August 2014

NMDC newsletter: August 2014
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: August 2014
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  NMDC publishes briefing about Museum Partnerships

Working Internationally development survey – tell us your experiences

Arts world divided as Scotland heads for independence vote

Wales produces culture ‘for the people’ but is starved of funding and media time

British Museum’s £135m new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre opens

IWM London reopens after £40m makeover

Northampton loses accreditation as Sekhemka vanishes into private hands

Museum world calls for UK to ratify Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property

Pearls and wisdom: ACE publishes new report on the Designated Collections scheme

Create UK: a strategy for the Creative Industries launched

Yorkshire Sculpture Park named Museum of the Year

RAF Museum becomes first to win autism access award

Heritage Lottery Fund seeks new Chair

Nesta calls for ‘venture funding’ the cultural sector

Local authorities ‘value culture’ but are moving from ‘funder to facilitator’

HLF worries about Parklife

A breath of fresh air: talking up the health benefits of culture by the seaside

Taking Part Adult Statistics: museum attendance up, charitable donations down
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Thinking local, going global  |  Scottish independence, Welsh recognition  |  Members’ news  |  Protecting culture  |  Cuts  |  Valuing the best  |  Events  |  Awards  |  Pausing to think ahead: new ideas for shaping the sector  |  Appointments  |  Funding  |  Outside interests: parks and seasides  |  Visitor statistics  |  Training and education  |  And finally…  |  Jobs
 
 
 
  National and regional partnership working  
 
 
NMDC has produced a briefing paper which looks at the breadth and variety of partnerships our members' organisations are involved in.
 
Partnerships: an NMDC briefing outlines the many different sorts of partnerships national museums and Major Partner Museums develop. Thousands of objects are lent and borrowed by museums each year in the UK - lent to places where the object has special significance, or to form the content for a museum or historic house, or for a shorter period for an exhibition. Loans ensure a much wider audience can see the objects, and this can increase visitors and drive regional tourism. Museums work in partnership to share good practice and knowledge, and on almost every area of museum operations - from acquisitions to learning, volunteer programmes to marketing, and through formal and informal networks dedicated to the care of collections.
 
Museums continue to adapt the focus and nature of partnership working as a way of managing the impact of cuts to public funding and developing greater resilience. However, it is important to recognise that much of the work detailed in the briefing had begun before cuts to public funding had begun, and therefore it is unlikely that this level of activity could be maintained if public funding to museums continues to decline.
 
NMDC
 
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  Thinking local, going global  
 
 
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  Save the date! Locations and dates announced for Working Internationally Regional Project workshops  
 
 
As part of its new project to support UK regional museums who are working internationally, or would like to do so, ICOM UK is pleased to announce the locations and dates for workshops taking place in each Arts Council area of England:
 
  • Wednesday 24 September 2014: Leeds City Museum
  • Tuesday 21 October 2014: Imperial War Museum, London
  • Monday 10 November 2014: Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
  • Tuesday 25 November 2014: The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
  • Thursday 29 January 2015:Royal Albert Memorial Museum, Exeter
 
50 places are available at each workshop and the content will be announced in the coming weeks.  Tickets go on sale through Eventbrite from Friday 15 August. The Working Internationally Regional Project would like to thank all of the host museums for their support.
 
The project is funded by £51k from ACE’s Renaissance Strategic Support Fund and managed by a consortium including NMDC, the British Council, AIM and Heritage Without Borders.  Project manager Dana Andrew says “There are conferences aimed at big national museums that do international work but this project is looking at smaller museums and people who haven’t necessarily done this sort of work yet, so we are hoping to be working with a real variety of museums.”  ICOM UK
 
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  Working Internationally development survey – tell us your experiences  
 
 
ICOM UK has also launched a survey to collect both existing experiences of transnational work and comments about the tools museums may need to enable international work. 
 
Completed entries will be entered into a prize draw for a travel bursary to the regional workshops on international work detailed above.  To be entered for the prize draw fill in the survey before 8th August here: ICOM UK.
 
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  London: the world’s most popular city  
 
 
According to research based on Mastercard credit card data, London is the most popular city destination in the world.  Their Global Destinations Cities Index predicts that London will receive 18.7 million visitors in 2014, spending 11bn.  67% of visitors come from Europe, but the top single feeder city is New York.  Bangkok and Paris were second and third most popular cities.  London Mayor Boris Johnson said “our city perfectly combines history, heritage, arts and culture, not to mention vast amounts of green space and major events that are the envy of the planet."  BBC
 
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  NMDC members’ news  
 
 
  Imperial War Museum London reopens after £40m makeover  
 
 
The Imperial War Museum in London has reopened after a £40m makeover of its main atrium and First World War Galleries.  The architects, Foster + Partners, have transformed the atrium which now stretches up four floors and allows the display of larger iconic objects such as a howitzer, V2 rocket and Harrier jet.  Talking the Telegraph through the new First World War galleries, curator Phil Cornish said “we have had a contemporaneous look at the war so that we see the war… through the eyes of the people who were there at the time.  We are able to understand why they made the decisions they did…  We can also look at it as the founding event of the modern world – as we see what is happening in the Middle East today, that is the aftermath of the settlement in the Middle East at the end of the First World War.” 
 
The museum also worked with designers Casson Mann to create a ‘felt’ experience of the rush and fear of battle during the First World War in an animated film projected onto a lifesize set called ‘Shock’.  The Museum plans further major refurbishments including an overhaul of the Second World War galleries ahead of anniversaries in 2025.  Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, IWM
 
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  British Museum’s £135m new World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre opens  
 
 
The British Museum’s new 18,000sq m World Conservation and Exhibitions Centre has now officially opened.  It consists of the Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery (which opened in March), conservation studios and science laboratories, storage and a collections hub.  Work began on the building, which includes 4 subterranean levels, in December 2010.  Trusts founded by Simon Sainsbury donated £25m, one of the largest gifts to arts in the UK in recent decades, the HLF gave £10m and the DCMS gave support worth £22.5m over four years.  A host of other trusts also contributed.
 
Museum Director Neil MacGregor said the building is “an important – and beautiful – addition to Bloomsbury.  Rogers, Stirk, Harbour + Partners and Mace have designed and delivered a wonderfully flexible building which provides the museum with the facilities it needs to achieve our future ambitions.  I am grateful to all of our extremely generous donors who have enabled us to undertake this project and all of the staff who have worked so hard to bring it to fruition.”  HLF, British Museum (interactive guide)
 
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  Science Museum exhibition unquestionably a big pile of rubbish  
 
 
As part of its Climate Changing programme, the Science Museum is exhibiting all the rubbish that it produces in one month.  It is mediated by artist Joshua Sofaer who invites audiences to participate in collecting, sorting and photographing as the material heads off to be recycled, and explores what we regard as rubbish.  The Guardian carries photographs of patterns and displays created with the transient material, ranging from discarded forks to pineapple skins.  Science Museum, Guardian
 
Also: the Horniman Museum continues to perform strongly for environmental sustainability, winning two ‘Green Flags’ from Keep Britain Tidy, and currently one of only three London venues shortlisted for a Green Tourism Award.  The results will be announced in November.  Horniman
 
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  Treasures of Norfolk now in one place  
 
 
Norfolk Museums Service has brought together 87,649 objects from collections in museums and archives across the county on a new website, with holdings ranging from a rare and only slightly crumbly ship’s biscuit from 1885, to the Anglo-Saxon pottery figure ‘Spong Man’ and a lavishly embroidered shoe from 1926.  There are plans to add the county’s other 2.6m objects from 12 institutions over time. Director of the Collections Trust Nick Poole says the site exemplifies the new ‘create once, publish everywhere’ approach, adding: “I encourage you to go and spend some time exploring the stunning photography and comprehensive descriptions of the collections.”
 
The images in this month’s newsletter are all from the new site, and are copyright of Norfolk Museum Service.  Collections Trust, Norfolk Museums Collections
 
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  Protecting culture  
 
 
  Northampton loses accreditation as Sekhemka vanishes into private hands  
 
 
The Arts Council has removed the accredited status of Northampton Council after it sold its statue of the ancient Egyptian official Sekemka for £15.8m.  The Council will receive £7–8m from the sale after other fees have been paid and Lord Northampton, great-grandson of the 4th Marquis who gave the sculpture to the people of Northampton in 1880, will receive around £6m.  The statue is now in private ownership.  Several other bodies had protested about the ethics of the sale including the Museums Association, ICOM, the Egyptian government and a local protest group.  Scott Furlong for ACE said “it is always hugely regrettable when we have to exclude a museum from the Accreditation scheme.  However, it is equally important that we are robust in upholding the standards and principles which underpin the scheme and are shared by the vast majority of museums.”  The Art Fund also supported ACE’s decision saying “we must protect the understanding that local authorities – which run a third of all accredited museums – hold these items as cultural assets for long-term public benefit, not financial gain.”  Northampton cannot regain accreditation until at least 2019 and Northampton Museum and Art Gallery and Abington Park Museum will be affected by the sanctions. 
 
Council leader David Mackintosh said that he was confident that the £8m raised would allow the Council to find match funders elsewhere and said he was ‘puzzled’ by the suspension of accreditation since the Council was investing in its museum service.  Northampton Museum’s funding includes £900k annually from the local council, £615k of HLF funding for various projects and £235k for various projects from ACE since 2012.  Museums Journal, ICOM, The Guardian, BBC, Mike Pitts (pictures of Sekhemka and the sale)
 
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  Museum world calls for UK to ratify Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property  
 
 
Senior figures from across the UK cultural scene have written to the Telegraph asking why the UK has not yet ratified the Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.  The writers include the Earl of Clancarty, David Anderson, President of the Museums Association, Michael Palin, Sir Simon Jenkins, Chair of the National Trust, Sir Laurie Magnus, Chair of English Heritage, Sir Tony Robinson and historian Bettany Hughes.  They say “in 1954, the international community agreed the [convention] following the devastating impact of the Second World War on some of Europe’s most valued heritage, including paintings by Van Gogh and Caravaggio; the St Petersburg amber room; and architecture such as St Mary’s Church, Lübeck, and the Benedictine monastery at Monte Cassino. After the looting in 2003 of museums and archaeological sites in Iraq, Britain announced its intention to ratify the convention.  A decade later, we have yet to honour this commitment.”  The convention has all party support, but successive governments have failed to find parliamentary time.  The letter argues that the last Queen’s speech left ‘ample time’ for the ratification of the convention.  Telegraph
 
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  National Church Crime hotline to warn museums about stolen artefacts  
 
 
The Church Buildings Council has set up a crime hotline, so that when an artefact is stolen from a church a network of museums, auction houses and crime prevention agencies will be alerted, thus making it much more difficult for thieves to sell on stolen items.  The Council has also issued advice on protecting treasures, citing a church in Caister which recovered a stolen bust within a fortnight as they were able to give the police a clear image of it.  The dedicated number is 020 7898 1860.  Church Care
 
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  Arts Council seeks requests for permanent allocation of Auerbach works  
 
 
As reported last month, the Arts Council has received a large number of works by Frank Auerbach from the estate of Lucian Freud through the Acceptance in Lieu scheme.  Forty of the works are still available for allocation, and UK museums and galleries have until 21st November to apply.  The paintings have been divided into ten groups, each containing one major oil painting.  Applications are particularly encouraged from institutions who have not received a work before, and who can make a case for a good fit with their current collection.  Museums Association, Arts Council,
 
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  Black Cultural Archives major new Brixton home opened  
 
 
Nearly a decade after the derelict site for its new Brixton home was secured, and following a £7m investment, the Black Cultural Archives opened its new heritage centre on 24th July.  Including an exhibition room, research library, community spaces and a café, it becomes the central resource for all those interested in UK Black history.  Culture24 (derelict building 2005), Black Cultural Archives
 
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  Scottish independence, Welsh recognition  
 
 
  Hyslop speech promises strong Scottish international arts presence  
 
 
As Scotland prepares to vote on independence on September 18th, there is increasing commentary on the effects of a ‘yes’ vote on the cultural sector.  Speaking at The Future of Culture in Scotland event in Glasgow, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said that an independent Scotland would be an ‘outward looking nation’ which would use culture as a ‘bridge’.  She said “Next month we are hosting the second International Culture Summit in Edinburgh, bringing together Culture Ministers, artists, thinkers and arts leaders from around the world to encourage the sharing of ideas and collaboration between nations…As an independent nation, Scotland would have a network of 70-90 overseas missions.  These embassies and offices will be tasked with certain duties. I want to make it clear that one of those fundamental duties will be to promote Scottish culture internationally. It will be the biggest boost to Scotland’s international profile there has ever been.”  Scotland.gov.uk
 
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  Arts world divided as Scotland heads for independence vote  
 
 
In a piece for Arts Professional, arts policy consultant Christine Hamilton has surveyed arts sector responses to the referendum.  She points to many events, particularly run by libraries and theatre companies, which have been non-partisan but have invited audiences to think through the issues.  She says however that the majority of artists prominent in the campaign have supported a yes vote and argues this may partly be because the cultural sector in Scotland – with the exception of the media – has been largely homegrown since 1999 ‘and the sky has not fallen in’.  However she also argues that ‘no’ supporting creatives may be less visible, partly because the No campaign has been more politically and less community led, wryly adding that for left of centre artists  “the No campaign is not a natural home for those who oppose independence on the grounds that they support international socialism.”  However, some prominent Scottish creatives have supported the No campaign, notably J K Rowling who has contributed £1m. 
 
Meanwhile former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned that Scotland may ‘lose millions’ in National Lottery money in the event of a yes vote.  He said "No one says that lotteries will cease altogether in an independent Scotland – but the bigger the pool and the bigger the stage, the bigger the number of players, the bigger the prizes and the bigger the grants to Scottish organisations."  The HLF has historically spent 30% more per head in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.  A Scottish government spokesperson disputed the claim and said that the National Lottery would continue post-independence.  Arts Professional, Guardian
 
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  Wales produces culture ‘for the people’ but is starved of funding and media time  
 
 
David Anderson, Director of National Museum Wales and President of the Museums Association, has blogged that Welsh museums are being underfunded compared to ‘three boroughs in London’ and also getting less media attention from the BBC, despite doing a better job in reaching all sectors of society.  He writes:
 
Many of the key decisions that determine profile for the arts are made by publicly funded organisations based in London, such as the BBC and VisitBritain, which appear to have little knowledge or understanding of what is happening in the rest of the UK, and especially the devolved nations… 71% of funding for the arts in the whole of the UK from trusts and foundations, corporate donors and private individuals goes to London institutions.  The remaining 29% has to be shared out between all the other nations and regions…We are in the second decade of the twenty first century, but we still retain the highly centralised, nineteenth century, semi-colonial model that the arts should be concentrated in London, and that funding London is synonymous with serving the English regions and the nations of the UK.”
 
Anderson argues that the seven museums of National Museum Wales have a broader reach: “within Wales, there is a much greater sense that culture in the broadest definition is a communal resource and belongs to everyone.  At Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, 28% of visitors to our seven museums across South, West and North Wales are from social classes C2DE.  At a typical London national museum such as the National Gallery the figure is around a third of this, at 10%.”
 
He criticises the BBC’s broadcasting decisions as being part of the ‘unhealthy ecosystem’ – in deciding, for instance, to give substantial annual coverage to the Turner Prize but little to the annual Welsh Artes Mundi Prize – and argues that even if the Scots vote no to independence, Westminster and the BBC should ‘examine afresh’ their relationship with underrepresented regions.  BBC, National Museum Wales
 
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  Cuts  
 
 
  Bromley Council reject major HLF funding for Priory Revisited scheme  
 
 
In 2012, a delighted Bromley Council announced that it has been awarded £186.3k in development funds which would allow it to work towards a further bid of £1.794m to refurbish Bromley Museum at the Priory in Orpington.  In late July this year, however, it withdrew its application for the larger sum, ahead of an HLF decision meeting in September.
 
The council said “the HLF scheme relied on the council entering into a 25 year contract based on Bromley Museum being maintained at the Priory, as is their standard practice to protect lottery investment into projects for future generations.  At a time of huge financial pressures with unprecedented cuts across all services, we regret that it is simply not possible to make such a guarantee for a generation at this time.”
 
The Priory is more than 700 years old and one of the few pre-Reformation buildings to survive, and includes Grade II walled Arts & Crafts gardens.  The museum also houses the Sir John Lubbock Collection: an archaeology and ethnography collection built up by the social reformer and friend of Darwin who invented the August Bank holiday.  Bromley Council (2012), Bromley Council (2014), Bromley Council (Lubbock Collection)
 
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  Museums Association launches 2014 cuts survey  
 
 
The Museums Association has launched its fourth annual Cuts survey to assess the health of the sector across the UK.  The MA invites anyone working at any level in any kind of museum to fill in the survey.  Last year’s survey findings including 47% reporting an increase in volunteers, and 31% reporting a drop in school visits.  The survey closes on 8th August.  Museums Association
 
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  Torquay Museum ‘slips through cracks in funding’  
 
 
Torquay Museum has announced that it may close if local government plans to cut its grant by 42% in 2015–16 go ahead.  The independent museum receives £76k from Torbay Council which is central to its income.  The museum is run by six part time staff, following a previous round of cuts.  Barry Chandler for the museum said “We’re rejected [by funders] because we don’t have enough resources, but it’s a vicious circle being cut off from funding because the door is then closed to it in future.  It’s not that we don’t have audiences or important collections, it’s that we’ve suffered from a complete lack of infrastructure.”  Museums Journal, Torquay Museum, Torquay Herald
 
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  Valuing the best  
 
 
  ACE publishes Value of Culture report  
 
 
The Arts Council has published a report by consultants WolfBrown exploring how the value of culture has been measured in rigorous academic studies, in the UK and internationally, over the past 20 years.  Launching the report Chief Executive of ACE Alan Davey said “our aim in commissioning this review is to shed light on this debate, and to enliven it. A full picture depends on the contribution of diverse voices, and we hope readers will add theirs, to help us better understand and articulate the value and impacts of cultural experiences.”  Value of Culture
 
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  Pearls and wisdom: ACE publishes new report on the Designated Collections scheme  
 
 
The Arts Council has published its first major review of the Designation Scheme which highlights the very best collections in the UK.  Alan Davey writes that there is strong sector support for the scheme and agreement that the bar should remain high for inclusion.  However, he says, the significance of Designation has become slightly confused over the last few years: “Designation had expanded from being solely a judgement of quality and significance of the collection to acting like a quasi-standard with a view being taken on the performance of the holding organisation. As well as being structurally difficult, it understandably caused confusion with Designation being perceived as the next natural developmental progression after Accreditation. We also knew that, because of the upfront commitment that applying for Designation required, we needed to do more to filter the serious contenders earlier in the process.”  Arts Council
 
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  Create UK: a strategy for the Creative Industries launched  
 
 
Industry leaders from across the creative sector have come together to create a strategy for bringing together industry and government to build the sector.  The report CreateUK is also backed by a series of events and a pooling of statistics from across the sector, from craft to music, publishing, fashion, games and the arts.  The authors argue that while the creative industries are in a strong position to grow further, they sometimes struggle to attract finance.  It also argues that it should be possible for young people to study “a fusion of creative, technical, scientific and entrepreneurial subjects.”
 
The work was launched at Facebook headquarters in London, in the presence of Culture Secretary Sajid Javid and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.  Blogging about the event, Catherine Large of Creative and Cultural Skills writes “it is a real achievement that the industry has pulled this off. So often disparaged by Government for disjointed thinking, contradictory lobbying and statistics that don’t add up, it is great to think that we now have some unity.  It has no excuses now, it has to listen.”  CCskills, Creativeindustries.co.uk (report and launch events)
 
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  Events  
 
 
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  Home Fronts: Gender War and Conflict  
 
 
A broad-ranging conference at the University of Worcester from 5th–7th September looks at the roles of women in conflict, from Royalist widows in the Civil War to Lincolnshire Landgirls and the significance of lipstick in WW2.  Tickets are £130 for the whole conference (day tickets also available) and booking closes on 30th August.  University of Worcester
 
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  First ‘intangible heritage’ conference  
 
 
ICOMOS, the International Council on Monuments and Sites UK is holding first conference on ‘intangible cultural heritage in the UK’ at the Museum in Docklands on 20th September.  Supported by the Royal Anthropological Institute, it will cover everything from storytelling to rituals, traditional crafts and practices involving the nature of the universe which are a part of the UK’s cultural traditions.  Tickets are £75.  ICOMOS
 
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  From the ‘Annunciation of the Virgin Deal’ to the ‘Circle of the Lustful’ – ArtEverywhere  
 
 
The Art Fund supported poster campaign ArtEverywhere has kicked off for a second year, and will run until the end of August.  25 images will appear multiple times on large billboards across the country, including a new commission from Antony Gormley as well as works from artists from William Blake to Dora Carrington, Constable, Dame Laura Knight and Grayson Perry.  A public photography competition is running simultaneously with the exhibition, with a different task and prize each week.  ArtEverywhere 
 
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  Tyne and Wear explores ‘Going Digital’  
 
 
The Collections Trust is partnering with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums to deliver a one day conference on how museums can improve their basic use of computers and the internet.  It takes place on 17th November, and topics include holding a basic IT audit, getting collections online, basic copyright, using social media and what you can achieve on a shoestring budget.  Online registration opens in August, but people can register an interest at [email protected]  Sponsorship options are available.  Collections Trust
 
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  Oxford University Museums Conference: ‘16 lightning talks’  
 
 
Oxford University Museums are holding an afternoon of ’16 lightning talks’ on 29th September from 1.30pm to share updates on current projects and insights into work behind the scenes at the museums. The day is aimed at colleagues in the museum sector and university staff.  Tickets are free but booking is essential.  OxfordAspire
 
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  Awards  
 
 
  Yorkshire Sculpture Park named Museum of the Year  
 
 
The Art Fund’s annual £100k prize for Museum of the Year has been awarded to Yorkshire Sculpture Park.  Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said “a perfect fusion of art and landscape, the Yorkshire Sculpture Park has gone from modest beginning to one of the finest outdoor museums one might ever imagine.  In 2013 it really came of age – with art projects such as Yinka Shonibare’s extraordinary exhibition; the fruits of the expansion and consolidation of the landscape on both sides of the lake; and with the conversion of the chapel to house (as its inaugural exhibition) a major new work by Ai Weiwei.”  Simon Tait at Arts Industry described YSP as a  “national treasure of international renown - albeit created by one visionary and modest man”.  Founder and Director Peter Murray, who created the park in 1977, said “We are so surprised and honoured to win this major award . It’s extremely important to have the validation of our peers”.  The prize money will be spent on the creation of another new gallery for the park, which attracts 400,000 visitors per year.  ArtFund, Taitmail, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
 
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  RAF Museum becomes first to win autism access award  
 
 
The RAF Museum has won an award from the National Autistic Society for its work to make the museum more autism friendly.  It is the first winners of what will become an annual award.  Ellen Lee of the museum’s access and learning department developed a number of changes to the RAF Museum including a quiet space in the entrance hall and an accessibility guide and downloadable trail on its website.  Robert Pritchett for the Autism Society said “A trip to a museum can often be a frightening experience for the thousands of people in the UK living with autism. General sights and sounds in the environment such as the hum of the air conditioning, the glare of lights, together with the noise of other visitors, can result in debilitating sensory overload.  However, if small, thoughtful adjustments are made venues can easily become autism friendly.”  RAF Museum
 
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  Engage offer 2014 awards for literacy and gallery education  
 
 
Engage has launched their 2014/15 awards for educational work in galleries.  The Max Reinhardt Literacy Awards offer three museum or gallery venues £3,500 towards creative writing and literacy work with schools.  The deadline is 10am on 9th September.  The Marsh Award offers four practitioners, nominated by their peers for excellence in gallery education, £500 each to spend on professional development.  The deadline is 11th August.  Engage (literacy), Engage (gallery education)
 
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  Kids in Museums Family Friendly longlist announced  
 
 
The Telegraph and Kids in Museums have published the shortlist for their annual family friendly museum award.  The six-strong list ranges from the Elgin Museum in Moray to the National Maritime Museum in Cornwall, and the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Essex to Beamish in County Durham.  Families will now visit the museums as ‘mystery shoppers’ to choose a winner. Telegraph, Kids in Museums
 
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  CASW offers Welsh museums opportunity to buy contemporary art  
 
 
The Contemporary Art Society for Wales is offering an award of up to £9k to a museum in Wales to purchase contemporary art.  The work must have been created in the last six years by a Welsh artist, or someone who has been resident in Wales for at least three years.  The award is open to all institutions accredited by CyMal, and the closing date for applications is 1st September.  Details don’t appear on CASW’s website: contact their Secretary, Andy Taylor at [email protected] for an application form.  CASW
 
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  Pausing to think ahead: new ideas for shaping the sector  
 
 
  Early career museum professionals give a Manifesto for the Future of Museums  
 
 
At a conference earlier this year, 65 early career museum professionals asked what the sector should look like in 20 years time.  The result is the Manifesto for the Future of Museums, written by the participants, which sets out their ideas, visions and aspirations.
 
The conference was a chance for those within six years of their first museum job to voice their views on the future of their profession.  It gave a chance to be idealistic, rather than realistic; and explore the impossible as well as the pragmatic.  Topics include training, collections, finance and job structures.  The conference was organised by Dr Rachel Souhami, museums academic & consultant, and Dr Steve Cross, head of public engagement at UCL.  Follow-up events are planned for the autumn. Museums Showoff (full report)
 
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  Research for HLF conference finds that heritage funding is in ‘vulnerable state’  
 
 
The charity thinktank New Philanthropy Capital say that funding for heritage is in a ‘vulnerable state’ in a piece of research commissioned for the Heritage Lottery Fund conference, Heritage Exchange.  The thinktank argues that few are thinking entrepreneurially about supporting heritage:
 
  • 60% of heritage organisations questioned said they relied on grants as their biggest source of income; 21% on government grants and 39% on grants from other organisations.
  • 31% of organisations with a revenue over £100k and 45% of organisations with revenue over £1m have seen a drop in income.
  • Heritage organisations often have significant assets with 60% owning a physical heritage asset, mainly buildings and/or collections.
  • 66% have no interest in taking on debt, and there was great concern that non-grant income will be hard to access because of mission, relevance and eligibility of heritage organisations.
 
HLF Chair Jenny Abramsky said “HLF has always valued enterprising ways of making heritage more financially secure and the importance of measuring impact, but this NPC research shows that many heritage organisations are struggling with the skills needed to secure finance in new ways.  Together we need to take some practical steps to ensure they are better equipped to do so.”  HLF, Museums Association
 
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  Royal Society for the Arts calls for more ‘place shaping’ heritage  
 
 
The Royal Society of Arts has produced new research showing that local authorities are underusing heritage assets as a way to help areas thrive.  The report, which was commissioned by HLF for its Heritage Exchange event, said that instead of basing local strategies on ‘famous dates and people’ there should be a greater focus on creating heritage which aids the wellbeing of the whole community.  RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor said “The UK’s heritage is much-loved but its immense value is being ignored.  If leaders don’t assess heritage assets, find it hard to describe what they are and don’t know who best to talk to about them, it’s hardly surprising that their heart-felt enthusiasm for the history and identity of their places is not manifest in a convincing local heritage strategy.  The challenge for local authorities is to raise their sights from protecting history (although this is vital) to the possibility of heritage being at the heart of the conversation about a place’s future.”  HLF
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
  Reshuffle  
 
 
Ed Vaizey has been promoted from Under-Secretary of State at DCMS to Minister of State at DCMS and BIS, with responsibility for the Digital Industries.  Arts Professional
 
Nicky Morgan becomes new Education Secretary, as Michael Gove moves to the office of Chief Whip.  Independent
 
A complete list of ministerial appointments can be found at Gov.uk
 
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  Heritage Lottery Fund seeks new Chair  
 
 
Dame Jenny Abramsky, who became Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund in 2008, is to step down in August 2014.  The Prime Minister will appoint the new Chair, following advice from Culture Secretary Sajid Javid.  The HLF writes “the Chair will need to have a broad appreciation of heritage and promoting its public understanding and enjoyment, together with strong skills in strategic leadership, analytical thinking, influencing, communication and a sound understanding of corporate governance”.  The closing date is 28th August.  HLF
 
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  ACE makes redundancies costing £3.9m  
 
 
The Arts Council’s annual report shows that restructuring in July 2013 led to 152 redundancies, costing £3.9m.  ACE’s funding agreement for 2011–15 requires a 50% reduction in administrative costs.  There were also 32 posts lost in 2012–13.  The Arts Council’s total number of employees has fallen from 531 in 2012/13 to 413 in 2013/14.  Museums Journal
 
Also: Martin Brookes has left the Paul Hamlyn Foundation ‘by mutual agreement’ a year after being appointed to the role.  Third Sector
 
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  Funding  
 
 
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  Arts Council grants to appear on searchable database  
 
 
The Arts Council is to make its grant funding easier to track by the public.  Although contracts over 10k are already published, they will now be made more searchable.  There may also be further publication of grant detail, but ACE is still in the early stages of planning.  Their decision coincides with an investigation into government grants by the National Audit Office, which reports that it is impossible how grants are performing across departments because there is no single system tracking them.  Arts Professional
 
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  From the Fire Service to the Maritime Museum: First World War projects funded in Scotland  
 
 
Museums Galleries Scotland have awarded the first £122k to museums across Scotland for work to commemorate the First World War.  Projects include:
 
  • An exhibition exploring the story of shipbuilders on the Clyde, bringing together the Glasgow School of Art with the Royal Scottish Academy of Art and Scottish Maritime Museum.
  • The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service are developing a website and mobile museum to tell the story of the importance of the Fire Service in the war.  It will also involve unemployed young people in a creative writing project.
  • Scottish Borders Council Museum Service will commemorate the Gallipoli campaign where many soldiers from the area served, including many community engagement projects.
 
Museum Galleries Scotland
 
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  ACE funded organisations typically raising 50% of costs through commerce  
 
 
The Stage has been examining ACE’s most recent annual report for 2012/13 and points to the increasing amount of income earned by National Portfolio Organisations.  NPOs earned 49% of their money through ticket sales, education work and catering in 2011/12, increasing to 52% in  2012/13.  12% came from sponsorship and philanthropy, 9% from local authorities and 27% from ACE.  Arts Council Chair Peter Bazalgette said that NPOs were “leaner and more business-minded than ever before”.  The Stage
 
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  Nesta calls for ‘venture funding’ the cultural sector  
 
 
Nesta, by contrast, is unimpressed by the shift in figures for non-grant income in the cultural sector, arguing it has altered little since 2007/8.  In a report: The New Art of Finance: Making Money Work Harder for the Arts it argues that more can be done to introduce innovative funding models to the sector, and says that funders should not just be providing R&D for risky innovation in artforms but also for risky innovation in funding models.  In particular it proposes:
 
  • The state should fund and incentivise arts organisations to invest in fundraising R&D.
  • There should be more social enterprise investment, with the sector attracting funders who want to combine financial, social and artistic impact.
  • Crowdfunding should be used as a way of ‘match funding’ public funds.
 
They argue that £16m of existing funds ringfenced in this way could reasonably be expected to raise an extra £72m for the cultural sector.  Museums Journal, Nesta
 
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  From heavy to creative industries: new uses for old buildings in Stoke on Trent  
 
 
One in five city centre shops in Stoke on Trent are boarded up, and listed buildings associated with the coal industry have been empty since the 1970s.  Now a grant of £450k from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation will be used to transform some of these spaces into galleries and theatres.  They hope the work will encourage more students to stay in the area after graduation and kickstart the local economy.  The five year project, called ArtCity, is also being supported by the local government and university as well as existing arts spaces.  Laurence Scott for the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation said it hoped to “develop Stoke as an arts destination and illustrate the power of the arts sector as a vehicle for social and economic regeneration”.  BBC, Esmee Fairbairn
 
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  Local authorities ‘value culture’ but are moving from ‘funder to facilitator’  
 
 
A report by a new independent thinkthank, the New Local Government Network, has evaluated the relationship between local government and cultural provision.  Findings include:
 
  • Local government has historically been the ‘unsung hero’ of cultural provision, but funding has dropped by 19% in the last three years.
  • The top reasons for funding the arts are local economic development and in support of health and wellbeing.
  • 40% of local government workers strongly agreed that their employer valued arts and culture, and 48% agreed.
  • Only 8% thought that arts and culture were essential to their residents, although 65% thought it was important.
  • Many arts and culture officers feel positive – “while local government as a sector has received ‘bad press’ through high profile funding cuts such in Newcastle and Somerset, those working within local authorities have far greater confidence that their own authority values the arts and culture.”
  • A combination of local government officers with a particular interest and demand from residents keeps cultural services alive: in Northamptonshire and Darlington representations from local residents were so strong that cut plans were rethought.
  • Although 60.7% of those surveyed said they had withdrawn funding from the arts in the last five years, there has also been diversification into alternative modes of delivery, including outsourcing, shared services, charitable trusts, social enterprise, community ownership and third sector delivery.
 
Arts Council, Arts Professional
 
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  Magna Carta 800 committee announces first round of grants  
 
 
The Magna Carta 800 committee received £1m in the last Budget for commemorative events, and has now announced the first recipients.  They include 20k for a Lincoln artists in residence programme, a touring exhibition of the Faversham Magna Carta and grants for the Royal Commonwealth Society and American Bar Association.  The Lincolnite, Canterbury Times, Heritage Alliance (scroll)
 
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  Outside interests: parks and seasides  
 
 
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  HLF worries about Parklife  
 
 
The Heritage Lottery Fund has published a new report about the potential decline of public parks: State of UK Public Parks: Renaissance to risk?  The report says that 34 million people each year visit public parks, many of which were created by the Victorians.  HLF has invested over £700m since 1996 and parks are now in a good state, but risk a decline back to their situation in the 70s and 80s without action now as 86% of parks managers report cuts to budgets since 2010, with the trend expected to continue.  The report recommends renewed local authority commitment, establishing new partnerships, getting communities involved, collecting and sharing data and developing new finance models.
 
The HLF has also announced a £34.5m investment in 13 parks, ranging from preserving historic features like bandstands and gatehouses to creating children’s play areas and cafes.  Venues range from the Victorian Moor Park in Preston to the Hemel Hempstead Jellicoe Water Gardens designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1957.  HLF, HLF (grants)
 
Also: HLF is investing £3m in Scotland’s National Parks, with an emphasis on the youth training that will help create a new generation with the conservation skills needed to sustain them.  ALVA
 
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  A breath of fresh air: talking up the health benefits of culture by the seaside  
 
 
A new report Cultural Value and Social Capital has been looking at the culture-led regeneration of three seaside towns: Margate (home to Turner Contemporary), Bexhill on Sea (De La Warr Pavilion) and Folkestone (the Creative Foundation). 
 
Folkestone was once ‘the most aristocratic resort in the country’ and all three towns drew large crowds seeking health and holidays in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.  The collapse of the English seaside in the 80s left behind only the elderly, and in Margate’s case some of the most deprived wards in the UK.  The researchers tracked the health effects of the recent resurgence of these towns through structured interviews with a wide group of culture providers and the general public.  Their report argues that there is a wealth of evidence for the mental and physical health effects of culture but it has not been tracked by cultural bodies, and cultural funders have not provided a framework for collecting this data.  Two participants commented on the regeneration: “You make friends”; “It’s changed the town completely. We love it”. The participating venues said they would “welcome the introduction of simple-to-use evaluation tools that might shed light on levels of wellbeing or positive affect generated by their everyday activities”.  Nick Ewbank (whole report), Arts Professional
 
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  City plans quick recovery from Eastbourne pier fire  
 
 
A section of Eastbourne pier was destroyed by fire in late July – police are still investigating the cause.  The Prime Minister has pledged £2m towards its repair and a crowdfunding scheme has also been launched locally.  Eastbourne Council are hoping to repair the damage within the year.  This is not the first major damage to the pier: in 1877 the landward half of the structure was swept away by a storm.  BBC, ALVA
 
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  Mighty milk pail dominates new Somerset gallery  
 
 
Commercial art gallery Hauser and Wirth has opened a new outlet in a disused farm in rural Somerset, its entrance dominated by a 16ft milk pail by artist Subodh Gupta.  The gallery is a personal project by Iwan Wirth who said he wants to ‘slow down’ to the pace of the 1990s.  Although he hopes rich buyers will make the trip to see work by more than 40 contemporary artists, the space has a strong community aspect, welcoming to locals with an organic farm shop and a restaurant.  Four exhibitions a year will be complemented by social outreach programming: local teachers are being invited to consider how to use the space for school visits, and the gallery is already collaborating on a youth project with the Old Vic.  Hauser and Wirth, Guardian
 
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  Visitor statistics  
 
 
  Taking Part Adult Statistics: museum attendance up, charitable donations down  
 
 
DCMS has released the latest round of Taking Part statistics, which give an overview of adult attendance at museums, galleries, heritage sites and libraries for the whole year April 2013 – March 2014.  Significant findings for the year include:
 
  • 53.1% of adults visited a museum or gallery in the last year – a similar figure to 2012/13 and up 10.8% since 2005/6;
  • 97% visited in their own free time;
  • Socio-economic group has a strong effect on visits: 62.7% of the upper socio-economic group visited, compared to 38.7% of the lower group.  57.5% of those in work visited, compared to 46.6% of those not working;
  • Respondents who donated to a ‘DCMS sector’ charity in the period have dropped to a new low of 29%.  Museums and galleries account for 15% of these donations, with just 5% giving to the arts;
  • Visits to museum websites have dropped slightly: 27.5% in 2013/14 compared to 31.3% in 2012/13;
  • Library attendance continues to steadily fall, with 40.8% visiting in the last year, compared to 52.3% in 2005/6.  Women are around 25% more likely to visit libraries than men;
  • 77.5% of adults attended an arts event last year, up 1.2% since 2005/6;
  • 7% of adults have volunteered in the DCMS sector (which includes sport as well as culture).
 
DCMS, Taking Part, Arts Professional
 
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  More uses for iBeacons  
 
 
The National Geographic Museum in Washington has become the latest to make use of the newish iBeacon technology – which allows exhibit-specific information to appear on users' smartphones as visitors explore a museum, without needing wifi or downloads.  However the museum is also using the tech to track which exhibits are of most interest to visitors and track their route around the gallery – something not previously possible without far more intensive on-the-ground research.
 
Meanwhile a citywide museums trial of iBeacons is also taking place in Bristol, including Brunel’s SS Great Britain, The City Museum and Art Gallery, and MShed .  National Geographic, Collections Trust
 
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  Curriculum changes mean less museum visits, say teachers  
 
 
According to research by the National Society for Education in Art and Design (NSEAD) school visits to museums are declining because of changes to the National Curriculum.  Their reports combine the results of two surveys carried out between 2011–14.  Ronan Brindley of Manchester Art Gallery said that the findings reflected their experience: “primary school visits are relatively healthy but we’re definitely having to work harder to get secondary schools in.  The schools that traditionally warmed to us are still there but the more marginalised ones are taking more time and resources to connect to.”  The report adds that less than a third of teachers say that pupils are encouraged to take arts based subjects - and that more able students are actively discouraged.  Museums Association, Arts Professional
 
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  Training and education  
 
 
  V&A offers training for regional museum photography curators  
 
 
The V&A is offering two year-long photography curator’s training programmes to staff from regional museums which have a photography collection but need to upskill to get more use from their holdings.  As there is no Subject Specialist Network for Photography, these are collections which frequently lie dormant, therefore the ArtFund is supporting the V&A’s two year pilot to strengthen the subject area.  Participants will spend six months in the Photographs section of the V&A with a curator as mentor and six months at the partner museum working on the agreed project.  The deadline for applications is 11th August.  The first traineeship will begin in December 2014, the second in September 2015.  Museums Development North West
 
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  Collections Trust launch collections management traineeships...  
 
 
The Collections Trust and Arts Council are launching a joint pilot collections management traineeship programme.  They are offering support to up to 20 trainees working in English museums to build their skills.  Participants will receive financial support for an initial seminar and agreed project work.  The closing date for applications is 21st August.  Collections Trust
 
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  …and seeks partners for Creative Employment Programme bid  
 
 
Collections Trust is also seeking up to 20 museums to create a consortium to bid for funding for 12 month apprenticeships in the museum sector.  They will collectively bid to Cultural & Creative Skills who are offering up to £1.5k per apprentice, provided they are employed for 12 months, are currently unemployed and aged 16–24.  All apprentices must receive at least the minimum wage.  Museums can apply directly the CCSkills, but those joining the Collection Trust scheme will get help with putting together the bid and will be able to share experience with the rest of the consortium as the scheme progresses.  The Collections Trust writes: “[CT has] set a long-term ambition to open up new, non-academic routes to employment in the museum and heritage sector.  Collections Management provides an ideal platform for the diversification of the heritage workforce.  As a professional practice, it offers an unique combination of practical skills, workplace-based development and good opportunities for career progression.”  Collections Trust
 
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  Brother, can you spare a denarii?  
 
 
The Money and Medals specialist network is working to create a national database of numismatic collections and is approaching museums of all sizes for details of their coins, medals, token and associated objects.  The network is also holding regional training sessions on storage, display and identification.  Contact Henry Flynn [email protected] for further details.  Money and Medals
 
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  Museums Association call for arts curriculum and cultural policy  
 
 
In a response to the Labour Party policy paper on young people and the arts, the Museums Association has called for a closer alignment of cultural policy and the arts curriculum, citing the example of Scotland where the curriculum is more dependent on outside learning.  The MA would also like to see one trustee with a responsibility for cultural learning in every publicly funded cultural body.  Museums Association
 
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  Extra £18m for music hubs  
 
 
Education Minister Nick Gibb has announced an extra £18m to be spent on music education. Much will go to the education hubs established in 2012.  Arts Council data for 2012/13 showed 80,000 disadvantaged children and 30,000 with special educational needs taking part in music education, showing the impact of the hubs.  Gov.uk
 
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  And finally…  
 
 
To mark #MuseumCats day, Nick Poole, for the Collections Trust, has issued guidance on the care of Museum Cats, beginning with the crucial stage of ascertaining whether your cat is Alive, Dead or Figurative.  He notes “The care and conservation of living cats is likely to require a different overall management plan.  As an example, living cats are generally less amenable to taxidermy.”  If you would like to offer a high standard of Museum Cat care while also avoiding a raid from the RSPCA, you can read his full advice here: Collections Trust
 
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  Jobs  
 
 
  Current vacancies on the NMDC jobs website include:
 
 
See the full selection of current jobs at NMDC members' organisations here.
 
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