Tagged: Museums Association

Museums Day Postponed

Museums Day, a day of nationwide political advocacy to promote the work of UK museums and due to take place on 15 May, has been postponed until after the election.

The announcement of a UK general election on 8 June means that government is entering a purdah period when restrictions are placed on the political activities of civil servants and arms-length bodies, which includes a number of museums.

The event, organised by the Museums Association (MA) and the National Museum Directors Council, will be held in the autumn.

Alistair Brown, the MA’s policy officer, said: “With parliament going into recess and the government in purdah, it will be impossible to run our flagship parliamentary event, and many museums will be unable to campaign during this period.

“As a result, we are postponing the event planned for 15 May. We’re planning a new date for Museums Day in autumn and will make an announcement about this as soon as possible. We are also working with partners in the devolved nations to ensure that we are supporting advocacy events across the UK.

“At the MA, we will be making the case for the museum sector and will shortly publish a museums manifesto.

“We would also encourage museums to offer their spaces as venues for election hustings, and to highlight the work of your museum to all of the main candidates in your local constituencies.”

Museums in the UK: 2017 Report

From the Museums Association:

Almost a quarter (24%) of museums in the UK experienced a decrease in public funding in 2015-16 with the devolved nations being the hardest hit, according to research conducted by the Museums Association (MA).

The report Museums in the UK: 2017 showed that 64% of museums in Wales reported a cut to public income (all revenue funding from sources such as government, local authority or higher education institution), compared to 50% in Scotland, 43% in Northern Ireland and 21% in England.

Within England, London and the North East experienced the greatest drops in public income, with 30% of museums in each of those regions experiencing a cut.

In addition, data from the Department for Communities and Local Government shows that from 2010 to 2016 local authorities in England have cut spending on museums and galleries by 31% in real-terms.

Although a similarly detailed breakdown was not available for local government spending in the devolved nations, figures show that, over the same period, local authority revenue spending on culture, heritage, libraries and leisure services in Wales fell by 26% in real terms, while funding for cultural and related services among Scottish local authorities decreased by 4.6% in real terms (equivalent data for Northern Ireland was not available).

The MA’s report comes ahead of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Museums Review, which is expected to set out recommendations for the future sustainability of the museums in England. But the MA is concerned that the review, due to be published this spring, will stop short of addressing the critical issue of funding.


Museums in the UK: 2017

Museums Association Mentoring for All Programme

From the Museums Association:

Mentoring for All, a pilot mentoring scheme that will run across England and Scotland from June to November 2017, is now open for applications from prospective mentees and mentors.

Funded by Arts Council England and Museums Galleries Scotland and administered by the Museums Association (MA), the aim of the scheme is to make mentoring as accessible as possible, to as many people as possible.

Mentoring for All is open to paid employees, freelancers and volunteers, and will see 18 mentees and 18 mentors from across England, and one mentee and one mentor from Scotland. Participants do not have to be a member of the MA.

The pilot was developed as a result of recommendations made by last year’s Character Matters report, which looked at attitudes, behaviours and skills in the museum workforce, and through detailed research will incorporate the best aspects of different schemes from different sectors, reflecting the wants and needs of our own sector.

Tamsin Russell, the MA’s professional development officer, says: “We are really excited to launch Mentoring for All.

“We want to provide opportunities for people to grow through mentoring – both mentors and mentees.

“Applications are now open and we are making it as easy as possible to participate. If you have any questions just drop me a line.”

Links and downloads

Mentoring for All: more information and application forms

Mentoring for All is funded by Arts Council England and led by the Museums Association (MA); through this project we hope to transform the way we look at mentoring within the sector.


Museums Association Conference Call for Practical Workshops

Deliver a practical workshop at the MA conference & exhibition in Manchester

Museums and suppliers are invited to put forward proposals to deliver a Museum Practice (MP) workshop for exhibition visitors and conference delegates at the Museums Association (MA) Conference and Exhibition 2017 in Manchester (16-18 November at the Manchester Conference Centre).

The MP workshops take place in the exhibition and are free for visitors, exhibitors and conference delegates to attend.

The workshop programme is designed to offer practical, insightful and case study-led content under four distinct themes: careers; technology and digital; audiences, learning and engagement; and collections, interpretation and exhibition design.

They are an opportunity for companies, consultants and museum professionals to showcase recent projects, products or services, and lead discussion in a specific area of expertise.

More details and a link to the online proposal form and guidance notes can be found on the MA website.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is 31 March.

Any enquiries can be directed to rebecca.atkinson@museumsassociation.org

Calling all AMA’s in NW

As you know your AMA is supported by a range of things – mentoring, access to training, AMA Support Group.

The date of our next meeting is:

Thursday 15th March
10:30 – 13:00
Whitworth Art Gallery Cafe

During the time together we want to look at the following:

  • Progress and general questions and direction for your AMA
  • Ethical Dilemma – discussion about viewing this research through the Museums Association’s Code of Ethics


  • De-mystifying the Professional Review – hearing from Tamsin Russell, Professional Development Officer.

Tea and coffee will be provided at the Whitworth.

Please RSVP to Mary Ann Lancaster, Convenor – AMA NW Support Group-  malancaster@btinternet.com / 0771 414 9351

Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund Network Day

Tuesday 21st March
Manchester Art Gallery
10:30 – 16:30

From the Museums Association:

We are pleased to announce the next date for the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund Network Day.  For the first time we are opening up the afternoon session to anyone interested in hearing more about how collections can be used for social impact. The keynote speaker will be Nick Merriman, Director of Manchester Museum and there will be opportunities to network, meet those who have already undertaken successful collections projects and learn more about the Museums Associations Museums Change Lives campaign. MA staff will be on hand to advise anyone thinking of applying to the fund or to help you get your ideas flowing.


Morning Session – Esmee Fairbairn Collections Network only

10.30    Coffee, registration and networking
11.00    Welcome
11.10    Catch up and progress from participants
11.50   Matt Exley – National Museums Liverpool – Pride and Prejudice
12.10    Holly Grange – The Whitworth – The Musgrave Kinley Outsider Art Collection Project.
12.30    Questions
12.45    Lunch

The morning session for grantees only is an informal opportunity to share your progress on projects and get support from peers. Please come along ready to talk about your projects & ideas throughout the day and to ask others about their projects.

Afternoon Session – Open to all

13.30    Welcome to Afternoon Session
13.40   Keynote Speaker – Nick Merriman – Manchester Museums – Collections and participation in museums
14.15    Alistair Brown – Museums Association – Museums Change Lives
14.25    Group learning exercise – Using collections for Social Impact
15.00    Tea/Coffee
15.30    Networking Activities & Collections Fund application surgeries
16:30    Finish

The afternoon session is an opportunity to learn about sector-leading approaches to collections work for social impact, think through what this means for your own practice, and network with colleagues considering similar issues. Hear about how to access Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund support, and discuss your ideas for funding with MA staff.

The network day is a free event. Please contact Jacqui Buscher to book a place: jacqui@museumsassociation.org.


Future of Museums: Audiences

Wellcome Collection, London
Wednesday 29th March
£55.00 – £195.00

From the Museums Association:

How will our rapidly changing society affect the relationship that museums have with audiences in the future? Chaired by Tonya Nelson, head of UCL Museums and Collections, the event will look at the influence that demographic, technological and other trends will have on the needs of audiences, including families, young people, older visitors and those with disabilities. Speakers will discuss how museums can deepen their engagement with the public and have a greater impact on their lives.

Tonya Nelson, head of UCL Museums and Collections


– Jane Falkingham, director of the ESRC Centre for Population Change, University of Southampton, will shed light on future demographic trends.
– Anne Torreggiani, CEO, The Audience Agency, will talk about the audiences of the future.
– Maggie Appleton, chief executive, Royal Airforce Museum and board member of the Museums Association, will explore how museums can strike new relationships with audiences.

– Sebastian Crutch, neuropsychologist, UCL Dementia Research Centre
– Miranda Ballin
, ArtWorks, Artistic Director at Valleys Kids
– Sam Tatlow
, talent coordinator for talent agency Think Bigger
– Becki Morris
, a specialist in inclusion and representation of disabled people in museums and collections assistant at Warwickshire Heritage and Culture
– Laura Phillips
, head of learning and participation, British Museum, and member of the Age Friendly Museums Network
– Mark Miller
, Circuit programme leader and convenor of young people’s programmes, Tate Britain and Tate Modern
– Clare Haywood
, family programme producer, National Maritime Museums
– James Peto
, head of public programmes, Wellcome Collection

Registration will start at 0930 and the event will finish at 1700.

After the event the Museums Association is holding one of the launches for its new Museums Change Lives publication. All delegates are welcome to attend. This new publication is being launched at events throughout the UK in 2017.  Museums Change Lives is the MA’s flagship campaign to enhance the positive social impact that  museums can deliver working with their communities. The new publication features case studies from a range of museums demonstrating the difference they are making and advocates the value of museums to society.

Full timetable will be available in due course

To book your place online please click here

To download a booking form please click here

If you require an invoice please download and complete a booking form to send with a purchase order number.

Follow this event on Twitter: #MAMuseumsFuture

Help the MA Develop the Mentoring for All Scheme

The Museums Association (MA) is asking the museum sector to complete a short online survey designed to help shape the Mentoring For All scheme, which explores best practice to develop a new model for mentoring for the sector.

There are separate surveys for people who are or have been mentors or mentees, and for people who have managed museum or wider cultural mentoring schemes.

The questions explore the nature of mentoring, whether it is aligned to a development programme or stand-alone, whether it is open to all or open to a particular group, and whether the mentoring voluntary or mandatory.

These questions and more will enable us to know what works best and how we can then apply it.

All responses will be reviewed to reflect on peoples’ current experience within the sector and will feed into a report at the end of the research phase of the project.

Tamsin Russell, the MA’s professional development officer, said: “If you can find a moment to complete the survey it would help us understand mentoring from a mentee, mentor and also mentor co-ordinator perspective.

“These insights will help us build on the positives and address the improvement needs it to make it the most successful model for the future.”

The deadline for the survey is Friday 3 March.

Funded by the MA and Arts Council England, Mentoring For All is currently in the research phase, with a six month pilot to begin in June. An evaluation report will be published in January 2018 with a view to rolling out the scheme across the UK in 2018.

If you have any queries, please email Tamsin Russel: tamsin@museumsassociation.org

Links and downloads

Survey for people who are/have been mentors or mentees

Survey for managers of museum or cultural sector mentoring schemes


Diversity in Museums- what change would you like to make?

From the Museums Association:

When we talk about diversity in museums, what do we mean?  Where is diversity located within our spaces and our collections, and what can we do to develop them? Are we happy to maintain the current state of play where diversity is still in the margins?

These are challenging but vital questions for the museums sector. What are we actively doing to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of our practice and embedded in the way that we develop relationships with people outside and inside our organisations?

Live debate

Please join us on Tuesday 28 February at 1pm for a lunchtime webchat about Diversity in Museums, with the MA’s programme manager Jess Turtle, and diversity leadership consultant Sarah Pickthall. Join the debate, make your voice heard ! You can post questions here for our panel before or during the webchat

Transformers Diversify

If you are motivated to want to create change around diversity, equality and inclusion in museums why not apply to Transformers Diversify to connect you with key cultural leaders and campaigners, professional development and support to make change happen. http://www.museumsassociation.org/comment/20022017-have-you-considered-applying-to-transformers-diversify

The fully funded Transformers: Diversify programme will help participants connect, reflect and initiate change around equality, diversity and inclusion in museums. You may identify as being from a diverse background yourself, or simply want to make change happen. What you will share is a journey that will give you a new perspective and network, and the confidence to take risks.

This opportunity is open to applicants (including volunteers and freelancers) from England, Wales and Scotland. It requires between 7.5 and 9.5 days of contact time, which includes an action-learning day, a two-day residential, and one to one coaching. There is also the opportunity to pitch for project micro-funding to help make your idea for change a reality.

All event costs, accommodation and travel are covered.

What change can you make? Will you apply?  Find out about the programme here


Museums Association Transformers: Influence

The Transformers programme has been developed to be flexible and suitable for all roles within a museum.  Transformers is relevant to anyone working in or with a museum- paid or voluntary.

We can accept multiple applications per organisation. The programme is seeking to create a cohort of motivated, engaged sector colleagues who are committed to their professional and organisational development, who standby the commitment that Museums Change Lives and want to ensure museum remain engaging, welcoming, vibrant places for all. (See more details below)

This strand requires a commitment of 2 learning days-  Gearing up for Change day in June and an Our Museum in Action day in July.   Participants also have the opportunity to pitch an idea for the Festival of Change which will be part of the Museums Association Conference 2017.

There is a fee of £100 but this will include participation in the 2 learning days and a year’s individual membership for the participant.

This strand has been developed with feedback from the sector to be more manageable for people who cannot make the longer time commitment of the 2 other strands, people who work shifts, part-time, free-lancers, have family or caring responsibilities or just don’t feel ready or have the time for something more intensive.

For more information and details on how to apply please click here.

 Deadline for applications is Tuesday 7 March