February 2012

NMDC Newsletter: February 2012
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NMDC Newsletter: February 2012
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Welcome to the NMDC monthly news update.  In this issue:


NMDC argues that measures of well-being must include cultural engagement

NMDC has argued that cultural engagement is a crucial element of individual, community and national well-being  and should be included in the Government's indicators for measuring national wellbeing.  In our response to the Office of National Statistics' consultation, NMDC emphasised that arts, culture and heritage have a profound contribution to make in terms of well-being and urged that they are included in the headline measures. Whilst culture and heritage are mentioned in the explanatory text for the proposed ‘Where we live’ domain of measures of well-being, NMDC believes that they would be better categorised as part of ‘What we do’.  This would reflect the importance of cultural participation, which people may engage in outside their local area, rather than the location of cultural or heritage venues. NMDC proposes that the DCMS Taking Part survey, which provides robust data on cultural participation, would be the most straightforward measure of the cultural sector’s contribution to national well-being.  Office of National Statistics

NMDC Membership

As we reported last month, NMDC will be inviting the new Renaissance Major Partner museums to join its membership.  We are sorry to report that this decision has prompted National Museums Liverpool (NML) to withdraw from NMDC.  We are, of course, disappointed by this news, which means NML will be the only UK national museum not contributing to NMDC’s work.  NML remains eligible for NMDC membership and would be welcome to rejoin at any future point.  More news on the outcome of NMDC's strategic review, including the membership changes, will be announced in April following discussions with existing members and the new Renaissance Major Partner museums.  More back to top


Renaissance Major Partner museums announced

Arts Council England announced the 16 Renaissance Major Partner museums on 24 January.  Together these Major Partners will receive approximately £20 million a year in funding for the next three years as part of the Renaissance programme for regional museums. The Major Partners - which include local authority museum services, university museums, independent trusts and consortia - are:
  • Beamish and Bowes Museum
  • Birmingham Museums Trust (Birmingham City Council, Thinktank)
  • Bristol City Council
  • Cumbria Museums Consortium (Tullie House, Wordsworth Trust, Lakeland Arts Trust)
  • Horniman Museum and Gardens
  • Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust
  • Leeds Museums and Galleries
  • Manchester Partnership (Manchester City Galleries, Manchester Museum, Whitworth Art Gallery)
  • Museum of London
  • Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service
  • Oxford University Museums and Oxfordshire County Museums Service
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery
  • Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove
  • Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums
  • University of Cambridge Museums
  • York Museums Trust.
Arts Council England received 29 eligible applications for Major Partner funding, requesting a total of £116.4 million over three years.  The 16 successful applicants requested £23.5 million a year against an annual budget of approximately £20 million.  The exact amounts of each major partner's award will be finalised as part of the negotiations of their funding agreements and published in April. Arts Council England has also announced more details of the Renaissance Museum Development fund which aims to “enhance the sustainability and resilience of the museums sector by enabling the sharing of expertise and knowledge”.  The Museums Development fund will open to applications on 7 February and close on 7 March, with a total of £8 million available between 2012 and 2015.  Applicants can bid to deliver development support for museums through local museum networks.  Details of the Renaissance Strategic support fund - anticipated to be around £15 million a year - will be announced in the autumn.  Strategic support will complement Major Partner and Museum Development investment, and will focus on any gaps or development opportunities not addressed by the other funds. One year's transitional funding will be available to unsuccessful applicants who currently receive support from the MLA Renaissance hub scheme, to help them adjust to these changes.  Museums Sheffield has described the decision not to allocate major Renaissance funding to them as “devastating.”  Sheffield’s budget for 2012-13 will decline by 30%, as its local authority funding has been cut by 12% in the current year.  Arts Council   Museums Sheffield

Scottish Government announces additional £2.85m for culture

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, announced more than £1.1 million Scottish Government support for culture projects on 1 February.  The money is part of £33m extra spending announced by Scotland's Finance Minister John Swinney MSP on 31 January from the 2011-12 Barnett consequentials (the formula used by The Treasury to adjust the amounts of public expenditure allocated to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to reflect spending levels allocated to public service in England).  The new funding for cultural projects includes:
  • £300,000 for the National Library of Scotland, including contributions towards the Kelvin Hall project and improvements at the Causewayside building.
  • £300,000 to the National Galleries of Scotland for maintenance, repairs and the improvement of facilities for visitors.
  • £240,000 to the National Performing Companies to be invested in new equipment for performance and education work.
In addition, National Museums Scotland has received £300,000 for estates maintenance from the existing 2011-12 capital budget.   Scottish Government   Scotland's Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP also announced on 26 January an additional £1.75m Scottish Government funding for the V&A at Dundee project over the next three years.  It brings the total Scottish Government support for the £45m project to more than £18.2m, including the £15 million capital investment already announced following the 2011 Spending Review.  V&A at Dundee will be an international centre of design housed in a world-class building at the heart of Dundee's waterfront.  It is being delivered by Design Dundee Ltd, a partnership between the Victoria and Albert Museum and Dundee City Council, the Universities of Dundee and Abertay Dundee, and Scottish Enterprise.  The building is being designed by a team led by architects Kengo Kuma & Associates and is due to open in 2015.  Scottish Government

£4 million grants for English museums

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP has announced grants totalling £4m to help improve 36 museums and galleries through the DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund.  Recipients include:
  • Ashmolean Museum, for the restoration of the Randolph Sculpture Gallery (£215,000)
  • Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, for renovation of the Soho House Museum visitor centre (£65,000)
  • British Museum – for refurbishment of the Late Antique and Early Medieval Gallery (£200,000)
  • National Railway Museum – for renovation of Station Hall (£100,000)
  • National Portrait Gallery – for renovation of 3 top floor galleries (£86,000)
  • Royal Armouries, Tower of London – for the Line of Kings exhibit (£100,000)
  • Discovery Museum, Tyne & Wear Museums -  for the Making of Modern Tyneside project (£250,000)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum – for space for contemporary art installation and step-free access to the Cast Court Galleries (£150,000)
  • Wallace Collection – for refurbishment of the East Drawing Room (£75,000).
This follows the announcement in the Spending Review in February 2011 that DCMS and the Wolfson Foundation would each provide a further £4 million to be distributed in two bidding rounds over this spending period.   The second bidding round will be held in 2013-14, with the drawdown of funds in the financial year 2014-15.  A total of 101 museums/museums services are eligible to apply for funding of up to £300,000.  The DCMS/Wolfson Fund has distributed £47 million to 445 capital projects in museums and galleries across England since 1990.  DCMS

Kids in Museum Manifesto includes new focus on teenagers

The Kids in Museums Manifesto 2012 was launched at the Wallace Collection on 19 January. The 20 point Manifesto is compiled from visitors’ comments and this year focuses on teenagers.  The Manifesto encourages museums to: “invite teenagers into your gang. Provide a place for them to hang out. Set up youth panels. Ask them how they want to be involved. Museums can lead the way in letting people know the contribution teenagers make."  Mariella Frostrup, Patron of Kids in Museums, said that teenagers’ involvement in museums proves that they aren’t “badly behaved, idle and don’t speak quite like we would wish… If they’re given the chance they get stuck in and contribute great ideas and hard work. Museums can lead the way in promoting a better image of teenagers.”  The Manifesto is intended to be a practical and powerful tool to encourage and support museums and galleries around the country to make children, young people and family visits more enjoyable. Already over 300 museums have signed up in its support, pledging to work towards putting the 20 points into practice. Other points in the manifesto include:
  • Be welcoming and greet each visitor. Tell visitors what they can do at the door, don’t pin up a list of things they can’t. Curators, volunteers, front of house and those who work in the café should all be involved.
  • Don’t say ssshhhush! If kids are being noisy, ask yourself ‘Why?’ is it because they’re excited? Great! Then capture this excitement. Is it because they’re bored? Then give them something meaningful to do.
  • Play the generation game. Grandparents are increasingly important, and many families are more than two generations. Conversations between generations should be at the heart of what you do.
  • Use social media to chat to families. Don’t just post messages about what you’re doing – have a conversation.    Kids in Museums

Museums 2020

The Museums Association (MA) is launching Museums 2020. The MA will lead a nationwide discussion with people in museums and other organisations to create a bold vision of the impact museums could be having on individuals and communities by 2020. The vision aims to help museums achieve their full potential for society. Museums 2020 will take account of the views of the public and learn from existing ideas, evidence and research.  It aims to revitalise and enthuse museum staff and supporters. The MA will publish a discussion paper; host conversations, workshops and other events; and invite museums and organisations to lead on exploring specific aspects of museum activity and impact in detail.  Throughout, the MA will campaign for museums, policy-makers and funders to adopt and implement the Museums 2020 vision.  Museums Association

Call for Expressions of Interest in Independent Newspaper project on collections

The Collections Trust is inviting initial expressions of interest from museums wishing to participate in a proposed project with the Independent newspaper to celebrate the diversity of UK Collections. The project is at a very early discussion stage, and formal commitment is not required at this point. However, the Collections Trust would like to be able to give the Independent team an indication of the interest from museums in participating in a 6-8 week series highlighting objects in their collections. Museums interested in receiving additional information about the project and expressing a tentative interest are invited to email Nick Poole at [email protected]

Curators invited to select contemporary craft pieces

The Art Fund and the Crafts Council have launched this year’s £75,000 Art Fund Collect scheme which offers UK museums the chance to add an outstanding work of new international contemporary craft to their collections.  The scheme was established in 2008 as a way of developing curatorial expertise and networks within the museum sector, as well as increasing the level of contemporary craft within public collections. Curators are invited to apply for exclusive preview access to COLLECT, Europe’s leading art fair for contemporary objects, in order to select a work for their museum, paid for in full from the £75,000 made available by the Art Fund.  Shortlisted curators will be given an hour before all other visitors to visit the 31 galleries from 11 countries exhibiting at the fair, and to select one object they would like to see join their museum’s collection. The curators will present their prospective acquisition to the Art Fund Collect judging panel, who will then decide which objects have been best presented by their curatorial advocate, and which most merit joining a public museum collection. Curators have until 14 March 2012 to submit their applications to take part. The shortlist, compiled by the judging panel, will be announced in April.  The preview event is on 10 May and Collect 2012 is open at the Saatchi Gallery from 11-14 May.  Art Fund

Royal Museums Greenwich

The Trustees of the National Maritime Museum have announced that - to mark the HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – Her Majesty has formally approved “Royal Museums Greenwich” as the new overall group title for the National Maritime Museum, Queen’s House and Royal Observatory, Greenwich.  Each venue will also retain its individual identity, reflecting the different roles and collections.  Kevin Fewster, Director of Royal Museums Greenwich said the aim of the new title is “to help our ever-increasing numbers of visitors understand the royal connections between our three museums, their significance within historic Greenwich and the extraordinary stories we have to tell here.” Maritime Greenwich was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 for the outstanding architectural quality and historical significance of its great buildings and their Royal Park setting, and the site has associations with the Crown dating back to the 15th century.  This month, Greenwich will become the first new Royal London Borough in over 100 years, and in April, the Museum is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the opening of the National Maritime Museum by George VI, which was the first public event that Her Majesty The Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) attended.   Royal Museums Greenwich

Lottery funding for British Museum Centre confirmed

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has confirmed a £10 million grant for the new World Conservation and Exhibition Centre (WCEC) at the British Museum. This award means that the project is more than 80% funded through philanthropy and underwriting, totalling £118 million out of the total project costs of £135 million raised. The WCEC, designed by Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners, includes three basement floors and will house state of-the-art laboratories and studios for the conservation, preservation and research of the collection; a new special exhibitions suite; world-class stores; and facilities to support the Museum’s extensive national and international loans programme. It is due to open in spring 2014. British Museum

The Ashmolean Museum celebrates major benefaction

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology recently received a substantial grant from the Leon Levy Foundation in support of the Museum’s Restoring the Past Gallery. In recognition of this grant, the Gallery has been named in memory of Leon Levy, the financier whose wide range of interests and philanthropies included the ancient world, the arts and humanities. Restoring the Past: The Leon Levy Gallery is one of two conservation galleries at the Ashmolean, which is the only major museum of art and archaeology to have permanent galleries devoted to this crucial area of museums’ work.  Ashmolean Museum

Science Museum visitors asked to help medical research

Craniofacial surgeons from University College Hospital, the Eastman Dental Hospital and Institute and Great Ormond Street Hospital are hoping to benefit from a Science Museum event aiming to build the largest database of 3D facial images in the world. The project, Me in 3D, opened last month and will encourage volunteers to have their photograph taken with a 3D camera. The photographs collected will then be used by the researchers to study patterns in face shape. This could help the surgeons improve treatment for patients with facial disfigurement.  Dr Chris Abela, Senior Craniofacial Fellow at Great Ormond Street Hospital said:  “We know a lot about the bones in our faces but little is known about what makes our face the shape it is and about the skin and muscles that make up our face. By collecting as many 3D face photographs as we can we will have a greater understanding of our complex faces, and have greater knowledge to plan and perform the best facial surgery in the future”.  The project is part of the Science Museum’s on-going Live Science programme, where visitors can volunteer to take part in real experiments conducted by visiting scientists.  University College Hospital

London’s museums can do more for UK tourism

Anna Somers Cocks, Founding Editor and Chief Executive of The Art Newspaper, argues in its January edition that London-based national museums should be encouraged to market the rest of Britain through their collections. She says "research shows that the main reason why foreign tourists often stick to London is that they do not know where else to go… But the instrument to get tourists out of London already exists."  She suggests, for example, “when the British Museum writes on its website about the famous 12th-century walrus-ivory chessmen from the Isle of Lewis, it should add some information about the Outer Hebrides and a click-through to the isles’ site describing how to get there."  The Art Newspaper

Prado announces record visitor figures and new extended opening hours

The Museo del Prado in Madrid has announced that it is extending its opening hours; a move it hopes will “reinforce the Prado’s position as the public European museum with the longest opening hours (3,542 hours per annum).” It will now open seven days a week and be open until 8pm Monday-Saturday.  The Museum’s press releases emphasises that with this change the Prado now joins the very small group of major international art museums that are open every day of the week   The Museum is also increasing its free opening hours: people can visit free of charge during the last two hours of every day of the week, except on public holidays.  The Museum made the announcement on the day it signed a new sponsorship agreement with Telefonica as benefactor of the Prado’s Visitor Attention Programme.  Reuters reports that the extended opening hours are in response to a cut in the funding: the Museum’s public funding has been cut by €6m.  The Museum received its highest ever number of visits in 2010, with 2.9m visits, an increase of 9% on the previous year.  In addition, 863,957 people visited two exhibitions from the International Prado programme held in St Petersburg and in Tokyo.  Museo del Prado   Reuters

DCMS seeks views on Treasure and Export Reviewing Committees

The Government announced on 15 December 2011 that it would undertake reviews of the Treasure Valuation Committee and the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest.  These reviews are part of the Government’s commitment to conduct triennial reviews of its Non-Departmental Public Bodies.  DCMS is now inviting views from stakeholders to contribute to each review. The initial focus of the reviews is the continuing need for each Committee and a consideration of whether their current functions and form are the most effective and cost-efficient approach.  If it is agreed that the Committees should continue to exist, the review will then consider whether each operates in accordance with the recognised principles of corporate governance by being open, transparent and accountable. DCMS expects both reviews will be completed by April. The deadlines for responses are 10 February for the review of the Export Committee and 13 February for the review of the Treasure Valuation Committee.  DCMS

Measuring the impact of public engagement

The University Museums Group and the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement have organised a seminar on measuring the impact of public engagement.  It will be held at the Great North Museum in Newcastle on 7 February 2012.  More

Audience research at outdoor events

Audiences London has produced a new set of guidelines for audience research at outdoor events, which are available to download for free. The guidelines are designed specifically “to support the unprecedented activities and opportunities of 2012.”  Audiences London has also published a video and presentations from a symposium to introduce these guidelines on 24 January.  Audiences London

British Library 2012 Highlights

In last month’s newsletter we included some of the highlights to come in 2012 but omitted the British Library.  The British Library’s Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination, continues until 13 March; while A Hankering After Ghosts: Dickens and the Supernatural is on until 4 March.  The first Spring Festival for the creative industries is on 1 – 5 March, celebrating creativity, fashion and design.  The Festival will showcase talent and explore the creative journey with the Library’s collections at its heart.  Writing Britain, opening in May, is an exhibition of literature and landscape that will examine how the country’s greatest authors have been inspired by, and even redefined Britain. This will be followed in the autumn by a major exhibition on the Mughals.  www.bl.uk


Tracey Jones, Aramark Catering Supervisor at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford, has won a national competition for best barista amongst all Costa Coffee franchised outlets. She took the top spot this year after impressing the judges with her own chocolate orange coffee creation, now available in the Museum's Refuel Restaurant. Her trophy will soon go on display in the Museum too. RAF Museum  The National Slate Museum, Llanberis is hosting a free seminar on 29 March to look at how museums, libraries, archives and heritage sites can work with schools and colleges delivering the Welsh Baccalaureate Qualification.  For further details email Robin Clutterbuck [email protected] The 2012 Museums Association Conference will be held in Edinburgh on Thursday 8- Friday 9 November.   The deadline for submitting session proposals is 19 February.   In 2013, Liverpool will host the Conference, which will take place on 11-12 November.


Viewers look differently at digital images of art

Last month, we covered news of brain research on the difference between viewing genuine and fake works of art. Now a research project by the University of Leicester’s Bioengineering Research Group and School of Museum Studies has revealed that seeing the genuine piece of art in a museum environment opposed to a digital representation really does make viewers engage with works differently. The research project, which the Art Fund helps to supervise, compared the eye movements of those viewing the original Ophelia by Millais at Tate Britain to those looking at a digital image of the same work in a lab and found very significant differences.  While the participants in the lab study focused on the smaller area of Ophelia, those in the Tate study explored more thoroughly the original artwork, exploring the larger area surrounding Ophelia.  A research article has been published in Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation (ANCR) Journal and is available online.  ANCR Journal  Art Fund

New App links directly to Imperial War Museums’ print shop

Imperial War Museums has launched a new free mobile phone app featuring highlights from its collection of over 20,000 posters.  The app, produced with ArtFinder, features over 30 British posters from the Second World War and allows users to buy high quality prints direct from the Imperial War Museum print shop.  Users can also discover the hidden stories and creators behind these works with exclusive information from IWM’s expert curators and share favourites on Twitter and Facebook.  ArtFinder 

Tate launches innovative free iPhone game

Tate Modern has launched a free iPhone game Race Against Time, a “ground-breaking way of incorporating art and gaming – where the art is as important as the game.”  The game’s users travel through the history of modern art with the background, platforms and enemies changing to reflect major art movements and works from the last 121 years of modern art.  Along with Race Against Time, Tate has also released a new version of its free award-winning mobile game Tate Trumps, the digital card game that brings Tate’s collection to life.  Both Race Against Time and Tate Trumps are supported by Bloomberg as part of a programme of digital content about art that includes Tate Modern’s multimedia guides and Interactive Zone, and the weekly video podcast TateShots.  Tate

Free online games encourage teenagers to explore impact of science and technology

The Science Museum has launched a suite of free online games enabling users to explore how science and technology impacts on their everyday lives.  Futurecade's four games - Bacto-Lab, Robo-Lobster, Cloud Control and Space Junker - are based on scientific research happening today and designed to be thought provoking, fun, and relevant to teenagers’ interests.  The games are based on simulations of current and future technology in the fields of robotics, space, geo-engineering and synthetic biology.  Futurecade, commissioned by the Science Museum Learning team is part Talk Science, a nationwide project supports secondary STEM education by offering secondary science teachers innovative tools and techniques to run contemporary science discussions in the classroom.  Science Museum

Sir John Soane’s Museum launches its online Adam Catalogue

The Sir John Soane’s Museum has launched its online Adam Catalogues, featuring drawings by Robert and James Adam.  These are the first of over 9,000 designs from the Adam catalogue that the Museum will publish online over the next three years.  The Adam Style quickly became the ‘look’ of the Georgian period but became unfashionable equally quickly following Robert and James’ deaths in 1792 and 1794.  Sir John Soane's Museum

Opportunity to inform European policy for digitisation

The Collections Trust has announced ENUMERATE, a 3-year programme funded by the European Commission to assess the extent to which European Member States are digitising their cultural heritage and making it available online.   ENUMERATE will provide strategic intelligence about digitisation to inform future policy and funding priorities across Europe. The research will focus on digitisation, digital preservation and the costs of making digital heritage openly available for re-use on the web. Museums, libraries and archives are now being invited to participate in the first annual ENUMERATE survey. The deadline for responses is 1 March 2012. Later this spring, survey participants will be able to access a Google Analytics-style dashboard which allows them to view their own responses alongside anonymised information provided by other institutions.  ENUMERATE


Confused about QR codes? An article in Exhibition News explains the five things you need to know about Quick Response codes, and the next big thing, NFC (Near Field Communication) tags.   Exhibition News

  LONDON 2012

Advice on getting around during the London 2012 Olympic Games

The Government, the Mayor of London, Olympic Games organisers and transport networks have announced measures to help those who live and work in affected areas in London and across the UK plan their journeys during the Games. The Get Ahead of the Games campaign will use advertising, a website and a dedicated Twitter channel to keep the public informed about travel ‘hotspots’ and encourage them to avoid these areas during the busiest times. The website encourages people to plan ahead with a date slider that enables users to view the impact on different parts of the transport system at specific times and dates.  www.getaheadofthegames.com

Don’t Miss the Real Show in 2012

The Society of London Theatre (SOLT) has launched a new campaign Don't Miss the Real Show in 2012 to “maximise opportunities arising from extra visitors” during the Olympic Games.   SOLT recognises that in a year when London will be firmly in the world’s spotlight, “substantially different theatre-going patterns are anticipated.”  SOLT will be working with key stakeholders and partners, including The Mayor's Office, LOCOG, Transport for London, London & Partners and VisitBritain to promote theatre-going by Londoners and visitors.  As part of the campaign, SOLT arranged for 2,012 of the 8,000 volunteers selected for the Mayor of London's Games Ambassador Programme to be given free theatre tickets between 16 January and 10 February.  Society of London Theatre

Share your GREAT Britain campaign encourages Britons to invite their friends

Visit Britain is encouraging people and businesses in the UK to invite their contacts, friends and relatives from around the world to visit Britain in 2012. Share Your GREAT Britain is the latest phase of the GREAT Britain – You’re Invited marketing programme, which was announced by the Prime Minister in September 2011 and promotes the UK as one of the best places to visit, study, work, invest and do business. A variety of free tools are available for the public to help send their invitation to friends and relatives around the world. This includes a ‘10 GREAT Reasons’ app on Visit Britain’s LoveUK Facebook page. International friends or relatives who receive an invitation will be entered into a draw to win two return flights to the UK, while anyone sending an invitation has the chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.  There are also posters and templates for businesses to use.  One in four visits to the UK last year came from people visiting friends and relatives, and these visits contribute £3.6 billion to the economy each year. There is also a free tourism industry toolkit, to help businesses participate in, and benefit from, the campaign. This will enable them to tailor adverts and newsletter templates in their own communications, thereby extending the reach of the invitation and inspiring more regional travel across the UK. The GREAT campaign, which has been led by DCMS, centres on ten key areas of British excellence: technology and innovation; entrepreneurship; creativity; knowledge; green; heritage; sport; shopping; music; and countryside.  VisitBritain Tourism Industry toolkit   LoveUK   DCMS    


£37m Creative people and places fund

Arts Council England launched a new £37 million fund to invest in around 15 programmes of activity that use radical new approaches to developing excellent, inspiring and sustainable arts experiences for communities not currently engaging with the arts. Arts Council England will provide grants of between £500,000 and £3 million over three years with the aim of increasing participation. The “Creative People and Places” programme is open to applications from any consortia that meet the eligibility criteria. The focus of this fund is the arts: this can include museums and libraries where they are providing arts-based activities and opportunities. All applications must be proposing work in one or more of the areas with the lowest 20 per cent of arts engagement as identified by the Arts Council.  Interested consortia need to register their intention to apply with their regional office by 23 March 2012, with the closing date for the first round of applications being 13 April 2012.  Arts Council

Action needed to improve skills and training in Creative Industries

The Creative Industries Council, which is co-chaired by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt MP and Business Secretary Vince Cable MP, discussed at its second meeting that talent development was acting as a barrier to growth in the UK’s creative industries.  The Council endorsed a report from the Skillset Skills Group which made 17 recommendations for improving skills in the sector to drive growth and employment. These included the creation of computer science, arts, and/or a creative subject (music, film, media, and photography) within the National Curriculum as core subjects and as options within the English Baccalaureate; the creation of an online professional learning network for employers and individuals; the implementation of sector-wide management and leadership programmes; and the establishment of ”virtual boards” of experienced professionals to provide support and guidance to start-ups and small creative companies. DCMS

The future of Heritage Open Days

The new organisers of Heritage Open Days are seeking views on the operation and strategic development of the event and how it relates to other events such as such as London Open House, Museums at Night, Black History Month and The Big Draw.  Heritage Open Days takes place in England (excluding London) each September and aims to celebrate local heritage, culture and architecture by opening up buildings to the public. Heritage Open Days is now operating under the stewardship of the new national partnership between Civic Voice, National Trust and The Heritage Alliance.  English Heritage will be funding the national partnership to co-ordinate Heritage Open Days until March 2015, after which the programme needs to find alternative sources of income.  The online consultation runs until 4 March.  Heritage Open Days survey

Measuring cultural value

An academic working at DCMS has launched an interactive blog which seeks to stimulate discussion across the cultural sector on the idea of measuring cultural value.  In her first post, Dr Claire Donovan asks:  “Can the value of culture be measured by government in monetary (or other) terms, or is it ‘priceless’?” DCMS Arts Council England has also started a new blog about measuring quality of arts and culture for children and young people.  People in the arts, culture and youth sectors are invited to post their own ideas and share their experiences.  ACE blog

Proposals for widespread regulation of the tourism and hospitality industries

An independent panel has published recommendations for widespread deregulation of the tourism and hospitality industries.  The proposals from the Tourism Regulation Taskforce, which was set up by Tourism Minister John Penrose MP last summer, cover areas such as planning, travel insurance, food labelling, health and safety rules, employment restrictions in the tourism sector, licensing and many other areas of concern to the industry. The recommendations will now be considered across Government.  DCMS

Wales Visitor Survey

Visit Wales has published the results of the 2011 Wales Visitor Survey, which reveals that the natural environment and the friendliness of the people come out top when visitors rate their holiday in Wales. The Wales Visitor Survey is undertaken every two years during the April-September period.  It provides detailed profile information on UK Staying Visitors, Day Visitors and Overseas Visitors and a range of satisfaction ratings in relation to aspects of the visit.  Welsh Government

Clore Leadership Fellows

Applications for 2012/13 Fellowships are now open. The Fellowship Programme aims to shape emerging creative leaders through in-depth learning, tailored as far as possible to the needs, aspirations and circumstances of about 25 individuals a year. Since 2004, the Clore Leadership Programme has awarded over 200 Fellowships to outstanding individuals from across the cultural sector. As well as general Fellowships, there are now also twelve Specialist Fellowships including museums, arts, learning, arts participation and engagement, science and wellbeing, and one supported by NESTA focused on philanthropy, business models and media convergence. The deadline for applications is 24 February.  There will also be two Clore Short Courses running this year in May and September, with applications opening shortly.   Clore Leadership

Young people and the arts in London

From Spring 2012, A New Direction will become the strategic lead for children, young people and the arts as the Arts Council's ‘Bridge’ organisation’ for the city.  They want to hear views on how young people can unlock London’s cultural opportunities and find out what people working in and/or engaging with the education and cultural sectors feel should be the key priorities for “Bridge Organisations”. Over the next few weeks, they will be writing to Arts Council National Portfolio organisations in London asking for more detail on their offer to young people and they also want to hear from individual artists and youth groups, as well as cultural and heritage bodies and libraries.  There is an online survey for anyone who would like to contribute.  A New Direction

National Trust reports bumper visitor figures

The National Trust has reported a substantial increase in its visitor numbers, and retail and catering sales in December 2011 compared to the previous December.  There were more than half-a-million (521,000) visitors to Trust properties in December 2011, an increase of 74% on the previous year.  The retail business, which includes high street shops, shops at places and online sales, saw an increase in sales of 24% and the cafes and restaurants had a 71% increase in sales in December 2011 compared to the same month in 2010. Factors affecting the large jump in visitor numbers include the mild weather compared to the heavy snow in December 2010 and an increasing number of houses running Christmas-themed activity.   The Trust reports that it is on target to have its best ever year for visitor numbers to its pay-for-entry properties, exceeding 18 million visitors for the first time.  In the year to date, retail sales have increased by 8 per cent and catering has so far seen a 14% increase in sales. The National Trust has also announced range of branded coach breaks across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  This follows a successful trial last year with Just Go! Holidays.  Tours vary between three and seven days and Just Go! Holidays will give the National Trust £10 for every person that books a tour. National Trust


The Museum of London is hosting the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) Press and PR summit on 8 March.  The event will provide an opportunity to hear from keynote speakers about likely future directions for press and media, and how the arts might benefit from emerging opportunities, trends and predictions. Arts Marketing Association


Party leaders make Legacy10 pledge

The leaders of the UK’s three main political parties have pledged to bequeath 10% of their estates to charity.  David Cameron MP, Nick Clegg MP and Ed Milliband MP have signed up to the Legacy10 Campaign which aims to increase the number of people in the UK who leave money to charity in their wills.  A tax incentive is being introduced from April to encourage charitable legacies.  Any estate which leaves at least 10% (of its taxable wealth) to a charitable cause will benefit from a reduced rate in inheritance tax: 36% instead of 40%.  Philanthropy UK

Peers urge Government to protect cultural interests in Planning Framework

Baroness Bakewell, former Chair of the National Campaign for the Arts, initiated a debate in the House of Lords on 23 January asking the Government what safeguards are contained in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to protect cultural institutions.  Baroness Hanham, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Communities and Local Government, explained that as "part simplification of planning policies under the national planning policy framework, it was decided to include cultural development under the general heading of leisure and community facilities, rather than setting out a long list of specific categories. Our policies are intended to support local authorities that want to include cultural institutions as an integral part of the vision for their areas."  The Earl of Clancarty urged the Government to note the Communities and Local Government Select Committee's report, which recommends that the planning framework adopt a more inclusive definition of sustainable development, “particularly considering that culture has previously been defined in planning policy as one of the four main components of sustainable growth, alongside economics, social inclusion and environment.”  Speakers included Baroness McIntosh, former Executive Director of the Royal National Theatre, and the former Heritage Secretary, Lord Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, who reminded the Minister of the number of amendments to the Localism Bill which included culture and heritage and suggested Peers might return to the subject in future.  Baroness Hanham confirmed that the Government aimed to publish the final NPPF by the end of March. UK Parliament

New measures to tackle metal theft

Home Secretary Theresa May MP announced on 26 January that the Government is taking action to tackle metal theft.  In the past year sculptures by Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore were stolen and believed to have been melted for scrap, and English Heritage has also highlighted the problem of thefts of lead and metal from historic building.  The Government will table an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill to prohibit cash payments to purchase scrap metal and significantly increase the fines for all offences under the existing Scrap Metal Dealers Act 1964 which regulates the scrap metal recycling industry. UK Parliament  

National Curriculum Review

The Government published documents setting out the evidence gathered to date by the National Curriculum review on 19 December 2011.  These included a report of the review’s Expert Panel setting out their recommendations in relation to the framework for the new National Curriculum and recommending that these are debated further before decisions are made.  Among the Panel’s recommendations was the proposal that arts subjects retain their statutory place in the National Curriculum and that the arts should newly become part of every school’s basic curriculum at Key Stage 4.  The Cultural Learning Alliance has produced a helpful summary of the Expert Panel’s recommendations. Education Secretary Michael Gove MP also announced a change to the planned timetable for the introduction of the new National Curriculum. Instead of new curricula for English, mathematics, science and PE being introduced from 2013, and the remainder in 2014, the new curriculum for all subjects will be introduced in 2014.  Department for Education   Cultural Learning Alliance

History Teaching

MPs debated the teaching of history in schools on 10 January, and considered whether the subject should be compulsory up to the age of 16.  Introducing the debate, Chris Skidmore MP said that it was a “mark of shame that we, along with Albania, are the only European countries that do not teach history in some form beyond the age of 14."  Mr Skidmore continued: "In 1997, a paltry 36% of pupils studied history GCSE.  Last year, the number dropped below 30% to 29.5%" and in some areas "fewer than 8% of pupils are passing history GCSE."  The historian Tristram Hunt MP suggested there was a “class divide—a worrying schism in what our children are taught" and  that "in the push for league table results certain academies are disfranchising children."  Mr Hunt had an “open mind" on whether to make history compulsory, saying "we risk damaging interest in pursuing the subject if we make it compulsory for huge swathes of children who are simply not interested."  Schools Minister, Nick Gibb MP said: "The English baccalaureate has already had a significant impact on the take-up of history: according to a NatCen survey of nearly 700 schools, 39% of pupils sitting GCSEs in 2013 in the schools responding will be taking history GCSE, up eight percentage points and back to the 1995 level of history up-take."  The National Curriculum Review will decide which subjects should be compulsory up to 16.  UK Parliament


CABE, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, was formally dissolved by the Tourism Heritage and Minister on 20 January, following an Order of Parliament.  DCMS's Spending Review announcement on 20 October 2010 announced its funding for CABE would cease after 2011-12.  The Government announced in February 2011 that some of the activities, skills, knowledge and expertise of CABE would be incorporated into the Design Council, which would cease to be a Non-Departmental Public Body and become an independent not-for profit organisation incorporated by Royal Charter, with charitable status.  The Design Council announced last month that Nahid Majid OBE has been appointed as the new Director of Design Council Cabe.   Design Council   DCMS 


Jack Lohman leaving Museum of London

Professor Jack Lohman is to step down as Director of the Museum of London. He will remain in post until March when he becomes Chief Executive Officer of the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria, Canada. Professor Lohman’s key achievements include opening the Museum of London Docklands, the launch of the Galleries of Modern London and Clore Learning Centre, his lead role in the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’s London Renaissance programme, transferral of Museum of London Archaeology into a separate independent charity, and most recently, the launch of the current Dickens and London exhibition.  The Governors of the Museum of London have begun the process of recruiting for a new Director. Until that time the Museum’s Executive Committee will oversee the organisation.  Museum of London

Museum of Science and Industry

Jean M. Franczyk has been announced as the new Museum director at Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester (MOSI) following the merger between MOSI and National Museum of Science & Industry (NMSI). Previously the Director of Learning at NMSI, she will take up her post from February 2012. Ms Franczyk will take the position on a two-year secondment. She will continue to be a member of the NMSI Executive and will retain overall responsibility for NMSI learning strategy. Alex Burch will become Acting Director, Learning (NMSI).  Tony Hill announced on 5 January that he would step down as Director of MOSI after 6 years in the post.  During his time as Director he has overseen many significant commercial and brand developments at MOSI, including the successful £9 million redevelopment of Great Western Warehouse, record visitor numbers, greatly improved revenue generation and numerous awards culminating in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year for 2011.  The merger between NMSI and MOSI was announced in November 2011.  Science Museum

Scottish National Portrait Gallery

The National Galleries of Scotland announced on 20 January that James Holloway CBE will leave his post as Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery at the end of January. Holloway led the highly successful project to refurbish and revitalize the SNPG which reopened on 1st December last year, on time and within budget. He was awarded a CBE in this year's New Year Honours. The National Galleries has appointed Nicola Kalinsky, Chief Curator and Deputy Director to be the Interim Director of the SNPG. The search to find a successor for James Holloway is now underway and will be assisted by Odgers Berndtson. National Galleries of Scotland

Tate appoints Adjunct Curator based in Bogotá

Tate has appointed Colombian curator José Roca as the Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art.  As well as taking a leading role in developing Tate’s holdings of art from Latin America, he will represent Tate in Latin America and will be based in his home city of Bogotá.  Estrellita B Brodsky has a PhD in Art History and has curated exhibitions of Latin American Art.  She serves on the Latin American Acquisitions Committee at Tate Modern and has also endowed  the Estrellita Brodsky Curator for Latin American Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  Tate


The Prime Minister has appointed Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach to the Board of the Imperial War Museum.  Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach assumed his appointment as Commander of UK Joint Forces Command in December 2011. The Prime Minister has appointed Dr Manon Williams as Trustee for Wales and Deputy Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. As well as working in the private sector as a specialist in leadership development, Dr Williams is a member of the household of The Prince of Wales, where she has served as a senior Private Secretary since 2004.  The Prime Minister has also re-appointed Ronald Spence as the Trustee for Northern Ireland and Deputy Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund. The Prime Minister has also approved the re-appointment of Franck Petitgas as a Trustee of Tate.  He has been a Trustee since February 2008, and was recently appointed Chairman of the Tate Foundation.  Number 10

ACE appoints new arts director

Simon Mellor, the General Director of the Manchester International Festival, has been appointed as Arts Council England’s Executive Director, Arts.  He succeeds Andrew Nairne, who became Director of Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge in November 2011. Mr Mellor will join Arts Council England in March 2012. More

New Year Honours - Correction

In the report on New Year Honours in last month’s newsletter, we mixed up OBEs and MBEs.  Amanda Sharp, Mathew Slotover, Sarah Weir, David Posnett, Nicholas Payne, Robin Hodge, Christopher Pemberton and Colin Pyrah were awarded OBEs.  Peter Hollins, Dr Pieter Thomas Van Der Merwe and John Jones were awarded MBEs.  Apologies.  Cabinet Office


In recent years, several former National museum directors have taken up new posts in Australia and New Zealand.  Roy Clare, formerly Chief Executive of MLA and Director of the National Maritime Museum, took up his post as Director of Auckland Museum six months ago.  Sally Manuireva from National Museums Scotland joined his team as Director of Public Programmes and Capital Projects in September 2011.  Now the Museum is keen to encourage more UK museum professionals to come to New Zealand where they are currently recruiting a Head of Development, Head of Public Programming, Head of Master Plan Delivery, Head of Content and Interpretation, and War Memorial Programme Developer/Manager. More

Our jobs website, www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk has details of current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Director of Programming and Exhibitions, National Maritime Museum
  • Touring Exhibitions Engineer, Natural History Museum
  • Development Manager (Major Gifts and Patrons), National Museums Scotland
  • Documentation Assistant, Royal Armouries
  • PA to the Director of Projects, Design and Estate
  • Finance Director, National Museum of Science and Industry
  • Legal and Procurement Manager, V&A
For details of these jobs and many more visit www.nationalmuseumjobs.org.uk

  And finally...

Björk's nights at the museum

Icelandic musician Björk will perform six shows at New York's Hall of Science this month. The Independent reports that the star wants her concerts to educate as well as entertain and she is in discussions with other museums around the world about hosting the show.  She first performed works from her Biophilia album during last summer's Manchester International Festival in a building that now serves as Manchester Museum of Science and Industry's Air and Space Gallery. Independent 

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