Posts Tagged ‘NWFED’

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

Wednesday, May 11th, 2022
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

Monday, May 2nd, 2022

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?

Friday, April 22nd, 2022

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.”

Saturday, March 19th, 2022
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

Saturday, March 12th, 2022
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

Saturday, February 26th, 2022
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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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, taking place on 10th December 2021.

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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.

 

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.

NEWS: NWFed Event – Developing University Partnerships Report

Friday, October 28th, 2016

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In the newly re-opened Norton Priory Museum a small group of museum professional from numerous organisations across the North West gathered to listen to case studies from organisations that have successfully established and developed partnerships with universities to aid their research and develop new income streams.

Frank Hargrave, Director of Norton Priory, welcomed everyone and started the day’s presentations with a case study outlining some of the projects he and his team had worked on with PhD students, providing some helpful tips to help those attending understand how to develop similar projects.  Norton Priory has been successfully developing relationships with various universities for some time, an initiative they started when they realised how much research was happening in universities all over the UK that could so easily be applied to the collections of museums.

Frank explained how it’s usually easy to find the right academic to work on your project as their profiles and research interests are always featured on their university’s website making them easy to contact.  Before you contact anyone, it’s good to remember what you as a museum can offer to a university or one of their students and collaborative PhDs are often a good place to start.  Universities are always looking for projects for MA students to move onto PhDs but you can also provide hands-on experience and career advice for students that their lecturers can’t.

Once you’ve sourced an academic partner, new funding sources will be opened up to the project which are specific to academic research, including Arts and Humanities Research Council funding which isn’t usually open to museums but you should remember that you will also open up funding avenues for the university that they are unable to apply to.  When working with universities they can often throw in costs to placements which are easily covered by academic funders but not through museum funds.  Listen to what your academic partner wants but be wary about universities looking to place their students with you so they don’t have to look after them.

Before approaching a university or academic with a project proposal it’s good to remember that your collections contain things numerous items of interest to academics. Lecturers are always looking for PhD opportunities and post-doc research projects and with increasing pressure being put on university departments to demonstrate public impact and engagement, something museums do very well, it makes a positive reaction to a well researched proposal highly likely.  Of course partnerships don’t always work out, in which case move on as there are plenty of other universities you can work with.

Tom Fildes, Norton Priory’s Business Development Director, then went on to explain in detail one of the current projects they are working on with the University of Liverpool’s Engineering Department to develop a portable carbon dating device.  The development of such a device will of course redevelop museum collections by being able to quickly and accurately date artefacts on site at any museum but it will also help to build Norton Priory’s credibility and eventually see revenue from the sale of the device.

To help maintain a good working relationship, Tom explained how he has  needed to maintain a level of flexibility throughout the partnership while keeping an open mind about where the project will go.

Finally, Meg McHugh and Jan Hicks from the Museum of Science and Industry (MoSI) in Manchester focused their case study on REALab, a pilot project which was conducted in partnership with several institutions and provided university students with experience and networking opportunities. The outcome for MoSI was a high quality report without having to bring in a paid consultant and instead bringing in a team of PhD researchers.  The other benefits of the project included getting a different perspective and gaining university contacts which broadened their network.

Having only recently become part of the Science Museum Group MoSI has added research to its objectives and with limited internal resources to do the research they want to they have instead found ways to bring in outside researchers from universities.  MoSI is using its new university network to develop projects examining areas they want to explore further and continuing to think more actively about how university students can become part of the museums work.

Working under the REALab project was MoSI’s first experience of working in partnership with a university and their students.  During the process they learnt a lot about how they could better develop future partnerships and have since changed the way they work creating longer lead in times for projects to allow time for academic research to be undertaken. They now plan to take forward and develop further and plan to develop a research strategy, build up a roster of PhD students, actively blog about research, build the museums research profile and take the time to explain to the universities what they have in their collections.

NEWS: £4 million grants announced for English Museums and Galleries

Friday, April 29th, 2016

£4 million grants announced for English Museums and Galleries under DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund

Grants will allow institutions across the country to increase access, improve displays and enhance public spaces

Grants totalling £4 million have been awarded to improve displays and facilities at museums and galleries across England, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, announced today.

The grants, jointly funded through a partnership between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Wolfson Foundation, will be used for renovation and improvement projects in 39 museums and galleries.

It will allow institutions across the country to increase access, improve displays and enhance public spaces.

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital and Culture, said:

Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we should be rightly proud of these institutions.

We want people to be able to enjoy world-leading culture wherever they live and whatever their background. These grants will make an important contribution toward increasing access to their wonderful collections and improving the visitor experience at museums right across the country.

I applaud the Wolfson Foundation’s generosity in once again matching the Government’s investment pound for pound in this important work.

Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation, said:

This is a wonderful example of how a charity and government can work fruitfully together in partnership and we are grateful to government for matching our funding. The awards demonstrate the richness and variety of the country’s museum collections. From Egyptian mummies in Leicester to a Roman fort on Tyneside, this is a gloriously diverse set of projects – but all demonstrate excellence and all will improve the visitor experience.

In announcing these awards I also want to pay tribute to Giles Waterfield. He was a brilliant advisor to the programme from its inception and sparkled at an expert panel meeting in the very week in which he tragically and unexpectedly died. We all owe him a great deal.

 

 

NEWS: Introducing New NWFed Board Member Rachel Mulhearn

Sunday, February 21st, 2016

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During the last North West Federation of Museum’s board meeting, held on 15 January 2016 (full meeting minutes available here), we welcomed some new Board members including Rachel Mulhearn who is the Director of Rachel Mulhearn Associates, a cultural heritage consultancy which works across the UK.

Previous to setting up Mulhearn Associates in 2012, Rachel was Director of Merseyside Maritime Museum for 24 years. Also a board member of the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society, Rachel brings extensive experience of working in the North West arts and heritage sector to the Board.  On being appointed Rachel explained:

“My role as a NWFED board member allows me the opportunity to work with colleagues across the region. We have serious challenges, but we also have great talent and skills. I want to bring along my experience of working in museums and use the creativity and innovation out there to work through difficulties, and go from strength to strength as a sector.”

When appointing board members, it is important to us that those appointed are  prepared to oversee and support the work of the NWFED while acting as ambassadors for the organisation.  We are excited to be working with Rachel and feel her experience and expertise will make a great edition to organisation.

NWFED NEWS: New Partnership with Museum Development North West

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

The North West Federation of Museums (NWFED) is really pleased announce that we will be working closely with Museum Development North West (MDNW) to assist in the their Museum Development programme for 2015-18.

As part of MDNW’s wide ranging programme of support for the sector, the NWFED has been asked to take the lead with one part of their Museum Development Plan focusing on the Arts Council’s Goal 4 – leadership and the museum workforce’s diversity and skills. Through the development and delivery of a ‘Support Our Skills (SOS)’ programme for volunteers and staff in museums, we will be able to provide tailor made support for the huge number of volunteers in museums across the North West, whilst opening up the programme to NWFED members and other museum staff.

This year the NWFED will carrying out research to find out what volunteers working in our sector would like a training and development programme to involve and what they would find beneficial to their career development. We will be speaking to volunteers across the region through an online survey, various focus groups, site visits and more to find out what the sector needs.  The new programme will then be launched in April 2016 and will run for two years. At this stage there are no concrete ideas of what the programme will include, as it will be shaped by the conversations we have with people across the region.

If you are a volunteer, or would like volunteers in your museum to be involved and have a say in the development of this programme, then please do get in touch with the NWFED. We will be sharing details of the different ways that you can provide ideas and feedback shortly via our website and newsletter.

This is a very exciting time for NWFED and we look forward to working with MDNW over the coming years.

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Katy Ashton:  Chair of NWFED and Director of the People’s History Museum, Manchester