Archive for January, 2014

Vote for North West Museums and Arts Venues: Connect 10

Monday, January 27th, 2014

For Townley Hall Burnley

 You may be aware that other colleagues in this group/the North-West have also been shortlisted. You can vote here for Gallery Oldham OR The Harris:

Here for the People’s History Museum:

Here for the National Football Museum:

And here for Tullie House OR Haworth Art Gallery:

Uncertain future for Wirral Museums?

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

by Gareth Harris.

Heritage group says cuts will close down serviceMuseum services in the Wirral, Merseyside, are at risk because of budget cuts proposed by the borough council, a local heritage group has warned.

In December, Wirral Council proposed cutting the funding to Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead by £250,000 in 2014/15 and £150,000 in 2015/16. The gallery shares a budget with the Birkenhead Priory, which it manages.

The council has also proposed cutting funding to the Wirral Tramway and Transport Museum by £124,000 for 2014/15.

“The current annual budget of the Williamson and the Priory is in the region of £600,000, so a cut of £400,000 would leave just £200,000 per annum, which would in effect close down the service,” a spokesman for the Wirral History and Heritage Association said.

The council’s budget for 2014/15 is due to be finalised next month.

Sharon Granville, executive director of collections and estate at National Museums Liverpool, and Colin Simpson, principal museums officer at Wirral Museums Service, are among the 10 members.

The council is also in discussions with a volunteer organisation about taking over the management of the Wirral Transport Museum.

Last summer the council announced plans to spend £1.3m on refurbishing the Williamson Art Gallery.

In October the Heritage Lottery Fund awarded £393,100 to Birkenhead Priory, boosting plans to turn the historic site in to a multi-purpose community space.

To read more click here

Museum Development funding to be maintained – 2015-2018

Sunday, January 12th, 2014

Arts Council England (ACE) have clarified their plans for 2015-18 funding, to reassure the sector that Museum Development will continue to be funded in the coming years, following a recent report that it would cease. There will be:

A slight increase in the Major Partner Museums (MPM) budget.
An Open Fund of around £10 million a year, with a lower bottom limit to allow wider access.
A smaller sum of strategic funding which includes continued funding for Museum Development.

John Orna-Ornstein, Director of Museums at ACE, has confirmed to AIM that there is no cut intended in museum development in particular, although there is a slight reduction in the overall fund for all museum project strands.

The MPMs fund expands slightly to give better regional coverage and more obligation to act in leadership roles.

The Strategic Fund will transition into an ‘Open Fund’ with a value of some £10 million, but with lower thresholds to give wider accessibility to smaller museums.

Further information will be in the January issue of the AIM E-News and subsequent AIM Bulletins. Arts Council’s guidance on 2015-18 funding can be found here

Feedback from the Unspeakable LGBTQ History and Archives conference by Kay Jones, Curator of Community History at Museum of Liverpool

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Unspeakable – LGBTQ History and Archives Conference

The 11th LGBT conference at London Metropolitan Archives in December was full of inspiring and unexpected things. An eclectic mix of film, live performances and presentations showed the diverse ways in which people are working together to document, collect, represent and interpret LGBTQ stories, experiences and histories.

The day was broadly focused into three themes; films and performance, heritage, and identity.

Films & Performance –

The film Mirror Mirror by Zemirah Moffat explored the infamous ‘Club Wotever’ in London, which opened in 2003. Short film clips showed club performers discussing contemporary issues around identity, gender and sexuality.

Veronica McKenzie’s film, Under Your Nose, explored the role of black lesbians in the late 70s and early 80s in establishing the Black Lesbian Group and the Black Feminist Network.

Q Theatre, an all female Queer friendly theatre group, performed an interactive live show involving Queer labels and water balloons!

Heritage Focus –

Projects archiving LGBT experiences at Plymouth and West Devon Records Office, and Gloucestershire Archives, explored problems such as reaching the right people and getting them involved.

The Pride in Progress? project at the People’s History Museum in Manchester was a good example of how to work in partnership with established LGBT groups, to increase the diversity of collections and create temporary displays using pop-up exhibitions with limited time and resources.

The Pink Singer’s Singing the Changes exhibition told the story of Europe’s longest running LGBT choir. An excellent example of how an LGBT group has proactively represented their personal stories, in their own words.

Identity Focus

Dr Clare Barlow discussed the issues and problems around interpreting historical portraits with an LGBT focus at the National Portrait Gallery; in particular the story of Chevalier D’Eon. The lively discussion raised many issues around the appropriate use of pronouns whilst interpreting trans identities and the problems around interpreting diverse historical narratives not supported by fact.

Surat Knan discussed Rainbow Jews, a pioneering oral history project recording Jewish LGBTQ history from the 1950s to today; including the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community. This unique archive will be the only source of LGBTQ Jewish history in Britain.

LGBTI subcultures in post-communist Europe were explored in Drag artists in Eastern Europe by Dzmitry Suslau.

It’s clear that there is a lot of new and exciting work going on across the country. However, whilst many of us may have some LGBTQ representation in our museum collections, archives and displays, is it truly representative of the places we live and work, today and in the past? Let’s make the unspeakable visible.

For more info see!/lgbthistory