Tagged: Conferences and Seminars

Pulling Together: Collections Trust 2017 Conference

Being responsible for collections management can feel like ploughing a lone furrow. But it’s actually a museum-wide task that needs everyone to pull together – from the governing body to the people on the front desk.

This year’s Collections Trust conference considers the human side of documentation systems, the people who capture and share information that gives museum objects meaning.

For more information and details on how to book visit the conference website.

Conference Report: AIM 2017

The AIM conference was at Chatham Historic Dockyard this year, and it was remarkable for the sheer diversity of the participating organisations. 

The venue itself is likely to be one of the bigger independents, and a comparison with my own organisation (Catalyst in Widnes) by dint of simply looking at our respective reports reveals some significant and interesting differences.

In terms of visitor figures Chatham has about 180k pa vs our own 40k, but apart from the huge difference in size of the site, and the interesting combination of types of attraction at Chatham, then the most significant statistic was the significant amount of income that they are able to realise from their property portfolio, which is the biggest single income stream by some margin.  In overall terms Chatham has 4 and a half times our visfigs but more than 14 times our income, and quite frankly it is a source of some wonder that we do so much with so little.

Coming back to diversity, this was highlighted in one of the most interesting workshops which considered the issue of whether or not to charge.  This question was widely interpreted, for example at the smaller end of the scale Elgin museum, which is run to a great extent by volunteers, made a decision to test a move after 170 years, from paid to free admission (the Moray Society which controls the museum has separate membership arrangements).  Amongst the reasons for this were static visfigs along with poor involvement for volunteers from time to time (they got bored!)

The Elgin raised £6k from local business supporters to trial the scheme, as this sum was equal to the approximate annual visitor income, and the scheme went ahead.  This resulted in an increase in visfigs by 25%, and donations (now heavily promoted) exceed the previous admission income.

At the Moray Society’s AGM on April 24 this year the agenda notes recorded the positive outcome.

“the Office Bearers reiterated the benefits of not charging an admission fee, reflected in the increased number of visits/revisits and the happy atmosphere in the Museum without loss of revenue”

At the other end of the scale came the behemoth that is Birmingham Museums Trust, an interesting collection of former municipal sites and a major gallery that had merged with Thinktank in 2012.  The need for increased income had led them to introduce some significant changes in their charging regime.  Things that were formally free became chargeable, and as an example in 2015 Thinktank began to charge for its planetarium which, apart from and extra £200k annual income, had the possibly unanticipated benefit of increasing customer ratings for the planetarium itself.  Parents now found the removal of the uncertainty inherent in the previous queueing system to be a significant improvement.  This is something (advance purchase of timed workshop tickets) that we will consider very seriously, and we may now add a premium for so doing.

In other aspects of the trust’s business some other changes were also made.  In 2016, at the heritage sites, under 16s were no longer free.  This seems to be a fairly reasonable act, and it surprises me that this was not the case previously.  This year a potentially more controversial change was enacted, when the concession price for 60+ was removed from all sites.  I don’t know about you, but we would find this a very difficult thing to do, and I wonder if the jury of public opinion has come to a decision about this just yet.

Bristol Culture is an as yet unreconstructed council run service who talked about their “pay what you think” ideas which started as mandatory charging for special exhibitions but after initial success this came a cropper on the back of unwise choice of a second exhibition where the conversion rate from general (free) visitors was less than 1%.   The change to PWYT (and better chosen subsequent exhibitions) led to average donation per exhibition visitor of 65 pence.  This method should not be construed as “pay nothing if you don’t want to”, although I did wonder how compulsion could be applied in this case. 

This reminds me of general admission to the New York Met “If you buy tickets at a Museum ticket counter, the amount you pay is up to you” where I once had a “discussion” with gate staff who were trying to enforce an entirely notional admission charge.  I do hope that Bristol’s idea succeeds.

Whilst this is in no way a comprehensive review of the AIM Conference, I hope that the topic that I chose was of interest to readers, and I would also like to thank MDNW for their travel and board bursary, which was the only reason that I could contemplate the trip.

Paul Meara, Catalyst Science Discovery Centre

 

Museums Association Conference 2017 Funded Places

The Museums Association is back in the North West and we are pleased to announce that we will be offering eight FREE places at this year’s Museums Association Conference in Manchester on the 16th – 18th November.

Museum Development North West recognises that it is important for museum professionals to connect with colleagues through conferences and networking events, but also how stretched budgets can be when it comes to professional development.

To apply for a free place, please send an expression of interest to Alex Bird (alexander.bird@manchester.ac.uk) by September 22nd, to be eligible, you will need to:

  • Confirm that you are a first time attendee
  • Commit to attending the whole conference
  • Cover your own travel costs and all expenses
  • Feedback to colleagues and the region via our blog
  • Send us any relevant information and feedback to put on the MDNW website

For the full programme please see here.

Please note that these places are only available to people in the North West that work in non-MPM and non-national accredited museums or those in museums officially working towards accreditation.

University Museums Group Annual Conference

Stuff and Knowledge: An exploration of the future of teaching and learning within university museums

Monday 11th – Tuesday 12th September 2017
University of Birmingham

**KEYNOTE ADDRESS**
Dr Ellen McAdam – Director of Birmingham Museums Trust

Unfortunately, Professor Alice Roberts is no longer available to give the keynote address at the conference. However, we are delighted to announce that the brilliant Dr Ellen McAdam, Director of Birmingham Museums Trust, has stepped in and will share her thoughts on the future of teaching and learning and university museums. 

DAY 1 Monday 11th September 2017

  • Lightning Museum Tours 11.00 – 11.30 and 11.45 – 12.15
  • Keynotes and panels sessions 14.00 – 18.00

Panel session 1 – What Next? Pedagogy and Policy Drivers in Object-Based Learning

What will the Teaching Excellence Framework, the employability agenda, and emerging learning paradigms mean for the future of object-based learning? Representatives from the frontline of object based learning in universities discuss the challenges and opportunities that they are facing in a changing Higher Education landscape.

Panel session 2 – ‘Where is the leading edge for teaching and learning in university museums?

The panel will unpick the unique qualities of university museums as contexts for teaching, covering object-based learning, digital, working across disciplines and reaching out to non-HE audiences and debate which should take priority.

18.15 – 19.30 –    Conference drinks reception at the Lapworth Museum of Geology

Finalist for Art Fund Museum of the Year
supported by

DAY 2 Tuesday 12th September 2017

  • Keynote and short presentations – teaching and learning and university museums 9.30-13.15
  • Lightning Museum Tours 14.00 – 14.30 and 14.45 – 15.15

For further details of the conference programme, speakers, events and to book a place, please see the UMG website.

GEM Conference 2017 Bursaries

GEM is offering a number of bursaries for this year’s annual conference Facing the Future, Forging Ahead in Hull from Tuesday 5 to Thursday 7 September 2017.  Each conference bursary is worth £320, which enables you to attend all the conference sessions (excludes travel and accommodation).  Priority this year will be given to GEM members attending conference for the first time who are volunteers, or work for small organisations or otherwise unable to pay the conference fees.

You could qualify for a free place at GEM conference 2017 if you satisfy several of the following criteria:

  • Be a volunteer
  • Attending GEM conference for the first time
  • Unable to afford the conference fees
  • Be a museum or heritage studies student
  • Be an overseas GEM member
  • Be a GEM member (or will join GEM).

For more information and how to apply, please visit the conference page on the GEM websiteDeadline for applications is Friday 23 June 2017 at 12.00 (noon).  

European Muscon Conference

Wednesday 20th – Saturday 23rd September
Helsinki

Registration is open for the European MUSCON Conference 2017, which will take place in Helsinki from 20-23 September, hosted by the Ateneum Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Attendance is free; delegates have to cover their travel and hotel expenses.

MUSCON is a working platform focused on co-producing and travelling exhibitions. TEG took part in the MUSCON 2015 and 2016 conferences and found it to be a fantastic event for developing contacts and an understanding of the European touring network

Visit the MUSCON website for more information or to register.

 

Researching Digital Cultural Heritage International Conference Call for Papers

Thursday 30th November – Friday 1st December 2017
Manchester
www.manchester.ac.uk/digitalheritageconference
#digheritage17

From the Conference Team:

“Researching Digital Cultural Heritage” is a 2-day international conference in Manchester (30/11 – 1/12 2017), jointly organised by the University of Manchester and Newcastle University. The conference proposes a critical examination of established and emerging theoretical, methodological and analytical frameworks in researching cultural heritage spaces, objects, audiences and practices in the digital realm. This includes both the impact that digital media have in developing new research methodologies and frameworks of analysis of cultural heritage; and the practice of researching digitally mediated or digitally constituted heritage objects, spaces and interactions and the environments in which this research takes place.

We invite proposals for 20min presentations that focus and critically reflect on theoretical, methodological, ethical, or analytical approaches in researching cultural heritage in the digital realm. Indicative themes include:

– Current and emerging research design, methodologies, methods and tools in researching cultural heritage in the digital realm (e.g. digital ethnography, social network analysis, visual analysis, sentiment analysis, text mining, big data, data visualisation, digital archives, web and social media analytics)

– Digitally enabled collaborative, participatory and reflexive approaches in cultural heritage design, research and practice

– Ethical considerations and processes in researching digital cultural heritage

– Researching digital materiality in cultural heritage

– Researching social media and digital games as cultural heritage

– Researching audiences in digital cultural heritage environments

– Researching organisational strategies, structures, processes and workforce in digital cultural heritage

– Digital/online cultural heritage spaces as research environments

Please find the full Call for Papers and proposal template on the conference’s webpage:www.manchester.ac.uk/digitalheritageconference

Deadline for Proposals: Friday 21st July 2017

Up and Coming Opportunities

GEM Conference 2017 – Call For Papers

This year’s annual GEM conference: Facing the Future, Forging Ahead will take place in Hull from 5 to 7 September 2017.  The conference will explore innovative and inspiring ways of becoming more resilient in a time of financial austerity, and ask how a museum educator can take the lead in ensuring their organisation’s long-term future. Do you want to help shape this year’s GEM conference?  If so, find out more about submitting a proposal to the call for papers on the GEM website. Deadline for submissions is Monday 26 June 2017 at 09.00.


Heritage Ambassadors To Help Allocate National Lottery Funds

17 young people from across the UK have been selected to help allocate millions of National Lottery funds to young people’s heritage projects. As the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF)’s Heritage Ambassadors, the group will work with the organisation to promote ways of involving more under-25s in heritage. Heritage Ambassadors To Help Allocate National Lottery Funds


Heritage Alliance And British Council Webinar On Cultural Heritage Post Brexit

Lizzie Glithero-West FSA, Chief Executive of the Heritage Alliance, and Silke Pillnger, Director of EU Arts from the British Council, have chaired a webinar called ‘What role can Heritage play in the future of the cultural sector post-Brexit’


Event: The Hidden History of Costume Study Day

A fun, informative and hands-on day for anyone with an interest in historic costume. Delivered by the museum curatorial staff and museum seamstress, and staff from the University of Wolverhampton. Runs 24 June at Black Country Living Museum The Hidden History of Costume Study Day


Event: Museum Ideas 2017

Register for Museum Ideas 2017 for a packed schedule of essential talks, valuable workshops and the opportunity to make exciting new connections. Explore the ideas shaping the future of museums. Speakers from Africa, South America, North America and Europe will be sharing pioneering ideas about digital, collections, audiences and social impact. Runs 3-5 October, London

 

Digital Learning in Museums

Partnership Event from the Oxford University Museums Partnership and the Digital Learning Network

Museums and cultural organisations play a key role in the formal learning environment, offering engaging, ‘beyond the classroom’ learning experiences for primary, secondary FE and HE students.

Increasingly museums are utilising digital tools to facilitate these formal learning experiences both to respond to an increasingly digital learning environment and enhance the learning experience. Digital is now a key component of wider learning strategies.

This one day conference will be devoted to digital learning in museums, with a particular focus on ‘formal learning’. The day aims to share insights and lessons from current work happening across he sector, but also discuss bigger questions around the role of digital in terms of learning strategies and sustainability.

For the full programme and details on how to book click here.

Restating Clay Conference

Making, learning, communicating & collecting contemporary studio ceramics


Call for papers and contributions
19th-20th March 2018, York

Deadline 28th July 2017

The Restating Clay conference will bring together potters, artists, curators, academics, students, collectors, gallerists and enthusiasts from the UK and beyond, to share experience and knowledge about the issues that matter to the sector. An exciting and engaging programme of activities is being planned, including discussions, object handling, demonstrations, talks, workshops, films, store and exhibition visits.

Venues: York Art Gallery, The Yorkshire Museum and King’s Manor.

Delivery partners: York Museums Trust, University of York, York College, Contemporary Studio Ceramics Subject Specialist Network.

We are inviting proposals for presentations, panel discussions, workshops and demonstrations on the following themes:

  • Instigate/Educate/Nurture – considering teaching, learning, and professional development, to maintain and maximise creative practice.
  • Make/Promote/Collect – exploring ways to develop, promote and sell ceramics.
  • Investigate/Reflect/Exhibit – examining approaches to researching, curating, interpreting and writing about ceramics.
  • Adapt/Respond/Advocate – questioning the state of the discipline; opportunities, challenges and the future of contemporary studio ceramics.

Those selected to speak or participate in the conference programme will be offered one free delegate place. A limited number of travel and accommodation bursaries of up to £150 will be made available to speakers and contributors – please indicate on your application if you would like to be considered for one of these – otherwise speakers and contributors will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation.

Please submit your proposal via email, in the format outlined below, as a Word document or PDF attachment by 5pm on Friday 28th July 2017, to Conference Organiser Charlotte Dew: charlottemdew@yahoo.co.uk. Images should be 72dpi, and no larger than 1MB each. All proposals will be reviewed by the conference steering group, and we will respond by Monday 21st August 2017. Please email Charlotte if you have any questions.

  1. Name of main applicant.
  2. Email address of main applicant.
  3. Type of contribution proposed (please select one).
  •  Presentation
  • Panel discussion
  • Workshop
  • Demonstration
  1. Conference theme the contribution is proposed for (please select one). 
  • Instigate/Educate/Nurture – considering teaching, learning, and professional development, to maintain and maximise creative practice.
  • Make/Promote/Collect – exploring ways to develop, promote and sell ceramics.
  • Investigate/Reflect/Exhibit – examining approaches to researching, curating, interpreting and writing about ceramics.
  • Adapt/Respond/Advocate – questioning the state of the discipline; opportunities, challenges and the future of contemporary studio ceramics.
  1. Name, email address and 100-word biography for all participants proposed.
  2. Summary of proposed contribution (500-word maximum).
  3. What do you expect delegates to learn from this contribution? (200 word maximum).
  4. Links to relevant websites or information. 
  5. Up to six supporting images; please include the image caption as the file name. Images files should be 72dpi and no larger than 1MB each. Images should be sent as attachments with your proposal, or via a Dropbox link included in your submission email.

  6. Would you like to be considered for a travel and accommodation bursary?

The Restating Clay Conference is funded by the Arts Council England (ACE) Museum Resilience Fund.