November 2012

NMDC Newsletter: November 2012
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NMDC Newsletter: November 2012
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November 2012

Welcome to the monthly news update from the National Museum Directors’ Council.  In this issue:

And much more...


New research seeks to understand what motivates the museum goer to give

NMDC has joined together with the Art Fund on a new research project aiming to understand why comparatively few museum goers donate when visiting museums, and to discover what will motivate them to give in future. The research by Britain Thinks will stimulate new ideas and approaches that we hope to pilot in a range of museums across the UK from spring 2013. New research by Arts & Business confirms that individual donations to the arts are falling year on year, down from £120 million in 2008/09 to £73 million last year. Although museums have become increasingly successful at raising funds from a variety of streams – including commercial income, trusts and foundations and corporate supporters - donations from individuals are usually concentrated around a few high level donors.  The NMDC/Art Fund project aims to help museums better understand their audiences, the barriers and motivations to giving, and help to improve fundraising strategies. More on our website  Art Fund

Private investment in culture up by 4% despite fall in donations from businesses

Arts and Business has published an analysis of its latest survey of private investment in culture in the UK, covering individual philanthropy, business sponsorship and donations and grants from trusts and foundations.  Private investment in culture, from all sources increased by 4% in 2010/11, to £686.6m.   Friends and membership organisations made up the majority of this growth while individual donations and business investment fell.  The headline findings are:
  • Individual philanthropy rose 6% to £382.2m.  Within this figure, individual donations have fallen from 120.1m in 2008/9 to £73.2m in 2010/11, while the growth has been in legacies and friends/membership income;
  • Legacy income exceeded individual donations for the first time in 2010/11;
  • Income from trusts and foundations grew 10% to £170.3m;
  • Business investment in 2010/11 fell to £134.2m from £144.1 million in 2009/10 – the fourth annual decline from a peak in 2006/7 of 171.5m.  However, business sponsorship of the arts actually increased and support from businesses in the creative industries sector rose by about 25%
  • Over the last decade individual giving to the arts grew by 162.1%, income from trusts and foundations grew by 123.2% and business investment grew by 17.3%
  • Heritage and museums account for just over half (52%) of all private sector support
  • London captures 81% of all individual giving but only 56% of business investment
  • Arts fundraisers are less optimistic than they were last year. 41% of arts fundraisers expect private investment to increase in the next financial year, a 4% drop from 09/10
Smaller, predominantly non-London cultural organisations have been more effective at generating private investment in ratio to earned or public granted income than medium, large or major organisations. While concluding that the longer-term outlook for the future was one of grounded optimism, the report points out that earned income and fundraising income in 2010/11 did not show a rise that was capable of off-setting public funding budget cuts.  It argues that the evidence suggests that the way to secure more private investment in culture is to invest more public money.  Arts and Business

Culture Secretary outlines importance of philanthropy in supporting culture

Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP made her first public statements about the arts at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference on 8 October to mark the launch of the Arts & Business report.  She emphasised what she saw as the importance of philanthropy in supporting future growth in the cultural sector, saying it was necessary to look "for new ways to make sure the right level of funding is available.  One of our priorities continues to be the important role of philanthropy in making sure we continue to have a world leader status. Looking for ways to develop philanthropy for the future is really at the heart of what I'm going to be doing."  Ms Miller continued: "We need to get the organisations involved better at asking more effectively."  The event was organised jointly by Arts & Business and the Association of British Orchestras, and hosted by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.   Arts and Business

Funding for 16 projects aiming to challenge and changing the future of giving

The Innovation in Giving Fund, run by Nesta and funded by the Cabinet Office, will support 16 new projects aiming to challenge and change the UK’s approach to giving. The Fund seeks to enable a step-change in the giving and exchanging of time, assets, skills, resources and money.  Each funded organisation will receive up to £50,000 funding alongside a package of non-financial support. The projects include:
  • Chip In -  using Oyster card technology to make quick and easy charitable donations
  • National Funding Scheme - a mobile giving scheme for the arts and heritage sector
  • JustGiving’s new plans to allow charitable or community projects to 'crowdfund' via their site
  • Somewhereto - which 'unlocks' unused space for young people to make use of free of charge. The project has already freed up 310,000ft of space nationwide for over 6000 people;
  • Young Philanthropy - introducing young professionals to philanthropic giving with backing from experienced philanthropists;
  • Give What You're Good At, GoodPeople and Reach – developing ways to connect people who want to use their skills and talents for social good to relevant opportunities within charities and civil society organisations.
The Innovation in Giving Fund was launched in September 2011. To date 56 projects have been supported by the Fund, which was one of a number of new policies announced tin the Giving White Paper in May 2011.  Nesta  


Prime Minister launches plans to mark First World War Centenary

Prime Minister David Cameron set out the Government’s plans to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War (WW1) in a speech at the Imperial War Museum London on October 11th. The four-year programme will include:
  • National commemorative events to mark the anniversary of the start of WW1 in 2014, the first day of the Battle of the Somme (2016) and Armistice Day (2018).  Other anniversaries across the period will also be marked in different ways;
  • The opening, in 2014, of refurbished WW1 galleries at the IWM. The Prime Minister announced an additional £5m Treasury funding for the project, to be paid for from fines imposed on financial services firms for misconduct;
  • A £5.3 million education programme, jointly funded by the Department for Education and the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will allow pupils and teachers from every maintained secondary school in England to have the chance to go on a tour of the great battlefields and take part in remembrance ceremonies on the western front;
  • At least £15m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, including a new £6m community projects fund, to enable young people, working in their communities to conserve, explore and share local heritage of the First World War; and
  • A grant of up to £1million from the National Heritage Memorial Fund to support HMS Caroline, the last surviving warship from the First World War fleet.  The ship, which the Ministry of Defence has now gifted to the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), will remain in Belfast and open to paying visitors as an NMRN site in 2016.
The Government's principal partners in the commemorations will be the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Imperial War Museums. Culture Secretary Maria Miller MP will chair an advisory panel of senior figures to provide independent oversight of the UK’s preparations for the centenary, a link with institutions beyond government and the encouragement of private giving to centenary related initiatives. In his speech, the Prime Minister also reiterated his commitment to free admission to national museum, saying that he “passionately believe[s] we should hold on to this heritage and pass it down the generations. That is why, even in difficult economic times, we are right to maintain free entry to national museums like this. It is why we will continue to do so.”  DCMS   Imperial War Museums  Prime Minister's speech

Arts in Schools: Growing Crisis

The Cultural Learning Alliance (CLA) is urging cultural organisations to help make the case for inclusion of the arts in the new English Baccalaureate (EBacc).  The CLA highlights new research, published by Department for Education and Ipsos Mori last month, which found that 27% of teachers said courses have been withdrawn as a result of the EBacc’s introduction (with Drama, Performing Arts, Art and Design and Design and Technology most affected). The CLA has produced a briefing document and is encouraging arts organisations and their boards to raise their concerns and to recruit support from the business community.  The Incorporated Society of Musicians has also launched a "Bacc for the Future Campaign" calling for the Education Select Committee to launch an inquiry into the EBacc and to interrogate why the arts and cultural subjects have not been included.  The Guardian ran a feature on this issue on 3 November including an article by Sir Nick Serota, Director of Tate.  He argued that “Britain's creative edge is at risk” and said “schools that integrate arts into their curriculum also show improved student performance in maths, English, critical thinking and verbal skills. The arts have a primary role in a world that is now highly dependent on visual literacy. Engineers, designers and those employed in the media all have to understand through images as much as through words.”  Cultural Learning Alliance   Ipsos-Mori   Bacc for the Future campaign  The Guardian

6% increase in child visits to DCMS-sponsored museums

The latest annual museum performance indicators published by DCMS reveal a 6% increase in child visits to the 17 museums sponsored by DCMS over the past year.  The data for 2011/12 reveals:
  • 44.5 million visits to 17 of the Department’s sponsored museums, an increase of 1.5% on 2010/11;
  • 8.8m visits by children under 16, an increase of 6% from 2010/11;
  • Just over 2m facilitated and self-directed visits to the museums/galleries by children under 16 in formal education, an increase of 3% from 2010/11;
  • 18.7 million overseas visits, representing 42% of all visits.  This is an increase of 1m visits compared to 2010/11;
  • Overall visits by adults from lower socioeconomic groups fell by 9% to 3.3 million in 2011/12, despite a significant rise at some museums including the National Portrait Gallery, British Museum, National Gallery and Horniman Museum;
  • Total visits to the 17 museums have increased by 32% between 2002/03 and 2011/12 (from 33.6 million to 44.5 million).
  • Together the 17 museums attracted 122.4m unique web visits in 2011/12.
The statistical release also provides data on education sessions, number of loans from the collection, self-generated income, and visitor satisfaction for each of the DCMS-Sponsored museum.  DCMS

Google Cultural Institute launches new platform for culture sector

The Google Cultural Institute has launched a new platform, designed to provide cultural institutions with the tools to bring their collections to a global audience.  The website includes 42 online exhibitions on major events in the 20th and 21st centuries including the Holocaust, apartheid and D-Day. The stories have been put together by 17 partners including Imperial War Museums, Steve Biko Foundation and Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, which have drawn on their archives of letters, manuscripts, and first-hand video testimonials. The Institute was launched in 2010 with the aim of "helping preserve and promote culture online." Other projects include the Google Art Project, World Wonders and the Nelson Mandela archives.  In an interview with the Collections Trust, Steve Crossan, Director of the Google Cultural Institute said “More launches will be following rapidly on this one, and we’re headed very much in the direction of free tools that any cultural institution can use to engage with audiences around the world”.   Google Cultural Institute   Collections Trust Meanwhile, the Google Art Project has announced that it has added 29 new partners from 14 countries around the world and increased the number of images on the site by 10%.  In total, around 180 partners have now contributed their works to the Art Project.  The site has received more than 15 million visitors since its launch in April 2011 and 300,000 users have created their own galleries.  Google Blogspot   Google Art Project

Legislation to enable digitisation of ‘orphan works’

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill was passed by the House of Commons on 17 October and will be debated in the House of Lords on 29 November. The Bill includes provisions on orphan works licensing and voluntary extended collective licensing. The British Library, has argued that these changes "would enable the mass digitisation of in-copyright material for the benefit of research, education, the technology sector and the economy overall." 40% of the Library's collections are orphan works, which the rights holder could not be identified.  UK Parliament  British Library  NMDC

Fifth round of Esmée Fairbairn Collection Fund opens

The Museums Association has opened applications for the fifth round of funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund (EFCF).  £400,000 is available in grants of £20,000-£100,000 to organisations proposing time-limited collections work outside the scope of their core resources.  The application process has been reviewed and organisations are now required to submit an initial short application, with those successful receiving advice and guidance to make a detailed bid.  The deadline for applications to the EFCF is 5 April 2013.  Museums Association

Six new Happy Museum awards announced

The Happy Museum has announced a second round of awards as part of a wider programme funded by Arts Council England’s Renaissance Strategic Support Fund. Launched in April 2011, the Happy Museum Project is a pioneering programme that looks at how museums in the UK can build links between sustainability, happiness and well-being to leave a legacy of long-term cultural change within their organisations and communities.  The six new projects that will be funded by Happy Museums are:
  • Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury: The Paper Apothecary
  • Reading Museum: Nag Nag Nag to Reveal Our Hidden Histories
  • Shakespeare Birthplace Trust: Sounds in the Garden
  • Chiltern Open Air Museum: Green Ways from Yesterday
  • Garden Museum, London: Flowers for Love and Money
  • Imperial War Museum North: Manchester Participating With Objects
The Happy Museum programme will include a 2-day symposium in February 2013 introducing all the commissioned projects and leading thinkers from museums and galleries to people developing work around subjective well-being along with sustainability specialists such as climate scientists, economists and environmentalists. Happy Museum

Rise in reported Treasure and Antiquities Finds

DCMS has published the latest statistics of the number of objects of treasure found in 2010 and objects recorded through the portable antiquities scheme in 2011.
  • 970 finds of Treasure were reported in 2011, up from 860 in 2010;
  • 97,509 finds were recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme in 2011, up from 90,099 in 2010;
  • 86 parties waived their right to a reward in 70 cases of Treasure in 2010, allowing these items to be acquired by museums at no or reduced public cost.
The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) was established by DCMS in 1997 to record archaeological finds found by the public. The work of the Scheme is managed by the British Museum and guided by the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group which advises on issues relating to portable antiquities.  DCMS


117.5 posts to go in Arts Council restructure

Arts Council England has announced details of its new structure, which comes into operation on 1 July 2013.  The changes come as a result of the Government's requirement for the Arts Council to reduce administrative costs by the end of March 2015.  Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, said: 'These savings have been challenging to achieve, given our already pared down structure. We are protecting the relationship management and the artistic and cultural expertise we know our colleagues in the sector value but we must be pragmatic. We'll do less and we'll do it differently - but we'll do it well.'  The key changes include:
  • An overall reduction in staff numbers across the organisation of 21 %from 559.5 full time posts to 442 (117.5 posts);
  • Four Executive Directors, reduced from eight, accountable for delivering the Arts Council's overall strategy, with the Chief Executive;
  • Leadership of artform and cultural policy expertise distributed geographically across the organisation.   There will be national policy leads for: Children, Young People and Learning; Creative Media; and Engagement and Audiences. There will be national discipline leads covering: each art form and touring; philanthropy and fundraising; organisational resilience and environmental sustainability; international; and diversity.
  • Arts Council's nine current regions and areas will be replaced by five areas: London, the South East, the South West (now incorporating Hampshire), the Midlands and the North.
  • Major offices will be located in London, Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol, plus some smaller local offices to keep the Arts Council close to the arts and cultural sector, and to local government.  Property costs will come down by 50% through reductions in the size of offices.
Transition to the new structure begins on 5 November and the Arts Council hopes to confirm most Director posts by December.   Arts Council             

VisitBritain aims for 3% year-on-year increase in inbound tourism

VisitBritain has launched a consultation on a growth strategy for inbound tourism to Britain, with an ambition to reach 40 million visitors by 2020, a 3% year on year increase.  Christopher Rodrigues, Chairman of VisitBritain, said: “Tourism is the industry that can deliver the economic legacy of the 2012 Games. It is an industry that can deliver jobs quickly – right across Britain and at all skills levels – and much needed economic growth."  The consultation has been designed to identify shared priorities and potential partnerships between the tourism industry, the public agencies and Government departments. The strategy sets out four key elements:
  • Enhancing Britain’s image by playing to Britain’s strengths – heritage, traditional and contemporary culture – and addressing perceived weaknesses such as natural beauty, food, value and welcome;
  • Ensuring "Britain is on the shelf" by working with the travel trade in key markets to ensure Britain is packaged and sold;
  • Building on Britain’s strong product offer to ensure that destinations can be easily packaged and that Britain continues to meet the expectations of new visitors from growth markets; and
  • Making it easier to get here by addressing barriers to growth such as aviation capacity and the visa regime.
The consultation also considers wider factors affecting Britain’s competitiveness, including the global population shift to cities, the balance between targeting volume or value, and how to reverse the decline in major source markets such as the US, while also ensuring Britain captures its share of the growth from emerging economies.   The consultation runs until 9 November.  VisitBritain

Measuring return on investment in tourism marketing

In February, DCMS commissioned TNS and Optimal Economics to deliver a research report that develops an analytical framework to measure the net gain from policy interventions and apply it to the problem of measuring the return on investment to tourism marketing campaigns.  The research has now been published and concludes that “existing evaluation methods robustly support DCMS investment in tourism marketing, and that campaigns are likely to generate a significant amount of additional non-displaced consumer spending in tourism markets.”   DCMS

London 2012 forecast to come in nearly £400m under budget

Figures from the Government’s final quarterly economic report show that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is set to come in under budget. The overall cost of the Games is forecast at £8.921 billion, a saving of £377m on the £9.298 billion budget. In addition, £103 million of contingency is being held to cover the remaining risks in the programme, such as the retrofit of the Olympic Village for legacy use and closing out around 2,000 contracts. In total, £480m of uncommitted contingency still remains within the budget.  The reduction in the Olympic Delivery Authority’s final anticipated cost comes despite an £36m increase in the forecast cost of Olympic village completion and retrofit. DCMS

The Space to continue as a freely available digital arts service

Arts Council England has announced that the freely available digital arts service The Space is to continue for a further six months. The Space, which went live on 1 May, provides live, free and on-demand access to the work of artists and arts organisations on mobile devices, tablets, PCs and TV. Developed in partnership with the BBC, it aims to build the digital skills and capability of the arts and cultural sector.  Since its launch on 1 May, The Space has attracted over 900,000 visits leading to over 2 million page views, with over a quarter of visitors encountering new artists or arts organisations for the first time whilst on the website. The Space will now continue until the end of March 2013, allowing more time to conduct a full evaluation of the existing service and to explore the potential of a permanent digital service for the arts.  The Arts Council have set aside £8 million of Lottery funding for The Space to continue as a freely-available digital arts service.  The first six months was funded by £3.5m from the Arts Council and a £2 million support package from the BBC.   Arts Council

AHRC Survey of Cultural Organisations

The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) has commissioned the first ever large-scale survey of the UK’s cultural organisations including museums, galleries, theatres, music venues, heritage sites and others. The survey will provide important new evidence of the diverse links between arts and humanities research, cultural institutions and the creative industries. The AHRC is encouraging cultural organisations to complete the questionnaire and assist in developing a deeper understanding of interactions involving cultural organisations. The research will help to uncover what more could be done to enhance those interactions and to better inform public policy on the role of cultural organisations. The survey is being conducted by the Centre for Business Research (CBR) at the University of Cambridge on behalf of the AHRC. A summary report of the results based on the survey findings will be available on the CBR website, free of charge, from March 2013.  The survey will close on 30th November.  Survey   Centre for Business Research

Artists criticise management of Creative Scotland

Over 90 artists, writers and cultural figures in Scotland wrote to the Chair of Creative Scotland on 8 October criticising the management of the organisation.  In the following days hundreds more cultural figures added their support.  The letter called on Creative Scotland to:
  1. genuinely acknowledge the scale of the problem;
  2. affirm the value of stable two to three year funding for small arts organisations;
  3. end the use of business-speak and obfuscating jargon in official communication;
  4. revisit Creative Scotland policies with an eye to social and cultural as well as commercial values;
  5. collaborate with artists to re-design over-complicated funding forms and processes;
  6. ensure that funding decisions are taken by people with artform expertise;
  7. establish an effective system of dealing with complaints as swiftly as possible.
Sir Sandy Crombie, Chair of Creative Scotland, published an open letter in response on 9 October and issued a further statement following a board meeting on 22 October setting out the steps Creative Scotland is taking to address all the issues raised.  He said: “It’s important that we acknowledge a lot of these concerns are valid…  We are committed to making the experience of dealing with Creative Scotland a more collaborative and positive one. “ Scotland's Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP was also prompted to issue a statement saying “I am taking very seriously the criticism of Creative Scotland. That is why I have asked the Board to engage directly with the sector, to address the points raised and communicate what action is already being taken. This process is already under way including a review of operations by the Board." Letter to Creative Scotland  Creative Scotland statement   Scottish Government

Inquiry into support for the creative economy.

On 10 October the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee launched a new inquiry into support for the creative economy. The Committee will consider the following issues:
  • How best to develop the legacy from the Olympics and Paralympics of the display of UK talent in the creative industries in both Opening and Closing ceremonies, and more generally in the design of the Games;
  • Barriers to growth in the creative industries—such as difficulties in accessing private finance—and the ways in which Government policy should address them. Does a lack of co-ordination between government departments inhibit this sector?;
  • The impact on the creative industries of the independent Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth, and the Government’s response to it; and the impact of the failure, as yet, to implement the Digital Economy Act, which was intended to strengthen copyright enforcement. The Committee is also interested in views on the impact of proposals to change copyright law without recourse to primary legislation (under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently before Parliament);
  • The extent to which taxation supports the growth of the creative economy, including whether it would be desirable to extend the tax reliefs targeted at certain sectors in the 2012 Budget;
  • Ways to establish a strong skills base to support the creative economy, including the role of further and higher education in this;
  • The importance of “clusters” and “hubs” in facilitating innovation and growth in the creative sector. Is there  too much focus on hubs at the expense of encouraging a greater geographical spread of companies through effective universal communication; and
  • The work of the Creative Industries Council and other public bodies responsible for supporting the sector.
The Committee wishes to focus on particular sectors as examples of the creative industries, especially the film, music, television, design and games sectors.  UK Parliament

Independent Panel to advise on e-Lending in libraries

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP has appointed an independent panel, chaired by William Sieghart, to consider how libraries should respond to the challenges and opportunities presented by the growth of e-readers.  The panel has issued a call for evidence from interested parties on the following areas:
  • The benefits of e-lending;
  • The current level and nature of demand for e-lending in English libraries, along with a projection of future demand. For example, will e-lending be in addition to traditional borrowing of print books, or is it likely to transform the way in which library users access services? What is the demand for downloading e-books remotely, that is, away from library premises? To what extent do owners of e-readers value public e-lending above what is freely or commercially available elsewhere?
  • Current supply models, barriers to the supply of e-books to libraries, and likely future trends;
  • Systems for remunerating authors / publishers for e-lending;
  • The impact of e-lending on publishers and their business models;
  • Any unforeseen consequences of e-lending. For example, the impact on those who cannot keep up with technology, the likely long-term impact on the model of highly localised physical library premises, skills requirements for librarians, etc.
The deadline for to submit evidence is 6 November.  DCMS 


Alan Davey, Chief Executive of Arts Council England will take part in a live web chat on 28 November. This is the fourth in a series of regular live chats with key representatives from Arts Council England and aims to offer audiences the chance to find out more about what the Council does and how it spends public money. Questions can be submitted by email or Twitter and the full transcript will be published.  Arts Council Back to top


Arts Council programmes to develop resilient leadership and fundraising capacity

Arts Council England is inviting applications for three schemes focused on fundraising and leadership development which together aim to continue to improve the long term sustainability, diversity and resilience of the arts and cultural sectors.  They are:
  • Catalyst Arts: Building fundraising capacity – a £7 million fund designed to help organisations with little or no experience of fundraising build capacity and identify and develop effective fundraising models. The fund is open to applications from consortiums of organisation with a deadline of 23 January.
  • Transforming arts fundraising – A £2m commissioned grant for one organisation, or a consortium of organisations, to deliver a national fundraising development programme across the three year period 2013-16.  The programme will be aimed primarily at Arts Council England's National portfolio organisations whilst offering relevance to the whole of the arts sector and is funded as part of the wider £100 million Catalyst scheme;
  • Developing resilient leadership – A £1.8m commissioned grant for an organisation or a consortium of organisations develop a programme to support the professional development of leaders of arts and cultural organisations.  The programme, which will run from February 2013 - March 2016, aims to foster a strong national network of individuals who work collaboratively for more resilient cultural organisations and deeper local engagement.  It is intended to benefit leaders in national portfolio organisations, museums, libraries, and diverse leaders of arts and cultural organisations which are not currently in the national portfolio.  One of the objectives of the programme will be to explore how the programme can become self- sustaining in the long term. Arts Council

£15m HLF funding for work-based skills training

Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced a further £15m funding to support heritage skills through its Skills for the Future initiative. The funding will support work-based training in a wide range of skills that are needed to look after buildings, landscapes, habitats, species, and museum and archive collections, as well as equipping people to lead education and outreach programmes, manage volunteers or use digital technology.  First-round applications need to be submitted by 31 January 2013 for a decision in May 2013. The HLF has so far awarded grants totaling £26.8m under the Skills for the Future programme, since it was launched in 2009. Heritage Lottery Fund

Monument Fellowship scheme re-launched with wider remit

The Museums Association is inviting applications for a new round of Monument Fellowships. The Fellowships are designed to enable retired museum specialists to work with former colleagues, their successors and the wider museum community to share and develop knowledge and skills. In a change from previous rounds, the programme has now been extended beyond collections to other museum specific specialisms such as learning and exhibitions. The Fellowships are supported by funding from Arts Council England, Museums Galleries Scotland and the Welsh Government. Fellowships will be 30 days in length, typically spread over about 6 months.  The deadline for applications is 7 December.  Museums Association

Free e-learning tool on Emergency Planning in Museums

The Museum of London, with ACE funding, is developing a range of collection care e-learning tools.  The first of these, focusing on emergency planning in museums, has now been published on the museum’s website.  A copy on CD is available for all London museums and archives. The programme, which takes about 20 minutes, discusses different types of emergencies and how to develop an emergency plan.  The e-learning tool can be completed on the Museum of London’s website.  Museum of London

Maximising your museum's potential

The Association of Independent Museums (AIM) is running a series of one-day workshops across the UK to help smaller and medium sized independently managed museums, galleries and heritage attractions identify and develop areas that could increase their income and help them to become more resilient. Each workshop will be limited to a maximum of 15 organisations, with each being represented by its Director (or a senior manager) and a Trustee.  The programme has been funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.  AIM

Museum security seminars

The Collections Trust is organising six seminars to promote awareness of good practice in museum security. The project has been funded by Arts Council England (ACE), as part of the Building Capacity for Museums project and the free seminars will take place at six ACE Major Partner Museums around England. A wide range of material will be made available to support the seminars, including a Museum Security Checklist and an online resource based on the Collection Trust’s Collections Link website. Existing published museum security guidance and resources will be audited, collated and refreshed.  Collections Link


National Library of Scotland

James Boyle, the former Controller of BBC Radio 4, and founder of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature, has been appointed as the new Chair of the National Library of Scotland (NLS) by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP.  Mr Boyle's public service posts include Chair of the Scottish Arts Council, Chair of the Scottish Cultural Commission and founder of Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. He is Chair of the British Council Advisory Committee in Scotland and replaces Professor Michael Anderson who served as Chair of the NLS Board of Trustees for 12 years.  National Library of Scotland

Royal Museums Greenwich

Anupam Ganguli has been appointed Director of Finance at Royal Museums Greenwich and takes up his post in mid-November.  Anupam is currently the Executive Director, Resources at Arts Council England and was previously Director of Finance at the Victoria and Albert Museum. He has previously worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, HSBC, the BBC and KPMG. Sandra Botterell has been appointed Director of Commercial at Royal Museums Greenwich and takes up her post in mid-November.  Sandra is currently Head of Marketing, Brand and Web at Historic Royal Palaces.  Sandra also held several senior positions previously, including Head of Brand Communications for Premier Travel Inn and Client Services Director at Arc and Marshalls/DMB&B. Back to top


Tate launches international partnerships in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia

Tate has announced a number of initiatives to develop new international networks, building links with artists, curators and organisations in the Middle East, Latin America and Asia. These include:
  • Tate Research Centre: Asia-Pacific, funded with a grant of $750,000 from the AW Mellon Foundation, which aims to create an intellectual hub for Tate’s activities in the region, focusing initially on modern and contemporary art in China, Japan and Korea
  • A curatorial partnership with the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo Brazil;
  • A museum training programme to support the National Museum of Oman focused on visitor services, collection management, museum management and learning; and  
  • Two new Acquisitions Committees focusing on Russia & Eastern Europe and South Asia

Science Museum Group builds on its relationship with Brazil

Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum, joined the Prime Minister and David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, as part of a UK delegation to Brazil in late September.  Comprising over 50 representatives from UK businesses and universities, the purpose of the delegation was to strengthen the relationship between the hosts of the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. Both Governments consider science, innovation and education to be essential priorities for ensuring future prosperity and the Science Museum to be a crucial partner in enabling collaboration and bringing together world-class science from both countries.  In July, the UK and Brazilian governments and the Science Museum signed a Letter of Intent, which centres on the establishment of a new national science museum for Brazil.   Science Museum

International exhibition collaborations - Oman and Moscow

The Victoria and Albert Museum and Moscow Kremlin Museums have collaborated on an exhibition The Golden Age of the English Court: From Henry VIII to Charles I which includes with loans from more than ten public and private British collections including the Royal Collection, the Royal Armouries, National Maritime Museum, Museum of London, National Portrait Gallery as well as the V&A.  The exhibition, which opened in Moscow last month, will come to the V&A in March 2013.  2014 is the UK/Russia Year of Culture in 2014.  Kremlin Museum Royal Armouries is staging an exhibition of iconic matchlock guns in the Sultanate of Oman. The firearms played a crucial role in the history of both Europe and Asia and some were originally on show in Leeds. They are now exhibited at Bait al Rudaydah Museum, a recently restored Omani fort housing a wide range of small arms. This is the first Royal Armouries exhibition in the Sultanate and its opening coincided with the International Committee for Museums of Arms and Military History (ICOMAM) annual conference in Oman.  Royal Armouries    British Council  

Move to charitable status saves £53.3m in Glasgow

Glasgow Life, which operates Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, The Burrell and the Riverside Museum as well as libraries, sports venues and community facilities, reports that it has delivered the savings of £53.3m for the city as a result of its move to charitable status five years ago. Glasgow Life has also reported record attendance figures in 2011/12 – up 2.3m to 16.8m across its sporting and cultural venues.  This includes 1.6m visits to the new Riverside Museum in its first year, massively exceeding expectations.  Glasgow Life

Creative Audio Description training scheme to help blind people "see" art

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust has been working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) to explore how audio describers, using detailed narration techniques, can make art more accessible.  Together, they are now piloting a new Audio Description training scheme to help volunteers "Audio Describe" art, culture and heritage for blind and partially sighted people to help them enjoy visual media.  The free four-day course at Ironbridge, funded by Arts Council England West Midlands and run by RNIB, will train up to 50 volunteers and professionals in Audio Description.  Zoe Partington-Sollinger, Art Development Officer at RNIB, said: "While it's relatively easy to access audio describers in London, blind and partially sighted people outside the capital struggle to access visual art through audio describers. This is a fantastic opportunity for museum and gallery professionals and volunteers to learn a new skill and help others to experience some amazing art from a different perspective.”  RNIB

National Gallery 'Take One' schools education programme launches across UK

The National Gallery has launched new scheme to help museums, galleries, archives and historic sites around the UK make their collections accessible to young people through enquiry-based learning.  Based on the methodology of the Gallery’s Take One Picture programme (now in its 17th year), the Gallery has developed a comprehensive package of materials and information that can be used by cultural organisations seeking to provide education programmes to schools in their areas.  Take One uses a single object to inspire cross-curricular work in primary, middle and secondary schools. The Gallery is working with seven regional museums who will act as Regional Champions to assist cutlural organisations who wish to participate.  Schools will be able to locate organisations offering Take One projects in their area by visiting the National Gallery website.  The launch is the culmination of work initiated in 2009 in partnership with the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and follows an 18 month pilot scheme in the South West, East Midlands and London.  National Gallery

Museum of London offers to display Henry Moore sculpture for all to enjoy

The Museum of London has offered to provide a home Henry Moore’s Draped Seated Woman, following news that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets plans to sell it at auction.  Sharon Ament, Director of the Museum of London has written to the Mayor of Tower Hamlets, suggesting the long-term loan of the sculpture the Museum of London for public display either internally or externally.  A statement from the Museum says the "Museum of London supports many people’s concern about selling great works of art such as this sculpture" and that enabling it to go on permanent home at the museum "will bring great public good for Londoners and visitors to the capital" and is the most viable option for the sculpture.  The artist, Rachel Whiteread CBE, heads the signatures on an online petition to keep the statue in East London.  Museum of London   Sign the petition

New evidence that Natural History Museum’s Tissint Meteorite comes from Mars

Research published in the journal Science on 11 October, reveals that the Natural History Museum's Tissint meteorite came from the Martian crust and contains traces of Mars’ atmosphere and surface alteration. The research was conducted by an international team, led by Prof Hasnaa Chennaoui Aoudjehane from the Hassan II University, Morocco, and including the Natural History Museum’s meteorite expert Dr Caroline Smith. The Tissint meteorite fell to Earth in Morocco in July 2011. The largest fragment was used in this study and is on display at the Museum.  Natural History Museum

Contemporary Art Society Award Shortlist

Leeds Art Gallery and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, along with The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln, have been shortlisted for The Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award for Museums 2012.  The winning museum will be awarded £60,000 to commission a major work of contemporary art for their permanent collection.  The award, made possible by support from the Sfumato Foundation, will be presented by artist Jeremy Deller at an event on 19 November.  Contemporary Art Society

Cutty Sark wins award for best new tourism project

Cutty Sark has been named best new tourism project in the UK at the 2012 British Guild of Travel Writers Awards. The awards were announced at an event in London on 4 November in London.  The iconic ship, which is part of Royal Museums Greenwich, reopened to the public in April this year following an extensive conservation project. The judges praised the high quality of the interpretation at Cutty Sark, highlighting the subtle use of new technology which brings the stories of the ship alive whilst preserving the beauty of the world’s last surviving tea clipper. The Riverside Transport Museum in Glasgow and the redeveloped National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh were runners up in this category.   Royal Museums Greenwich


Northern Ireland Museums Council, in partnership with National Museums Northern Ireland, has announced the names of the 12 people who have secured a place on the Collections Skills Initiative phase 2. The training programme, funded by £270,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund allows trainees to develop practical skills in collections care, research and interpretation whilst on placement in ten museums in Northern Ireland. NMNI   The National Portrait Gallery has secured funding from Hani Farsi and The Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation to develop a three year Choir in Residence programme.  Since 2000, the Gallery has had a regular programme of Friday Evening Music with a number of well-known choirs and vocal performers in the Gallery spaces, responding to the collection and engaging visitors. The Gallery is now recruiting an Artistic Director, who will be based at the Gallery with a remit to devise and present a programme of choral concerts across all periods using the Gallery displays, exhibitions, archive and the collections as inspiration. The Royal Pavilion, Brighton has unveiled a new LEC lighting system to illuminate the building and highlight its architectural features. The dynamic new system using a range of different colours will be 75% cheaper to run than the previous system and bring brings both a reduction in energy and light pollution. The Argus Back to top

Our jobs website now includes the latest vacancies from NMDC’s new member organisations too.  Current vacancies include:
  • Museum Events Manager, V&A
  • Research and Trusts Officer, Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
  • Head of Organic Artifacts Conservation Section, British Museum
  • Shipkeeping Technician - Cutty Sark, Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Interpretation Developer, Natural History Museum at Tring
  • Visual Arts Curator, British Library (part time)
  • Facilities Manager, Royal Armouries
  • Search Engine Visitor Services Assistant, National Railway Museum
For details of these jobs and many more visit

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