April 2015

NMDC newsletter: April 2015
 
    nmdc  
 
 
  NMDC newsletter: April 2015
 
 
 
 
  In this month's edition:  
 
 
  Collections at risk: a joint statement from the sector

Ed Vaizey imposes export bar on Sekhemka

ArtFund saves Minton Archive

Battersea Arts Centre resilient after major fire

NMDC responds to Call for Evidence about National Lottery and society lotteries

Museum Directors explore the future of museums

HLF research shows public enthusiasm for heritage spending

Taking Part statistics show high public support for FWW commemorations

RAF Museum receives £2.5m in budget

Budget supports commemorations and new museum

Museum of London to decamp to Smithfield

£66m redevelopment of Burrell Collection planned

World museum visitor figures 2014

ALVA annual figures: visits to Scottish venues up by nearly 10%

Free admission and weekend pay under scrutiny at Welsh museums

End cuts to cultural funding bodies says Labour commissioned report

DCMS literature review explores social and health benefits of museums

The environmental impact of culture: Julie’s Bicycle produces second year report

ACE works with trusts and corporates to create new Arts Impact Fund

Queen Victoria’s HMS Warrior to be restored
 
 
 
  Section headings:  
 
 
  Collection protection  |  NMDC news  |  Assessing the cuts  |  Public support for culture  |  Members' news  |  Anniversaries  |  Visitor figures  |  General Election  |  Making museum education fun  |  Social impact  |  Funding  |  Appointments and resignations  |  Events  |  Surveys  |  Jobs  
 
 
  Collection protection  
 
 
april_2015/dinosaur-glasgow600x.jpg
 
Hatching the Past - Dinosaur Eggs and Babies opened at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum on 3rd April. Image courtesy of the museum.
 
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  Collections at risk: a joint statement from the sector  
 
 
NMDC has joined a UK-wide group of museum funding, membership and development bodies in releasing a joint statement on March 27th saying that they will not seek to work with museums whose governing bodies choose to sell objects from their collections in a manner that contravenes the long-established Accreditation Standard and Museum Association Code of Ethics.
 
The statement is the first of its kind from such a broad group of cultural organisations and reflects the concern felt about the unethical targeting of cultural collections for sale. The ten signatories include some of the largest funding bodies for museums, such as Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund and The Art Fund, as well as membership bodies and museum organisations from across the UK. The group states that the UK’s cultural heritage and reputation will be put at risk if museum governing bodies decide to sell items from their collections for financial gain. It is concerned that a growing number of organisations are considering selling items from their collections. The Museums Association’s 2014 Cuts Survey found that 1 in 10 museums were considering selling items from their collection. A sharp decrease in public funding for museums – particularly those under local authority control – has increased the pressure to find new sources of funding.
 
NMDC (our own statement), Museums Association (joint statement)
 
Also: The New York Times explores how states and individual museums across Europe and the US have been tempted to deaccession artefacts to plug financial black holes.  The Portuguese Government sold 85 works by Miró to cover the cost of nationalising a bank and in Germany a state-owned casino sold two Warhols to build a second casino.  At Westphalia State Museum, the public are responding to rumours that the art is to be sold by flocking to the museum to view the collection.  New York Times
 
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  Ed Vaizey imposes export bar on Sekhemka  
 
 
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey has imposed an export bar on Sekhemka, the statue whose sale by Northampton Council provoked moves across the museum sector to strengthen sanctions against unethical disposals.  The statue was sold for £15.6m at a Hong Kong auction house to an overseas buyer last year.  Export has been delayed until 29th July, a period which may extend to 29th March 2016 if there is a serious intention to buy.  Alastair Brown of the Museums Association said that there may be further ethical problems for any public body wishing to buy the statue: “it is very difficult for public organisations to fundraise to buy something from another public organisation. It’s cross-subsidising”.  Arts Industry (subscription only), BBC, Museums + Heritage, Guardian
 
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  ArtFund saves Minton Archive  
 
 
The Minton Archive, which holds material from two centuries of pottery production at the firm Minton’s Ltd, has been saved by an Art Fund appeal.  It raised £1.56m, including a donation of £1.16m from the National Heritage Memorial Fund.  The fate of the archive has been in the balance since 2007, when Waterford Wedgewood plc made plans to sell it at Bonhams.  The majority of the archive has been at Bonham’s since then while the Art Fund has worked to prevent it from being sold off.  The Art Fund has given the collection to Stoke City Archives, and there will be an exhibition later this year.
 
Philip Atkins, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “the Minton Archive is a magical collection and I am absolutely delighted that is has been saved for the county, the city and the country to view, enjoy and learn from.  As a county we supported appeals to keep both the Staffordshire Hoard and the Wedgwood Collection together and it is fantastic to hear that Minton Archive will now be coming home.”  ArtFund, BBC
 
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  Battersea Arts Centre resilient after major fire  
 
 
Weeks after it was announced that Battersea Arts Centre would become the new home of Wandsworth Museum, a major fire has destroyed much of the building.  The Government has given £1m towards repairs. Huge community support has allowed the venue to be immediately resilient despite the damage: a public crowdfunding exercise raised £75k within three days, and local businesses offered meeting spaces and coffee. The National Funding Scheme has tracked the fundraising in a succinct infographic. No-one was hurt, and Twitter followers of the theatre cat, Pluto, were relieved when he resurfaced days after the fire. BAC has now been able to continue with two sellout shows at other venues.  Gov.uk, Pluto on Twitter, Battersea Arts Centre, National Funding Scheme
 
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  NMDC news  
 
 
  NMDC responds to Call for Evidence about National Lottery and society lotteries  
 
 
NMDC responded to the DCMS Call for Evidence into the National Lottery, society lotteries and the good causes which are supported by both. This Call for Evidence coincides with the publication of a review of the relationship between the National Lottery and society lotteries by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.
 
NMDC's response demonstrates the transformative nature of the support and investment from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, and also the distinctive role the funding from society lotteries (such as the People's Postcode Lottery) has in supporting projects within the museum sector.
 
NMDC recommends that any changes to the regulatory framework should ensure room for both society lotteries to operate in the manner they were intended in the 2005 legislation; and that the National Lottery remains the single, trusted and recognised lottery, protected from unintended competition. NMDC response, Culture, Media and Sport Committee report
 
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  Working Internationally papers now available  
 
 
Papers from the 2015 Working Internationally Conference, organised jointly by NMDC, ICOM UK and York Museums Trust, are now available online.  Themes include inbound tourists, working with India and Europe, practicalities of international work, case studies and recent developments in ACE’s international work.  ICOM
 
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  Assessing the cuts  
 
 
  Museum Directors explore the future of museums  
 
 
At an event at the Wallace Collection, senior museum figures explored the future of the sector in a time of reduced funds.  Cultural critic Robert Hewison pointed to closures across local authority and independent museums, discussions about reintroducing charging, and the closure of museum libraries. He said that museums have been resilient in the face of cuts: national museums lost 7% of grant in aid in cash terms since 2006, but their income rose by 18.8% - by contrast local authority museums’ income fell by £5m.  Christoph Vogtherr said the grant to the Wallace Collection has been reduced by a third in five years.  Maria Balshaw, Director of the newly reopened Whitworth Gallery, said that it was important for her team to make common cause with local government and the wider Manchester infrastructure, “if you ask what are the greatest challenges of our time are, in Manchester or anywhere in this country, it would be intolerance between people, inequality within society, and increasing social isolation of people of all ages, especially if you are poor – exacerbated if you are elderly.  The smart money is on the difference culture can and does make in tackling these issues. If you make (more and different) people feel comfortable in a museum, they can learn something new, and accept that there are things bigger than any one of us.”  Guardian
 
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  Arts bodies explore approaches to cuts in Newcastle and Birmingham  
 
 
A BBC article looks at ways the Newcastle arts scene has survived huge cuts by Newcastle City Council, which in some cases amount to a complete loss of grants.  The 170-seat Live Theatre would need a threefold increase in ticket prices to be solvent, but has instead has created an office block and will use the rent to make its book balance.  The Theatre Royal, which has lost £630k has taken a greater slice of the profits from touring companies, and is staging more musicals.  Meanwhile, in Birmingham, a group representing arts bodies has approached ACE Chair Peter Bazalgette for emergency talks because of the severity of the cuts – the city will receive £2.6m of cuts to the cultural sector in 2016/17.  BBC, Birmingham Post
 
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  Public support for culture  
 
 
  HLF research shows public enthusiasm for heritage spending  
 
 
The HLF has commissioned research from Britain Thinks in twelve locations across the UK to assess public reactions to the HLF’s work.  Through surveys and workshops, 4000 people were contacted.  Findings include:
 
  • Heritage is associated with happiness, with 80% saying that local heritage makes their area a better place to live.
  • Participants said that heritage is important for the country (93% agree that it is very or fairly important), for their local area (85% agree) and for them personally (81% agree).
  • There is strong support for Lottery funding of heritage projects; 69% said that 10 local projects described to them in the research represent good or excellent use of Lottery money; only 8% think these are poor or very poor use of Lottery money. Support increased to 77% among those who buy Lottery tickets.
  • Museums and major attractions had the highest levels of awareness among those who lived in the area, with 96% of people knowing about these recipients of HLF funding.  84% had visited.
  • Residents who are more engaged with local heritage tend to be more likely to believe that their area is a good place to live than those who are disengaged.
 
The researchers also asked people whether their area was a good place to live, with responses centring around economy, community, physical environment and things to do.  Subsequent stakeholder interviews about cultural investment mirrored and explained people’s responses to their area. 53% of people believe that Glasgow has become a better place to live over time (one of the most positive responses countrywide), and only 20% believe it has got worse.  One stakeholder said, “Glasgow is now the most visited tourist city in Britain after London and Edinburgh, we get 2.4 million tourist visits a year. When we bid for European City of Culture, it was considered a joke, people scoffed in the press. Our reputation and the reality of tourism has been completely transformed.”  HLF, Historic England
 
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  Taking Part statistics show high public support for FWW commemorations  
 
 
DCMS has published the statistics from the Taking Part Quarter 3 adult report for 2014/15. Findings include:
 
  • Between July and December 2014, 56% of adults said they were aware of events to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.  79% were slightly or strongly supportive of the commemorations.
  • 52% of adults visited a museum or gallery in 2014, a similar proportion to the previous year, but higher than any other year since records began in 2006.  The increase is seen evenly across all regions except the East Midlands, where engagement is at the same level as 2006.
  • 77% of adults had engaged with the arts, 1% less than the figure for 2013.
 
DCMS (email summary), Gov.uk
 
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  Focus on reports  
 
 
The Government has also published five ‘focus on’ reports, which explore art forms, free time activities, barriers to participation, digital engagement and society.  Findings include:
 
  • 38% of adults report visiting museums as a free time activity, compared to 40.2% who visit historic sites, 44.2% who visit theatre or concerts, and 90.4% who watch television.
  • Asked how much they enjoyed visiting a museum or gallery on a scale of 1 (awful) to 10 (brilliant), 25% said 10, 18.7% 9, 28.5% 8.  Only 2.3% gave scores under 5, and 95.9% said they would probably visit again.  74.4% had recommended the experience to friends or family.
  • Asked what makes them proud of Britain, British history ranks third at 37% in the overall population, behind British countryside (58.7%) and the British health system (39.7%)
  • Asked how much they felt influence over local cultural facilities, 14.8% thought they had a little influence, and 83.3% no influence.  Generally participation in groups or clubs has declined since 2013/14, from 45.7% of adults in 2010/11 to 38.8% in 2013/14
  • 27.5% of adults visited a museum or gallery website in 2013/14, dropping from a peak of 31.3% in 2012/13.  All but 3.3% of those who visited a website also physically visited a museum or gallery.
  • 3.3% of all adults described themselves as having a limiting health condition.  For this group, the greatest barrier to participation in culture or sport was price (30.6%) then transport (26.6%)
 
DCMS (email summary), Gov.uk
 
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  Members' news  
 
 
  RAF Museum receives £2.5m in budget  
 
 
The RAF Museum has received £2.5m in the budget for work to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the RAF in 2018.  The funding will enable:
 
  • re-landscaping the site to create a sense of the original 1918 London Aerodrome;
  • new permanent exhibitions including The First 100 Years of the RAF’ and ‘Now and the Future’;
  • a new visitor centre with a café, shop and soft play area;
  • a project to collect the stories of current RAF personnel for the future; and
  • a learning programme for young people focusing on STEM subjects.
 
Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury Priti Patel said, “the RAF Museum in Hendon is a great cause and I’m delighted that the LIBOR funding will provide a necessary cash injection towards their plans to celebrate this important landmark in the RAF’s history.‎”  Gov.uk
 
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  Budget supports commemorations and new museum  
 
 
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that he will fund a number of museum and commemoration projects using money from LIBOR fines. These include:
 
  • £2 million to create a new museum to commemorate flying heritage at Filston in Bristol; and
  • £5m for FWW commemorations, £1m for the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt, £2m for the 70th anniversary of VE Day and £1m for the 200th anniversary of Waterloo.
 
He also announced a modification to the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, which allows charities to claim a Gift-Aid like payment on small donations.  The maximum that can be claimed will increase from £5,000 to £8,000 each year from April 2016. £8.98m will be spent on further culture and tourism projects, including Colston Hall in Bristol and the Yorkshire Festival. Heritage Alliance, Third Sector, Arts Council
 
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  Museum of London to decamp to Smithfield  
 
 
The Museum of London has laid plans to move from the Barbican to a site at Smithfield Market by 2021, because it has run out of space.  The Museum hopes to double its visitor numbers to two million, and display more of its collections.  Speaking in support of the plan, which is still in its earliest stages, Mayor Boris Johnson said, “the Museum of London tells the incredible story of this great city through its unique and exceptional collection [but] it desperately needs more space.  In its new home at Smithfield General Market the Museum of London will be able to unleash its full potential to attract millions of people each year and work with even more schoolchildren.”  The Museum’s current site may then be redeveloped as a ‘world class’ concert venue as part of a wider Barbican transformation.  BBC, Architect’s Journal, Museums Journal, Evening Standard, Museum of London
 
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  Tate adds sixteen organisations to its visual arts network  
 
 
16 new organisations have joined the Plus Tate network - a network of art galleries across the UK who work with Tate to share expertise, knowledge and collections.  The new partners join 18 existing members, and are geographically diverse, including Spike Island in Bristol, Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art in Manchester, and Artes Mundi in Cardiff. Three are in Northern Ireland: the Golden Thread Gallery, the MAC, and the Centre for Contemporary Art (CCA). Tate Director Nick Serota said, “expanding the network will significantly change Plus Tate’s texture. These are all organisations that contribute to their local community but which have a national profile.”  Museums Journal, Arts Council of Northern Ireland
 
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  NPG raises £1m for Portrait Fund a year early  
 
 
The National Portrait Gallery has reached its target of raising £1m towards an Endowment programme well ahead of the target date of June 2016.  The money will now be matched by another £1m from HLF and DCMS donated as part of the Catalyst Endowment Programme.  The last £280k was given by friends and supporters of the museum during a fundraising drive in honour of outgoing Director Sandy Nairne, and will be used to support saving portraits of national importance for the nation.  Acting Director Pim Baxter said, “the success of this appeal is testament to Sandy’s outstanding reputation as a cultural leader. He has been a champion of the Portrait Fund since its inception in 2006 and has been involved in several important acquisition appeals for the Gallery, most notably John Donne in 2006 and Van Dyck’s Self-portrait in 2014”  NPG
 
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  Beamish receives £120k to train future engineers  
 
 
Beamish has received a grant of £120k from the Reece Foundation to teach skills in STEM subjects and create future engineers.  The project will run for three years and aims to engage 10,000 children.  The Museum will also work with businesses and universities.  Simon Woolley, the Museum’s Head of Learning said, “enabling young people to understand the creative solutions found in the past will ultimately inspire them to seek innovative ways of solving scientific and technological problems of today.
 
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  £66m redevelopment of Burrell Collection planned  
 
 
Glasgow City Council are planning a £66m redevelopment of the Burrell Collection building, so that 90% of its 9000 piece collection can be displayed.  It intends to provide around half of the funding for the scheme, and hopes to raise the rest from a £15m application to the HLF plus a fundraising campaign. In recent years a leaking roof has meant that repair is essential to keep the collection safe.  The plan also includes creating a café and opening basement stores to the public. If the HLF bid succeeds, the collection will be closed from 2016–19 for redevelopment. Chair of Glasgow Life, Councillor Archie Graham said, “we have a moral duty to protect and enhance what is undoubtedly the jewel in our cultural crown by providing a newly refurbished home which is worthy of its world-class status.”  Museums Journal, BBC, Herald Scotland
 
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  British Museum to open new Islamic Gallery  
 
 
The British Museum plans to open a new Islamic Gallery by 2018.  It will be funded by the Albukhary Foundation.  Curator of Islamic Collection, Venetia Porter, said that the displays would begin in late antiquity, cover the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the creation of new states and events to the present day.  The British Museum is unique among major museums for the breadth of its Islamic collection, which covers a diversity of cultures in the Middle East, Turkey, Central Asia and South and South-East Asia.  British Museum, Museums Journal
 
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  Anniversaries  
 
 
  VE Day event map open for submissions  
 
 
The Government has published a map of events taking place over three days to mark VE Day.  Street parties and beacon lighting are included: communities and museums are encouraged to contribute events.  Gov.uk
 
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  Celebrating liberty with Liberteas  
 
 
The Liberteas project is inviting communities and history venues to run tea-centric events to celebrate 800 years since the creation of the Magna Carta.  Supporters are asked to stop for tea on Sunday 14th June at 3pm to reflect on the evolving history of liberty and rights, from 1215 to more recent developments like the Disability Discrimination Act.  Museum events, street parties, panel debates and history walks, can also be added to the Liberteas website.  Liberteas
 
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  Visitor figures  
 
 
  World museum visitor figures 2014  
 
 
The Art Newspaper has published world art museum visitor statistics for 2014.  It comments: “for all the investment in new cultural venues and the revamping of older art museums in regional cities in the UK, there has been no change in the dominance of London-based venues.”  Only Mondrian and Colour at Turner Contemporary appears in the top 30 shows for the UK.  The most popular shows in the world were at the National Palace Museum in Taipei (top three spots) and Central Cultural Banco do Brazil (4th and 5th).  The Saatchi Gallery’s Premonition: Ukrainian Art Now is the first UK inclusion at 20.  In terms of overall museum visits, the survey found that:
 
  • The British Museum is the second most visited art museum in the world with 6,695,213 visitors last year.  The Louvre was first with 9,260,000 visits
  • Other UK venues in the top ten are the National Gallery (3rd) with 6,416,724 and Tate Modern (6th) with 5,785, 427.  The Art Newspaper comments: “The National Gallery in London had a good year, moving ahead of the much larger Met”.
  • Among the paid for London exhibitions, the top three were Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs at Tate Modern, Vikings: Life and Legend at the British Museum and the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition.
 
In an article accompanying the figures, Charles Samarez Smith warns against fetishizing visitor figures and huge exhibitions at the expense of other considerations: “the key now, as in the past, is to focus on content and programme as well as bald numbers.  We need to pay attention to the balance of the programme, its quality, its potential to attract new audiences and the way it contributes to the prestige of the organisation as a whole.”  The Art Newspaper (some detail subscription only)
 
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  ALVA annual figures: visits to Scottish venues up by nearly 10%  
 
 
ALVA has published annual figures for visits to its member venues.  Scottish figures were particularly strong, with visits up by 9.98% overall.  The Commonwealth Games and the associated cultural programme in Glasgow were a strong factor, with Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery seeing visit numbers rise by 7.5% and the People’s Palace by 22.5%.  The National Museum of Scotland was the most visited museum outside of London (1,639,509 visits), and the National Galleries of Scotland saw a remarkable 39% increase in visitors to 1,295,015.
 
Findings also included:
 
  • FWW commemorations attracted large crowds, including an estimated 5 million who saw the Blood Swept Lands installation at the Tower of London, and an 153% rise in visits to IWM.
  • The Library of Birmingham (whose weekly opening hours will now reduce from 70 to 40 in recent cuts) was the most visited free attraction outside London with 2,414,860 visitors. Val Birchall for Birmingham City Council said, “like so many other libraries and publicly funded cultural organisations across the whole country, we are facing challenging times ahead, however the Library's popularity gives us a good base of support for the future."
  • Museums and galleries who are members of ALVA saw an overall  increase in visitors of 6.09%.
  • The British Museum remains the most popular ALVA member for the eighth year running (6,695,213 visits) with the National Gallery second.
  • The Ashmolean was among the museums performing strongly with a 16% increase in visits
 
Director of ALVA, Bernard Donoghue said “[tourism is] the 5th biggest industry and the 3rd largest employer, generating £127 billion per year. I look forward to seeing all political parties spell out their strong support and ambitions for Tourism, Heritage, and Arts and Culture in their forthcoming manifestos.ALVA, Telegraph
 
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  Gardening leave: tourist bodies urged to draw visitors beyond London  
 
 
The first triennial review of VisitBritain and VisitEngland has recommended that the two bodies should separate, with VisitEngland concentrating on internal UK tourism, and VisitBritain on attracting international visitors.  It said that the two bodies should create a ‘challenge fund’ and networks across the English regions to attract visitors.  Campaigns should also more widely draw international visitors to the nations and regions beyond London.  VisitEngland is currently promoting the UK countryside through its celebration of the 300th anniversary of the birth of Capability Brown. Gov.uk, Capability Brown website, Gov.uk (press release)
 
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  Major world museums develop strategies for overcrowding  
 
 
Major museums across the world are finding ways to deal with overcrowding, as they deal with huge increases in visitors, many from overseas.  President of the Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez said, “the Louvre was conceived for five million people, for the past three years straight we’ve had more than nine million.”  The Museum is now planning a major streamlining project, from the ticket offices to cloakrooms to deal with the crowds.  Meanwhile, the Museum of Modern Art in New York is expanding again, a decade after doubling its capacity in a major rebuild.  Many visitors to world museums are tourists under 30, who may prioritise seeing the same handful of iconic artworks, and who have less knowledge of art history. Susan Foister for the National Gallery said, “we think a lot more these days about who makes up our audience, and what they need from their encounters at the National Gallery.”  Lebanon Daily Star
 
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  Free admission and weekend pay under scrutiny at Welsh museums  
 
 
Debate about how Welsh museums should make ends meet following cuts has emerged in the press and the Welsh Parliament.  In response to a parliamentary question, First Minister Carwyn Jones insisted that tours of the Big Pit museum would remain free, and that “there will be no payment for entry into any of the National Museums attractions" except special exhibitions.  Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales has announced that it will no longer make premium payments to staff for weekend working, as it cannot afford them.  Unions have said that this will cause ‘real hardship’.  The Museum has responded that some staff will receive a pay rise to the Living Wage and that basic pay would rise by 2%.  South Wales Argus, BBC, Arts Industry (subscription only)
 
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  Government encourages international tourists to head north  
 
 
The Government has announced a £10m tourism drive to encourage more tourists to explore the north of the UK.  Influential travel journalists will be invited to experience festivals and cultural attractions, and visitors from USA, China, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia and New Zealand will be targeted in particular.  Arts Professional
 
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  London works to promote more small venues  
 
 
90% of all tourist visits in London are to the top 20 attractions.  London Mayor Boris Johnson says that he will be working with ALVA, VisitBritain and others to promote smaller and less central venues.  The announcement comes following the publication of The Value of Cultural Tourism to London.  In 2013, London supported 278,000 jobs in tourism, generating £10bn GVA.  Cultural tourism generated £3.2bn GVA and supported 80,000 jobs.  International visitors to London have risen from 13.4m in 2004 to 16.8m in 2013, and spend has nearly doubled from £6.4bn to £11.3bn. Arts Professional, London.gov
 
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  General Election  
 
 
  End cuts to cultural funding bodies says Labour commissioned report  
 
 
The Labour Party has commissioned a report to inform their policy on the creative industries ahead of the General Election, although it does not necessarily reflect Labour party views.  Leading the Field: Review of the Creative Industries was written by the former head of the UK Film Council John Woodward. He argues that “the recent public spending cuts to arts bodies and to regional economic support structures now risk eroding the national DNA that originally propelled the UK to the top of the global creativity league.” His comments include:
 
  • There is a connection between the success of the creative industries and government funding to the cultural sector, and bodies like ACE should not receive further cuts
  • Funding decisions should be devolved from central government to sector networks, but the DCMS should be retained to champion the sector
  • He advocates teaching the young more ‘fusion skills’ and recognising the power of encouraging arts alongside STEM subjects
  • He emphasises the importance of giving more support to the regions, and says it is hard to attract funding outside the ‘London supercluster’.
 
Arts Professional, The Stage
 
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  Heritage Alliance produces election manifesto  
 
 
The Heritage Alliance has published briefings and manifestos from a number of members ahead of the General Election, as well as their own collective Power of Heritage Manifesto.  They point to the £26bn generated by heritage-led tourism, and the 73% of adults who visited a heritage site in 2014.  They call for political parties to support capacity building by Historic England, attract more investment to heritage, and put it at the heart of regeneration programmes.  Heritage Alliance
 
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  Operation mobilise to contact MPs on arts policy  
 
 
Theatre Director and author of Battalions Fin Kennedy is urging those working in the arts, and particularly in theatre, to contact their MP ahead of the election and ask what their policy for the sector will be.  He said that the diversity of the profession is a particular concern: “it’s not that we’re expecting anyone to say ‘here’s your funding back’ but we’re trying to make clear the effects on the sector and the concerns around new work and new talent. It’s not so much that theatre’s going to disappear, it’s that the opportunities to access the profession for newcomers are going to dry up.” The Stage
 
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  Exploring the future of DCMS  
 
 
Talks from the think tank IPPR’s Oxford Media Conference have been published online, including a hour long discussion of DCMS, and whether it will remain in its present form after the 2015 election.  A panel including supportive former staff, an MP and media commentators explore its uniquely varied portfolio, and the balance between economics, practical infrastructure projects, and values based work which the department covers.  IPPR
 
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  Making museum education fun  
 
 
  Kids in Museums Award opens for 2015  
 
 
Kids in Museums has opened its Family Friendly Awards for 2015.  Both families and museums can make a nomination, which should be emailed to [email protected]  by 10th May.  A shortlist will be anonymously tested by families to choose a winner.  Kids in Museums
 
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  TES works with museums and cultural bodies to produce learning resources  
 
 
The Times Educational Supplement is working with DCMS, ACE and major cultural institutions including the British Museum and V&A to produce digitised cultural material for use in schools.  The resources include new images, videos, classroom resources, artist and maker’s guides, archive film clips, celebrity interviews, professional development materials and lesson packs.  The British Museum’s existing Teaching History in 100 objects will become part of the wider project.  TES
 
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  Oxford Aspire explores digital vs analogue in the gallery  
 
 
At an event in July, Oxford Aspire will pose the question, which is more educational and fun: high tech digital or a dressing up hat? They also ask what the place is of both in gallery design as the reach of digital technologies expand.  Speakers include representatives of the Family Friendly Fun Arts Awards, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Derby Silk Mill.  Tickets are £50 including food, the event takes place on 22nd July.  Oxford Aspire
 
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  Social impact  
 
 
  DCMS literature review explores social and health benefits of museums  
 
 
DCMS has published a literature review on the social and health effects of visits to museums and participation in the arts and sport.  The short report on health is predicated on research by Daniel Fujiwara, and found that there are potential savings to the NHS from all the activities assessed, but that savings were most strongly associated with sport.  Estimated savings per person on GP visits are £13.25 for sport participation, £5.07 for arts audiences, museums £1.89, libraries £1.05 and heritage £2.59.   Total predicted NHS savings across the whole population are £44.7m for museums and £384.9m for all sports.
 
A literature review exploring the social benefits of museums found that the best evidence was around the positive social effects of volunteering.  Research in Scotland in 2009, and from the recent ‘In Touch’ programme run by museums in Manchester found that volunteers benefitted from skills development and greater employability.   Evidence around wider social and educational benefits was sparse and anecdotal, but the report writers say that drawing from the CASE database may have meant that they missed some results as it “was not compiled for the purposes of identifying social impacts literature specifically.  This issue seems to have affected heritage and MLA searches particularly”. Gov.uk (health), Gov.uk (social impacts)
 
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  The environmental impact of culture: Julie’s Bicycle produces second year report  
 
 
Julie’s Bicycle has for the second year produced a report for ACE on the environmental footprint of the arts and cultural sector.  Sustaining Great Art finds that cultural bodies are increasingly engaged with the programme: 85% have an environmental action plan in place.  Other findings include:
 
  • Museums and art galleries account for over two thirds of the current footprint
  • Of 715 ACE funded NPOs and MPMs, 98% took part in the reporting
  • The Arvon Foundation has used a ground source heat pump system to achieve a zero carbon footprint
  • Of those who described themselves as ‘engaged’ or ‘very engaged’ in the programme, 56% reported financial benefits, 52% reputational benefits and 73% an increase in team morale.
  • Those who reduced their energy and water consumption did so by 14% since the previous report.
 
Julie’s Bicycle
 
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  Funding  
 
 
  ACE works with trusts and corporates to create new Arts Impact Fund  
 
 
ACE has launched a new £7m Arts Impact Fund which will provide loans at 5 – 7% interest to cultural organisations.  £150k - £600k will be available per loan, and the money will be focused on projects where there are both artistic and social outcomes.  There will be three rounds of funding from April 2015 – April 2017.  Three partners are supporting the fund alongside ACE: the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, Nesta and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation said, “our investment in the Arts Impact Fund is another step in recognising the power of art and culture.  We hope that it can help build artistic capital whilst encouraging engagement, participation and innovation in the arts and creating a track record of successful social investments to bring further investment to what we feel is a fundamental part of a healthy society.” The fund is the first to combine corporate, foundation and government support. Only England based organisations are eligible to apply.  Arts Council, Arts Impact Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
 
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  Free fundraising coaching for museum managers in Wales  
 
 
Catalyst Cymru is offering free fundraising training for people managing in the cultural sector in Wales.  Support will be tailored to organisations’ needs and may include consultancy and problem solving sessions as well as the creation of an overall fundraising plan.  The deadline for applications is 1st May.  WCVA
 
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  PRISM Fund reopens  
 
 
The PRISM Fund, which offers help in acquiring artefacts relating to science, technology, industry and medicine, has reopened for applications.  The fund will provide up to £20k; match funding of at least 10% must be provided.  Museums and galleries in England and Wales are eligible to apply.  ACE
 
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  Catalyst Fund progress report published  
 
 
Arts Council England has produced an evaluation of the first year of the Catalyst Fund, which aims to help cultural organisations become more entrepreneurial and financially resilient, and draw in more funding.  88% of those surveyed after Catalyst work said they had identified and contacted new potential donors, but the report does not track the results.  ACE say that there are positive signs, but it is too early to track outcomes: a second evaluation will be taking place in November 2016.  ACE, Arts Professional
 
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  DCMS approve three Cities of Culture in five years  
 
 
Following a consultation, the DCMS has decided to go ahead with a City of Culture in 2021.  There will also be a European City of Culture in 2023.  This means there will be three cities of culture in a six year period, beginning with Hull’s year as City of Culture in 2017.  It is not yet certain how the events will be funded: suggestions include an entry fee from all the cities bidding for the title, or a requirement for the winning city to raise money through sponsorship fees.  Arts Professional
 
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  Queen Victoria’s HMS Warrior to be restored  
 
 
The first iron hulled warship, HMS Warrior is to be restored by an HLF grant.  Currently languishing in a fragile state at Portsmouth Dockyard, in 1860 she was the most terrifying and effective warship anywhere in the world.  The HLF writes that she “instantly rendered every other warship afloat obsolete”. Essential work will be carried out over the next two years.  HLF, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
 
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  Appointments and resignations  
 
 
The British Museum has announced that Neil MacGregor will retire in December. He will remain involved in a number of the museum's projects including a new BM/Radio 4 series on Faith and Society.  He said, "It's a very difficult thing to leave the British Museum.  Working with this collection and above all with the colleagues here has been the greatest privilege of my professional life".  British Museum, Guardian
 
Gabriele Finaldi has been announced as the new Director of the National Gallery. Telegraph, Independent
 
Sir Peter Luff has been appointed as the new Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund and National Heritage Memorial Fund. He is currently an MP in Worcestershire, but standing down following the election.  Gov.uk
 
Penelope Curtis has announced her resignation after five years as Director of Tate Britain.  She will become director of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.  The Art Newspaper
 
Director of the Collections Trust, Nick Poole, will be taking on a new post as Director of CILIP from June. Museums Journal
 
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  Honour nominations open  
 
 
DCMS has launched a form to nominate people who work in the culture, media and sport sectors for a New Year’s honour in 2016.  The deadline for nominations is Friday 1st May.  Gov.uk
 
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  Events  
 
 
  Early booking discounts for AIM conference  
 
 
AIM’s 2015 Annual Conference ‘Hallmarks of a Prospering Museum’ takes place on the SS Great Britain on 18th – 20th June.  AIM is offering early bird discounts until April 17th with tickets costing £45 for day one of the conference, and £51 for day two, including lunch.  The programme is evolving and will be published on the AIM website and @AIMuseums #2015AIM.  The conference will feature 30 guest speakers, 12 breakout sessions, new surgery sessions and speakers including senior staff from SS Great Britain, London Transport Museum, ALVA, HLF, Battersea Arts Centre, Imperial War Museum, Derby Silk Museum, Bexley Heritage Trust, Birmingham Conservation Trust, Association of Cultural Enterprises, Luton Museums, National Football Museum and Oriel Plas Glyn y Weddw. There will also be an optional study tour of Bristol historical venues.  AIM, AIM (booking)
 
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  Culture Makers, the new generation  
 
 
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum is offering a series of five free lectures exploring the future of innovative digital research outputs.  The lectures are in collaboration with the University of Exeter and high tech creative industries speakers.  The series begins on 8th April with Jenny Durrant, RAMM’s Assistant Curator of Antiquities, speaking about developing a digital research collection as part of a collections online offer.  Later talks cover cultural entrepreneurship, digital innovation and the law.  RAMM
 
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  Open Doors 2015  
 
 
Museums are being invited to participate in the second year of the Open Doors event, which celebrates historic buildings in Wales.  To participate, museums must waive a standard entry fee or run an event.  Registration closes on 1st June and the event runs throughout September.  Wales.gov
 
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  Second No Boundaries conference announced  
 
 
The No Boundaries symposium, which explores new ideas in arts and culture is back for a second year.  It is itself innovatively taking place in two broadcast-linked city venues, this time Manchester and Bristol.  Both venues will have the same speakers and programmes. The event takes place on 29th – 30th September and tickets are from £60 for individuals and from £150 for those representing institutions.  The speakers are to be announced.  No Boundaries
 
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  Think! Sponsorship Conference  
 
 
Arts & Business’ 22nd Think! Sponorship conference is based on an analysis of thousands of recent sponsorship deals, and includes speakers from a number of large corporate sponsors, including Barclaycard, at the Vodaphone Foundation.  Tickets are £295 + VAT at the earlybird rate: the conference takes place on 30th April.  Arts & Business
 
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  Surveys  
 
 
  Survey: approaches to ethical reputational challenges in the cultural sector  
 
 
What Next? supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation are putting together material to help cultural organisations deal with ethical and reputational challenges.  Disputes around artistic and sponsorship choices such as Behzti (Dishonour) in Birmingham, BP’s sponsorship of Tate and the Tricycle Theatre’s relationship with the UK Jewish Film Festival illustrate the difficulties cultural organisations may face.  What Next? are inviting museums and galleries to fill in their confidential survey by 14th April to inform this work. 
 
Meanwhile a debate in the House of Commons, attended by Southbank Director Jude Kelly and Deputy Mayor for Culture Munira Mirza, explored self-censorship in the cultural sector, and how organisations might be silenced by either mainstream orthodoxies or fears about their funding streams.  What Next?, Independent
 
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  CILIP launches workforce mapping project  
 
 
CILIP has launched a workforce mapping project and is inviting those involved in library, archive, records, information and knowledge work to fill in a survey, including those who work in these areas in museums.  The research will be used for advocacy to governments and employers, to develop relevant and robust policies, and better services.  The survey is the first in some years for this workforce, and is experimental in that it invites responses from individuals rather than employers.  CILIP
 
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  ENUMERATE survey to track collection digitisation Europe wide  
 
 
The Collections Trust is asking museums and galleries to fill in a survey, as part of a third ENUMERATE Europe-wide data gathering exercise.  Subjects addressed include digitisation activity; the cost of digital collection; access to digital collections; and the preservation of digital heritage materials.  Enumerate
 
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  Jobs  
 
 
 Current vacancies on the NMDC website include:
 
 
See the full selection of current jobs at NMDC members' organisations here.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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