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Covid and Other Disasters: Conservation Matters in the Northwest

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

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.

What are your experiences of this extraordinary year? Are you coming up for air, or still picking up the pieces?
Have you been dealing with water ingress and pest outbreaks during lockdown?

The global pandemic has been hard on many of us personally and professionally. We have been forced to think again about our support networks and our mental health, and about the sustainability of our practices.
Some things may never be the same again.

The conference is organised by the Northwest Conservators Group with support from
North West Museums Federation and Museums Development Northwest

Kindly sponsored by Historyonics

Sessions include:

Rachel Swift: A specialist’s journey into the land of transferable skills
Ann French: Moth Infestations can have silver linings!
Abby Stevens: Biscuit beetles in Botany
Claire Dean: Pandemic learning, lipreading and concentration fatigue
Round Table Discussion: Experience of working with Covid

In addition to the talks there will be a behind-the-scenes tour of the People’s History Museum conservation studios.

Venue:                 The People’s History Museum, Manchester

Date:                   Friday 10th December, 2021, 10.00am – 3.00pm

Food

Lunch, tea and cakes will be provided by Open Kitchen, PHM’s on-site café. The lunch option will be a selection of vegetarian sandwiches with salad and crisps. If you have any dietary requirements, please contact kloe.rumsey@phm.org.uk.

Conference Bursaries

Museum Development Northwest (MDNW) are kindly providing bursaries to cover the cost of the conference fee for some eligible delegates.

To apply for a bursary, please email christian.baars@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk, stating ‘#CMNW21 Bursary‘ in the subject line. Please tell us in fewer than two lines of text why you are applying for a bursary and confirm that the eligibility criteria apply to you.

Once you have sent your bursary application please DO NOT register through Eventbrite; instead, your application will count as your conference registration. We cannot refund any Eventbrite registrations being made erroneously.

Eligibility for bursaries: Volunteers and professionals from Accredited museums (excluding National Portfolio Organisations and National Museums) based in the North West of England. These criteria are determined by MDNW’s own funding.

Conference fees

Students and volunteers: £5
Professionals: £20

Thanks to some kind sponsorship by Historyonics the conference fee only covers room hire, as Historyonics are paying for the catering.

Important information:

Numbers of attendees are limited for this in-person event. Please undertake a lateral flow test before attending.
Mask wearing is encouraged during the conference and studio tour.

How to book

Tickets are available on Eventbrite here.

Deadline for booking: Friday 3 December 2021 at 12:00 noon.

Accessibility Information

Sessions will be short with plenty of breaks, fully accessible to all. For details of access to the venue (People’s History Museum) please visit https://phm.org.uk/visit/access/. The room we have booked is the Coal Store, which is a small conference room of 13 metres by 6 metres with a double height vaulted ceiling. The seating arrangement will be theatre seating placed at a distance from each other. Lights will be off for the presentations, but there are high windows that provide moderate daylight. Getting to the room from reception: walk up the stairs or take the lift to the first floor, walk across the walkway to the right of Gallery One.

If you are a presenter, please use Tahoma font for any text in your Powerpoint presentation. A laptop, projector and screen will be available at the venue. Please bring your presentation on a memory stick.

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

Thursday, September 23rd, 2021

 

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

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021

 

 

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

Monday, June 21st, 2021

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.

Dear Members…

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

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 

New ‘Museum Basics’ events launched at National Museums Liverpool, 22 January 2020

Wednesday, September 9th, 2020

Following feedback from our members the Fed introduced the first of our new ‘Museum Basics’ training events with a session on object marking and labelling aimed at volunteers and professionals new to the sector, as well as anyone who needed a refresher. Hosted by National Museum Liverpool and run by Tracey Seddon – Conservator Organics and Gemma Dolan – Stores Co-ordinator, the course provided a solid theoretical introduction to the subject followed by a fascinating practical workshop which allowed us all to have a go for ourselves.

This combination of experiential leaning alongside examples of good (and sometimes bad!) practice, expertly presented by Tracey and Gemma, made for a very successful session appreciated by all attendees from students to more experienced staff. The day concluded with a Q&A and discussion allowing everyone to share any issues they faced in this area of collections management and seek advice from the group. A great example of Fed members in action working together and supporting each other!

Andy Pearce

NW Fed Board Member

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

Image: Museum Basics event in action at National Museums Liverpool 

NWFED NEWS: Introducing New NWFED Board Member – Andy Pearce

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

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

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

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

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

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.