Blog

Welcome to the NWFED blog – a place where visitors can keep up with the latest news and views from museums and galleries throughout the North West and beyond. This is an open blog where you can take part in discussions and post your comments on the issues which matter to you.

Co-production & Working with Communities (plus our AGM)

0 posted May 11th, 2022 | Leave a reply

People’s History Museum, Manchester

Join us for our next event for NWFed members
Wednesday 6th July 2022, 10.00 – 4.00pm BOOK HERE

At this one-day conference at the People’s History Museum (#Art Fund Museum of the Year 2022 finalist and Activist Museum 2021-22 Winner) in Manchester we will discuss the ways in which museums in the North West are working with communities. It is no longer enough to simply produce programming for our communities. We now aspire to include groups and individuals in the creation of museum content whenever possible. Throughout the region there are excellent examples of such co-produced practice, and we’re delighted to be showcasing seven North West case studies. We’ll also be holding our brief AGM during the day.

Places are limited so book here now

Speakers and case studies will include:

Professor Richard Sandell, Director of Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, University of Leicester, and author of Museum Activism (Museum Meanings).

Zofia Kufeldt from People’s History Museum on their co-produced exhibition Migration: A Human Story, plus a curator’s tour of the exhibition

Imperial War Museum and Manchester Jewish Museum on their Second World War and Holocaust Partnership Programme in Greater Manchester

The Walker Art Gallery on Colonial Legacies of the Liverpool Sandbach Family, a community-led research and display development project

Pete Gardom from thisgreatadventure on Fleetwood Museum’s community-based digital storytelling and location-based trails project, Finding Fleetwood

National Museums Liverpool and Migrant Artist Mutual Aid on Meet Me at the River, a co-produced exhibition aimed at creating dialogue and reflection on the legacies of historic slavery

Shanna Lennon from National Lottery Heritage Fund on why co-production is a strength from a funder’s perspective and its new Dynamic Collections campaign supporting museums to work more collaboratively with their collections

Speakers will reflect on their experiences, including:

The successes or benefits of their projects for the museum, the individuals or groups involved, and wider society.

The challenges and how they were overcome.

Who is driving the change in approach towards co-production?

Advice for colleagues new to the process.

When do co-production approaches work best? And when do more conventional delivery styles work better?

This event costs £20 (to cover catering costs) for all NWFed members (and those who work in NWFed member museums). Find out how to join us as an individual member for just £12 per year (£5 students) here.

Places are limited so book here now

People’s History Museum is easily accessible by public transport and is fully accessible.

If you would like to talk to us about your access needs for this event, please contact us at info@nwfed.org.uk

Museum Basics is Back! Join us for Object Marking and Labelling in Liverpool

0 posted May 2nd, 2022 | Leave a reply

PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT – LOOK OUT FOR MORE MUSEUMS BASICS EVENTS COMING SOON

We’re delighted to bring back our first Museum Basics: An Introduction to Object Marking and Labelling training course since 2020, which takes place at World Museum, Liverpool, on Thursday 16th June 2022, 10.30am – 12.30pm.
This hands-on session provides everything you need to know about how to mark and label your collection in a safe and sensitive way. The half-day course is aimed at volunteers and professionals new to the sector, as well as anyone who needs a refresher. It is free for NWFed members and staff from NWFed member museums. Find out how to join NWFed for just £12 a year here. Places are limited to 12, so early booking is recommended.

The training will be led by Tracey Seddon, Collections Care Team, National Museums Liverpool.
By the end of the course you will:

• Know why and when to mark museum objects, including ethical considerations
• Understand the Health and Safety issues relating to marking objects
• Understand where to source marking and labelling materials and how to put a kit together
• Have practical experience of marking and labelling a range of objects
• Understand how to remove numbers

Previous delegates have said:

Museum Basics Course – professional, informative and valuable.

Siobahn Wordingham, Volunteer, West Kirkby Museum

Participating in this  training was a great way to gain expert advice and hands-on experience for advancing my career – what set this course  apart from some other training opportunities was connecting with emerging talent and industry leading professionals who share my passion for championing North West Heritage and culture.

Adam Duckworth, Demonstrator, National Museums Liverpool

The location is World Museum Liverpool, William Brown St, Liverpool L3 8EN

Book your place at Eventbrite here now.

Image: Museum Basics event in action at National Museums Liverpool 

NWFED Needs You! Could you be one of our new Board Members?

0 posted April 22nd, 2022 | Leave a reply

We’re looking for new board members, and you might be just the person we need!Are you working in the museum/cultural/arts sector in the North West as a paid staff member or volunteer?

Are you passionate about the role and value of museums, galleries and heritage to different audiences and communities?

Are you committed to creating diverse and inclusive opportunities for people in the sector?

Do you want to help raise awareness of the excellent work and practice taking place in the North West?

Are you looking for the opportunity to broaden your knowledge and gain experience in governance and board membership?

We are an independent membership organisation for the museum and heritage sector. Our focus during 2022/23 is to grow membership, cultivate new partnerships, diversify the reach of the Federation, and deliver a range of inclusive activities to support North West museum sector professionals and volunteers.

We are looking for Board members with interests and/or skills in digital communication/social media, event management, fundraising and business planning, but expressions of interest in other areas are also very welcome. We are looking to diversify our Board, so it is more inclusive and representative of our membership. We particularly want to hear from interested applicants who have diverse lived experience, and personal attributes to bring to the role.

If you are enthusiastic and can commit to attending 6 Board meetings per year online, we would like to hear from you.  In return we offer you the opportunity to work closely with experienced, friendly and supportive colleagues, to further develop your skills and career and to participate in key events and networks.

If you think this might be for you and you would like to find out more, please contact our NWFED Chair, Alex Walker, at info@nwfed.org.uk or on 07507 888271.

“Front of House make museums; they are the face of every single one.”

0 posted March 19th, 2022 | Leave a reply

A museum staff member giving a talk in a gallery to a group of young people. Credit: NML Copyright: Pete Carr
Credit: NML Copyright: Pete Carr

NWFed trustee, Claire Sleightholm, reviews our recent In Conversation event on the Changing Role of Museum Front of House

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NWFED News: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Claire Sleightholm

0 posted March 12th, 2022 | Leave a reply

Claire Sleighholm wearing white gloves handling a photograph in a museum collection

We are delighted to welcome another new member to the NWFED board.

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NWFED News: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Dwight Clarke

0 posted February 26th, 2022 | Leave a reply

Picture of Dwight Clarke

Dwight is our newest member of the NWFed board and joined us in summer 2021, bringing extensive experience in the creative industries in a wide range of roles.

He has worked on a number of of fine art and community projects, gaining hands-on experience of working with the general public as a workshop and gallery assistant and also taking on strategic roles, including as a Board Director, Trustee and Development Co=ordinator. These opportunities contributed to his strong, sustainable understanding of the creative industries, its drivers, constraints and opportunities.

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NWFED NEWS: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Hilary Machell

0 posted February 17th, 2022 | Leave a reply

Hilary joined the board of NWFED in 2021 with almost twenty five years’ experience in the sector.

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In Conversation: The Changing Role of Museum Front of House

0 posted January 26th, 2022 | Leave a reply

A museum staff member giving a talk in a gallery to a group of young people. Credit: NML Copyright: Pete Carr
Credit: NML Copyright: Pete Carr

“Front of House make museums; they are the face of every single one.”

Join us for our next free In Conversation event for NWFed members.
Online on Thursday 24th February 2021, 12 – 1pm #FOHMuseums

The pandemic has shown that in a crisis, Front of House workers are invaluable. Their work to reopen museums, respond to the constantly changing environment, and create a safe, comfortable visitor experience are at the heart of the museum sector’s recovery.

But what of the future? NWFed’s latest In Conversation event offers an opportunity to discuss and explore the changing role of Front of House with a panel of colleagues who are passionate about the subject.

Chad McGitchie is Visitor Services Team Lead for The Whitworth and Manchester Art Gallery, and Chair of the Northwest Visitor Team Management & Development Network.

William Tregaskes is Co-founder of Front of House in Museums and the Museums Association Rep for Wales.

Chairing the panel will be Dwight Clarke, Visitor Services Officer, Manchester Art Gallery, and a member of the NWFed board of trustees.

This event is free for all NWFed members (and those who work in NWFed member museums).
Find out how to join us for just £12 per year (£5 students) here.

The event takes take place on Zoom on Thursday 24 February 2022, 12.00 – 1.00pm.
Book your tickets through Eventbrite now and we’ll send you a Zoom link to join the event the day beforehand.

Covid and Other Disasters: Conservation Matters in the Northwest

0 posted November 6th, 2021 | Leave a reply

Book now for this one-day in-person conference to share experiences, network and enjoy some cake together. #CMNW21

Open to all with an interest in conservation in the region, including curators, conservators, students, volunteers and interns, taking place on 10th December 2021.

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Publication of NWFed’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan

0 posted September 23rd, 2021 | Leave a reply

 

As a members led organisation, we strive to ensure that all members voices are heard equally, and we uphold inclusive practices in all that we do as a Federation. We want the NWFed to be a vibrant, welcoming, representative organisation, filled with voices and perspectives from across the North west museum sector and the communities we serve.

We want to be part of the change needed in our sector. We realise it is time for action, not words, with the events of the last eighteen months giving us time to reflect on where we can improve and create a sense of urgency. Our first step is the publication of our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Action Plan, which underpins our commitment to promoting equality of opportunity, and inclusive museum practice. This document not only sets out how we, as a board, plan to diversify but also outlines the responsibility that each and every one of our members has to actively challenge discriminative behaviour and champion inclusion.

We can’t make this change without you. Thank you to all the NWFed members who gave us feedback on where we could do better. We’ve listened and your views are reflected in the new policey.

We also need you to get involved with our Board. We know that we need to better embody the diversity we seek to promote as an organisation. We are looking for new members to join our team and help us to make the NWFed more representative. We want to build a more diverse Board, who will bring new thinking, insights, and perspectives into the work of our Fed. We’re particularly looking for members who can offer a different perspective around race, LGBTQ issues and disability access. In return, you’ll get to meet a team of likeminded professionals from across the region and gain experience of shaping policy for a nationally recognised professional organisation.

If this is you, email info@nwfed.org.uk for an informal chat about the role and find out more about what we do.

You can read our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan here.

Carbon Literate museums are the future: ‘Roots and Branches’ project receives public funding

0 posted June 23rd, 2021 | Leave a reply

 

 

Manchester Museum, part of The University of Manchester, Museum Development North West and the Carbon Literacy Trust are delighted to announce that they have been awarded £136,750 of Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grant funding for an ambitious two-year partnership project, ‘Roots & Branches’, which aims to accelerate the museum sector’s ability to respond to the climate crisis.

The launch of ‘Roots & Branches’ will coincide with the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021. Over the next two years, this project will enable us to scale up the roll-out of Carbon Literacy training across museums in England. 

The ‘branches’ of the project will create an environmentally aware and active sector, giving museums the tools to respond to ‘Let’s Create’, Art Council England’s new 10-year strategy in which environmental responsibility is at the core. 

Manchester Museum will host the ’roots’, creating a nationally significant co-working hub of cultural environmental action that will bring together museum staff, educators, environmentalists, artists, researchers, third sector organisations and students. This will be coordinated by an innovative new post shared between Manchester Museum and the Carbon Literacy Trust. 

In collaboration with Museum Development England and supported by a new Environmental Sustainability Museum Development Officer post, ‘Roots and Branches’ aims to train and certify as Carbon Literate 1,500 museum professionals and volunteers. It will also see 300 museums developing organisational pledges to take action against climate change. The training will start on 1 November 2021, the first day of COP26, as part of the Carbon Literacy Trust’s ‘Carbon Literacy Action Day’ – an attempt to stage the largest ever low-carbon education event globally and set a record for the number of people completing their Carbon Literacy training in a single day.

Opportunities for museums to get involved will include:

  • Taking part in a social media campaign to promote what museums can and are doing to address climate change in the run up to and during the COP26 conference 
  • Attending museum-focused online Carbon Literacy workshops for people who govern, work and volunteer in museums 
  • Using the free sector-specific Carbon Literacy Toolkit to roll out the training within your own museum
  • Taking your commitment further by becoming a Carbon Literate Organisation 

Kaye Hardyman of Museum Development North West will be dropping by for our first In Conversation event on 7th July to introduce the project. Get your tickets here.

NWFed: In Conversation

0 posted June 21st, 2021 | Leave a reply

The North West museum and heritage sector is bursting with new ideas. From making our sector more equitable to helping museums reduce their carbon footprint, our venues and institutions are leading the way in doing things differently. With so much going on, it can be confusing to know how you can get involved. Wouldn’t it be great if you knew an expert in the field who could point you in the right direction?

That’s the idea behind our new In Conversation events. Over the series, we’ll host exciting speakers giving you the opportunity to find out what they think the future holds. Each session will include a relaxed interview hosted by one of our board members before breaking out into a round table session so you can ask questions and dive deeper into some of the ideas shared.

Our first guest will be Jo Robinson-Cheale. Jo is Climate Change Manager for the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is a leading voice in championing sustainability in the region. We’ll be talking to her about sustainability, her route into the sector, the current funding landscape and what she’s excited about for the future. We’ll also be talking to Museum Development Officer, Kaye Hardyman, about her latest carbon literacy project and how you can get involved.

Join us on 7th July at 1 – 2pm. The event is free to all individual and institutional members. Book your place for this virtual session via our Eventbrite page here.

For our second session we will welcome Dr Richard Benjamin, Head of the International Slavery Museum, National Museums Liverpool and co-founder of NML’s BME staff group, and Jean-Francois Manicom, Curator of Transatlantic Slavery and Legacies, National Museums Liverpool. Both Richard and Jean-Francois have been contributing to NML’s response to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matters movement and are at the forefront of enacting real change to make our sector more equitable. They’ll be sharing what they’ve learned along the way and what work they think is still to be done.

Join us on 20th July at 12 – 1pm. The event is free to all individual and institutional members. Book your place for this virtual session via our Eventbrite page here.

Could you be our next board member?

0 posted May 12th, 2021 | Leave a reply

 

Are you interested in making a difference to the museum sector across the North West?

Are you working in the museum/cultural/arts sector in the North West as a paid staff member or volunteer

Are you passionate about museums, galleries and heritage?

Are you committed to creating diverse and inclusive opportunities and practice for the sector?

Do you want to share the excellent work and skills of the sector in the North West?

Do you have lived experience of the value cultural experiences can make to peoples lives?

Are you looking for the opportunity to broaden your knowledge of the sector or to gain experience in governance and strategic planning?

The NWFED is an independent membership organisation for the museum and heritage sector. Our focus during 2021/22 is to grow partnerships through diversifying the reach of the Federation, and deliver a range of inclusive activities to support NW museum sector professionals and volunteers. Joining our Board, you will help us in working towards becoming an organisation that puts equality, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of our commitments and actions as a Federation.

We are seeking Board members with interest in accessible events programming, fundraising, and business planning, but expressions of interest in other areas are also welcomed. We are looking to diversify our Board, so it is more inclusive and representative of our membership. We particularly want to hear from interested applicants who have diverse experiences, heritage, and personal attributes to bring to the role.

If you are enthusiastic, well organised and keen to take responsibility we would like to hear from you.  In return we offer you the opportunity to work closely with experienced and supportive colleagues, to further develop your skills and career and to participate in key events and networks. 

If you think this might be for you and you would like to find out more – please contact the Chair of NWFED, Alex Walker a.m.walker@hotmail.co.uk 07507 888271.

Dear Members…

0 posted September 9th, 2020 | Leave a reply

Dear Members,

Apologies that we have not been in touch for some time. Our board members are all volunteers, many of whom have been fully occupied, dealing with the challenges of adapting their own institutions to the current pandemic and responding to the growing Black Lives Matter movement. Global events are having a significant impact on our sector, challenging us to work and think differently, towards our colleagues and with our visitors and communities. Now, more than ever, we need to come together as a sector to support each other and share inclusive practice which is evolving rapidly and organically.

The NWFed was on the verge of a re-launch just as the COVID 19 took hold. It has taken us a while to reflect on how this might now happen, in the much changed circumstances we all find ourselves in. However, we have begun to work together again to think about the future of the Fed.

And one thing remains the same – as an independent membership organisation we will continue to represent and champion the interests of museums and galleries in the North West, and the people who work in them. Watch this space!

NW Fed

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash 

Smiles all round – Creative Science Engagement explored at Bolton Museum, 20 November 2019

0 posted September 9th, 2020 | Leave a reply

I was delighted to attend on behalf of the Fed this event run by SMILE (Science in Museums Inspiring Learning & Engagement) held at Bolton Museum. Organised by Alex McLeman, SMILE Network Leader and Collections Access Officer for Bolton Library and Museum Service, this free CPD day aimed to enable colleagues from across the North West to share their experiences to enrich science learning and investigation across our region’s museums.

A strong line up of speakers, kicked off by Alex himself outlining some of the innovative science education at Bolton, was interspersed with plenty of ‘hands on’ opportunities and audience engagement. Although this was a day all about sharing the ‘Periodic table bingo’ definitely got quite competitive!

Many of you will know there have been numerous new exhibition developments at Bolton recently, and tours of the new Nature Gallery, Egypt Gallery and Elements temporary exhibition gave an insight in to how contemporary museum displays can encourage public engagement with science. At Bolton Museum this engagement with science has a long history, as we discovered in their Aquarium, which has been amazing people with the wonders of the natural world since it opened during the Second World War.

Visiting speakers included Kirsty Hall, Curator of Lifelong Learning, Victoria Gallery & Museum, Liverpool and Dea Birkett, Ringmaster, Circus250 (who you may know better as the person behind Kids in Museums). Kirsty demonstrated the Bag of Beasts project as a tactile and visually striking way of capturing the attention of even the youngest potential scientist. Dea outlined how her Strong Women of Science circus show is taking a unique new approach to encourage more women to get involved in science

The final session concluded with Carole Ogden’s poem inspired by Bolton Museum’s Encountering the Unexpected project with older people – yet another great example of how the arts can be used to inspire science engagement with people of all ages.

The day allowed ample time for busy colleagues to network and swap ideas and I’m really pleased the Fed were able to support SMILE in delivering it.

Andy Pearce

NW Fed Board Member

Image: Bolton Museum, courtesy Bolton Library and Museum Services

FUNDING: £100 million National Lottery Climate Action Fund Launched

0 posted August 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

On the 18 July, the National Lottery Community Fund launched a new £100 million Climate Action Fund that will enable people and communities to take the lead in tackling the climate emergency. This new fund, will build a network of people and communities, well-placed to drive change within, between and beyond their community.

The types of activities supported through this new fund will differ from place to place, but will have one thing in common: the ability to deliver high impact community-led climate action. This includes in areas such as sustainable energy, sustainable transport, consumption, food and protecting and regenerating spaces and habitats.

Dawn Austwick, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Community Fund, said: “Everyone can play their part in addressing climate change. The impact will be all the greater if we come together within and across communities. This is why, thanks to National Lottery players, we are launching the Climate Action Fund to create grassroots momentum built on learning and sharing within, between and beyond communities – in order to achieve meaningful and sustained climate action.”

To find out more about this new fund and how to apply, Click Here

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Andy Pearce

0 posted August 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

Andy Pearce has over 30 years experience in the museum sector in the North West in roles ranging from Education Officer to Director. He has worked in a wide range of heritage organisations from small independents to large nationals, from charitable trusts to local authorities and has had responsibility for the care and display of many different types of collections from social history to fine arts. The institutions he has worked in, or led, have varied greatly in staff numbers from some of the smallest to some of the largest in region. For the last three years he has been lucky enough to work on museums internationally which (he hopes!) has given him a new perspective on our region.

Andy admits to having had two guiding passions throughout his career. Firstly, exploring how museums can uncover and present the stories of those whose history has often been forgotten or supressed. He is fascinated by how heritage can provide unique and revealing insights in to these rich and diverse ‘hidden’ histories. Secondly, encouraging and developing the staff and volunteers whose job it is to lead and encourage this exploration.

He hopes that with these experiences and enthusiasms he can make a worthwhile contribution to the NWFed’s aims to represent and champion the interests of museums and galleries in the North West, and the people who work in them, on both a regional and a national level.

On his appointment to the Board, Andy explained:  “When I first became aware of the North West Fed more than 30 years ago it performed a vital role providing accessible training, and perhaps more importantly, keeping us in touch with our colleagues across the region. The sector has changed beyond recognition since. However, I believe that in its unique position as a member led, regional organisation the NWFed can still play an important part in supporting and developing those who work and volunteer in the North West’s museums and galleries.”

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Claire Benjamin

0 posted August 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

Claire Benjamin is Deputy Director of the Education and Visitors teams at National Museums Liverpool, which includes the International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, Walker Art Gallery, Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery. She is responsible for the strategic development of education initiatives, community engagement and front of house visitor experience across the museums. Claire is currently providing strategic support for the internationally acclaimed House of Memories dementia awareness programme and wider income generation initiatives for the organisation.

Claire joined National Museums Liverpool in 1998, and has previously worked as Communities Co-ordinator, Education Manager and Public Programmes Officer. She is a Fellow of the Museums Association.

On her appointment to the NWFed’s Board, Claire explained: “I am excited to be joining the NWFed’s Board at such an interesting time for the sector, given the exposure of the All Party Parliamentary report in 2017 on the value of arts and health, and the Mendoza Report looking at how the bigger national museums in the region can engage better with smaller regional museum services. I think the role of the NWFed has a significant part to play in this conversation, and the bigger agenda of a Northern powerhouse.”

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New Board Member – Gordon Chancellor

0 posted August 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

Gordon Chancellor moved to Stockport in February 2019 from the East of England, where he had been the Museum Development Officer (MDO) for Cambridgeshire since 2013. Gordon is now freelance and keen to work with museums in the North West. His museum career started as a geologist at the Oxford University Museum in the 1980s, before being appointed Curator of Peterborough Museum in the 1990s, and then taking on the role of Chief Executive Officer of the Wiltshire Archaeological and Natural History Society in the early 2000s. From there he went on to become an Archive Development Manager for the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, then Business Manager at the UK Data Archive in Essex before returning to museums as an MDO. Over his career, he has managed a considerable number of Heritage Lottery and Arts Council England funded projects and is especially interested in governance and the issues facing independent museums.

Gordon is delighted to be involved with the Federation and has already enjoyed getting to know other Board members. Being new to the North West, he is excited to be learning about the region which he says is very different (in good ways!) from the East of England. So far he has concentrated on visiting the bigger museums, but hopes that being on the Board will give him opportunities to contribute to the small and volunteer-led museums. Having been part of the SEMFed for many years, is keen to use that experience to help the NWFed to develop its programmes for members. He is also very keen to mentor young people who love art and nature and want to make a career in museums.

 

BLOG POST: NWFed Meeting at Manchester Museum, 28 June 2019

0 posted July 5th, 2019 | Leave a reply

Last Friday we were treated to a brilliant double session themed on Asia and hosted by Manchester Museum. Catherine Lumb, Learning and Engagement Co-ordinator, told us about the current exhibition from India, then Bryan Sitch, Deputy Head of Collections and Archaeology, described his research in advance of planned displays about China. Bryan said that the arrival of Esme Ward as Director in 2017 had focused the Museum’s activities on engaging with audiences. They are doing this by highlighting human stories, especially in the Lee Kai Hung Gallery of Chinese Culture. The gallery has been developed as part of the Museum’s ‘Hello Future’ project, which also includes a £13 million transformation, including a new South Asia Gallery (in partnership with the British Museum) and a new temporary exhibition gallery.

While many venues across Manchester are gearing up to commemorate the bicentenary of the peaceful but brutally suppressed rally which we know as Peterloo, the Museum is commemorating the even worse events at Amritsar in 1919. Catherine, who has led on the Jallianwalla Bagh 1919: Punjab under Seige exhibition from the Partition Museum in Amritsar, led us through the exhibition which tells the story of the terrible events of 13 April 1919 when General Reginald Dyer ordered his troops to open fire on unarmed men, women and children, killing at least 300, who had gathered to protest against their British oppressors. The exhibition also explains how the background of decades of injustice meted out by the British occupiers in the Punjab led to the massacre. It also covers its aftermath, namely global condemnation of the British which accelerated their departure from India twenty-eight years later. Tragically, as is well known, that departure led to the ‘Partition’ of Pakistan from India and terrible atrocities committed by both Muslims and Hindus. The Singh Twins have painted a superb picture of the massacre, hung near the entrance to the Museum as the central panel of a triptych, to be joined by one showing the events before 1919 and one showing the aftermath.

Catherine told us how she carried out almost all the liaison with the Partition Museum by Skype, only visiting Amritsar once at the end of negotiations, and she said that the five-hour time difference had presented challenges! A great outcome of the exhibition has been a co-curated approach, working with Manchester communities, which is central to the development of content for the South Asia Gallery.

Bryan explained how he had been awarded a Headley Trust Art Fund Fellowship to research content for a new Chinese Culture Gallery, which is planned to open around the same time as the South Asia Gallery in late 2021. A substantial donation from Businessman, Dr Lee Kai Hung (a Manchester University Alumnus) is funding the new gallery and Bryan is unearthing some of the amazing links between China and Manchester as part of the content. Bryan has so far unraveled the stories behind some of the great Chinese objects in the Museum’s collections, exploring the stories of Manchester’s people and their connection to China. The aim is to stimulate empathy in the visitor, fostering a stronger understanding between communities in the UK and China – including the missionary Alfred Bosshardt who was held captive by the Red Army and his relationship with the general Xiao Ke.

There is never a better way to find out about new approaches to the development of new galleries and exhibitions than hearing it from the people involved. We are grateful to Catherine and Bryan for sharing their vision and passion for creating a museum that focuses on empathy and collaboration.

If you have a project or an idea you are working on and would like to share it with the NWFed and its members, please email our News Editor, Emma Sumner: hello@emmasumner.com

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

0 posted June 8th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

0 posted June 8th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

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

0 posted April 9th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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.

Northern Museums Volunteer Pass 2019-2020

0 posted April 9th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

FUNDING: The Rayne Foundation

0 posted March 17th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

0 posted March 17th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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.

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

0 posted February 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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.

FUNDING: Arts Council England Lottery Project Grants

0 posted February 18th, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

0 posted January 1st, 2019 | Leave a reply

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

0 posted October 17th, 2017 | Leave a reply

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.”