem to have been as severe as it might have been - commentators initially compared the scenes to the devastation of the Baghdad Museum in 2003.  Most of the looters targeted the museum shop stealing all the modern jewellery.  Only 10 people are reported to have got into the main museum.  Display cases were broken and the artefacts damaged included a statue from Tutankhamun's tomb and two mummies. The looters were unable to reach the room containing Tutankhamun's gold mask.  Zahi Hawass, the Head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement on 29 January that all the artefacts were still in the museum, although many had been broken.  The Art Newspaper reports that army tanks arrived later on to protect the museum.  Al-Masry Al-Youm news agency also has a photograph of civilians guarding the museum.  The Art Newspaper  Al-Masry Al-Youm

Smithsonian statement on removal of controversial video installation

Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has issued a statement responding to criticism of his decision to order the National Portrait Gallery in Washington to remove a video installation.  The 1987 work A Fire in My Belly by artist David Wojnarowicz was removed from the exhibition Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture on 30 November, following complaints from Republican Congressmen and the Catholic League.  The move was described as “extremely regrettable” by the Association of Art Museum Directors, which issued a statement in December urging “members of Congress and the public to continue to sustain and support the Smithsonian’s activities, without the political pressure that curtails freedom of speech.”  Smithsonian statement  LA Times report  AAMD statement

Cooperative agreement with the Qatar Museums Authority

The Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and the National Portrait Gallery, London have announced a cooperative agreement relating to the portrait of Ayuba Suleiman Diallo, painted by William Hoare of Bath in 1733. The painting is the earliest known British oil portrait of a freed slave and the first portrait that honours a named African subject and Muslim as an individual and an equal. It was purchased by the QMA in November 2009 but subject of export restriction, having been judged by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art to be of outstanding importance to the history and culture of Britain.  QMA has now decided to lend the work to the National Portrait Gallery for a five year period and will support a programme organised by the Gallery to include the conservation of the painting, research and interpretation, a UK tour to include Leicester, Liverpool and the North-East, and an exhibition to visit Doha in 2013. As part of the programme, an intern from Qatar will spend time working at the National Portrait Gallery. http://www.npg.org.uk/about/press/ayuba-suleiman-diallo-display.php


The Mayor of Helsinki has commissioned the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to conduct a study into the feasibility of building a museum in the city. The study is expected to report at the end of the year and will cost $2.5m.  City of Helsinki   Guggenheim The Times of India reports that authorities in Delhi have approved plans to convert a decommissioned power station into an art gallery "on the lines of" Tate Modern. The cost of the project at the 60-acre Indraprastha plant is described by officials as "fluid", and work could take up to five years. More The eponymous museum founded by former French President Jacques Chirac has been described as a "financial black hole in a financial report obtained by Le Monde newspaper. The Museum of President Jacques Chirac in Correze, which displays gifts to the President during his time in office, is reported to receive €30 in subsidy from the local area for every visitor paying an entry fee of €3. Le Monde Back to top


Prime Minister says tourism is one of the UK’s industries of the future

The Prime Minister David Cameron described tourism as one of the “industries of the future” in major speech on 6 January setting out the Government’s strategy for economic growth.  He placed tourism alongside energy, pharmaceuticals, advanced manufacturing, aerospace as the high growth industries that are key to the UK’s economic strength and said: He said: “The rewards for growth here are immense.  If you just consider this: for every half a percent increase in our share of the world tourism market we can add £2.7 billion to our economy and an extra 50,000 jobs.”  Number 10

£100m tourism marketing fund on target

The Prime Minister has praised the “magnificent” response from the British tourist industry to create a marketing fund of more than £100 million.  Last year the Prime Minister challenged the industry to create a marketing fund to boost tourism around the royal wedding, The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.  Companies including British Airways, lastminute.com and Radisson Edwardian have pledged cash and payment in kind to help match the £50 million of public money already committed by VisitBritain. Mr Cameron hosted a reception in Downing Street on 5 January to thank those involved.  The four-year marketing campaign aims to bring in an extra one million overseas visitors a year, two billion more in visitor spending in the UK and create 50,000 new jobs across the country.  Full details of the campaign will be unveiled in the spring.  DCMS


VisitBritain has released new data on what overseas travellers say they want to see most when they come to Britain.  The most popular activity was "going on a tour of the castles of Wales".  10,000 tourists were given a list of 18 things that can only be done in Britain.  The only museum related activity on the list was ice skating outside the Natural History Museum. VisitBritain


DCMS takes on responsibility for internet policy and digital economy

The Prime Minister has announced details on 18 January of the specific areas of responsibility which have been transferred from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).  Competition and policy issues relating to media, broadcasting, digital and telecoms sectors are now the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.  This includes merger and competition cases in these sectors; sponsorship of the telecoms sector, both mobile and fixed; sponsorship of all content industries, including computer games and publishing; and internet policy and governance, including implementation of the Digital Economy Act.  Ed Vaizey MP, formerly a joint minister at both DCMS and BIS, will now report solely to the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport.  DCMS

DCMS announces plans to transfer Royal Parks to Mayor of London

Tourism and Heritage Minister John Penrose MP has issued a Statement of Intent setting out the Government’s plans to transfer responsibility for London’s eight Royal Parks to the Mayor of London. The Park's are currently managed by DCMS through the Royal Parks Agency.  The Government is proposing that the Royal Parks Agency would no longer be an Executive Agency of the DCMS but instead become an integral but distinct part of the GLA.  Crown Ownership of The Royal Parks would be maintained and the Secretary of State for Culture will have reserve powers to intervene if it appears that the national interest might be compromised. The DCMS statement said “that there would be full democratic accountability to Londoners with the Parks getting a high-profile champion. Clear links would also be established between their management and other London-wide issues such as planning, transport, tourism, the environment and leisure.  Strong safeguards would also be put in place, to ensure that the traditional identity and character of the Parks would not be affected, with their national importance recognised.”  The Government will legislate when the opportunity arises to pass control of the Royal Parks from the DCMS to the Greater London Authority.  DCMS


The Prime Minister gave a speech on 17 January setting out his vision for modernised public services, driven by competition, choice and greater independence for institutions.  Transcript Back to top


Practical solutions for arts and heritage in a changing world

A new report published on 21 January recommends practical ways in which the UK's arts and heritage sectors can support the Big Society and contribute to economic growth and revival.  The report is the product of the Culture Forum, a group of 26 cultural leaders brought together by the National Campaign for the Arts and Arts and Business to share views on how to re-energise investment and funding for culture in England.  The report’s recommendations fall broadly into four themes: 
  • Arts and heritage sectors are at the core of any vibrant local community (and hence the Big Society).
  • Public investment in arts and heritage is a core lever for economic growth, social impact and philanthropic support.
  • The encouragement of public engagement with arts and heritage, to harness their potential to build wellbeing, knowledge, social capital and economic success amongst our communities.
  • Building cultural capital - through investment including professional development and cross sectoral partnerships.  
Arts and Business

MPs ask Arts Council to consider selling art collection

As part of their inquiry into funding of the arts and heritage, the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee held a second evidence session with Dame Liz Forgan, Chairman of Arts Council England and Alan Davey, the Chief Executive, on 25 January.  The session gave the Committee the opportunity to discuss with the Arts Council the evidence it has heard over the course of its inquiry.  MPs asked about both the decision to remove funding for the Creative Partnerships programme and the cuts to Arts & Business, and there was a lengthy discussion on whether the Art Council should sell parts of its collection of art to provide “working capital to invest”.  Alan Davey said that deaccessioning was a “hot potato in the museum and gallery world” and that with ACE’s new responsibility for museums, the organisation had to be “mindful of collections policies more generally and be an exemplar of the best policies in that area.”  He said that ACE aims to have 50% of its collection on loan and is in discussion with the Government Art Collection and British Council about the future use of all three of these national collections. Dame Liz said ACE had not excluded the possibility of selling works to reinvest in the collection.  MPs also asked about the process ACE will use to allocate its national portfolio funding programme - 1340 funding applications were submitted by the deadline on 24January.  ACE currently has 880 regularly funded organisations and has previously said that it expects to fund around 100 fewer by 2015.  Mr Davey described the process as like “three-dimensional chess”, but said the decisions would be based on achieving the goals set out in ACE’s 10 year vision, Achieving Great Art for Everyone.   Video of session  Uncorrected transcript (to be published shortly)

Research argues that arts should be embedded across the curriculum

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has published a report arguing that the arts should embedded in the teaching of all subjects as a way of cultivating creativity and imagination in schoolchildren. The review highlights international research that shows those students whose learning is embedded in the Arts achieve better grades and overall test scores, are less likely to leave school early, rarely report boredom and have more positive self concept than those students who are deprived of arts experiences. Professor Geoff Masters, ACER’s chief executive said “the review outlines the potential of the Arts to reshape the way learning is conceived and organised in schools.” ACER

Impact of visa system on arts and culture

The Greater London Authority and the London Cultural Strategy Group are conducting a survey in order to ascertain the impact of the Government's points-based visa system on arts and culture. They are interested in how well the system is functioning and whether it is creating any particular difficulties for organisations in the UK that work with non-EU artists and performers. They will use their findings to inform discussions with the Home Office and the UK Borders Agency.  The confidential online survey seeks views from people with recent experience of trying to programme cultural activities and working with overseas artists. The deadline for responses is 28 February.  GLA Survey

Localism Bill could reduce protection for heritage

Heritage organisations have raised concerns about provisions in the Localism Bill, introduced into Parliament in December, which have the potential to reduce the level of protection for heritage of more than local interest.  English Heritage's Historic Environment Local Management (HELM) newsletter, reports that the new Neighbourhood Development Orders could mean permission is given for development which damages the setting of a listed building and there could also be unintentional, but potentially very serious damage to, and total loss of, nationally and internationally important undesignated archaeology.  HELM

Guidance on transfer of local authority heritage assets

English Heritage has also published new guidance for local authorities and public sector bodies looking to transfer the ownership and management of historic buildings, monuments or landscapes to community-based organisations. Pillars of the community: The transfer of local authority heritage assets, has been compiled in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, National Trust, Architectural Heritage Fund, Prince's Regeneration Trust and the Development Trust Association's Asset Transfer Unit, and comes at a time when the Government is encouraging communities to play a bigger role in improving their local areas. In addition, the Localism Bill proposes that local people are given first refusal on buying assets of community value. English Heritage

Culture and education - priority areas of German Foreign Policy

The German Government has issued a statement emphasising the importance of culture and education as a pillar of Germany's foreign policy, and summarising activities over the past two years.  Funding for foreign cultural and education activities was increased from €1.4 to €1.5m in 2010.  German Federal Government


The Arts Council of Wales has launched a consultation on the development of art in the public realm, which closes on 3 March.  The Arts Council of Wales is also seeking view on Changing Lives - Strategy for Children, Young People and the Arts.  This consultation runs until 10 March.  Arts Council of Wales UNESCO has launched a gateway to online resources on the culture and creative industries around the world. By clicking on a region of the interactive world map users can access studies, reports, surveys and mapping documents. UNESCO Creative New Zealand has increased investment in the arts in the last financial year, with its budget up $800,000 to $33.7 million according to its Annual Report for 2009/10.  One of Creative New Zealand’s most important partnerships is with local government through the Creative Communities Scheme: in the last financial year 73 local authorities allocated $2.8 million (up from $2.6 million in 2008/09) to support New Zealanders’ participation in the arts at a local level.  Creative New Zealand


Director of the Wallace Collection

The Trustees of the Wallace Collection have announced the appointment of Dr Christoph Vogtherr as the next Director of the Collection, upon the retirement of Dame Rosalind Savill DBE this October.  Dr Vogtherr is a specialist scholar/curator in eighteenth-century French painting.  He has been Curator of Pictures pre-1800 at the Wallace Collection since 2007, and from 2008-10 he was Acting Head of Collections. Sir John Ritblat, Chairman of the Trustees, said: 'Having run a fully international competition, it is very satisfying to find the right balance of scholarship and leadership from within the Wallace Collection itself'.  Dr Vogtherr will become a member of the NMDC when he takes up his appointment on 24 October 2011.  Wallace Collection

DCMS Non-Executive Directors

Peter Bazalgette and Dr Tracy Long have been appointed as non-executive directors of DCMS.  They will join David Verey, who was recently appointed as the lead non-executive director to the DCMS board.  Lord Coe has also been invited to attend DCMS Board meetings by virtue of his position as Chair of LOCOG.  There are six DCMS board meetings a year, and non-executive directors are entitled to claim £15,000 pa.  DCMS

Trustee appointments

The Prime Minister has made the following appointments:
  • Lord Faulkner of Worcester, a Minister in the previous Government; James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK; and Simon Linnett, Executive Vice Chairman of Investment Banking at Rothschild all appointed as Trustees to the Board of the National Museum of Science and Industry; 
  • Lance Batchelor, Chief Executive at Tesco Telecoms, and the artist, Dexter Dalwood, appointed as Trustees of the National Gallery.
  • Re-appointed Sir Miles Irving as a Trustee of The Imperial War Museum
  • Re-appointed both Yinnon Ezra MBE, and Alison McLean OBE, as Trustees of the National Heritage Memorial Fund.  More
Fiona Hyslop, the Minister for External Affairs and Culture in Scotland has announced the reappointment of Mr Iain Watt to the Board of Trustees of National Museums Scotland.  More

The NMDC jobs website has details of current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Events Manager, National Gallery
  • Collections Registrar(Artist Rooms),Tate
  • Health & Safety Manager, National Galleries of Scotland
  • Senior Press Officer, Imperial War Museum
  • Corporate Events Executive, National Army Museum
  • Head of Education, The Wallace Collection
  • Senior Designer - Exhibitions, National Maritime Museum
  • Yousef Jameel Curator of Islamic Art, Ashmolean Museum
  • Explainer, National Media Museum
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

And finally...

In A Point of View on BBC Radio 4 on 28 January, philosopher Alain de Botton focused on the spiritual role of museums.  He said "curators should co-opt works of art to the direct task of helping us to live: to achieve self-knowledge, to remember forgiveness and love and to stay sensitive to the pains suffered by our ever troubled species and its urgently imperilled planet. Only then will museums be able to claim that they have properly fulfilled the noble but still elusive ambition of becoming our new churches." BBC Back to top

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If you have any comments or contributions for the newsletter please send them to the Editor, Kate Smith, at [email protected].
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