July 2011

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

and much more…


Culture Secretary’s keynote speech on philanthropy

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP gave a keynote speech on philanthropy at the Whitechapel Gallery on 4 July.  He outlined developments since his unveiling of the 10 point plan for Philanthropy last December, including announcements of £100m funding to support fundraising capacity and endowments; and Government consultations on tax incentives to encourage charitable giving (see below).  Mr Hunt also announced a conference in the autumn on philanthropy - a joint initiative with the Chancellor - and the launch of a dedicated national campaign in the autumn to promote charitable giving, with a particular emphasis on legacy building.  Jeremy Hunt's speech

£100m to build endowments and fundraising capacity

£55m Endowment Challenge Fund
In his speech on 4 July, Mr Hunt announced a new £55m challenge fund to help cultural organisations build endowments.  An independent advisory panel chaired by Michael Portillo will review bids from organisations for grants of up to £5 million, to match funds raised from private donors.  Different leverage ratios will be required for grants of different sizes, but these should on average raise £2 from private sources for every £1 of public funding.  The £55m consists of £30m from DCMS and £10m from Arts Council England (part of the £80m announced in December 2010), along with a new sum of £15m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  DCMS  HLF  Arts Council £45m Catalyst Funds to build fundraising capacity
Arts Council England (ACE) announced details of its new £40m Catalyst Arts fund on 29 June.  The Catalyst Arts fund, which uses Lottery funds, comprises three elements:
  • £30m for a match-funding and capacity building scheme to increase arts organisations' ability to fundraise.  The scheme will provide tailored awards over three years to individual organisations or those working together that have some experience of fundraising.  It is anticipated that the £30m fund will enable arts organisations to generate around £25 million of new money from private giving by 2015;
  • £7m for a one-off grant scheme to support arts organisations with less experience to build their fundraising capacity. with awards ranging from £15,000 - £25,000.
  • £3m to make available practical advice on ways to secure new sources of funding. 
On 4 July, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) also announced details of a £5m Catalyst Heritage Fund to help smaller cultural and heritage organisations build their financial resilience and improve their fundraising abilities.  Further details of the criteria and how to apply to the Catalyst funds will be available in September.  HLF funding for Catalyst will be UK-wide, while ACE and DCMS funding will only be available to organisations in England.  Museums and galleries are expected to apply through the heritage element of the Catalyst scheme.  Arts Council  HLF

Gifts of pre-eminent objects and works of art to the nation

On 29 June, HM Treasury published a consultation on a new scheme of tax deductions intended to encourage donations of pre-eminent objects and works of art to the nation. The consultation proposes offering donors a reduction in their tax liability based on a set percentage of the value of the object they are donating.  It is proposed that objects are donated to the nation, rather than to a specific institution, to ensure the object remains in the UK. The Government will then lend the object to an appropriate establishment which is open to the public.  The Government is seeking views on a number of areas of detailed policy design still to be developed including eligibility for the scheme, definition of pre-eminences, procedures for acceptance of offers and arrangements for allocating objects to institutions. The scheme will share some elements with the existing inheritance tax Acceptance in Lieu (AIL) scheme, which will continue to operate in parallel with this new scheme.  It is proposed that both schemes will share the annual limit that has been available to date for the existing AIL scheme, currently set at £20m per year. Unlike AIL, the new scheme will apply only to objects, not to land and buildings.  The scheme is designed to complement the separate Budget announcement of a reduced rate of inheritance tax where at least 10% of a person’s net estate is left to charity on their death (see below).   NMDC Head of Strategy and Policy Lizzie Glithero-West sits on the Government’s advisory group for this work.  NMDC has broadly welcomed the proposed scheme and will respond in detail to the consultation.  The closing date for responses is 21 September.  HM Treasury

Consultation on new incentive for charitable legacies

On 10 June the Government launched a consultation on a new incentive for charitable legacies, having announced its intention in this year’s Budget to introduce a lower rate of inheritance tax where people leave a charitable legacy of 10% or more of their estate when they die.  This consultation document has been informed by informal discussions with representative groups and charities.  The closing date for responses is 31 August 2011.  HM Revenue and Customs

Philanthropy Review: A Call to Action

Philanthropy Review has published A Call to Action: its recommendations for building a stronger philanthropic culture in the UK.  The independent report, chaired by Thomas Hughes-Hallett, CEO of Marie Curie Cancer Care, recommends a variety of ways in which banks and the Government can encourage giving, including through charity bank accounts, increasing pay roll giving, tax incentives, legacy giving and changes to Gift Aid.  The report estimates the adoption of these measures would lead to an extra £2bn being donated to charity by 2015.  Philanthropy Review

Fundraising master classes materials online

Michael Kaiser, President of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, was invited by DCMS to run six fundraising master classes in the UK in May and June.  Videos and resource sheets from the seminars are now available via the Arts Council England website.  The free seminars aimed to support arts leaders in “building organisational strength through fundraising and strategic planning, and creating a ground shift in organisational thinking”.  In an interview with The Stage, Mr Kaiser said that it was “simply not true” that fundraising from individuals was harder for small, non-national arts organisations based outside London, saying that “the mistake people make about fundraising is that people think it is about the rich.”  Arts Council  The Stage

More than just giving: corporate responsibility

To celebrate 2011 as the Year of Corporate Philanthropy, Deloitte has published a high level sectoral analysis of corporate responsibility by UK firms.  The report argues that, to maximise the benefits of corporate responsibility activity, charities and government need to improve their understanding of the rationale for programmes in each sector - or, in other words, why companies give.  The report also presents case studies to demonstrate where corporate responsibility activities are making a real impact for companies that invest, and for millions of beneficiaries within communities and internationally.  Deloitte

Arts giving in the US up by 5.79%

The Giving USA 2011 report reveals that philanthropy to the arts in the US grew by 5.7% to $13.3bn in 2010, an increase of 4.1% adjusted for inflation.  However, gifts to the arts sector are still below the $13.7 billion pre-recession peak of 2007.  The report, by the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University, reveals that donations to the arts rose almost twice as fast as overall philanthropy in 2010.  Total estimated charitable giving in the US rose 3.8% in 2010 (2.1% adjusted for inflation).  Corporate giving rose 10.6% (8.8% adjusted for inflation) with giving of cash and in-kind support by pharmaceutical companies continuing to fuel growth in this subsector. Arts, culture and humanities organisations received an estimated 5% of donations in 2010, a slightly larger share than the 4% received in 2009. The arts sector also received the largest pledged gift - $250m worth of art and furniture from long-time patrons to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  Giving USA Foundation Los Angeles Times

Indian Government encourages philanthropy

India's Ministry of Culture is seeking to encourage corporate and private funding to build up its National Culture Fund (NCF) which aims to promote, protect and preserve India's “tangible and intangible” cultural heritage.  Donations or contributions to NCF are eligible for 100% tax exemption.  Ministry of Culture


Art Fund announces £600,000 to build new collections

The Art Fund, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, has launched RENEW, a grant-giving scheme that will give 100% funding to enable up to six new collections of fine, decorative or applied art to be created.  A two-year scheme, RENEW sits alongside the Art Fund’s existing support for acquisitions, and aims to:
  • Stimulate collecting and develop collections;
  • Encourage collecting which creates opportunities for collaboration and the sharing of knowledge and resources between departments and institutions;
  • Help museums and galleries to connect with their communities in new ways through collecting;
  • Enable a strategic and energetic approach to collecting in the current funding climate.
RENEW will assist any UK museum to take a new approach to collecting high-quality works which connect or develop their existing collections, or stimulate new areas of collecting in unexpected, ambitious, imaginative but relevant ways.  The call for expressions of interest from institutions who wish to participate closes on 29th July 2011.  Art Fund

British Museum wins £100,000 Art Fund prize

The British Museum has won the 2011 Art Fund Prize for its groundbreaking project A History of the World.  The project, which included the 100-part series on BBC Radio 4, A History of the World in 100 Objects, involved over 550 museums across the country working in partnership with the British Museum and the BBC.  Michael Portillo, Chair of the judging panel, said: “We were particularly impressed by the truly global scope of the British Museum’s project, which combined intellectual rigour and open heartedness, and went far beyond the boundaries of the museum’s walls.  Above all, we felt that this project, which showed a truly pioneering use of digital media, has led the way for museums to interact with their audiences in new and different ways.”  The Museum will use the £100,000 prize money to fund a series of Spotlight Tours, lending star British Museum objects around England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.  The first tour will feature the Mildenhall Great Dish, which will travel to Ipswich Museum later in the year.  The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum won the online poll with 39.8% of the vote.  Art Fund    The winners for the 2011 Clore Award for Museum Learning award were also announced on 15 June.  The Clore Award judges were so impressed by the outstanding quality of the finalists that they awarded double the prize money to joint winners: the South London Gallery and a consortium of the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Oxford University Museum of Natural History.  Clore Award

Launch of Your Paintings - with innovative crowd-sourced tagging

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF) in partnership with the BBC has launched Your Paintings, a project to create a complete catalogue of every oil painting in the national collection on a dedicated website.  This national collection includes some 200,000 works held in 3,000 museums, galleries, libraries and public institutions across the country.  The first phase of Your Paintings went live on 23 June with over 60,000 paintings from 860 collections. The site features online selections made by well known artists, historians and celebrities.  The site also uses crowd-sourcing technology pioneered by the Astrophysics Department at Oxford University to encourage the public to tag paintings and enable Your Paintings to become fully searchable.  The Your Paintings Tagger project (which will last some 18 months) aims to encourage large numbers of people to engage with the paintings in an enjoyable way, and at the same time make a significant contribution to the project by supplying important keyword information about people, places and events shown in the works.  Algorithms will ensure a high level of data reliability. The BBC will air related programmes across BBC channels this summer, and from 24 June-24 July selected highlights of the Your Paintings collections are viewable in 20 cities across the UK on the BBC Big Screens.  BBC Your Paintings website  Public Catalogue Foundation

Carbon Footprint of Museum Loans

New methodology to measure the carbon footprint of museum loans has been developed by Simon Lambert and Jane Henderson using data from the Art Department of Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales.  The research published in the current edition of Museum Management and Curatorship references NMDC’s work on reducing the carbon footprint of museums and won a 2010 ICON Conservation Award.  The research found that in 2006, the carbon footprint of the outward loan of the Art Department at National Museum Wales was 53 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents: of which 52% was from transport of objects and 45% from couriers. The article sets out eleven recommendations to reduce carbon footprint including planning exhibitions strategically and geographically, reusing packing materials and reducing the number of courier trips.   Museum Management and Curatorship

Museums for the Future toolkit

A new toolkit has been launched to help museums champion sustainability in their community.  The Museums for the Future Toolkit is a legacy of Renaissance South East’s Science Links in Museum Education network (SLIME).  It explores how museums can become centres for innovation with sustainable materials, help visitors explore the science behind new energy technologies challenges and even provide a base for local food knowledge and heritage.  MLA  

47.5% of adults visited a museum, gallery or archive last year

The latest estimates from the Taking Part adult survey produced by DCMS were released on 30 June, covering the period April 2010 to April 2011.  The figures reveal that between 2005/06 and 2010/11 the proportion of people visiting a museum, gallery or archive in the previous 12 months increased from 42.3% to 47.5%.  Over the same period, the proportion of people using a public library declined (from 48.2% to 39.7%).  The proportion visiting heritage sites and engaging with the arts remained steady. While people who live in rural areas are just as likely as people in urban areas to have visited a museum, gallery or archive in the last year, there are variations by region.  In 2010/11, people in London (54.2%) and the South East (50.6%) had the highest levels of participation, while those in the East Midlands (41.1%) and the West Midlands (41.8%) had the lowest levels of participation.  Further analysis of the 2010/11 adult dataset and data for child participation will be published on 18 August 2011.  DCMS back to top


Riverside Museum, Glasgow

The Riverside Museum, Glasgow’s new Museum of Transport and Travel, opened to the public on 21 June. The £74 million museum was designed by the architect Zaha Hadid and is her first major public commission to open in the UK.  The Riverside Museum houses more than 3,000 exhibits in over 150 interactive displays telling the stories of the people who made the term ‘Clyde Built’ one which travelled the world.  It has been funded by Glasgow City Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Riverside Museum Appeal.  Glasgow Life

Amgueddfa Gelf Genedlaethol – Wales’s National Museum of Art

From 9 July 2011 Wales will have its own National Museum of Art, featuring the full range of the nation's world-class art collection under one roof at National Museum Cardiff.  For the first time, the National Museum's mix of fine and applied art from the historic to the contemporary will be shown in a single series of integrated galleries.  The £6.5m development includes the West Wing, six new contemporary art galleries giving the Museum nearly 800 square metres more space to show the strength and range of art produced in Wales since the 1950s, and how this relates to the international scene.  National Museum Wales

Sammy Ofer Wing, National Maritime Museum

The Sammy Ofer Wing, opening on 14 July 2011, is the largest development in the National Maritime Museum’s history - providing 7,300 square metres of new floor space - and is the first step in the Museum’s plan to create a more coherent narrative for visitors.  The £35m project includes: an 850 square metre special exhibitions gallery, allowing the Museum to stage a full programme of temporary shows; a permanent gallery, Voyagers, introducing the story of Britain and the sea; a restaurant and café with views over Greenwich Park; and a state-of-the-art library and archive bringing much of the Museum’s world-renowned archive on site for the first time.  The opening of the new wing is the start of a five-year programme to revitalise and refresh the Museum's permanent galleries and exhibitions. The project has been made possible through a generous donation of £20m from international shipping magnate and philanthropist Sammy Ofer, who died on 3 June, aged 89.  National Maritime Museum

Museum of Liverpool

The new Museum of Liverpool, which opens on 19 July, is the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century.  The Museum is housed in a landmark building at the Pier Head, in the World Heritage Site on Liverpool's waterfront.  It will present the history of the city and the place of Liverpool within a wider British urban context, and builds on the success of the former Museum of Liverpool Life which closed in 2006.  The £72m new museum has much more display space and has also been designed for a high level of community involvement with a brasserie, shop, café, media studio, resource centre activity rooms, a community base and a reminiscence and prayer room, as well as a theatre that can be used for community productions.  Six galleries open this month, with another five galleries, plus further community spaces and the theatre, opening in a second phase towards the end of 2011.  National Museums Liverpool

National Museum of Scotland  

The £46.4m redevelopment at the National Museum of Scotland opens on 29 July.  The original interior of the building has been comprehensively restored and includes a brand new three-storey Learning Centre to enable a major expansion of programmes for schools.  Access will be through a new street level entrance hall housing one of two new restaurants, one of two new shops and other public facilities.  New glass lifts, escalators and staircases will make moving around the building far easier for visitors, and a larger special exhibitions gallery will enable a programme of major international touring exhibitions to come to Scotland.  The transformation project is the centrepiece of a £70 million Masterplan to redevelop the Museum on Chambers Street.  The final stage of the Masterplan, which includes developing a further 11 galleries, will be complete by 2020.  National Museums Scotland


The National Army Museum has opened a new children's play area called Kids’ Zone, with forest and arctic themed climbing frames for children to scale, slide and run through.  The new area explores aspects of army life from camping to clothing and will include a dedicated soft-play space for babies, plus arts and crafts, dressing-up costumes, books, interactive toys and panels.  Kids' Zone also includes objects from the collections with interactive models for children to touch and explore.  More back to top


UK and China agree new “People to People” dialogue

The Prime Minister and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed at last month’s summit a new ‘People to People’ dialogue on broad cultural issues, with annual Ministerial meetings to be held alternately in the UK and China.  Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP will act as the UK Government’s representative for this new high-level dialogue, which will include work with the Chinese in areas such as education provision, scientific research and innovation, as well as culture.  Mr Hunt hosted Premier Wen on a visit to Stratford-upon-Avon on 27 June, and used the visit as an opportunity to highlight the cultural and sporting attractions on offer to Chinese visitors to Britain.  The UK is the third most popular European destination for Chinese visitors.  A DCMS statement reported that in 2010 the number of Chinese tourists visiting the UK on group tours doubled and the number of general visit applications increased by 65% - and a similar rise is expected this year.  According to forecasts by Tourism Economics there is potential for a three-fold increase in the number of visits from China to the UK over the decade 2010 to 2020.  DCMS

Government announces £2.1m funding to Auschwitz-Birkenau foundation

Foreign Secretary William Hague and Communities Secretary Eric Pickles have announced a £2.1 million contribution to the preservation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Mr Pickles, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks and the Polish Ambassador Barbara Tuge-Erecinska attended an event at the Jewish Museum in London to mark the announcement. The funding, delivered over the next three years, is a joint contribution primarily from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Foreign and Commonwealth office.  The Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation hopes to establish a Perpetuity Fund of €120 million by 2015 to ensure the consolidation, restoration and long-term maintenance of the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps. The Holocaust Educational Trust has urged the UK Government to provide financial support for the upkeep of the site.  DCLG

Lost Arts campaign to record funding cuts

The Lost Arts campaign was launched in Westminster on 10 June. The three year project aims to “record and catalogue all of the projects, events, initiatives, performances, organisations and companies that will be lost due to the cuts in public funding.” The campaign has been set up by eight unions whose members are described as being “directly affected by cuts to the arts”: the Musicians' Union, Equity, BECTU, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, the National Union of Journalists, UNITE, Prospect and PCS.   Speaking at the launch, Shadow Culture Secretary Ivan Lewis MP said the campaign: “signals the end of a period of silence from too many in the art and culture sector who have acquiesced to a narrative which says in an age of austerity at a time when the NHS, education and policing face cuts, the arts have no right to a voice.”  Lost Arts 23 MPs have signed an Early Day Motion tabled by Alison McGovern MP in support of the Lost Arts campaign.  UK Parliament

Government response to Select Committee report on arts funding

The Government has published its response to the Select Committee Report on Funding of Arts and Heritage.  The 17 page statement rejects the Committee's criticism of the abolition of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and says the Department is “is confident that Arts Council England have sufficient knowledge, expertise and resources to carry out their additional responsibilities.”  In the section on philanthropy, the response reiterates that the Government’s policy on philanthropy “is not about replacing state funding with private support” but rather a “highly ambitious aim for this country to combine the best of US-style philanthropic support with the best of European-style public support.  Nor is it about importing a US model wholesale into the UK. Over-dependence on endowments has been as dangerous to cultural organisations there as over-dependence on state support is here.”  DCMS

Funding for national events to promote science and engineering

Science Minister David Willetts MP has announced £790,000 funding to promote national events to engage the public with science and engineering.  The money will help fund the British Science Festival and National Science and Engineering Week, run by the British Science Association: events that give thousands of people across the UK the chance meet leading scientists and get involved in the latest science, technology and engineering.  BIS

Social tourism inquiry begins at Westminster

MPs heard evidence last month on the benefits of social tourism.  Several European countries have social tourism schemes providing low cost holidays for low income families and disadvantaged groups.  The inquiry into social tourism was launched last month by the Social Tourism All Party Parliamentary Group, chaired by the MP for Blackpool North, Paul Maynard, with a secretariat provided by the Family Holiday Association, a charity that works to help disadvantaged families get a break away from home.  The charity reports that over 2 million children in the UK live in families who cannot afford a day-trip to the seaside.  Preliminary findings are due to be published later this month.  Family History Association


The Government has published organisational charts of the UK Civil Service, including name, job title and salary for all senior civil servants, plus team information and job descriptions across central Government.  Number 10 DCMS has launched its own Facebook page to share content including photos, films, consultations and competitions, as well as news about the work of the Department and Ministers.  DCMS also intends to use the site to champion the work and initiatives of the DCMS “family of bodies”.  DCMS is encouraging people to say what they would like to see on the page, and is offering a chance to win tickets to the National Theatre.  DCMS Facebook back to top


Netherlands to cut culture funding by 25% by 2013

The Dutch State Secretary for Culture Halbe Zijlstra has revealed his plans for a 25% (€200m) cut in spending on culture by 2013.  The policy plan “More than quality, a new vision on cultural policy” aims to reduce the dependence of the art field on state funding and increase the role of private sponsors and sources.  The Minister rejected advice from the Netherland’s Culture Council to spread cuts right across the sector’s “basic infrastructure” and plans to limit cuts to top cultural institutions, with more severe cuts for institutions which do not directly generate art, but support or facilitate it. The number of museums in receipt of Government subsidies will remain at 28, although they will be required to generate a minimum income.  The Rijksmuseum has been told to merge with the Netherlands Institute for Art History, and the Minister has also confirmed there will be no funding to establish a new National History Museum in the next year.  Elsewhere in the cultural sector, the Netherlands’ current ten orchestras are cut to seven, with three of the current seven dance companies closing along with one of the two opera companies.  VAT on concert tickets will also increase from 6% to 19%. Sixty artistic directors from around the world have written to Mr Zijlstra to express concern that the cuts will do ‘irreparable damage’ to the arts sector, and over 100 cultural organisations joined protest actions at the end of June including a March of Civilisation on 26-27 June.  Dutch Government  More 

Culture and Volunteering in London

The Mayor of London, in association with the London Cultural Strategy Group and the London Cultural Quarters, has published a guide to current practice on the use of volunteers in the cultural sector.  According to a survey commissioned by the GLA and London Cultural Quarters, 82% of cultural organisations in the capital believe their volunteering need will increase over the next two years.  Culture and Volunteering gives 'top tips' on how to develop and grow a volunteering programme and increase opportunities for people to get involved in culture through volunteering.  The guide, which was launched on 13 June, includes case studies from the Museum of London, Natural History Museum, The National Archives, Imperial War Museum and Victoria & Albert Museum.  Greater London Authority  

EU budget proposes simplification of culture programmes

The European Commission budget proposals for 2014-20 published on 29 June include an allocation of €1.6 billion for culture.  This sits alongside €15.2 billion for education and training and will also be complemented by Structural Funds.  The Commission proposes to rationalise and simplify the current structure for the education and culture budgets, reduce the number of programmes and introduce greater synergy.  The application processes and the monitoring and evaluation of projects will be simplified, including through the management of projects by national agencies.  The budget statement says the current architecture of the programmes and instruments for culture and media activities is fragmented, with a proliferation of small-scale projects, some of which “lack the critical mass to have a long lasting impact.”  It continues that overlaps between programmes has led to increased management costs and has confused potential applicants.  European Commission

Digital Research Fund for Arts and Culture seminars

Arts Council England and NESTA are running a series of 'Digital days' around England to share ideas and approaches to digital technologies for the arts and cultural sectors.  The events will offer opportunities to discuss the new £500,000 Digital R&D Fund for Arts and Culture and to network with technology companies that are interested in partnering with cultural organisations.  Places at the five seminars were booked up almost immediately but all information and content, including filmed presentations from the day, will be made available online following the events.  Arts Council

£2 million Challenge Fund for Heritage at Risk

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation has donated £1m, matched by £1m from English Heritage, to create a new Challenge Fund to help voluntary groups to rescue buildings at risk.  Grants will in some cases help to unlock other funds which have been endowed for building restoration and may provide development funding or match funding for Lottery applications.  The Challenge Fund also aims to help to spread skills and experience to more people at local level, by asking grant recipients to bring in an experienced project manager to work alongside existing trustees and to involve and tutor a less experienced group of volunteers who can then go on to undertake another rescue. The £2 million Challenge Fund will be managed by the Architectural Heritage Fund, an independent charity, who will disburse it in grants of up to £200,000 over the next five years to voluntary sector groups such as Building Preservation Trusts and Civic Societies.  English Heritage

English Heritage Angel Awards

Lord Lloyd Webber is also supporting English Heritage’s new Heritage Angel Awards, which will celebrate the work of individuals and groups who have saved a significant historic place that was at risk of being lost.  The shortlisted entrants in each of the four award categories will be showcased by the Awards’ media partner, The Daily Telegraph.  The closing date for entries is 12 August 2011.  English Heritage

New local culture and heritage profile tool

The Culture and Sport Evidence programme (CASE) Local Culture & Heritage Profile Tool offers a new way to access a range of data that can be used in local cultural and heritage-related policy-making.  The data comprises: Local Area Profiles, Economic Performance, Attendance & Participation, Quality & Satisfaction, Education, Sites & Assets, Financial Investment and comparisons with neighbouring local authority statistics.  Arts Council

Leading artists to design London 2012 posters

Twelve world-leading artists will create posters for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The works by Tracey Emin, Fiona Banner, Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Anthea Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Gary Hume, Sarah Morris, Chris Ofili, Bridget Riley, Bob and Roberta Smith and Rachel Whiteread will be shown in a free exhibition at Tate Britain as part of the London 2012 Cultural Festival.  The festival, which runs from 21 June to 9 September 2012, is the finale of the four-year Cultural Olympiad.  It will include over 100 events expected to reach over seven million people. Since 2008, over 14 million people all over the UK have participated in or attended performances as part of Cultural Olympiad programmes inspired by London 2012.  National museums are also participating in this year’s London 2012 Open Weekend (22–24 July 2011) supported by BP.  There will be over 1,000 events around the UK to celebrate one year to go to the Games.  London 2012

You're invited media campaign

VisitBritain has launched an international TV campaign which aims to reach 27m people in the US, Europe, India and China.  The You're Invited campaign features Dame Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Twiggy, Rupert Everett and Jamie Oliver.  A global deal with BBC Worldwide means the adverts will be shown on BBC World News and BBC America as well as BBC Worldwide’s global iPlayer pilot.  Coverage across the Americas and Asia has been donated by the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.  VisitBritain

VisitEngland announces new industry engagement structures

VisitEngland has announced the new structures that will replace the Partners For England Steering Group and ensure effective engagement, communication and co-ordination at the national level.  These are:
  • Destination Management Forum - to manage the exchange of information and best practice on national and local issues between destinations, and with VisitEngland;
  • Visitor Economy Forum - to encourage collaboration and communication between industry partners;
  • Strategic Industry Advisory Group - to provide strategic insight to support VisitEngland’s work.  
Visit England


DCMS, the Highways Agency, the Department for Transport and VisitEngland have joined a Brown Signs Task Force to review better coordination and consistency in the way that brown tourism signs are regulated and applied.  Visit England back to top


Arts Council appoints key museum posts

As part of the redeployment process of MLA staff to the Arts Council, the following key appointments have been made:
  • Hedley Swain, currently Director, Programme Delivery at MLA, will take up the post of Director, Museums & Renaissance at the Arts Council.
  • Nicola Morgan, currently Programme Manager, Sector Improvement at MLA, will become Director, Libraries at the Arts Council.
  • Charlotte Johns, currently Renaissance Programme Coordinator at MLA, will become Director, Museums & Investment at the Arts Council.
All three appointments will take effect from 1 October 2011. Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England said: “The redeployment process is ongoing and Arts Council England is currently appointing a number of MLA staff into posts.  We will be recruiting to further museums and libraries related new roles during July and further announcements of appointments to Arts Council England and the final integrated structure will be made in due course.”  MLA


Matthew Tanner MBE, director and chief executive of the SS Great Britain Trust, has been elected as the new chairman of the Association of Independent Museums (AIM)Sam Mullins, director of London Transport Museum, who was AIM chairman from 1999 -2005, has been appointed as AIM’s first vice president.  AIM Professor Ian Owens will be the new Director of Science at the Natural History Museum.  He has been has been Head of the Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London since August 2007 and succeeds Professor Richard Lane, who retired at the end of May.  More LOCOG has announced the appointments of Jenny Sealey MBE and Bradley Hemmings as Artistic Directors of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  London 2012 Orlaith McBride has been appointed as Director of the Arts Council of Ireland.  She takes up her position in September.  More    back to top


British Library and Google partnership to digitise 250,000 books

The British Library and Google have announced a partnership to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books, pamphlets and periodicals from the Library’s collections.  The project will digitise up to 40 million pages dating from 1700-1870.  Both organisations will work in partnership over the coming years to deliver this content free through Google Books and the British Library’s website.  The works will be selected by the British Library and digitised by Google, with Google covering all digitisation costs.  Google Books is an effort to make all of the knowledge contained within the world’s books searchable online.  British Library

Tate extends its focus to African art with new partnership

Tate has announced a new partnership with Guaranty Trust Bank which will broaden Tate’s international reach to Africa.  The partnership will involve the creation of a dedicated curatorial post at Tate Modern to focus on African art, an Acquisition Fund to enable the Gallery to enhance its holdings of work by African artists and an annual project - the first of which is an exhibition, Contested Terrains, bringing together work from four emerging and recently established contemporary African artists.  Tate 

Ashmolean becomes first museum to use the next generation Internet

The Ashmolean Museum has become the first museum in the world to trial the next generation of the Internet – Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6).  Beginning at 12am on 8 June the Ashmolean, in company with 400 other major organisations such as NASA, Google and Harvard University, took part in a 24-hour trial of IPv6 – running its main webserver over IPv6 to test the readiness of the new system before it is launched around the world.  Ashmolean

Royal Air Force Museum seeks donations for book recycling scheme

The Royal Air Force Museum London has launched an appeal for members of the public to donate their unwanted military and aviation books and magazines to the Museum’s shop.  These items will then be sold by the shop with the money raised going to the continued and ongoing maintenance of the museum’s collections.  The museum’s book recycling scheme has been running for the past 20 months, selling 200-300 books a month, and stock is now running low.  All donations will be examined by Museum staff, with any items that are of particular historic importance retained by the Museum for its archives.  More


The Tate Movie Project’s The Itch of the Golden Nit premiered in Leicester Square on 29 June and was broadcast on BBC2 on 2 July.  The film is the first of its kind – an animation made by and for children.  Thousands of drawings, sound effects and story ideas by children from across the UK make up the action-packed, half hour animation as part of the Cultural Olympiad.  The Tate Movie Project involved over 250 workshops around the country and tens of thousands of individual uploads to the online movie studio.  Tate  Watch on BBC iPlayer  General Electric (GE) has created a plant version of Van Gogh’s painting A Wheatfield, with Cypresses as a ‘living wall’ on the outside of the National Gallery.  The “living painting” has been constructed by specialist horticulture and design company ANS, using over 8,000 plants of more than 26 different varieties selected to match the tones of the original painting.  The picture will be grown throughout the summer and autumn, remaining in place until the end of October 2011.  More The Wallace Collection's website has a fresh new look with new features including Top Ten Things to Do and Interact, where visitors can browse the Collection and communicate through social media sites.  More National Museums Scotland has announced a new partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to create after-hours events and “hot-ticket debates” aimed at young people and young adults.  The programme will include the RBS Museum Lates - a series of evening openings with live performances, one-off display and installations, special guests, music and extended exhibition hours.  More back to top

The NMDC jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk, has details of over 20 current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • HR Advisor, Royal Air Force Museum
  • Retail Manager, Science Museum
  • Corporate Sponsorship Officer, Tate
  • Head of Adult Learning, The National Gallery
  • Wallace Correspondence Project Archivist, Natural History Museum
  • Special Effects Engineer, Natural History Museum 
  • Museum Residency: Sound Art, V&A
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

And finally...

Staff at the British Museum are having to clean kiss marks off the display cases housing relics in the museum's latest Treasures of Heaven exhibition. Neil MacGregor is quoted in The Guardian saying: “It's a new form of audience participation, one we've never experienced before.”  The Guardian back to top

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