March 2012

NMDC Newsletter: March 2012
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NMDC Newsletter: March 2012
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NMDC welcomes Review of Cultural Education in England

NMDC welcomes the publication of Darren Henley's Review of Cultural Education and its recognition of the valuable contribution museums play in the lives of children and young people.  A full summary of the contents of the Review can be found below. Mr Henley said he was "particularly impressed by the Museums and Galleries sector with many national and local organisations from this area firmly planting education at the centre of their activities." He praised the achievements of the joint Department for Education (DfE)/Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) funded Strategic Commissioning Scheme as "an excellent example of the dissemination of the highest level of academic learning to the widest possible constituency" and said he would welcome continued Government support for this sort of work by museums and galleries, with particular attention being paid to ensuring that children from more disadvantaged backgrounds benefit fully from the financial investment. The Review recommends that children should have the opportunity to visit museums, galleries and libraries at all Key Stages. In the Government's response to the Review "museums education - to encourage and facilitate more school visits to museums and art galleries" is cited as one of the issues to be immediately addressed through a £15 million investment in initiatives aiming to inspire young people to engage in cultural activities. In its response Arts Council England (ACE) states: "With investment from the Department for Education we look forward to facilitating future partnerships between national and regional museums and we will begin to plan how to realise this." NMDC also welcomes the Review's emphasis on closer working between Government departments and on partnership working across the cultural sector, and the recommendation that National Museums be involved in the proposed Cultural Education Partnership Group.  We look forward to further announcements about Government plans for museums education, and to working with the DfE, DCMS and sector bodies on implementing the recommendations of the Review.


Government announces £15m for cultural education in England

The Henley Review of Cultural Education was published on 28 February, along with the Government’s response and an announcement of £15m funding from the Department for Education (DfE) to “pump prime” cultural education initiatives.  Darren Henley, the Managing Director of Classic FM, made 24 recommendations that he said would make England's cultural education "the envy of the world”.  The Government responded accepting most of the recommendations and said those it would address immediately are:
  • DfE/DCMS ministerial board to give responsibility for cultural education a joint focus.
  • A new National Plan for Cultural Education – this over-arching strategy will set out a clear pathway from early years through to young people studying cultural education subjects at the highest level.
  • A Cultural Education Partnership Group - made up of lottery distributors working with museums and galleries, English Heritage and other partners to improve cultural education for young people across the country.  The Henley review recommended that national museums are part of this group and that the group could ultimately result in a single strategic commissioning fund for Cultural Education money in England.
  • Training and mentoring for new teachers and continuing professional development for experienced teachers to improve the quality of cultural education in schools (£300,000 over 3 years, supported by non-departmental public bodies);
  • A new National Youth Dance Company  to provide opportunities for 30 young people every year (£600,000 each from ACE and DfE over 3 years);
  • National Art & Design Saturday Clubs (£395,000 over 3 years) and additional funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation;
  • Heritage Schools - English Heritage will work with schools to encourage them to explore historical sites in their local area (£2.7m funding over 3 years)
  • Cultural education passport scheme – keeping a record of in-school and out of school cultural activities of every 5-19 year old, enabling parents, carers and teachers to understand what each child has achieved and to plug any gaps in knowledge and experience.
  • Museums education – to encourage and facilitate more school visits to museums and art galleries.
  • A new film academy, led by the BFI to  support film education for all children and young people (£3m over 3 years)
  • The Bridge Network bringing heritage and film as well as arts, museums and libraries closer to every school.
The Government also agreed to work with Ofsted, sponsored bodies and Teaching Schools to look at how best to improve awareness of effective engagement between cultural organisations and schools. The scope of the report includes archaeology, architecture and the built environment, archives, craft, dance, design, digital arts, drama and theatre, film and cinemas, galleries, heritage, libraries, literature, live performance, museums, music, poetry and the visual arts.  DCMS  DfE  Arts Council England  Cultural Learning Alliance  English Heritage

UK City of Culture to continue

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP has announced that a nationwide competition to find the UK’s City of Culture 2017 will be launched later this year.  The decision to hold a second competition for the 2017 title was announced on 27 February as a panel of experts visited Derry-Londonderry to find out more about plans for its year as the first UK City of Culture in 2013. The UK City of Culture competition was first launched in 2009, to build on the success of Liverpool's experience as European Capital of Culture 2008, and was intended to be repeated every four years.  DCMS

State of the Arts 2012

This year’s State of the Arts Conference took place at The Lowry, Salford on 14 February, hosted by the Arts Council in conjunction with the BBC, Salford City Council, Manchester City Council and the British Council.  The theme of the conference was 'Artists Shaping the World’, and there were sessions on fundraising, audiences, young people, creative economy, the environment, communities, international and a changing society.  Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP and Liz Forgan, Chair of Arts Council England, gave keynote speeches:   the Minister challenged the Arts Council to "be much clearer about the development work that it does, and look at how it could do it more effectively... It should work as much with those it does not fund as with those it does." In the final session of the day, the playwright David Edgar questioned the role of the arts as a “social palliative” and said, "almost all of the arts reports and studies of the last five years have uncritically cited the role of the arts in cementing rather than challenging."  He argued that the sector should consider how to "make spectatorship genuinely participatory" and "provide an alternative both to mass popular entertainment and to the isolated individual sitting alone in front of a computer screen." Videos of the keynote speeches and panel discussions are available on YouTube. The Museums Association website has a round-up of Twitter comments from the conference.  SOTA2012 YouTube playlist   Arts Council England   Museums Association  

EU funding for cultural heritage research in jeopardy

The European Commission has excluded cultural heritage from the EU’s new programme for funding research and innovation.  The 8th EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, HORIZON 2020, brings together all existing EU research and innovation funding, and will allocate €80bn between 2014-20.  The EU has funded cultural heritage research since 1986, with almost 200 projects successfully implemented internationally.   The Collections Trust is encouraging people to sign a petition to encourage the European Commission to reinstate cultural heritage as a priority in the HORIZON 2020 programme.  Nick Poole, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust, described the omission of cultural heritage from HORIZON 2020 “undermines the basis for investment in cultural heritage research and digitisation.”  The European Parliament and Council are currently negotiating on the EU budget 2014-20 (including the overall budget for Horizon 2020).  Collections Trust  Online Petition  European Commission  back to top


Private investment in museums up by 15% but business investment falls

New figures published by Arts & Business on 28 February reveal that private investment in culture stood at £686 million in 2010/11, a 4% increase from the previous year.  This overall increase includes a 10% increase in trusts and foundations funding, a 6% increase in individual philanthropy and a 7% decrease in business investment.  The total amount of private investment in 2010/11 was almost back to the level of the record high of 2007/08.  The detailed findings were:
  • Individual giving increased by 6% to £382.2m, the highest figure ever recorded;  
  • Business investment fell for the fourth year in a row, down 7% to £134.2m.  Business investment in 2010/11 is now lower than it was in 2004/05;
  • Trusts and Foundations funding increased by 10% to £170.3m. This now makes up 25% of private investment in the sector, surpassing business investment;
  • Heritage and museums account for just over half of all private sector support.  Private investment in museums rose 15% to £109m.  Heritage investment was up 17% to £246m, while private investment in visual arts fell 14% to £73.  Investment in theatre, arts services and community arts also fell while investment in music, festivals, opera and dance increased slightly or saw no change. 
  • The North’s share rose over the last three years while the South’s (excluding London) declined.  London received 81% of all individual giving
Since Arts & Business first started capturing this data in 1976, private investment in the arts has been following a general upward trend, which has been interrupted in recent years with decreases from various sources of investment.  Arts and Business

Rising ticket sales could mean extra £1.15bn for Lottery Good Causes

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP has announced that an additional £1.15bn is expected to go to the National Lottery’s “Good Causes” over the next five years because of increased Lottery ticket sales. Latest projections suggested that £8.92bn will go to arts, heritage, sport and the Big Lottery between 2012/13 and 2016/13– a significant increase on the estimate of £7.761bn made at the time of the comprehensive spending review in October 2010.  The Heritage Lottery Fund is predicted to receive £1.79bn over the next five years, an increase of £230m on previous estimates.  Arts, sport and heritage were already set for a major boost in Lottery revenues following changes to the way cash is distributed which were announced in 2010. Each area will see their share of available money increase from 16.6% to 20% from April this year.  As a result of increased sales, a higher share of the total and the end of the transfer of funding for Olympic costs, the Heritage Lottery Fund is expected to distribute £375m in 2012/13, compared to £180m in 2009/10.  DCMS published figures on the day of the State of the Arts Conference,  announcing that Arts Council England total funding, combining Grant in Aid with projected Lottery income, will increase by 5.32% in cash terms between 2010/11 and 2014/15.  This is equivalent to a 4.86% cut in real terms. Future National Lottery income is dependent on ticket sales and DCMS’s projections are intended as a guide based on past sales levels.  DCMS

Legacy fundraising for arts, cultural and heritage causes

The DCMS, the Arts Council and the Institute of Fundraising are working together to produce an event for arts, cultural and heritage organisations on how to diversify income streams, particularly focusing on legacy fundraising. The event, which will take place on 5 March, promises to “uncover how arts, cultural and heritage organisations can dramatically increase their income through legacy fundraising, which generates £2 billion a year.”  Institute of Fundraising


Nick Dodd to step down from Museums Sheffield

Museums Sheffield has announced that Nick Dodd will step down as Chief Executive this June after 10 years in the post.  Sandra Newton, Chair of Museums Sheffield, said, “The board has accepted, with deep sadness, Nick’s application for voluntary redundancy. It comes as part of the significant restructuring and staff reductions necessary in the wake of our unsuccessful bid for major grants funding for the next 3 years from the Arts Council."   On 1 February, Museums Sheffield has published the feedback it received from Arts Council England on its unsuccessful bid for Renaissance major partner funding.  This revealed that the Museum was initially assessed as fundable with many strong or outstanding features, but rejected on the balancing criteria where it was marked down on grounds of its “core budget weakness”.  Arts Council England was prompted to issue a statement on its funding decision for Sheffield and said, "The museums offer in Yorkshire is particularly strong, so it wasn’t surprising that we received several strong applications from the region to become Major partner museums.  Given the available budget and the need to invest across the country, we couldn’t fund them all. We made difficult choices, against the principles and priorities that we had published in advance."  The Arts Council has 15% less money to invest in regional museums between 2012 and 2015 compared to previous years. Applications nationwide for Renaissance major grants totalled around £117 million over three years, against a budget of £60 million.   Museums Sheffield announced on 27 February that it will receive a further £341,000 in Transitional Funding from Arts Council England. This is intended to cover the next four months and allow the Museum to maintain immediate exhibition commitments whilst restructuring.  Sheffield Council has pledged to maintain its current level of funding for Museums Sheffield in 2012-13, despite needing to find £57m budget cuts.  Museums Sheffield  Arts Council 

Transforming Children's Futures

Amgueddfa Cymru–National Museum Wales is consulting on its strategy for supporting participation in cultural activities for children, young people and families in poverty for the period 2012-2015.  Amgueddfa Cymru, along with a range of public bodies in Wales, has a statutory requirement to work towards the Welsh Government's goal of eradicating child poverty.  The Museum’s focus relates to: “reducing inequalities in participation in cultural and leisure activities between children and between parents of children (so far as it necessary to ensure the well-being of their children)”. Over the past decade, Amgueddfa Cymru has worked with partners supporting children and families in poverty to pilot projects that open up pathways and enable them to engage with culture in a positive and affirming way.  Transforming Children’s Futures... is the museum’s strategy for building on these projects and partnerships over the next three years and into the long term.  It describes how the Museum will help to deliver the Welsh Government's child poverty objective through its schools programme, free admission, community-based projects, opportunities for skills development opportunities and Ambassadors.  The consultation on the strategy runs until 20 March Amgueddfa Cymru is also organising a conference this summer, which will consider the role that museums have to play in addressing child poverty.  Amgueddfa Cymru

2012 Legacy will include new Olympic Museum

The British Olympic Association (BOA) has announced plans for an Olympic Museum to be built on the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a permanent legacy of the London 2012 Games.  The Museum, which is due to open in 2014 aims to “create an interactive experience using technology and entertainment to communicate the Olympic values to inspire future generations and educate them with stories and memorabilia from the Games.”  The Museum will also “recognise and celebrate London’s unique place in the Olympic Movement as it becomes the first city in the world to host the Olympic Games three times.” BBC News reports that BOA chief executive Andy Hunt said the museum would cost £10m to develop and operate for three years before breaking even. Visitors will be charged an entry fee.  The BOA is working to raise funds from Olympic Partners and individual donors, and the BOA and Olympic Park Legacy Company will work together to reach a final licensing agreement in the forthcoming weeks.  British Olympic Association  BBC News

Vote to bring leading artists to your local museum

Culture24 has announced the shortlisted museums for the Connect10 national arts competition which will see leading visual artists taking part in Museums at Night events across the country during the weekend of 18-20 May.  Ten contemporary artists are participating and two or three potential venues around the country have been shortlisted for each artist.  The public are now able to vote to decide which museums will host the artists.  People who vote can also enter a draw for tickets to the events.  10,000 votes were cast in the first week.  The vote closes at 5pm on March 5, and the winning venues and their events will be announced on March 6.   Culture 24

Sky Arts funding sleepovers for Museums at Night

For the second year running, Museums at Night's broadcast media partner Sky Arts is offering financial support to help arts and heritage venues run Museums at Night sleepovers on the weekend of 18-20 May 2012.  Sky Arts will subsidise a ticket buy, enabling museums to offer visitors discounted sleepover tickets priced at £3.  Culture 24 would like to hear from venues who might be interested, though no firm commitment is required at this stage.  Please email Rosie Clarke [email protected] by 9 March with details of your sleepover prices and capacity.  Culture24 has also teamed up with publishers to offer venues the chance to work with authors on events for Museums at Night.  A range of writers promoting newly published books are available for evening Q&A sessions or talks, followed by a book signing, during the weekend of 18th – 20th May 2012.  Museums that are interested should email Nick Stockman at [email protected] by 9 March.  List of authors  Culture24

British Empire and Commonwealth Museum

The Art Newspaper reports that Avon and Somerset Police do not intend to bring a criminal prosecution against the former director of the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in relation to unauthorised disposal of museum objects.  In a statement, the Museum's Trustees said that they were “taking legal advice on the museum’s civil law remedies in respect of these matters.”  The Art Newspaper back to top


Art Fund long list announced

Four newly opened museums and three of NMDC’s Scottish members are in the running for this year’s Art Fund “Museum of the Year” Award.  The long list for the £100,000 prize was drawn up by a panel of experts chaired by Lord Smith of Finsbury, former Secretary of State for Culture, and announced on 7 February. 2012 is the tenth year of the Art Fund Prize for Museums (formerly the Gulbenkian Prize). The ten longlisted museums are:
  • Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes, Bucks.: The Life and Works of Alan Turing
  • M Shed, Bristol: A New Museum for Bristol
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh: National Museum of Scotland Development
  • Riverside Museum, Scotland's Museum of Transport and Travel, Glasgow: Riverside Museum Project
  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter, Devon: RAMM Development Project
  • The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield, West Yorkshire: The Hepworth Wakefield
  • The Holburne Museum, Bath, Somerset: The Holburne Museum Development Project
  • The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh: Portrait of the Nation
  • Turner Contemporary, Margate, Kent: Turner Contemporary
  • Watts Gallery, Guildford, Surrey: The Watts Gallery Hope Project
The shortlist of four museums will be announced on 14 May and the awards will be presented on 19 June at the British Museum, last year’s winner.  The longlist for the second annual Clore Award for Museum Learning has also been announced.  This £10,000 prize recognises quality, impact and innovation in museum learning initiatives.  This award is judged by a panel co‐chaired by Dame Vivien Duffield DBE, Chairman of the Clore Duffield Foundation and Sally Bacon, Executive Director.  The longlist includes projects at the following museums and galleries:  Camden Arts Centre; Florence Nightingale Museum; Jersey Heritage; Leicestershire County Council Heritage and Arts Service; Penlee House Gallery and Museum; The Geffrye Museum; The Quilt Museum and Gallery; The Whitworth Art Gallery; Victoria and Albert Museum and Yorkshire Museum.  Art Fund Prize

Britain's most family friendly museums announced

The longlist for the Telegraph Family Friendly Museum Award has been announced.  Kids in Museums joined forces with the Telegraph newspaper group for the award, which was launched by the poet and broadcaster Michael Rosen in the Life section of the Sunday Telegraph.  The longlisted museums are:
  • World Museum, Liverpool
  • Haslemere Educational Museum, Surrey
  • Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands
  • National Army Museum, London
  • The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent
  • River and Rowing Museum, Henley on Thames
  • Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • Jewish Museum, London
  • Museum of English Rural Life, West Berkshire
  • Brixham Heritage Museum, Devon
  • Geffrye Museum, London
  • The Cardiff Story
  • Cumberland House Natural History Museum, Southsea
  • Manchester Museum
  • Nottingham Contemporary
  • Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon
  • Wolverhampton Art Gallery
  • National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
  • Woodhorn Museum and Northumberland Archives
  • Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Cumbria
A panel of judges - chaired by Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund - will pick a shortlist, which will be announced in the Telegraph in April. The shortlisted museums will then be “road-tested” anonymously by families who will pick the winner, to be announced in May.  Kids in Museums

Nominate local Good Causes for the National Lottery Awards 2012

The search is on to find the UK’s favourite new Lottery-funded projects.  The National Lottery Awards 2012 were launched on 8 February.  The Awards have seven categories: Arts, Education, Environment, Health, Heritage, Sport and Voluntary/Charity.  The finalists will receive national recognition at an event to be broadcast on BBC One, and will have a chance to win a £2,000 cash prize to spend on the winning project. Entries must be received by 12 March.  HLF


The Scottish Cafe and Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery has won the award for Best Customer Service of the Year at The Scottish Restaurant Awards 2012.  National Galleries of Scotland  The British Library, together with technology partner, BiblioLabs, LLC, has been awarded the Publishing Innovation Award at the Digital Book World Conference for their British Library 19th Century Historical Collection iPad App. The App, released in August last year offers seamless, cloud-based access to more than 45,000 historical works from the British Library, spanning 21 thematic collections.  British Library


STEAM not STEM - Minister recognises importance of arts and humanities research

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts MP emphasised the importance of arts, humanities and social science research in the UK’s overall research base in a speech at the Policy Exchange on 4 January.  Declaring that he would not be shifting the balance of funding between the main disciplines, Mr Willetts described the UK's research community as "the most productive in the world…This broad research base emphatically includes the arts, humanities and social sciences. They are all part of the science and research ring fence."  The Minister said he was attracted to the idea that "instead of just thinking about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths), we should add the Arts so it becomes STEAM."  Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Museum Internships

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg MP told the House of Commons that the museums sector needed to reflect hard "on whether internships are being made fairly available to as many young people as possible." He made the comment in response to a question from Luciana Berger MP who asked, "why, despite his pledge to widen access to internships, publicly funded museums and galleries took on close to 800 unpaid interns in the past two years?" Mr Clegg said that he was "not aware of the figures that she has cited for unpaid internships in the museum sector which, as much as any other walk of life, must reflect hard on whether internships are being made fairly available to as many young people as possible."  UK Parliament 

25th anniversary of Black History Month

Lord Avebury asked a Parliamentary Question on 13 February about what Government initiatives were planned to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Black History Month in October 2012.  In response, Baroness Rawlings said, "The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is aware of a number of initiatives being organised by national and regional museums to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Black History Month in October. These include a programme of shows and tours to bring to life the lives of black inventors and scientists at the Science Museum; ‘Black Mariners Discovery Day’ at the National Maritime Museum; and exhibitions about black soldiers who fought for Britain during the First and Second World Wars at the Imperial War Museum.”  UK Parliament


The Government has announced a £4.5 million fund for England’s biggest cities and colleges to work together to boost adult skills across the country.  The City Skills Fund will be available to London and the eight “core cities” in England – Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Bristol, Sheffield, Leeds and Nottingham - and their surrounding local enterprise partnership areas.  Each city will receive around £500,000 to address skills priorities across their regions. BIS back to top


The Space – contributors to new digital arts service announced

Arts Council England and the BBC have announced the 53 organisations they have commissioned to create original content for The Space, the new experimental digital service. Almost 750 organisations applied with 'Expressions of interest' to be part of The Space. These were shortlisted to 111 including Arts Council funded organisations, national museums and other cultural organisations, large and small.  The successful projects include TateShots 2012, 25 new short films covering the best visual art events of 2012 across the country. The Space, which launches on 1 May, will be available across all four digital media platforms: PCs, Smartphones, Tablets and TV.  The project is designed to build the digital skills and capability of the arts and cultural sector – currently only about four per cent of the hundreds of organisations funded by Arts Council England are creating and producing high quality digital content for a variety of platforms.  The Arts Council is committing up to £3.5 million to The Space from its recently created £20 million digital innovation fund, with ‘in principle’ grants ranging from £15,000 to £185,000. The BBC will develop the technological solutions and provide on-going support through mentoring, production, training and skills development.  Arts Council  

University applications for creative arts and design down 16%

UCAS has published the latest applicant data for entry to full-time undergraduate higher education in 2012. These statistics include all applications considered on time for the 15 January equal-consideration deadline.  The headline figures show a drop of 7% in applicants with 182,733 fewer applications this year.  Applications to study creative arts and design subjects have fallen by 16%, with 45,330 less applicants this year.  Despite a drop, creative arts and design remain the third most popular subject area overall. History and Philosophical studies are down by 7.3% with 5,800 fewer applicants. Science and medicine subjects have fallen by 0.6-3% UCAS Chief Executive Mary Curnock Cook explained, “The more detailed analysis of application rates for young people takes account of population changes. This shows a fall of just one percentage point in the application rate in England, with little change across the rest of the UK.”  UCAS

English Tourism Week 2012

VisitEngland is encouraging visitor attractions to get involved in English Tourism Week 2012 (10-18 March).  English Tourism Week 2012 will start with a “Wonderful Weekend” of activity and special events aimed at reminding local residents of the tourism experience on their doorstep. VisitEngland will be supporting English Tourism Week 2012 via a national publicity campaign and is encouraging attractions to publicise their events on the VisitEngland website.  Friday 16 March is Tourism Constituency Day, an opportunity to invite local MPs to come behind the scenes and learn more about the organisationVisitEngland

DCMS announce £1m support for Bomber Command memorial

Heritage Minister John Penrose MP has announced a one-off capital grant of £796,000 towards the creation of a permanent memorial in London’s Green Park to honour the 55,573 men of Bomber Command who lost their lives in World War II. Together with a grant of £204,000, awarded in November through the DCMS Memorials Grant Scheme, this brings the total support to the project from the DCMS to £1 million. The memorial has been funded mainly through donations from veterans and their families.  The total cost of the memorial is believed to be between £5m and £7m.  The RAF Bomber Command Association plans to open the memorial in June.  DCMS

Good art and the social good can go hand in hand

Independent evaluation of a project to promote wellbeing through culture has found that the greatest communal impact seemed to be reflected in the most impressive artistic result and vice versa. Arts Council England published the independent evaluation of the Be Creative Be Well project, part of the Big Lottery Fund's £9.5m Well London programme on 1 February. The report looks at the impact that the quality of the arts and cultural activity can have in community engagement and in improving health and wellbeing and shares new learning about how to make community arts intervention successful and sustainable.  The report recommends that Arts Council England supports and promotes cultural and creative interventions that seek social good through artistic excellence, or achieve artistic excellence through social engagement.  It argues: "By publicly adopting the credo that good art and the social good can go hand in hand, the Arts Council can influence practice across the sector, highlighting those exemplary funded organisations that are already dismantling the barriers between ‘core’ and ‘outreach’, between ‘artistic’ and ‘education’ programming, and between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ arts."  Arts Council

Craft in an Age of Change

The Crafts Council, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales and Craft Northern Ireland have published one of the most comprehensive surveys into contemporary craft of the last ten years.  The survey of over 2,000 makers, retailers, educators, writers and curators is the first of its kind to be conducted simultaneously in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Craft in an Age of Change confirms that the craft sector, whilst changing, remains healthy, robust and of significance to the UK economy.   It calculates that income for craft businesses is £457m, and compares this to London’s West End theatres’ income of £512m and £316m music downloads income in 2010, to demonstrate the significance of crafts within the creative economy. The combined Gross Value Added of craft (defined as how much value makers add by transforming their raw materials into finished products) is £220 million. The survey found that 57% of makers are now using digital technology in their practice or production and that 31% had changed their practice in the last three years in response to environmental concerns.   Crafts Council

Arts Council England to embed environmental sustainability into funding

Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, announced on 24 February that the Arts Council would be the first arts funding body in the world to embed environmental sustainability into the funding agreements of its major programmes.  As a minimum requirement, National Portfolio Organisations and Major Partner Museums will need to measure and improve their water and energy use. The Arts Council is committed to embedding environmental sustainability into all of its funding programmes over the next three years. Mr Davey made the announcement in his speech at the Tipping Point conference in Newcastle, a major national gathering of artists and scientists exploring arts, culture and environmental issues in partnership with the Newcastle Institute for Research on Sustainability. He also announced the Arts Council's new partnership with leading arts environmental specialists Julie's Bicycle. This is intended to provide practical support and expertise for funded organisations and empower them to develop innovative approaches to sustainability.  Arts Council


The Arts Council England and British Council announced a new “Artists international” development fund on 29 February. The £750,000 fund will support English artists to travel, explore and collaborate internationally, developing markets and overseas audiences for their work. The online portal opened for applicants on 1 March.  Arts Council Creative & Cultural Skills celebrated National Apprenticeships Week (6-10 February) by announcing that 1,000 young people had been employed as Creative Apprentices across the UK.   When Creative Apprenticeships launched in 2008, there were few non-graduate entry routes into this sector. Last year’s National Apprenticeship Week saw the 500th apprentice in the creative sector; this year, that number now sits at over 1,000.  CCSkills back to top


Birmingham Museums Trust appoints first Director

Professor Ann Sumner has been named as the first Director of Birmingham Museums Trust. She is currently Director at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Birmingham. The new Trust is responsible for running Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and Thinktank. Professor Sumner will start work with the new Trust from its inception in April and will assume her new role on a full-time basis from 1 May.  Professor Sumner began her career at the National Portrait Gallery, London and has held curatorial positions at the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Harewood House Trust, and the Holburne Museum, Bath. Prior to her appointment to the Barber Institute in October 2007, she had been Head of Fine Art at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, for seven years.  The new Trust will be one of the world’s top 40 museums in terms of visitor numbers, with more than one million visitors a year. Rita McLean, the current Head of Museums and Heritage Services, informed her NMDC colleagues earlier in the year that she would not be standing for the new post.  Birmingham Museums


Arts Council England has appointed Scott Furlong as its new Director of the Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit (AELCU).  He was previously Head of Collections Management at the National Maritime Museum.  The AELCU responsibilities include: awarding Accreditation and Designation; acquisition of items through Acceptance in Lieu; export licensing and the Secretariat of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Arts; the Government Indemnity Scheme; insurance and security advice for loans; awarding PRISM Grants for the preservation and acquisition of important scientific materials; and the future administration of the new Cultural Gifts Scheme, which the Government plans to introduce in the forthcoming Finance Bill.  Arts Council Reyahn King has been appointed as the new Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for the West Midlands. She was previously Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool (2007-12) and was the MLA Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2010-11.  More Dr Timothy Potts has been appointed Director of the J. Paul Getty Museum by James Cuno, president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.  Dr Potts has been Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge since January 2008 and was previously director of the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, from 1998–2007 and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia.  He takes up his new post in September Getty Trust

The National Museum of Science and Industry has reported that its museums welcomed 238,000 visitors during half-term.  Visits to the Science Museum, London; National Railway Museum, York; and National Media Museum, Bradford were up by 14% on 2011 broke all previous records for attendance at the group of museums.  The Science Museum also received its highest number of visitors in a single day on Thursday 6 February, with 20,000 visits. Science Museum Tate has jointly acquired Christian Marclay’s video work, The Clock 2010 together with the Centre Pompidou, Paris and The Israel Museum, Jerusalem.  Presentations at the three museums will be coordinated so that the work, a 24-hour montage, constructed of excerpts from cinematic history, is only ever on view at one venue at any one time. Tate has previously acquired two other major media installation works with the Pompidou Centre: Bill Viola’s Five Angels of the Millennium 2001 (jointly owned by Tate, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Centre Pompidou) and Bruce Nauman’s MAPPING THE STUDIO II with color shift, flip, flop, & flip/flop (Fat Chance John Cage) 2001 (jointly owned by Tate, Centre Pompidou, and Kunstmuseum Basel).  Tate The Wallace Collection will be re-opening its Dutch Galleries on 20 March following an 18-month refurbishment programme. The three galleries have been returned to their original height and new roof lights will bring clear views of the sky into the galleries. A behind-the-scenes video of the project is now available on the museum's website. The Wallace Collection has also launched its first series of podcasts. The first is by Director Dr Christoph Vogtherr in which he considers three pieces from his forthcoming book The Wallace Collection: Director's Choice. Wallace Collection The Royal Air Force Museum is extending the book recycling scheme which has proved so successful at its London branch. For the past two years, members of the public  have been asked to donate their unwanted military and aviation books and magazines to be sold in the Museum’s Shop.  The Museum has been selling between 200 and 300 second-hand publications each month and the scheme has raised over £9,000.  The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford has now launched an appeal asking for donations to introduce the scheme there.  RAF Museum The British Library has completed a massive project to move over 200 linear kilometres of library materials from London to a high-tech archival storage facility in West Yorkshire. The Collection Moves programme, with major moves contractor, Premier Moves, saw some seven million books, journal parts, magazines and sound recordings move from a variety of sites in London to a purpose-built long term storage facility at the Library’s Boston Spa site.  The items involved are mainly ‘lower use’ material which is part of the Library’s wider collection of some 150 million separate items. British Library In response to a Parliamentary Question from Andrew Rosindell MP, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP reported that he had been to the British Museum eight times in the past year, and visited the Natural History Museum and Science Museum once each.  UK Parliament back to top

Our jobs website, also has details of current vacancies at leading museums around the UK including:
  • Director, Scottish National Portrait Gallery
  • Head of the National Media Museum, National Museum of Science and Industry
  • Mechanical Project Manager, National Gallery
  • Picture Librarian, (Maternity cover, part time) The Wallace Collection
  • Curator 1850-1915 British Art, Tate
  • Engagement Manager, The National Archives
  • Operations Manager, Fort Nelson, Royal Armouries Museum
  • Head of Commercial Services, Royal Air Force Museum
  • Regimental Museums Liaison Officer, National Army Museum
For details of these jobs and many more visit

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