Museum and Creative Industries Toolkit

The following toolkit is from the Northern Ireland Museums Council site.

Museums and creative businesses are increasingly working together in Northern Ireland today, as the creative industries grow and museums get more ambitious.

Museums are commissioning artists and makers to help reinterpret their collection and using digital media developers to produce audio guides and apps.

Meanwhile, creative businesses are buying services from museums: film companies are using museums as locations and designers are drawing on museum collections for inspiration.

And creative businesses and museums are collaborating, for example using museums as venues for performances or jointly developing new products.

But there is more that could be done. We know that museums want to commission more projects from the creative industries to bring their collections to life, and we know that more creative businesses would like to be able to draw on the unique resources that museums have to offer. NIMC wants to help these relationships to grow and prosper.

We have developed a series of ‘how-to’ guidance sheets to help museums and creative businesses work together successfully. From developing ideas, through to finding partners and building relationships, to overcoming practical and contractual hurdles, these guidance sheets will make it easier for museums and creative businesses to work together.

There are four guidance sheets available here

1. Getting Started for Artists and Creative Businesses

2. Getting Started for Museums

3. Developing Projects between Creative Industries and Museums

4. Managing Relationships between Creative Industries and Museums

To read some case studies, click here.

Loans Out Event in Yorkshire

Tuesday 18th November, 10 – 4, Leeds Museums Discovery Centre.

Museum and gallery staff are receiving more requests than ever to lend out items from their collections, due in part to the raised profile from the BBC Your Paintings website.

This workshop will guide you through whole process, starting even before you receive a request.  The day will cover:

  1. Dealing with loan requests, including decision making, documentation, conditions, insurance
  2. Packing and handling
  3. Being a courier

The day will be delivered by regional colleagues with years of experience, and professional handlers and packers will be on hand to advise.

Expect an informative, enjoyable and interactive day, made possible by the teams at Leeds Museums and Galleries and Museums Development Yorkshire.

The cost of the day is only £20, including lunch.

To book your place please go to the Eventbrite page.

Museums United Resilience Seminar

You may be aware that the MA is running an MP seminar on resilience. The event is being  subsidised by Arts Council England and the MA to offer low cost places at only £50 – a big saving on the usual one-day conference price. This rate applies for everyone (not just members, and not just in England).

It takes place on 25 November at MOSI.

More info and booking can be found on the MA event page.

Kids in Museums: Takeover Day 2014

It’s great to see that so many organisations are registered for Takeover Day 2014 and they can still register by visiting the Takeover Day page. There are several free resources available to all organisations that have registered for Takeover Day 2014. They can be ordered from the webpage above.

To order free resources, the venue needs to REGISTER first.

Resources include:

  • Packs with stickers and certificates for all participants. There are different designs for under and over 11s
  • A2 posters for venues, to let people know you are taking part
  • A3 posters for youth groups and schools to promote their involvement

Get a sneak preview by clicking on the links.

It’s also time to CELEBRATE the great things that young people will be getting up to at your venue. We’ve put together some Press tips to get started and a Press Release Template which are available on line From getting local media involved, to letting kids take over the venues publicity, there are loads of ways to let people know about events.

Best wishes

Kids in Museums Takeover Day Team


Caroline Marcus and Jenie Macindoe – Takeover Day Team Directors

Catherine Townsend – Takeover Day Team Manager

Tempe Nell – Takeover Day Project Assistant

MA Conference Report

Earlier this month I was fortunate to be able to go to this year’s Museums Association Conference held in Cardiff.  My place was funded through Museum Development North West as a way of enabling those who hadn’t been before to attend. Having worked front of house for over five years now, most of that with the Harris Museum & Art Gallery in Preston, I hoped it would prove to be an interesting and informative experience.

I arrived on the Wednesday at the beautiful Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay to register and pick an information pack and a badge which identified me as a first time attendee.  Then it was next door to the Senedd – the National Assembly for Wales – for a welcoming and networking event, which apparently turned out to be the best ever attended wine & nibbles event ever held there. This led on to a ‘Tweet-up’ at the Norwegian Church Arts Centre a short walk round the bay. I’m new to Twitter but as I’d promised to Tweet for the Harris when I could I went along and was pleasantly surprised that it was not a group of people just staring into their smart phone oblivious to world around them but actual verbal conversation and more mingling.

There was a networking breakfast at 7.45am the next morning for first time attendees and it was a great chance to chat to others and get to know each other over tea and a bacon roll. I did find myself educating my breakfast companions on the 1960’s architectural gem that is Preston Bus Station. There was a crammed programme of activities over the two days with many sessions of talks and workshops running concurrently which meant I had to be ruthless in deciding what to see and what to miss.

One highlight of the first day was a discussion focussed on a subject close to my heart – front of house. There was a case study from the Natural History Museum where they’ve created a ‘Visitor Experience Support Team’ made up from back office staff, many of whom never meet the public in their roles. Through spending just an hour in the galleries meeting the public, answering question and witnessing first-hand how people interacted with the exhibits staff gained a new perspective about their own museum which might influence their approach to their own work.

There was further discussion about utilising the skills, knowledge and experience of front of house staff. It was even suggested that front of house might be viewed as a profession in its own right alongside curators and educators in museums, and as being something  to aspire to rather than in many cases just be seen as a ‘way in’ to a museum career. The impression I got from talking with people at my table was that everyone at that session was already aware of the potential of front of house staff –both as way of getting feedback from the public and as mode of imparting skills and knowledge to others, so it’s a shame that not everyone else at the conference was able to attend. I understand that it’s only been in recent years that front of house has even been on the agenda at Conference so having a session debating it at all is a positive step forward in my opinion.

Friday morning was another early start with a tour of Cardiff Castle at 7.30am. Only fourteen hardy souls made the effort but it was certainly worth it. Our tour guide Dorien coped admirably with the near pre-dawn tour, and it was a privilege to see the way the beautiful William Burges designed rooms glowed with early morning sunshine.

Back at the Millennium Centre, the second day of the conference opened with keynote address by Mat Fraser based on his show ‘Cabinet of Curiosities: How Disability Was Kept In A Box’ which was commissioned by University of Leicester’s Research Centre for Museums and Galleries He performed a unique cabaret style lecture that explored and challenged how disabilities have been historically and are currently represented in museum collections.  I don’t think there was anyone in the room who didn’t find it a powerful experience.

Another Friday highlight was a lively mock trial about the subject of happiness. It triggered much debate as to whether museums have any responsibility to make people happy, should they even try and can you actually define or measure happiness in the first place?

I also attended one of the careers workshops which proved to be very thought provoking. It brought home the fact that it’s the individual that is solely responsible for their own career choices, and that people tend to spend more time planning their annual holiday than on setting career targets and meeting their ambitions.

In summary I highly recommend that anyone working in museums at any level should attend the MA Conference at least once. It’s a unique experience to be with so many people who all work in museums, and as every museum is different no two people’s backgrounds are the same. So getting everyone together once a year is an excellent way of sharing stories and getting inspiration to take back with you to your venue, to pass on to colleagues and on to the public.


Yvonne Battersby

Visitor Services Assistant, Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston


Museum ID Conference Report

The Museum ID conference was held in one of my favourite museums, the Museum of London (MoL). The main topic of the presentations and theme was communicating with our visitors and also engaging with each other.This was my first attendance at a museum conference and I was nervous but quickly felt at ease, everyone was very sociable. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it.

I particularly enjoyed the discussion by Sree Sreenivasan (Metropolitan Museum, New York) who gave an insightful view of how visitors can help shape and inform museum social media interactions. I also enjoyed the discussion by Museum Hack (New York) on alternative ways to appeal to people who do not necessarily enjoy museums (I recommend checking them out at

There is always room to develop and the conference gave first class examples of those museums who are at the forefront of innovation and pushing the industry forward. I took away a lot of ideas and thoughts that I hope will help shape the National Football Museum in the future.

It was also very helpful in creating new contacts and networking with other individuals both from within Manchester (where the National Football Museum is) and outside Manchester.


Darren Collingwood

National Football Museum

Arts and Culture – Health and Well Being Event


NWFed in association with the Atkinson

Wednesday 12 November 10.30 – 1 pm

Studio, The Atkinson in Southport


Arts and Culture Health and Well Being

Interested in the Health and Well being agenda and want to find out more about how to navigate the healthcare landscape or to explore creative ideas for relevant programmes in your organisation?

Take part in an interactive workshop facilitated by Jo Ward and identify some key waymarkers to support future navigation for non-healthcare travellers. The workshop will be addressing some known unknowns as identifying the unknown unknowns and enable you to identify potential opportunities.

Jessica Bockler from Creative Alternatives in Sefton and Bec Fearon from the Bluecoat will be summing their experiences of setting up relevant projects, exploring different creative ideas, overcoming key challenges and identifying innovative models for funding and evaluation. Presentations will also be followed by discussion about delegates’ relevant experiences or ideas for new projects and how creative and art practices can be put in use in the museum and heritage context.

To book email or or call 0151- 478 4257

Top tips on Accreditation and Collections Development

Originally posted on The Marches Network:

Accreditation logo tealLast week Fiona Mitchell Innes, Accreditation Advisor (East & West Midlands) and Becky Harvey, Flying Collections Assistant led an Accreditation seminar on effective collections development. It was a lively session with some brilliant advice shared by attendees.

Here are our fifteen top tips from the workshop.

  • Begin with your strategy and policies. Strategy is your driving influence and ensures you are focussed on the activities that are really important. Plans sit beneath the strategy.
  • Failing to plan… Ensure that your work on collections is included in your Forward Plan and allocate sufficient time for routine collections management tasks.
  • Your purpose guides everything. This is what you are all about. Your purpose should be focussed and concise. Your Collections Development Policy should support this mission (see animation below).
  • Don’t let it sit on a shelf. Keep all your collections policies and plans together in one file, but this should be a working folder not a…

View original 614 more words

Industrial Heritage: Photographic Project Partnership Opportunity

Hello, my name is Constantin Dubois Choulik, I am a French artist and photographer, working in industrial heritage sites.

In 2013, I have worked in Germany, in the Ruhrgebiet and other areas, in places belonging to the ERIH network, to produce the “Postcards From Limbo” photographic project.

Today as of 2014, I am preparing a new similar project focusing on the UK’s Northwest sites of industrial heritage.

I am looking for partnerships and contacts to help me finance this project. Eventually, the images would be shown in a still undefined exhibition space.

You can have a look at my photographs here, and see a video of the installation here.

Feel free to contact me – many thanks for your help.

Constantin Dubois Choulik

Cumbria Museum Consortium Apprenticeship Video

Here is the link to the apprentice film:, which you may remember seeing on the big screen at Tullie!  Creative Choices have been great in promoting it here.

And you can find a link to the apprentice blog here, which has been very popular, with almost 13,000 views now.


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