October 2014

NMDC newsletter: October 2014
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  NMDC newsletter: October 2014
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Major funding for Hadid-designed maths gallery at the Science Museum

Wedgewood campaign raises £2m in three weeks

RAMM seeks to buy huge hoard of Roman coins discovered in Devon

Sir Peter Bazalgette makes the case for cultural sponsorship to the City

Art Fund seeks curators with the ‘X Factor’

Arts Council launches £30m Museums Resilience Fund

National Maritime Museum Cornwall is family friendly museum of the year

Alzheimer’s Society seeks dementia friendly museums

Arts Council publish diversity statistics

Alan Davey headhunted by the BBC as Controller of Radio 3

Ed Vaizey urges partnership working as way out of local museum funding problems

National Museum Wales faces in-year cuts of £200k

New sports collections site kicking off online

ACE invests £1.8m in online multi-channel network to stream arts and culture

British Museum to build new outpost in Minecraft

Party manifestos, STEM and STEAM
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Members’ news  |  Funding news  |  Awards for resilience, innovation and curatorial flair  |  Museum development  |  Social  value  |  Events  |  Appointments  |  Funding museum services  |  Tech  |  Education  |  Understanding audiences  |  Images  |  Jobs  
 
 
  Members’ news  
 
 
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  Major funding for Hadid-designed maths gallery at the Science Museum  
 
 
Following a £5m donation by philanthropists David and Claudia Harding, the Science Museum is planning a new maths gallery.  It will be designed by architect Zaha Hadid.  Science Museum Director Ian Blatchford said “with this gallery we want to evoke the kind of excitement around mathematics as our Collider exhibition has done around particle physics and with Zaha Hadid’s extraordinary designs this project is off to the best start imaginable.  This appointment reflects our ambition to deliver the world’s foremost gallery of mathematics both in its collection and its design.”  David Harding said “mathematics is a fascinating and mysterious but, for some, forbidding subject.  The new gallery has been created to convey something of that fascination in a way that will appeal to a wide audience.”  The new gallery will open in 2016.  Science Museum
 
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  IWM launches first global touring exhibition in Melbourne  
 
 
The Imperial War Museum has announced the First World War Centenary Exhibition, which is the first ever exhibition of IWM objects to tour the world.  It broadly follows the narrative of IWM’s new First World War galleries and will open at the Melbourne Museum, Australia in April 2015.  350 items will be shown including fragments from the Red Baron’s aircraft and a sketch made in the early hours of the first assault of Gallipoli.  Director-General of IWM Diane Lees said "I am delighted to announce today, that for the first time ever, the collections in the Imperial War Museums will be touring the globe in this brand new exhibition.  The First World War has come to the forefront in the last year.  It was a conflict that cost over 16 million lives and affected the lives of many, many more.  IWM's collections bear witness to the ordinary and extraordinary stories of those affected by the war, and it is an honour to be able to share them with visitors across the world in this new exhibition.Centenary News
 
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  New £2m plan for National Media Museum emphasises science  
 
 
The Science Museum Group and Bradford City Council will each be giving £1m over three years to the National Media Museum in Bradford.  The new money will help the museum to evolve programmes to teach young people the technology and science skills which underpin film and television, meeting teaching needs of local schools.  Head of Bradford Council David Green said "We have always said that the Council would be prepared to consider a financial injection on condition that the Science Museum Group approved a business plan that would secure the continued presence of the National Media Museum in Bradford, including levering in funding from a range of organisations and commercial sponsors.”  The museum will also bring in a commercial operator to run one or more of its cinemas.  Arts Industry (subscription only), Telegraph & Argus, Yorkshire Post
 
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  Highest ever visitor numbers at DCMS museums  
 
 
DCMS-supported museums in England have recorded their highest monthly visitor numbers since records began, with nearly six million visits in August, up 10.5% from August 2013.  Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: “This is outstanding news.  Our museums are world beaters with their priceless collections, their scholarship and their impeccable customer service, so it is fantastic to see that this is matched by visit numbers."  DCMS
 
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  Putting curators among the pigeons  
 
 
Birmingham Museums has discovered a previously unidentified stuffed passenger pigeon in their collections.  The bird once existed in the US in huge numbers but went extinct in 1914.  It was spotted in the museum stores by science curatorial trainee Lukas Large.  The bird was first discovered, but not properly identified in the store in 1998.  It is not known when it was accessioned.  Birmingham Mail
 
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  Tate’s Matisse ‘most successful temporary exhibition ever’  
 
 
Tate Modern’s Matisse exhibition received 562,622 visits, making this its most successful temporary exhibition ever, as well as the first to top half a million visits.  Blogging on the DCMS website, Culture Minster Ed Vaizey praised the institution by pointing out that the figures are “the equivalent of the London Olympic Stadium – at its 2012 capacity – filled seven times over”.  He also went on to praise Tate's record for access, both in broadcasting Matisse Live to 200 cinemas around the country, and for its recent lending record to regional museums, including Margate, Newcastle and Liverpool.  Tate’s annual report showed an overall decline in visitor figures from 7.8m in 2012/13 to 7m in 2013/14: Director Nick Serota said this was predictable following the ‘bounce’ from the Olympics and the opening of The Tanks.  DCMS blog, Arts Professional, Tate
 
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  Funding news  
 
 
  Wedgewood campaign raises £2m in three weeks  
 
 
The Art Fund's campaign to raise £2.74m to save the Wedgewood Collection, launched last month, has raised £2m in less than three weeks.  Construction equipment firm JCB then offered £100k, which was immediately match-funded by a private donor.  The collection is under threat of being split up and sold off following the 250 year old Wedgewood firm going into receivership.  £13m had already been raised from the HLF, private trusts and the Art Fund itself.  The remaining £0.55m must now be found by 30th November.
 
Speaking about the speed of the response to the fundraising campaign (just before the JCB donation), Art Fund Director Stephen Deuchar said “This is truly extraordinary in our fundraising history… With just under £750,000 to go, we continue to talk to several further potential funders.  The remarkable affection and concern for the Wedgwood Collection has never been so profoundly visible as through the convergence of so many individuals, trusts and foundations.  Every single donor in the community of givers should be immensely proud of the scale of what has been achieved to date.”  Art Fund
 
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  RAMM seeks to buy huge hoard of Roman coins discovered in Devon  
 
 
Metal detectorist Laurence Edgerton has discovered one of the largest hoards of coins ever found near Seaton in East Devon.  Once he realised the extent of his find, Edgerton rang the authorities and then slept in his car for three nights by the buried treasure, until it could be removed by archaeologists.  The copper coins are associated with the Emperor Constantine (AD 306–37) and his family.  They date from a time of rebellions and invasions in Britain.  Edgerton said that after initially finding a couple of coins and some iron ingots “The next shovel was full of coins - they just spilled out over the field. I had no idea how far down the coins went so I stopped immediately and phoned my wife to come to the site with a camera. It's by far the biggest find I've ever had. It really doesn't get any better than this!”
 
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter is now seeking to buy the hoard, and is asking for public donations at www.don8.to/RAM002.  Exeter Councillor Rosie Denham said “It would be a wonderful addition to RAMM's collection of local Romano-British objects…We hope that public support will enable us to acquire the hoard.  It has so many exciting stories to tell not least of which is the exemplary cooperation between the finder, landowner, PAS and county authorities".  The collection was recorded as the millionth find in the Portable Antiquities Scheme database.  Arts Council, Daily Mail (film and images), Portable Antiquities Scheme
 
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  Sir Peter Bazalgette makes the case for cultural sponsorship to the City  
 
 
Writing for City AM, the Arts Council Chair succinctly makes the economic case for business support of culture.  He argues that:
 
  • Culture supports ‘Brand Britain’ and British Council research demonstrates that countries with exposure to our culture are more likely to do business here
  • Most economic growth in the next decade will come from cities.  “Cities need souls as well as sewers.  Any employer has a vested interest in their locality being a rewarding place to live. That is how you attract a talented workforce.
  • The cultural industries sector is the fastest growing in the UK – growing 8.6% in 2011-12 when the rest of the economy grew by 0.7%.  The talent which feeds this sector comes from the funded arts sector.
 
He added: “Our creative industries produce – and export – computer games, music, movies, architectural and design services, and TV programmes, as well as brilliant shows such as War Horse and Matilda.  We also produce Oscar winners.  Both Steve McQueen and Danny Boyle had their first breaks through publicly-funded arts organisations.”  City AM
 
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  New EU rules may make digital fundraising harder from 2017  
 
 
The EU is contemplating a change in the law around Data Protection which, if implemented, would come into force from 2017.  Under the scheme, people would have to explicitly opt in to mailing lists, rather than the current ‘opt out’ system which means charities can assume that people who have expressed an interest or interacted would like to be on their mailing list, unless they expressly say otherwise.  The Institute of Fundraising is seeking to modify the new law, and its trustee Stephen Pigeon says “if the EU introduce compulsory ‘opt-ins’ for direct mail then the cold mailing lists that still drive minor donor fundraising will disappear and, with them, millions of pounds”.  Civil Society
 
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  Tate appears before Information Tribunal over BP sponsorship  
 
 
Representatives from the Tate have appeared before the Information Tribunal to defend their right not to disclose the financial details of their sponsorship by BP. Tate’s head of legal argued that the protests, which have been led by the group Platform, ‘might intensify’ if the details were revealed.  The tribunal will now deliver a verdict within three months.  Arts Professional
 
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  Awards for resilience, innovation and curatorial flair  
 
 
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  Art Fund seeks curators with the ‘X Factor’  
 
 
The Art Fund has launched a new prize, which helps ‘rising star’ curators develop their careers, while also offering up to £300k shared among all winners, to take collecting in a new direction at their institutions.  The New Collecting Awards are supported by a consortium of foundations and public funders.  They offer:
 
  • 100% funding for focused and ambitious collections of fine and applied arts;
  • Help for museums and galleries to extend their collections in new directions;
  • Promotion of research-led collecting and staff development.
 
Director of the Art Fund Stephen Deuchar said “You might say this programme is like an X Factor for curators.  We’re looking for curators on the up for whom receiving a New Collecting Award would be a big break and a unique contribution to their professional development.  The New Collecting Awards scheme acknowledges that the excellent development of collections requires real curatorial vision and ambition.”  The first deadline for expressions of interest is 7th November, after which some curators will be invited to make formal applications. 
 
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  Museums + Heritage Awards launch for 2015  
 
 
The Museums + Heritage Awards have launched for 2015, with a deadline of 30th January for entries.  Ten categories this year include:
 
  • Best customer service
  • Marketing campaign
  • Categories for permanent, temporary and touring exhibitions
  • Restoration and conservation
  • Educational initiative
  • Trading and enterprise
 
For a third year the awards include a partnership with Guardian Culture Professionals Network to gather public nominations for the most inspiring museum or heritage visitor attraction.  M + H
 
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  Europa Nostra Awards opens for 2015  
 
 
The Europa Nostra Awards which celebrate the best of the heritage sector across Europe have opened for 2015.  There are prizes across the whole field of cultural heritage from architecture to collections to intangible culture.  30 prizes will be awarded and up to seven top winners will receive 10k euros.  The closing date for entries is 15th October.  Europa Nostra
 
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  Arts Council launches £30m Museums Resilience Fund  
 
 
The Arts Council has launched the Museums Resilience Fund which will provide £30m in funding to museums over three years, beginning with £10m in 2015/16.  It replaces the Renaissance Strategic Support Fund, and is intended to make museums more sustainable.  Director of Museums at ACE John Orna-Ornstein said “it does what it says on the tin, it’s the less sexy stuff that is so important in underpinning the sustainability of museums moving forward.”  The new fund lowers limits on minimum grants and number of visitors, and is also open for projects that last up to three years. 
 
The Arts Council hope this will extend the potential applicants to cover the ‘vast majority’ of museums.  However major partner museums and national museums cannot apply, except where supporting a Subject Specialist Network.  Grants range from £20k - £300k.  Museums Journal
 
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  Esmée Fairbairn collections fund opens for new round  
 
 
The Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund has reopened for its tenth round, with a closing date for initial applications of 17th April 2015.  The fund is administered by the Museums Association and offers from £20k–100k in grants from an overall pot of £1m.  Museums Journal
 
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  Enterprising museums shortlisted  
 
 
Arts & Business Scotland has announced the shortlist for the Enterprising Museum of the Year award, part of their wider Scotland Awards.  The shortlisted projects are:
 
  • Abbot House in Dunfermline, for their project Abbot Brew House
  • The Benholm and Johnshaven Heritage Society for ‘Our Village: A People’s Story of Johnshaven’
  • The Aberdeenshire Farming Museum for their project, ‘You are what you eat’.
 
Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Glasgow on October 24th. A&BScotland (all shortlists in spreadsheet at bottom of page), MGS
 
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  National Maritime Museum Cornwall is family friendly museum of the year  
 
 
The National Maritime Museum Cornwall has won the Kids in Museums/Telegraph family friendly museum of the year award. Its Director Jonathan Griffin said “If you reach families you are reaching a very diverse group: different ages, abilities, backgrounds. If you get it right for them, you get it right for lots of audiences.  We are 100% funded by the visitors, we are not like the big national museums, we have to live on our wits.  That’s why the whole place is so focused on making it a brilliant experience for visitors.”  Patron of Kids in Museums Dan Snow said "If museums throughout the country could tell stories of our shared history this well, we’d have a whole generation of young people who’d be museum goers and historians. We’d also have young people who could imagine new and better futures, inspired by the stories of the past.Museums Journal, Kids in Museums
 
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  London Volunteeers in  Museums award winners announced  
 
 
The London Volunteers in Museums Award winners have been announced for 2014 at the Jewish Museum.  Winners were:
 
  • Best Team – London Transport Museum
  • Going the Extra Mile – RAF Museum, London
  • Developing a role – Horniman Museum
  • Long Service – Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
  • Special Youth – Geffrye Museum
  • Support, managing and encouragement – Museum of London
 
Kids in Museums
 
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  Museum development  
 
 
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  Value Engineering – deciding where to spend on gallery redesign at RAMM  
 
 
In August’s edition of Museum Management and Curatorship, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum's Senior Collections Officer Julien Parsons provides an insight into the knotty issue of Value Engineering.  For the uninitiated, VE is commonly encountered in large development projects when costs spiral and need to be realigned with budgets.  But how do museum clients decide what must be cut?  What constitutes good value for museum displays?  On what basis should clients be making their decisions?  And in the final analysis, what should be sacrificed: audio-visuals, interactive exhibits or glass showcases?
 
Parsons draws on the experiences of the team who oversaw the gallery refurbishment at RAMM which earned the Exeter museum the 2012 Art Fund prize.  He does not claim to have the answers, but instead seeks to expose the processes the RAMM team employed – both good and bad.  He argues that ‘capturing the essence’ – understanding the heartbeat of your organisation, your audience and the nature of your planned transformation – can help you to rationalise the difficult choices needed along the way.  TandFonline (whole article, pay for access), RAMM (summary, free)
 
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  Nine museums confirmed as recipients of Arts Council’s Museums Development Fund  
 
 
The Arts Council has confirmed eight museum groups and one city council as distributors of the Museums Development Fund, which will help provide professional advice to all museums, with a particular focus on smaller museums.  Together the groups will receive around £3m each year.  They are:
 
  • Bristol Museums, Galleries & Archives (BMGA) (South West)
  • Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (Midlands)
  • Leicestershire County Council (Midlands)
  • Manchester City Galleries (North)
  • Museum of London (London)
  • Norfolk Museums Service (South East)
  • Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove (South East)
  • Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums (North)
  • York Museums Trust (North)
 
Many were already providing these services and are confirmed to continue until 2018, but Ironbridge Gorge is taking over work previously administered by the Marches network.  Arts Council, Arts Council (scroll down: development fund is second item on both links)
 
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  Social value  
 
 
  Deputy Labour leader calls for Tate Liverpool to be used as ‘cultural blueprint’  
 
 
Deputy Labour leader Harriet Harman has visited Tate Liverpool to look at work carried out by the gallery with young people.  She said that Labour is looking ahead to create a manifesto which will encourage children from ‘every walk of life’ to access culture.  She added: “We want to see what Liverpool is doing so we can build that sense of entitlement for every community and every child in the country.  There are whole areas that have become cultural deserts.  But Liverpool is an emblem of how outside London people are working together in a great city (in the arts).”  She argued that Arts Council funding should be contingent on organisations proving that they could provide ‘social value’, and said that Labour would also support more devolution to the regions.  Liverpool Echo
 
Also: Harriet Harman announced the launch of the Labour Arts Alliance at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester last week.  She said: "a future Labour Government would ensure the arts are for everyone, not just for some - with real focus on young people.  Labour Arts Alliance will be an important new platform to bring together all those who care about the arts and who share our vision for a 21st century arts policy which delivers arts for all."  Labour Arts Alliance
 
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  Alzheimer’s Society seeks dementia friendly museums  
 
 
The Alzheimer’s Society is working in partnership with the Museums Association as part of their scheme to find 75 dementia friendly venues across all areas of society by 2015.  The Museums Association has joined the Society's arts subgroup and is now inviting museums to offer case studies.  Sharon Heal for the Museums Association said “It is a fantastic opportunity for museums and galleries to share some of the excellent work they’ve been doing to reach out to people with dementia, and to highlight this impact to politicians, key decision-makers and the public.”  Museums Journal
 
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  Look back in optimism  
 
 
Blogging for Nesta, Rowland Manthorpe suggests that think tanks should be looking to the past as well as the future for solutions to current social problems, arguing that we should draw ideas from how society coped with events such as the job losses in the early industrial revolution, 30s austerity, 50s housing shortages and the energy crises of the 70s.  Paul Hocker of the charity London Play is one person who, on a smaller scale, is innovating from the past  he describes how in 2008 whilst doing research in the British Library: “I typed in the wrong word, I put ‘play street’ instead of ‘street play’ and this stuff came up from the 30s and 40s about streets being shut to create temporary playgrounds.  The practice had died out, but the legislation still exists – and London Play has been able to use it to bring back play streets in 12 London boroughs.Nesta
 
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  170 museums sign up to Museum Freecycle UK  
 
 
Museum Freecycle, a national museum-recycling network set up by exhibition designers and architects Urban Salon with the support of the Collections Trust and SHARE Museums East, has gained 170 members in its first few months of operation.  The portal offers an online tool to connect museums and enable them to recycle their showcases and other exhibition build items for free.  Members across the UK now include the National Portrait Gallery, Dulwich Picture Gallery, the Design Museum and Imperial War Museums.  The designers are keen for more museums to sign up  Urban Salon managing director Caroline Keppel-Palmer says: "Members have been using the site actively and we have seen museums posting items including mannequins, display cases, plinths and donation boxes. The more members that join, the more effective the network will be for the sector.  Museum Freecycle is open to all UK museums and membership is free.’’  Urban Salon, Museum Freecycle
 
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  Widespread debate as protestors close controversial Plan B exhibition at the Barbican  
 
 
The Barbican has been forced to close the five day run of the exhibition Plan B, in which black  actors recreated scenes of slavery in live tableaux.  200 protestors blocked the entrance on the opening night, making it impossible for the show to continue.  In a statement the Barbican criticised the protestors: “We find it profoundly troubling that such methods have been used to silence artists and performers and that audiences have been denied the opportunity to see this important work.  Exhibit B raises, in a serious and responsible manner, issues about racism; it has previously been shown in 12 cities, involved 150 performers and been seen by around 25,000 people with the responses from participants, audiences and critics alike being overwhelmingly positive.”  Simon Wooley of Operation Black Vote said “This was a vanity project. Having people objectified in this humiliating way was always going to cause a fierce reaction.  It is a shame that it reached this stage but the feeling was that no one was listening.” 
 
Elsewhere there has been fierce debate about the installation, with commentators taking opposing sides over free speech, intention and taste.  In the Telegraph, Bonnie Greer regretted being prevented from seeing the show and making up her own mind.  Writing for the Guardian, Hugh Muir offered a more ambivalent account, arguing that the show had value, but that it had different resonances in Edinburgh (where it gained 5 star reviews) to London where those of African and Caribbean heritage are 11% of a population of 8 million.  Barbican, Guardian, Telegraph, Guardian (Hugh Muir)
 
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  Skateboarding to a solution: development to begin at the Southbank Centre  
 
 
Following a 17 month battle between the skateboarders in the undercroft and the Southbank Centre a deal has been reached which means that the Southbank Centre redevelopment will go ahead, but without any alteration to the skateboard park, which had previously been earmarked for redevelopment into shops. 
 
The Southbank regeneration will cost £120m in total and fundraising will begin next year.  First an urgent repair bill of £24m will be funded in part by the Arts Council (£16.7m) and the HLF (£4.9m).  Long Live Southbank, ALVA, HLF, Guardian, Independent
 
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  Museums at Nightclub  
 
 
Culture24 are seeking expressions of interest in a new museum-based event, Museums at Nightclub.  This will evolve artist-led events, building on the success of the Connect10 project which linked artists with Museums at Night events.  They are hoping to develop a consortium of venues to host events, and are especially keen to hear from those based in the 118 local authority areas which have the lowest level of engagement in the arts.  Culture24
 
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  Arts Council publish diversity statistics  
 
 
The Arts Council has published research which it commissioned in 2013 on diversity in cultural sector workforces and audiences, in order to inform its funding decisions in the 2015–18 round.  Findings include:
 
  • Across the creative and cultural sector, the number of women in the sector decreased between 2008/9 and 2011/12, to 43% women and 57% men.  More women than men occupy management roles among NPOs and MPMs in the Arts Council portfolios, although boards are still skewed towards men in all sectors except dance.
  • 14.6% of the population are BME, but only 7% are involved in the creative industries.  Within the Arts Council portfolio, 12.3% of staff are from a BME background, but less than 10% are managers.  Twice the number of people from BME backgrounds live in lower income households, and the report comments that it may be hard to distinguish whether the driver for these figures is race, socio-economic group, or both.
  • There has been a statistically significant increase in engagement in the arts by the 65–74 age group since 2005/6, but there continues to be a steep drop-off after 75.  The report suggests that an increasingly digital culture risks excluding older people now, but the effect will decrease over time, as older cohorts are more digitally literate because they have encountered the technology earlier in life.
  • Socio-economic effects permeate all the statistics.  The cultural sector overwhelmingly employs graduates, and being able to afford to volunteer at the beginning of a career is a significant factor in finding a way in.  Among audiences, those in poorer groups are more likely to participate in cultural activities which are sociable, and are less likely to travel.
  • There are gaps in the evidence base - for example the Taking Part evidence on LGBT audiences is not longstanding enough to draw conclusions.  It is also hard to track religious discrimination: partly because only a minority of UK based surveys explore this question, and partly because of a tension between what can legally be regarded as religious discrimination and the socially articulated experience of it.
 
ACE emphasises the complexity of issues which affect access to and work in the cultural sector, and acknowledge that geography is also a factor.  The report adds that although there are no quick fixes “it is also vital that the arts and cultural workforce becomes more representative of the society it serves”.  Arts Council, Arts Professional
 
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  What Lies Beneath: plans for unused Underground tunnels may include a museum  
 
 
There are reports that Transport for London may soon be auctioning off up to 34 ‘ghost’ tunnels running under London for reuse as nightclubs, galleries, hotel and potentially a National Fire Brigade Museum.  TFL said it was unable to comment as it ‘cannot show prejudice ahead of public tender’, but it has already allowed innovative projects within the tube system including a Waitrose pick up point at Chalfont and Latimer and a subterranean herb farm at Clapham North. ALVA
 
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  Events  
 
 
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  Collections Trust publish comprehensive list of museum training and networking events  
 
 
The Collections Trust are maintaining a very helpful web page listing all the upcoming UK and international events which they and other organisations run for those working in galleries, libraries, archives and museums.  Please email [email protected] if you would like to add your own events.  Collections Trust
 
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  The politics of participation  
 
 
This one day conference asks how sustainable participation policies are in a climate of short term funding and cuts.  Are co-curation and co-production still viable?  Speakers include David Anderson (National Museum Wales), Tanya Harris (Hackney Museum) and Iain Watson (Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums).  It takes place at the Old Courtroom, Brighton on 12th November.  Tickets are £65, £50 concessions.  Royal Pavilion, Museums and Libraries
 
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  Partnership working: National case studies  
 
 
This event from the Natural History Museum's seminars series asks how a natural science museum can work with a local record centre effectively.  The event is free on 4th December in the Flett Lecture Theatre.  Speakers include Steve Hewitt, Curator of Natural Sciences, Tullie House Museum and Gallery and Teresa Frost, Manager, Manager of Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre.  A full programme will be published nearer the time.  Natural History Museum
 
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  Membership schemes and corporate giving  
 
 
Oxford Aspire’s fundraising series continues with an event on membership schemes and corporate giving on November 24th.  It explores how friends’ schemes can be made valuable and worthwhile, and how museums can get better at asking for money while diversifying their sources.  Tickets are £25.  Oxford Aspire
 
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  Free Collections Management seminars  
 
 
The Collections Trust is offering free seminars to staff working in collections management in cities across the UK beginning in early October.  The seminars are free and cover topics such as how to advocate for the wider impact of collections management, ensuring internal policies are fit for the future and developing a strategic approach.  Collections Trust
 
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  2015 International Museum day to focus on sustainability  
 
 
ICOM has announced that International Museum Day 2015 will take place on 18th May.  The theme will be sustainability.  ICOM President, Prof. Dr Hans‐Martin Hinz said “museums must be able to guarantee their role in safeguarding cultural heritage, given the increasing precariousness of ecosystems, situations of political instability, and the associated natural and man‐made challenges that may arise.  Museum work, through education and exhibitions for example, should strive to create a sustainable society.  We must do everything we can to ensure that museums are part of the cultural driving force for the sustainable development of the world.”  ICOM
 
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  How to influence the Welsh government  
 
 
A free event for cultural organisations wishing to influence the Welsh government is taking place at Aberystwyth University on 23rd October.  There are well developed routes for the third sector to talk to government including the Third Sector Partnership Council and regular ministerial meetings.  This seminar, run by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action, will help heritage and cultural organisations understand the structures in place and how to make best use of them.  WCVA
 
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  Preventing theft and fraud for conservators  
 
 
The National Library of Wales is hosting an afternoon with Julian Radcliffe, Founder and Chairman of the Art Loss Register, on how conservators can help prevent the circulation of forged and stolen works of art without prejudicing their clients’ interests.  It includes case studies and how to proceed when a client does not know the potential problems associated with an object.  The event takes place on 17th October and is free but booking is required.  Eventbrite
 
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  Sign up for Takeover Day 2014  
 
 
Kids in Museums is inviting institutions to sign up for Takeover Day on November 21st 2014, when children and teenagers can run everything from tours to twitter feeds for institutions.  Last year 115 museums and galleries were involved, and over 3,000 young people. AIM
 
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  Appointments  
 
 
  Interim Heritage Lottery Fund Chair  
 
 
Dame Seona Reid has been appointed as interim Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund.  She replaces Jenny Abramsky until a permanent replacement is appointed.  She is currently also Chair of the National Theatre of Scotland.  HLF
 
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  Alan Davey headhunted by the BBC as Controller of Radio 3  
 
 
Arts Council Chief Executive Alan Davey has been headhunted by the BBC to become the new Controller of Radio 3.  He will take up the post in three months.  He said “in spreading serious music and ideas at Radio 3 I will carry with me the flame and the passion of how we do things - spotting opportunities, knowing a great deal about the art and loving it, and never being afraid to try something new.”  Arts Council
 
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  Ken Skates becomes Welsh Deputy Culture Minister as culture removed at Cabinet level  
 
 
Welsh Culture Minister John Griffiths is to leave his post in a reshuffle and will not be replaced at Cabinet level.  Instead Deputy Minister Ken Skates will take over the brief for culture, sport and tourism with another Deputy Minister, Carl Sargent, taking the natural resources part of Griffiths’ former job.
 
Shortly after his appointment Ken Skates gave a speech to the National Trust.  He said that heritage brings £840m to the Welsh economy with much of this coming from tourism, and that he was pleased to have a brief connecting both.  He added: “These are challenging times for everyone, with budgets across all sectors tight, but it is how we respond to this challenge that is key.  Strong partnership working across the sector is vital if we are to protect our historic environments for the future, widen their reach and make the most of their economic potential.”  Museums Journal, Welsh Government, Wales.gov.uk
 
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  Trustees wanted for The Collections Trust  
 
 
The Collections Trust promotes excellence and innovation in the development of collections and works with around 20,000 organisations worldwide.  It is now seeking to appoint up to four new trustees to join its skills-based board which is chaired by Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum.  Trustees are usually senior figures from the public and private sector, and skillsets sought include:
 
  • National museums;
  • Conservation/collections management in higher education context;
  • Corporate or private finance;
  • Learning or engagement with collections;
  • Charitable sector;
  • Someone to represent early career professionals.
 
If you are interested in being considered please contact [email protected] The closing date for applications is 7th November.
 
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  Funding museum services  
 
 
  Stockport councillors explore trust model for museums  
 
 
Stockport Council is planning a 40% cut to its £1m museums budget for 2016/17 as part of wider cuts of £40m, and is exploring achieving this by putting the management of its museum services in the hands of trusts, which it hopes will ‘encourage entrepreneurship’.  The museum buildings themselves would remain in the hands of the council.  The Manchester Evening News cites a council report which says “the development of museums, primarily with Heritage Lottery Fund cash, has been a ‘significant component’ of the council’s regeneration strategy for the past 15 years, but care and maintenance of museum collections will be reduced, which could ‘compromise accreditation standards and potential future funding’”.  The council’s Labour group criticised the plans for setting a figure for cuts before working out the detail of the reconfigured service.  Arts Industry (subscription only), Manchester Evening News
 
Also: As we reported last month, Kirklees Council continues to debate options for the future of its museums service, including closing three of its seven museums.  The Council is now contemplating ‘separating collections from museums’ and seeking other ways of displaying collections, or making museum buildings ‘multifunctional and house much more than artefacts and collections’.  The consultation continues until December.  Kirklees Council, Museums Association
 
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  Ed Vaizey urges partnership working as way out of local museum funding problems  
 
 
In a speech to the New Local Government Network, Culture Minster Ed Vaizey emphasised partnership working models as an approach to squeezed local government cultural budgets.  He gave examples including:
 
  • £1m in efficiency savings by outsourcing Hounslow libraries to John Laing Integrated Services.
  • The Explore Centre in York will be part of the first mutual library and archive service in the country. The Cabinet Office Mutuals Support Programme is providing up to £100k of business planning and legal advice for the project.
  • Worcester’s Hive Library which serves both the university and local community.
  • The Arts Council/Visit England Cultural Destinations programme, which promotes partnerships between tourism and cultural bodies to grow the visitor economy.
 
Vaizey said that DCMS planned to publish further reports on the link between culture and wellbeing, health and education to “advance our understanding of culture’s wide ranging impacts on society”.
 
Speaking at the same conference Arts Council Chief Executive Alan Davey said that localism was going to be increasingly important to its support of local council cultural offerings: "the fundamental economic problems may be ubiquitous but there's going to be a different collation in every area".  New Local Government Network, Arts Industry (subscription only)
 
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  Chichester museum scraps admission charges to increase visitor numbers  
 
 
Chichester District Council has decided to abandon admission charges, currently £7 for adults, at the Novium Museum.  Opened in 2012, the museum had 9,993 visitors in 2013/14 which is under a third of its target.  The museum will now seek to raise funds through improving the shop, touring exhibitions with an entry fee, and venue hire.  Museums Journal
 
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  Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales faces in-year cuts of £200k  
 
 
The Welsh government has announced a £200k reduction to the grant to National Museum Wales in the current financial year.  An NMW spokesman said “This comes at a time when we are already working within a reduced budget, implementing a major restructure to save £3.1m and are reviewing other areas of our work.”  A government spokesman said “We’ve been completely transparent about the very challenging financial position that we’re facing.  By 2015-16 the Welsh government’s budget will be nearly £1.7bn less than it was in 2010-11.”  He added that rising costs since the budget had been approved meant that reductions had been made across the culture and sport portfolio.  Museums Journal
 
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  Question mark over Sekhemka export license  
 
 
The statue of Sekhemka sold by Northampton Council two months ago is still in the UK, leading to speculation about whether an export ban could be imposed.  The Arts Council has not commented on whether an export licence application has been received.  Licenses can take up to three months to process.  Meanwhile the Save Sekhemka Action Group said it was concerned about the safety of the statue if exported to the Middle East during the current unrest.  Northampton Council has already lost Arts Council accreditation over the sale, and may also lose Museums Association accreditation after a hearing on October 1st.  Arts Industry (subscription only), Ahram online
 
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  Wrexham Council to discuss collection sell off, and moving museums to trust status  
 
 
Wrexham Council has tabled a discussion for May 2015 in which it will explore “the possibilities and practicalities of disposing of collections to generate income to maintain frontline services”.  However, the council’s lead member for communities, Hugh Jones, says that such a discussion was “a very long way from it actually happening” and that a sell-off would be against the council’s own policies.  He also described accredited museum status as ‘vital’.  The Council is also exploring whether to move its museums to trust status.  These include Wrexham Museum, Holt Castle, Bersham Colliery Mining Museum and Minera Lead Mines.  Museums Journal
 
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  RMG seeks voluntary redundancies  
 
 
Royal Museums Greenwich may have to lose up to 25 staff in the next year to cover a £800k shortfall in funds.  The museum currently employs the equivalent of 491 full time posts.  A spokeswoman said “Like other areas of government, Royal Museums Greenwich is having to review its activities in the light of the wider economic circumstances, and continuing reduction in government funding. Grant-in-aid has been reduced by 30% since 2010, including 5% cut already announced for 2015-16.While great progress has been made in recent years with increasing self-generated revenues there continues a need for efficiency and business focus" Museums Journal
 
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  Tech  
 
 
  New sports collections site kicking off online  
 
 
A new website has launched to highlight sports collections.  The National Sports Museum Online aims to eventually hold information on all the sporting collections in the UK.  The Sports Heritage Network which runs the site is inviting museums, archives, community venues, universities and private collectors to set up their own page on the site and describe their holdings.  A new Jiscmail list complements the site and can be contacted at [email protected]Sporting Heritage
 
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  Welsh government offers digital strategy factsheet for museums  
 
 
CyMAL has launched the latest in a series of digital engagement factsheets, to help museums create a better strategy for engaging online.  It includes training resources, case studies and useful organisations from AIM to Visit Britain.  Welsh government
 
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  ACE invests £1.8m in online multi-channel network to stream arts and culture  
 
 
The Arts Council has awarded a £1.8 grant to Rightster, a digital content company which will run a new multi-channel network (MCN) covering the arts.  MCNs are aggregators of YouTube channels on topics from food to fashion.  Simon Mellor, Executive Director of Arts and Culture at the Arts Council said “there is some great arts content online, but it is hard to find and fragmented.  We hope that the award to Rightster will support the arts sector to find and develop new audiences and build their profile in this expanding digital space.”  Arts Council
 
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  British Museum to build new outpost in Minecraft  
 
 
The British Museum has announced that it will be building an exact (albeit slightly blockier) replica of its building and all its exhibits in the online game Minecraft, which is widely played by children and adults and involves making structures out of blocks.  The plans are at an early stage and the museum intends to recruit members of the public to work on much of the building.  They are hoping to complete the front façade and Great Court by October 16th. 
 
The project is part of the Museum of the Future scheme, aiming to reach a wider audience.  In his introduction to a day long conference on the subject, Director Neil MacGregor pointed to the growing crush within the museum during the summer, and said it was vital to find new ways to connect audiences with the objects held in trust for them.  Minecraft (intro for the uninitiated), BBC, YouTube (Neil MacGregor)
 
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  “Getting off the merry-go-round of one time projects”: COPE at Norfolk Museums Service  
 
 
Collections Trust CEO Nick Poole has blogged about the success of Norfolk Museums Service’s new collections website, which covers multiple museums in Norfolk and will eventually include its whole collection.  It has been built with the principle of ‘Create Once Publish Everywhere’ (COPE) which means that the the same core object information can be published in different ways on everything from Europeana to ‘snackable’ content intended for mobile phones.  When captions are written for physical objects, these are also used to feed the website.  Poole says that all this helps future proof Norfolk’s plans: “the power of COPE is that it helps museums like the Norfolk Museums Service get off the merry-go-round of one-time-only projects and provides the basis of a scalable, long-term approach to embedding collections across all of the work of the museum, from front of house to conservation and collections management.”  Collections Trust
 
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  Watch and learn: how visitors interact with digital in museums  
 
 
Detailed research has been carried out at the V&A and Natural History Museum into how visitors react to digital interactives and how this conforms or differs from intended use. Cameras attached to visitors' bodies allowed researchers to pick up non-verbal cues in detail.  The academics Theano Moussouri, Eleni Vomvyla, Sara Price and Carey Jewitt have allowed the V&A to blog some of their main findings ahead of journal publication later in the year.  These include:
 
  • The surrounding physical space affects how people respond to digital, with visitors describing the Natural History Museum’s curved Cocoon space as modern and inspiring adventure.
  • There is a ‘commitment cost’ to engaging with digital – for example if an iPad-like device in a gallery does not respond as you would expect from an iPad, then the learning curve is steeper and it becomes easier to give up.
  • People pick up non-verbal cues from each other about how to make technology work.  It may be easier to teach people through staff interacting with digital displays, rather than written instructions on the walls.
  • The study also discusses how to elicit information from people without getting an inaccurate answer because they have guessed what researchers want to hear.
 
V&A
 
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  Education  
 
 
  Party manifestos, STEM and STEAM  
 
 
The Telegraph reported over the summer that the Conservative party will make it a manifesto promise that no school will receive an outstanding rating without all pupils studying the English Baccalaureate at GCSE, consisting of English, maths, science, a language and history or geography.  Labour has responded by emphasising a commitment to creativity in a piece by Shadow Minister for Schools, Kevin Brennan. 
 
Photographed brandishing a rock guitar, he says: “The evidence of the positive impact of the arts on young people is overwhelming. Students from low income backgrounds who participate in the arts do better in Maths and English and are more likely to go on to further and higher education than those who do not. Yet over the last few years there has been a decline in the numbers of primary school children participating in dance, music and drama.  The numbers going on heritage visits has gone down. So Labour will insist that no school can be rated ‘outstanding’ unless it delivers a broad and balanced curriculum – including in the arts  to its students.  We will ensure that the National Plan for Music does not just teach a minority of pupils as Ofsted found.”
 
Meanwhile the report Making Music has found that although the number of people playing a musical instrument has gone up in the last 15 years, and the diversity of instruments played has increased, learning to play is a middle class preserve because of the initial costs of buying an instrument.  Cultural Learning Alliance, Telegraph, Labour Arts Alliance, Arts Professional
 
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  Final call for partners: British Museum’s Learning Museum programme  
 
 
The British Museum is making a final call for partners for its HLF Skills for the Future-funded 'Learning Museum' programme, ahead of the 15th October deadline.  They are particularly keen to hear from museums which promote diversity, community engagement, youth employment and vocational training (alongside innovative skills in both collections management and museum development).  The scheme will provide young people from diverse backgrounds with high quality entry-level vocational training.  Twenty trainees will be mentored at partner museums for one year.  There will also be group work, creating a network among all those involved.  The British Museum will pay all direct costs, and support the recruitment of trainees.  The project will begin in December 2014.  Contact [email protected] for full details.
 
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  Creative & Cultural Skills stakeholder survey  
 
 
Creative & Cultural Skills is inviting people to take part in its annual stakeholder survey.  It invites partipants to comment on the performance of the organisation and its plans for the future.  Survey Monkey
 
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  Understanding audiences  
 
 
  Turning left: tracking audience behaviour in museums  
 
 
On entering a museum – in the UK at least – visitors turn left.  This is among the insights from a day at Oxford Aspire on Understanding Audiences.  British Museum speaker Shelley Manion also said that:
 
  • While audio guides are seen as a solitary activity, many visitors share headphones and interact with each other.
  • Although museums see the point of arrival as a way to influence visitor behaviour, some visitors may have come to see something very specific and will only consider what else to do having seen that object.
  • The stakes are high for visitor experience for large nationals, where a good proportion of the audience are from overseas and may only visit once in their lifetimes.
 
Sam Skillings, Head of Marketing at Compton Verney museum explained how visitor feedback and focus groups had reframed their marketing – for example the museum’s printed material now features the café and exhibition spaces rather than specific works of art on the cover, so people can more immediately grasp what the whole offer is – especially important when the primary audience may be half an hour’s drive from the museum.  Oxford Aspire
 
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  Taking Part: annual child release  
 
 
Taking Part has published its annual statistical release for children.  Figures include:
 
  • Virtually all children aged 5 – 15 have engaged with the arts in the last year (99%);
  • 62.8% of 5 – 10 year olds visited a gallery in the last year, marginally down from 63.2% the year before, and a significant fall from 70.3% in 2009/10;
  • Visits by 11  -15 year olds were significantly up compared with last year from 57.6% to 60.4% although again down from the 66.8% recorded in 2009/10;
  • Among 11 – 15 year olds, 23.5% had visited a museum in school time and 46.9% had visited at least once in their own time;
  • 8% of 11 – 15 year olds had visited an archive in the past 12 months, down from 9.7% in 2008/9;
  • The percentage of 5 – 15 year olds who had visited heritage sites was steady at 68%, a similar figure to 2008/9: however the number who had visited in the last week was up by 5% on the 08/9 figures;
  • 70% of children visited a library in the last year, down from 75% in 2008/9.  However the 21% figure for visits in the last week were similar to 2008/9.
 
Gov.uk, Taking Part
 
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  Images  
 
 
october_2014_newsletter/resizejackfield-tile-museum-john-scott-collectin-wh-smith-guide-books-panel,-artist-unknown,-script-by-eric-gill-c1920_1.jpg
 
Images in this month's newsletter come from Jackfield Tile Museum in Ironbridge Gorge and include works by William Morgan and this piece made by Eric Gill for W. H. Smith.  All are displayed at the new John Scott Gallery which opens on 16th October.  The whole collection was previously held privately at Scott's London home and consists of 1,300 individual tiles and 310 panels.  Jackfield Tile Museum
 
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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.
 
Also:
 
Our friends at Exhibition Road are looking for a Marketing and Communications Manager to promote South Kensington, including the V&A, Science Museum and Natural History Museum:  Exhibition Road jobs
 
And the Association of Independent Museums is recruiting a new post of Membership, Marketing and Projects Manager, to be responsible for developing communications with and services for AIM members: AIM Membership, Marketing and Project Manager
 
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