Archive for June, 2016

NEWS: Museum Freecycle Update

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016


Two years after its was founded by Caroline Keppel-Palmer, the Museum Freecycle network has grown substantially, and with over 550 members across the UK, continues to help museums reuse, reduce and recycle unwanted items in new and innovative ways.   To find out more about this successful project, the NWFed caught up with Keppel-Palmer to find out more about the benefits museums who join the network could enjoy.

Keppel-Palmer explained that at the time of founding Museum Freecycle, she was working as the Managing Director for the architecture and design studio, Urban Salon. The company worked with many museums designing temporary exhibitions and much of the display kit from these exhibitions was ending up in the skip, even though most of it was perfectly reusable.  It was repeatedly seeing this waste which spurred Keppel-Palmer on to establish the Museum Freecycle network as a space where museums could advertise and dispose of unwanted items – including exhibition furniture, display cases and office equipment – to other museums who have a use for them.

Having seen the network go from strength to strength over the last two years, Keppel-Palmer explained:

“I am keen to see as many UK museums as possible join and benefit from Museum Freecycle, so we can reduce waste to an absolute minimum and help as many museums as possible get access to ‘new’ free equipment.  The more members we have, the better the site will work for everyone.”

The network has also helped  numerous museums to develop and upgrade their visitor experiences in spite of financial constraints and ever-tighter budgets.  It’s not just standard museum equipment and fittings that find new homes either; currently Museum Freecycle is helping to find new homes for a bride and groom cake topper, a pregnant wire mannequin and a Victorian courtroom dock.


It is very quick and easy for any museum to sign up and join the network.  To do so, museums simply need to create a free Freecycle account and then apply to join the Museum Freecycle group.

To sign up and enjoy the benefits this ever  growing network could bring your museum,Click Here.

NEWS: Economics of Touring Exhibitions Survey Report Launched

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Halima Cassell Private View at Kirkby Gallery3
Back in April 2015, the Touring Exhibitions Group (TEG) was awarded £40,000 by Arts Council England as part of their Museum Resilience Fund to support the delivery of a two year research and training programme which would explore the current economics of touring exhibitions in the UK.  Operating under the title ‘Economics of Touring Exhibitions:  Models for Practice’, the programme recently launched three new resources to help museums and galleries within the UK find out more about the economic benefits of touring their exhibitions.

All of these resources can each be downloaded by clicking on the link above and are freely available to all museums and galleries through TEG’s website.  For those who may not already be aware of the Touring Exhibitions Group’s work, they are a UK based independent membership network committed to exchanging exhibitions as a means of sharing ideas, materials and resources and to extend public awareness, knowledge and enjoyment of historical and contemporary culture.

To find out more about TEG’s  on-going work, research and events, Click Here

NEWS: Neil MacGregor Warns of Erosion of Curatorial Strength in the Regional Museums

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

John Caley Illustration

Installation of the giant deer skeleton in the Geology Gallery at the Manx Museum. Photo by John Caley, copyright Manx Museum and National Trust

In a recent blog for the Museums Association the former Director of the British Museum, Neil MacGregor  raised his concerns about the curatorial strength in museums outside London becoming “a very serious issue”.  Now retired and acting as advisor to a number of international institutions, MacGregor gave evidence to a select committee hearing last week as part of the ongoing Countries of Culture Inquiry, which is examining the landscape of cultural provision across the UK.

MacGregor told the committee that the financial constraints on local authorities meant that curators were not being recruited because they “rarely generate revenue” in a way that can be easily quantified leading to a steady erosion of curatorial strength in the regions.  He then went on to explain:

“This loss of specialist knowledge is making it difficult for some museums to borrow from other institutions or use their own collections effectively.  It is very hard for those collections outside London to be intelligent borrowers, because the curator needs to know what would be useful to borrow and useful to use; but perhaps even more significantly, it makes it impossible for the local museum to use its own resource properly.”

The Countries of Culture Inquiry are continuing to hear evidence from culture, museum and heritage professionals throughout the month and will issue a report on their findings later this year.

To read the full article which was originally published on the Museums Association blog, Click Here

FUNDING: Connections Through Culture International Development Grants

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Applications Accepted Four Times a Year

Running for nearly a decade, Connections through Culture is a long-term programme which develops exciting cultural collaborations between artists and arts organisations, supporting long-lasting relationships between China and the UK.  The programme offers support, information, advice, networking opportunities and development grants to artists and arts organisations in China and the UK.  Artists and arts organisations in both countries can benefit from the inspiration gained from exchanging ideas and sharing their cultural history.

A limited number of small grants to enable artists or members of arts organisations to visit their counterparts in China or the UK for up to ten days, to develop projects, exchange skills or see others’ work. Grants are offered four times each year, the forthcoming deadlines are detailed below:

Applications open: Monday 4 July 2016
Application deadline: Friday 5 August 2016
Results out: Monday 5 September 2016

For further information and details on how to apply through the British Council’s online application system, Click Here.