Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

CONFERENCE: Charity Finance Group Northern Conference 2019

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

When: Thursday 27th June 2019

Where: Manchester Hall, 36 Bridge Street, Manchester M3 3BT

How Much:

The Charity Finance Group’s biggest conference in the north returns to Manchester. With Brexit a fixed feature of uncertainty in the landscape, it’s crucial for financial managers to possess the latest knowledge to maintain a robust role, and to keep growing and developing strategies at a challenging time.

CFG’s Northern Conference 2019 is the opportunity to find out the latest charity finance and sector news, and the regulatory and technical updates which you need to know. It also provides space to step back and develop room for fresh thinking as speakers share best practice and ideas in strategy sessions.

The day is a great chance for you to connect with colleagues in the sector and share issues and concerns, and have your burning questions answered by the speakers. There will also be an exhibition running throughout the day so you can discuss your charity’s key issues with specialists.

Who should come along to the CFG Northern Conference?

This event is open to members and non-members and will have valuable takeaways for those responsible for financial management in your charity, including financial managers, finance directors, CEOs and treasurers.

To find out more about the conference, the Charity Finance Group and details on how to book a place on the conference, Click Here

 

WORKSHOP: How to be a Family Friendly Museum Training Day

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

When: Tuesday 9th July 2019, 10.00am – 4.00pm

Where: People’s History Museum, Manchester

How Much: Free

Organised by Kids in Museums in partnership with Museum Development North West, Museum Development Yorkshire and Museum Development North East, this training day will provide a great opportunity to review where you are as an organisation and offer top tips and inspiration to develop your offer for this audience. The programme welcomes staff or volunteers from museums across the North West, Yorkshire or North East, who would like their museum to be more welcoming of children, young people and families, but need some support.

For details of the full programme and how to book a place, Click Here

NEWS: Museum Development North West Releases 2018-19 Annual Report

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Museum Development North West has released their latest annual report for 2018-19. Detailing the investment and delivery of MDNW’s programme in 2018-2019, the report shows the impact of the work the MDNW team has undertaken in the museums sector across the five counties of the North West.

Museum Development is funded by Arts Council England (ACE) over four years; 2018-19 is year one of a four year funded cycle.

Download your copy of MDNW annual report 2018-19, HERE.

 

NEWS: Prosper North Offers Free Business Support Programme for Culture and Heritage Organisations

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

Prosper North have released details about a new, free business support programme for culture and heritage organisations to help them become stronger, more impactful, and make the most of the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund investment opportunity.

Prosper North’s programme aims to improve the capabilities of around 80 cultural heritage organisations in the North of England– from music venues to community art groups, and independent museums to literature festivals – to increase income and impact, becoming more resilient businesses. It is aligned with the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund (NCRF), managed by the Key Fund, which is offering social investments (mix of grant and loans) to creative and cultural organisations in the north of England who deliver positive social impacts.

For those interested in finding out more about the programme, Prosper North are hosting two briefing events in the North West, one in Kendal on the 3 July, and another in Liverpool on the 17 July.

To learn more about the programme and to check if your organisation is eligible to participate, Click Here

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Creative Facilitation with Young People Training Day

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

When: Wednesday 25th September 2019, 10.00am – 4.15pm

Where: HOME, Manchester

How Much: £150.00

Led by Artswork, this one-day course provides an introduction to a creative approach to group facilitation. It aims to encourage, develop and inspire those with responsibility to lead others through a facilitative process, be it for the purposes of team building, consultation, idea-generation or training. Throughout the day, we will be using a number of different interactive exercises and games in order to illustrate content. We will also look at group dynamics, communication issues and different learning styles in order to explore how these might be of impact. This course seeks to stimulate your imagination and send you home with ideas and examples of how to develop a creative approach to group facilitation within your own context.

For further details and information on how to book, Click Here.

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Activity Planning Consultant for the Re-Imagining the Harris Project

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

What: Activity Planning Consultant for the Re-Imagining the Harris Project

Where: Harris Museum, Preston

Salary: tendered as a fixed price contract of £18,000

Contract: not specified

Deadline: Monday 24th June 2019

The Harris  is embarking on the latest stage of its Re-imagining project with a major capital bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund at Round 2, which includes the development of an activity plan for the delivery stage.

This is no ordinary activity plan consultant brief. They are looking for someone inspirational to support, challenge and facilitate their team to create an activity plan that knits together our significant and wide-ranging aims in a coherent and manageable format.

For further information on the role and details on how to apply, Click Here

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Capital Campaign Fundraiser, Harris Museum Preston

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

What: Capital Campaign Fundraiser

Where: Harris Museum, Preston

Salary: £28,785.00 – £30,507.00

Contract: Full time, fixed term contract to end 31st October 2020

Deadline: Monday 24 June 2019, 12 noon

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library in Preston, Lancashire, is looking for an experienced, capable and enthusiastic fundraiser who can support our Capital Fundraising Manager and wider leadership team in achieving income from trusts/foundations, businesses and individuals for the Re-imagining the Harris capital project, #HarrisYourPlace. The successful candidate will research prospects, work on the public fundraising campaign and with potential donors, make trust and foundation applications, and undertake the critical administration.  They will have several years of fundraising experience, ideally across a spectrum of fundraising disciplines with a focus on cultural/heritage projects and/or capital developments.

For further information and details on how to apply, Click Here

JOB OPPORTUNITY: Learning and Public Programmes Coordinator, Sheffield Industrial Museum Trust

Saturday, June 8th, 2019

What: Learning and Public Programmes Coordinator

Where: Kelham Island Museum, although the work will be across all Sheffield Industrial Museum Trust sites. Travel will be required to other sites and occasionally further afield.

Salary: £22,000

Contract: Full time, 37 hours per week, 2 years fixed term

Deadline: Monday 24th June, 9.00am

Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust (SIMT) are seeking to recruit a Learning and Public Programmes Coordinator who will leaf on the delivery and programming of the Museums Trust’s formal and informal learning programmes across all their sites. The successful candidate will also lead on the delivery of the Trust’s partnership work with IVE and the National Lottery Heritage Fund “Ignite Yorkshire” project and line manage the interactor team and the Family Activities, ensuring that they are engaged, consulted and involved in developments at SIMT.

To download further information and a job description, Click Here.

 

CALL OUT: Northern Prehistory – Connected Communities Conference

Saturday, April 13th, 2019

When: 12 and 13 October 2019

Where: Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, Carlisle

Deadline: 31 July 2019

Welcoming proposals for papers or posters from a range of sectors, highlighting different methodologies, and promoting the extensive and distinctive evidence available both in the field and in museum collections, the conference organisers aim to inspire new research and engagement that will move Northern and Cumbrian prehistory into the 21st century.

The conference will explore the inter-connectedness of Cumbria and the North of England within the prehistoric world, or which highlight opportunities for new, collaborative research related to Northern Prehistory. Papers may address – but are not limited to – the following themes: new research in Cumbria and the North of England; opportunities, resources and priorities; new interpretative and educational approaches to display and engagement; teaching and engaging with prehistory within the heritage context; the physical movement of people and objects: transport, travel, and trade; stylistic influences: architecture, artifacts, and ideas.

Proposals are welcomed from students, academics, local societies, commercial units, amateurs, heritage professionals and education-based professionals.

If you are interested in giving a 20-minute paper or a poster please submit your proposal to elsa.price@tulliehouse.org and kate.sharpe@durham.ac.uk

CONFERENCE: Age Friendly Museums North West Showcase Event

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

When: 19 September 2019, 10.00am to 4.00pm

Where: The Leggate Theatre, Victoria Gallery and Museum, Liverpool

How Much: FREE

Organised by Museum Development North West in collaboration with Victoria Gallery and Museum, this showcase event will comprise a day full of inspiring examples of how North West museums are improving services to engage older people in our communities through developing partnerships, using their collections and enhancing their spaces. There will be opportunities for networking and the speakers will also be present in the museum café at the end of the day. MDNW will also be launching their Age Friendly Museums Audit Tool to support museums to improve their services for older people in our communities.

For details of the days programme and information on how to book your FREE place, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Museum Tech 2019 – A Digital Festival for Museums

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

When: 27 June 2019

Where: Museum of London

How Much: £55.00 – £195.00

The Museum Association’s popular annual digital festival returns in June 2019. A celebration of new and emerging digital technologies that are helping to shape the way audiences experience museums and their collections, the conference will offer the latest digital insights.

Presenting some of the latest digital experiences, tools and projects developed for the museum sector and beyond, Museum Tech 2019 will feature case studies, keynotes and practical demonstrations that shed light on how technology can be used in many diverse areas of museum practice.

This conference is for anyone interested in the role digital technology can play in different aspects of museum practice, from exhibitions and visitor engagement to learning and marketing.

For more information on the conference’s programme and details on how to book, Click Here

NEWS: The Prince of Wales Opens Lakeland Arts New Windermere Jetty Museum

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019
HRH The Prince of Wales is welcomed onboard Osprey by John Eaton, David Dunlop, Paul Pearson and Ian Shirra at Windermere Jetty. Photo Jan Chlebik

After an extensive £20 million development project by Lakeland Arts, the Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories finally opened to the public earlier this year on the 23 March.  Following its public opening, a visit from His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, gave the museum a Royal seal of approval as he toured new building with Lakeland Arts staff on 8 April.

The Windermere Jetty sits on the site of a former sand and gravel wharf dock, and the historic boat
museum that George Pattinson opened in 1977. Visitors will see boats on water in the Boathouse, and out on the lake itself and in the exhibition galleries. The Sir John Fisher Foundation Conservation Workshop is open, enabling visitors to see live conservation of the boats as they are restored and repaired to go back on the water or on display.
The museum continues traditional boat-building skills here and will involve apprentices, trainees and young people in keeping a traditional industry alive. Through the learning and skills development programme, science, engineering and ecology will meet the arts and culture to explore the collection and the site’s beautiful surrounding landscape. The museum includes the Wolfson Learning Centre, shop, lakeside café and temporary, as well as permanent exhibition spaces. Lakeland Arts took over the old museum in 2007, after it had closed the previous year. Eleven of the boats were allocated to Lakeland Arts by HM Government’s Acceptance in Lieu Scheme and the rest of the historic boats and a wealth of other objects were transferred from the Windermere Nautical Trust.

CONFERENCE: The Thriving Child in the North – Curious Minds

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

When: Friday 28 June 2019, 9.30am – 4.00pm

Where: The Lowry, Salford

How Much: £59.00

Children and young people can face many challenges in today’s society as they navigate their way through school and home life. Social and economic disadvantage, issues around mental health and well-being, discrimination of many kinds may all combine to hinder children’s flourishing.

‘The Thriving Child’ is a series of simultaneous conferences taking place at venues across the UK, led by the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, which will examine these issues in detail and consider how the arts, creativity and culture can help children and young people to face up to these challenges.

Taking place at The Lowry in Salford, ‘The Thriving Child In The North’ will incorporate livestreaming of content from the Royal Opera House, with individually selected speakers and panel members joining us in the room to discuss these issues from a uniquely northern perspective. Taken together, these events will help initiate a national conversation about these vital issues and Curious Minds is proud to work with IVE and Culture Bridge North East to host a coming together of northern voices.

For more details on the programme and information on how to book your place, Click Here.

 

Northern Museums Volunteer Pass 2019-2020

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Are you an accredited Museum? Are you part of the Northern Museums Volunteer Pass scheme?

Led by Museum Development teams in the North West, the North East and Yorkshire, the
The Northern Museum Volunteer Pass Scheme is one of the largest schemes in England. Open to all accredited museums – or those who have received official recognition of working towards accreditation, in the North West, North East and Yorkshire and Humberside region – this Pass allows volunteers FREE entry and/or additional benefits (as listed) at participating museums in Yorkshire and Humberside, North East and North West regions.

Details of participating museums can be found in the brochure which you can download here.

To discuss the possibilities of your organisation joining the scheme, contact Alexander Bird at Museum Development North West – alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: GEM Museum Learning 2019

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

GEM’s foundation course is back.  Intended for those in their first years of their museum education career – or for those working in a different part of the heritage sector but wishing to take up an education position – the course is spread over a four-month period from April to July 2019. There are six full days of seminars, workshops and site visits, and participants then complete a work-based assignment, which should be completed a month after the last on-site course day.

Since it is a work-based course, it is a requirement that applicants should be working or volunteering in the heritage sector. Participants should be able to attend the following on-site course days in Manchester, 2019:

  • 25 April, Manchester Art Gallery
  • 26 April, People’s History Museum
  • 23 May, Manchester Museum
  • 24 May, Whitworth Art Gallery
  • 27 June, John Rylands Library
  • 28 June, Greater Manchester Police Museum

Full course information is available on GEM’s website, Click Here.

MEMBER EVENT: Kirkby Gallery – Anthony Ratcliffe Printmaking Workshops

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

When: 4, 6 and 7 June, and the 6, 8 and 9 August, 10am – 3.30pm

Where: Kirkby Gallery

How Much: £30.00 including materials

Led by artist Anthony Ratcliffe, these one day printmaking workshops will give participants the opportunity to learn how to make a woodcut and produce a mounted print to take home – ideal for beginners and those with some experience. Anthony is now a full time printmaker after many years lecturing at Manchester School of Art, and is a member of Manchester Academy of Fine Arts, and Leeds Fine Artists. He has prints in many public and private collections including The British Council, the Parliamentary Art Collection, Manchester Airport PLC, Manchester Royal Infirmary and MMU Special Collections.

To book a place on one of the workshops, please contact Tina Ball (tina.ball@knowsley.gov.uk, 0151 443 4936).

CONFERENCE: Rewire – Culture, Audiences and You

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

When: 9 – 11 July 2019

Where: Sage Gateshead, Newcastle

How Much: £418.00 – £608.00

Join the Arts Marketing Association for the 2019 Conference and be inspired, share challenges, create new connections and learn new ways of doing things. Delve deep into what it means to connect and realise stronger relationships with audiences, exploring what connection really means for audiences, partners and colleagues to ensure your organisation thrives.

AMA understand that the world is changing quickly, so now’s your chance to step away from the day-to-day and rewire your thinking about your relationships with audiences. What does the future hold for society, our sector, our audiences and our organisations? How can we make the  most of these opportunities? If there are challenges ahead, what tools do we need in order to be resilient?

Join hundreds of other cultural professionals over two and half days of keynotes, breakout sessions, socials and plenty of networking opportunities.

For details of the full programme and how to book your place, Click Here.

FUNDING: The Rayne Foundation

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

For over fifty years The Rayne Foundation has given to many different causes and organisations.  Founded by Lord Rayne (1918-2003) who made great efforts to ensure the Rayne Foundation was engaged with the needs of society, a mission still upheld today.

Always looking for creative ways of tackling entrenched social issues through the arts, health, wellbeing, and education, the Foundation supports projects that can be replicated and led by people with vision. They particularly welcome applications addressing their three areas of special interest: young people’s mental health, art as a tool to achieve social change, and improved quality of life for carers and older people.

Aiming to enlarge sympathies through increasing tolerance and understanding, to reduce exclusion and conflict, to bring people together for the good of society, and ultimately to help create a more comprehending and cohesive world, the Foundation encourage inspiring individuals and organisations who can build bridges within our complex world to apply.

To find out more about the Foundation’s work and how to make an application, Click Here

FUNDING: Marsh Christian Trust

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Founded in 1981 by its current Chairman, Mr Brian Marsh OBE, with the aim to create a sustainable way to give something back to society, by supporting the organisations and people who are making a difference, as best he could. From the outset the Trust has aimed to create long-standing relationships with the organisations it supports and partners through both its principle areas of work; the Grants Programme and the Awards Scheme.

The Trust focuses on providing funding which could help small organisations pay for various running costs – such as volunteer expenses, training days, equipment maintenance and other core outgoings – and supports around 300 charities every year through the Grants Programme and gives over 80 different Awards to individuals and groups from across the charity sector, who make a difference to a cause that they believe in.

Grants are unrestricted and range from £250-£4,000, with new applications at the lower end of this scale. Applications are considered on the basis of the organisation’s financial position, performance against charitable aims and objectives and the ratio of voluntary income against fundraising expenses.

The Trust aims to build long-standing relationships with successful applicants and, subject to an annual review, continue its support over time.

FUNDING: The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Deadline for application submission: 1 April 2019 and 1 October 2019

The National Manuscripts Conservation Trust offers grants for the conservation and preservation of manuscripts and archives.  Since the NMCT was founded in 1990 it has awarded grants of over £3m, which have enabled the conservation of hundreds of musical, literary, architectural and other vital historical documents.

NMCT welcome applications from non-national institutions such as county record offices, museums, university archives/special collections, cathedral archives and libraries, as well as owners of manuscripts that are exempt from capital taxation or owned by a charitable trust. Their grants can cover conservation, binding and other preservation measures, including digitisation (providing it is part of a wider conservation project).  The significance of the collection or items to be conserved, as well as the proposed conservation treatment, are carefully reviewed by Trustees when making their decisions.

NMCT are particularly interested in projects that have a training element (e.g. internship, enhancing skills of experienced conservators, later career conservators passing on their knowledge by supervising a younger conservator etc.).

For further details and information on making an application, Click Here.

NEWS: New-look National Lottery Heritage Fund unveils plans for the next five years

Monday, February 18th, 2019

A major decentralisation of decision-making across the whole of the UK is at the heart of new plans to distribute more than £1 Billion of National Lottery money to the UK’s heritage over the next five years which will see decisions on around 80% of all funding by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (previously the Heritage Lottery Fund), made in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and three new English areas.

In addition, the new look National Lottery Heritage Fund will have a major focus on several new areas including: nature, communities, and on ensuring everyone is able to enjoy heritage; new models of investment, moving beyond grants to include loans and partnerships; more support for commercial, sustainable approaches to tackling heritage that’s in danger of being lost; investment and support to help heritage organisations to be more financially sustainable; a requirement for every heritage project that receives funding to be environmentally friendly; greater engagement and support to help 13 deprived communities that have in the past been less successful securing funding; and continued support for large-scale, iconic projects over £5million

Ros Kerslake, CEO of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Over the past 25 years, money raised by people who buy National Lottery tickets has profoundly changed how we view and engage with the UK’s exceptionally varied heritage. By putting people at its heart, it has helped our wonderful buildings, iconic landscapes, cultural memories and traditions and native species not just survive, but thrive.

“Over the next five years, The National Lottery Heritage Fund will inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage, distributing more than £1bn. So we will be making more decisions on funding locally and focusing on the heritage that really matters to people, creating jobs, bringing economic prosperity and improving people’s lives right across the UK.”

To find out more and for details on how to apply, Click Here.

CONFERENCE: Association of Independent Museums National Conference 2019

Monday, February 18th, 2019

When: 20 – 22 June 2019

Where: The National Civil War Centre, Newark

How Much: £35.00 – £342.00

The AIM National Conference 2019 will offer delegates fresh ideas on developing a successful destination. It will look at creative place making, becoming a great destination for your community, understanding your audiences, tips for creating an excellent visitor experience and case studies on how to attract groups to your museum and making your shop or café into a desirable destination amongst many more.

The conference will also highlight the latest updates in charity finance and law from the Charity Finance Group and Farrer & Co, plus we will be exploring how AIM members are using the ‘Open Up: Museums for everyone’ resources to boost and diversify their visitor and volunteer numbers. To help your museum get ahead, there will be practical advice and useful case studies from AIM Hallmarks funded projects.

AIM Conference always provides an ideal occasion for networking and sharing ideas with colleagues from across the sector and there will be plenty of opportunities to meet and mingle with fellow delegates, speakers, AIM Suppliers and exhibitors.

For further information on the conference, a full event itinerary and to book your tickets, Click Here.

FUNDING: Arts Council England Lottery Project Grants

Monday, February 18th, 2019

Arts Council England are still accepting applications for their Lottery Project Grants Programme for arts, museums and libraries projects and you can apply for any amount from £1,000 to £100,000. Project Grants are ACE’s new open access programme for arts, museums and libraries projects, funded by the National Lottery, and will support thousands of individual artists, community and cultural organisations.

Before starting an application, ACE recommends contacting your local Relationship Manager for Museums: Penny Thompson (penny.thompson@artscouncil.org.uk) and Nikola Burdon (nikola.burdon@artscouncil.org.uk).

For full details on eligibility, how to apply, and the funding guidance, visit ACE’s website.

NEWS: Applications Open – Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019

Deadline: Tuesday 6 February 2019

Has your museum got what it takes to win Art Fund Museum of the Year 2019?

If you would like to make an application, it is recommended that you first read the information pack carefully before connecting with Emma Coleman –  ecoleman@artfund.org, 020 7225 4822 – to discuss your application.

NEWS: Alistair Hudson appointed as Director for Manchester Art Gallery and The University of Manchester’s Whitworth

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

The University of Manchester and Manchester City Council have today announced that Alistair Hudson, currently Director of the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (mima), will be the new Director of Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth.

Alistair will take up his role in the New Year. He succeeds Maria Balshaw at the Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery following her appointment as Director of Tate earlier this year.

He brings with him a wealth of experience at the forefront of the culture sector and a strong record of championing art as a tool for social change and education. During the last three years as Director at mima, he set out the institution’s vision as a ‘Useful Museum’, successfully engaging its local communities and responding to the town’s industrial heritage, as well as placing it amongst the most prestigious galleries in the UK.

Alistair began his career at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery, London (1994-2000), before joining The Government Art Collection (2000-04) where, as Projects Curator, he devised a public art strategy for the new Home Office building with Liam Gillick.

As Deputy Director of Grizedale Arts (2004-14) in the Lake District, he helped the institution gain critical acclaim for its radical approaches to working with artists and communities, based on the idea that art should be useful and not just an object of contemplation.

Outside of these roles he is also Chair of Culture Forum North, an open network of partnerships between higher education and the cultural sector across the North, and co-director of the Asociación de Arte Útil with Tania Bruguera. He was a 2015 jury member for the Turner Prize.

Alistair said: “I am completely thrilled to be taking up this post in Manchester. The city’s cultural scene is one of the most dynamic and diverse in the country and Manchester Art Gallery and the Whitworth are at the heart of this. Maria Balshaw and her teams have established both institutions at the forefront of the democratisation of art, working for all of society. I look forward to driving this mission forward and working across the region in projects that have real impact in people’s lives.”

The People’s History Museum Wins Family Friendly Museum Award 2017

Monday, October 9th, 2017

The Family Friendly Museum Award is the biggest museum award in Britain and the only award where families pick the winner. Earlier this year we received over 700 nominations from families and museums that were whittled down to a shortlist of ten. These were then road-tested by our family judges against the eight points in the Kids in Museums Mini Manifesto.

Relaunched in 2010 after a major refurbishment programme and attracting over 100,000 visitors per year, the People’s History Museum is the national museum of democracy. Families were incredibly impressed with how the museum combined local subjects such as the Peterloo Massacre with exhibits about broader themes in social and political history right up to the present day.

With a collection of 1,500 objects celebrating the history of working people and a unique archive, the People’s History Museum stood out among this year’s shortlisted museums for listening to its family audience and making difficult subjects exciting and accessible. The recent exhibition, Never Going Underground: the Fight for LGBT+ Rights was curated with the local LGBT+ community with the aim of being family friendly and included special family packs. This exhibition was a highlight for many of our family judges. As one said, The museum has very good ideas about how to deal with a difficult subject.

Here’s why one family thought their local museum should win:
We very much felt like they’d tried very hard to make the whole thing very inclusive – a lot of the exhibits echo diversity and inclusion

The burgeoning relationship between the Harris and UCLan

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

The Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library in Preston has a long track record of partnership working with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). During the last twenty years this has taken many forms from placements and paid internships for students to the development of joint artistic programmes between the two organisations.

In Certain Places was set up in 2003 as a joint initiative between the Harris and UCLan to explore place-making in Preston in the context of the regeneration plans for the city. ICP created numerous popular art interventions around the city, from Jeppe Hein’s interactive fountain sculpture Appearing Rooms on the Flag Market in 2006, to the Harris Flights, which created a flight of steps leading up to the Harris balcony as the setting for a programme of performances through the summer of 2013.

Harris staff have regularly been involved in the delivery of a variety of courses at the University, including Marketing, Events, History, Art, Fashion and Architecture. Key partnerships have developed with Art and Fashion lecturers, leading to exhibitions featuring both students’ and academics’ work, and with the UCLan-led Preston History Network, which brings together local historical organisations to promote events such as the Guild 2012 and Heritage Open Days.

In 2014 a piece of research was commissioned to scope existing links and the potential for future joint-working. This identified barriers such as information sharing and different working patterns through the year, and led to the development of new contacts to overcome these.

Now however Preston is in the process of major regeneration and both the Harris and UCLan are in a period of massive change. The Harris needs to reposition itself if it is to keep pace with the redevelopment going on around it in the city centre, and to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population in Preston and Lancashire. The Re-Imagining the Harris programme was set up in 2015, and has developed an innovative vision which will shape its repositioning. This envisages the Harris as the cultural and community hub for Preston. A community led organisation that acts as the civic focal point for the city centre, constantly animated with creativity at the core of everything it does.

UCLan has grown at a rapid rate, it is now the 8th biggest University in the country, with more than 38,000 students with campuses across Lancashire, and in China. However it recognises Preston as its home, and has developed a masterplan which will see £200 million of investment in the city campus during the next ten years. This campus sits on the edge of the city centre and the masterplan is integral to the wider regeneration of Preston.

A vibrant Preston is key to realising UClan’s ambitions, in order to attract prospective students and entertain existing ones. The University is keen to develop stronger and more tangible links to the city centre to contribute to the animation of the city, and to create stronger links with existing communities across Preston. The Harris provides the perfect partner for the University in developing this city centre presence, and it is this that has driven recent moves to a more co- ordinated and strategic partnership between the two institutions; as well as a wider recognition that the ambitions of the Harris and UCLan are inextricably intertwined.

Therefore the relationship between the Harris and UCLan is moving to a different level. A member of UCLan’s executive team (the Pro Vice Chancellor of External Relations) will sit on the Project Board for the Re-Imagining the Harris project. The University will play a pivotal role in shaping the repositioning of the Harris. In the short to medium term the two organisations are working together to ensure that UCLan adds significant value to the day to day running of the Harris, and has a tangible presence in the building.

The best example of this is the recent development and installation of a Makerspace in the Harris. The idea emerged after discussions between senior staff in the two organisations and was driven by the desire at the Harris to put creativity and making more at the core of what the building does, alongside the expectation at UCLan (and particularly at their Media Innovation studio) that they needed to be engaging more proactively with the hardest to reach audiences in Preston.

Staff from the two organisations worked closely together with additional support for the school of architecture at the University in the early development
of the Makerspace. Since it opened in the autumn of 2016, the programme has been varied, with Harris and UCLan staff, alongside members of the local community and artists, offering a wide opportunity to make and create, from costume making to coding and from drawing to drones.

There are plenty of other examples of the Harris and UCLan working together to deliver the new vision for the Harris, and the wider ambitions of the University. The Heritage Network at UCLan has recently organised a series of sold out talks at the Harris, reinforcing the message that the building is a centre for discussion and debate. The Harris will also host the University’s graduation show and related events in early summer that will animate the building, and enable the people of Preston and Lancashire to appreciate the potential of the thousands of students the city hosts.

So in recent years the partnership between the Harris and UCLan has matured, driven by the regeneration of the city and the challenging environment the two organisations find themselves operating in. The relationship, which had originated in a mutual shared appreciation of learning, heritage and the arts, is now evolving into a robust partnership where each organisation is becoming a key contributor to the other’s wider ambitions.
Jon Finch, Re-imagining the Harris Project Leader

Artists selected for the Meeting Point2 project with museums and heritage sites in the Northt

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

10 artists have been selected to work in partnership with museums in the North of England, each creating a new piece of work in response to the museum and its collections.

The artists, who have been commissioned through the Meeting Point2 project, will work with venues ranging from a restored historic open-pan salt making site to an excavated monastic site dating back to the 12th century.

The 10 artists and museums are:

Artist                                                     Museum

Matt Stokes                                           Hexham Old Gaol, Northumberland

Owl Project                                            Prescot Museum, Knowsley

Brass Art                                                Chetham’s Library, Manchester

David Appleyard                                     Norton Priory, Cheshire

Serena Partridge                                    Gawthorpe Textiles Collection, Lancashire

Magnus Quaife                                       Portland Basin Museum, Ashton-under-Lyne

Jacob Cartwright and Nick Jordan         Experience Barnsley Museum & Discovery Centre

Lynn Setterington                                   Brontë Parsonage Museum, West Yorkshire

Stephen Dixon and Alison Welsh           Preston Park Museum, Stockton on Tees

Martin Hylton                                          Lion Salt Works, Cheshire

The Meeting Point2 project, which is funded through the Arts Council England’s Resilience Fund, aims to equip museums with the knowledge and skills to commission work from artists again in the future, as well as presenting new works in unexpected places.

The selected artists are known for work ranging from fusions of sculpture and sound art, to textile works and film.

Sheffield-based artist David Appleyard, who will be working in partnership with Norton Priory Museum, said: “There is something very special about Norton Priory Museum. My research visits left me literally spellbound so I’m absolutely delighted to be involved in their MeetingPoint2 project. The project offers a rare opportunity to work with a very dedicated team in a place steeped in 900 years of history.”

Brass Art, who will be working with Chetham’s Library in Manchester, said: “We are delighted to have been selected to work with Chetham’s Library. The enthusiasm of the staff there is infectious; we’re looking forward to working with them closely to bring our collaborative practice and aspects of their fascinating collection together.”

Martin Hylton, who will work with Lion Salt Works in Cheshire, said: “I am excited to have been selected to create a newly commissioned piece in response to the Lion Salt Works. I am looking forward to working with the team, and local young dancers to realise this very exciting project.”

The 10 selected artists will create their commissions during 2017.

The programme builds on a successful pilot which took place in 2016 and saw artists working with museums across the North East and Yorkshire.

More details are available at www.artsandheritage.org.uk.

NEWS: Update – Volunteer Support Our Skills Pilot Programme

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

As many of you will remember, last year the NWFed, in partnership with Museum Development North West, undertook a consultation engaging over 300 volunteers from museums, galleries and heritage organsiations across the North West as part of their newly launched training project for volunteers, Support our Skills (SOS).

The pilot training project is now up and running and the small group of selected volunteers who are fully embracing the opportunity to develop their skills and offering much help and advice in how the programme can be taken forward.  The pilot began in 2016 with a short two day introductory session to allow the group time to get to know each other, but also to assist in developing a programme of five sessions which would concentrate on two major themes they were all interested in, namely exhibition planning and production and collection management and handling.

The group’s last session in December looked more closely at helping them to develop their presentation skills and the venue was the recently opened In the City gallery space, which is being developed by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in a Preston city centre shopping mall. The aim was to show the potential there was for local museums to use this is as a pop up exhibition/events space. An added bonus was the group learnt about the Lego Serious Play (https://www.lego.com/en-gb/seriousplay/) business development tool and even tried out one of its basic ideas by using a Lego duck activity which was both enjoyable and thought provoking.  Over the next couple of months they will be practicing their presentation skills on each other as they are delivering a half-day session at each of their museums.

The next session took place earlier this year in January and looked at a key element for all museums—exhibition planning—and was hosted at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery, who also allowed the group use of their handling collections and exhibition spaces.

A couple of members of the group are also taking advantage of MDNW and NWFED Fundraising Strategy Workshop programme, as they are particular interested in developing this for their museums.

If you have any queries about the current pilot scheme please do contact consultant Debbie Walker – dwalker14@btinternet.com or call 0784 600 3638. 

NEWS: SMILE’s Exploring Science in the Natural World – Event Report

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

cz1-3

On 21st September Chester Zoo hosted SMILE (Science in Museums Inspiring Learning and Engagement). This exciting expedition into natural sciences was organised by Alex McLeman, SMILE Network Leader from Bolton Library and Museum Services.  SMILE has CPD and networking days which occur at least once a year in museums or other cultural learning venues. These special days provide an opportunity to share ideas and expertise about science learning with museum educators, managers and curators.

It must have been the grandest conference room we have used for a SMILE event, as we were in the Victorian splendour of the Oakfield Manor library. In the morning we gathered together to listen to Charlotte Smith, Head of Learning and Discovery. She gave us an overview about the wide range of science learning delivered by Chester Zoo. Leah Williams gave us an insight into the research the Zoo does and the conservation and community engagement projects which the Zoo leads both locally and globally.

Learning Manager, Sarah Bazley shared projects and activities which demonstrate how learning is at the heart of the Zoo and help to inspire future generations of naturalists. We learnt how biological science is made accessible by using the animals as inspiration. We discovered that a Mountain Chicken is a rare frog and that the Zoo uses a cuddly mountain chicken to weigh and measure. This mimics what the conservationists would do in the wild with real amphibians.

Colleagues from The Natural History Museum & Leeds Museum shared how they have developed resources to enhance the teaching of Evolution. Anette Shelford and Rebecca Machin explored their ideas of object-based sessions that use understanding of Evolution and Adaptation to support self-reflection for pupils.

We had time to network and share ideas over lunch and then we took part in activities around Chester Zoo and experienced interactive science around their latest major project – Islands. We were fortunate to see lots of endangered species including orangutans, Bali starlings, Sumatran tigers and Indian gharial crocodiles. We explored the Sumba Classroom, which was an imaginative interactive learning space. We saw how Chester Zoo uses animal specimens and zoological resources alongside augmented reality to provide a unique learning journey for their school visitors.

These are a few quotes from SMILE delegates from the evaluation at the end of the day.

“I found it a good balance of hearing about what is happening and seeing it in action. I love the different perspective by having SMILE in a Zoo. It showed science in action and individual activities were very interesting. I thought it was great and being free meant that I could come.”

“The presentations were interesting. The walk about through the Zoo was great. I enjoyed the lunch. It was great to talk to fellow museum professionals. The immersive Aurasma Augmented reality was totally new. Thank you!”

“The chance to network and get inspiration, Good ideas for interactives. Talking to other museum education people and stimulating ideas between people.”

SMILE really appreciates everyone’s time and dedication in making these events a success. Big thanks to all the speakers and to the Chester Zoo Learning and Discovery Team for hosting SMILE.  We also greatly appreciate the contribution from NWFeD, Curious Minds, MDNW and GEM who provide funding for SMILE events. Watch out for our next SMILE event in 2017.

SMILE has its own online network – www.groups.google.com/group/smilescience – this site provides a forum for us to share expertise, interests & discuss needs for science learning in Museums.

To join this network please e-mail: alex.mcleman@bolton.gov.uk