Posts Tagged 'NDF'

News Update 15 October 2013

Kia ora

We’ve been out and about over the last few weeks, enjoying meeting up with many MA members and other colleagues at regional forums.  This week we’re looking forward to Whanganui on Wednesday and Wellington on Friday, when the MA Board also meets.  Next week we’ll be in Invercargill and Dunedin, including the ICOM New Zealand conference 25-26 October. See detailed listings below and please RSVP so we can set up rooms and catering.  If you can’t get to any of the meetings, we’re always happy to hear from you by telephone or email.
Last weekend over 30 Kaitiaki Maori gathered in Hawke’s Bay for the Titiro Whakamua hui. Despite some rain as people arrived on Friday, we were given a bright and cheerful welcome by the tangata whenua at Kohupatiki Marae near Clive, which has recently celebrated its centenary.
Tourism 2025 was launched at the recent Tourism Summit at Te Papa. This new tourism plan is being developed by TIANZ.
Its focus has five interelated themes:
  • Prioritise insight to drive and track progress – this is about using data and research to predict and evaluate initiatives and trend, and informs the next four areas
  • Grow sustainable air connectivity – find ways to get more international visitors here at attractive rates, grow emerging markets, and allow people to travel around the country easily
  • Target for value – understand key market segments and make sure our offerings are tailored to their needs
  • Drive value through outstanding visitor experience – remove barriers and ensure tourist satisfaction
  • Focus on productivity for profit – get the best value out of the resources we put into tourism products, eg by extending seasonality and availability
TIA CE Martin Snedden says this is only the beginning: “We are now focused on creating and obtaining industry endorsement for the actions that will bring Tourism 2025 to life. The actions we endorse must be pragmatic, affordable and valuable. We are not looking to create a huge list of actions that will stretch over 12 years. We recognise that we are operating in a fast-changing global and domestic tourism environment. The actions will have a short focus – one to three years – with scope for all tourism industry players, from the biggest corporates to SMEs, to play their part.”
Museums Aotearoa has provided information to the Tourism 2025 team, and will be making a further submission promoting the recognition of cultural tourism in this process.
Presentations from the Summit can be accessed on the TIA website.
Announcement of Simon Denny as NZ’s Venice Biennale artist for 2015
Announcement of NDF Board elections: new (and re-elected) NDF Board members:
  1. Matthew Oliver, from Manatu Taonga – Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  2. Mike Kmiec, from Victoria University of Wellington
  3. Jan Gow, from FamNet / Lets Research
  4. Leith Haarhoff, from Palmerston North City Library and Community Services
  5. Steven Fox, from Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra
And we’re intrigued by a notice of an innovative event next week at the Museum of Wellington: the Do It Yourself Science Museum – a whole museum contained within a pizza box. This is an interactive and entertaining exploration of science and story, presented by Michele Fontana, a PhD student of Theatre and Museum Studies at Victoria University, who has won an Italian national acting contest. Two free shows only, on Wednesday 23 October. Bookings: 04 472 8904 or email.  We’ll be in Palmerston North that day, so if you go to this, please let us know how it goes!
Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei

News Update 10 September 2013

Kia ora,

Just in case you missed the weekend headline news, Te Papa is planning to work with Auckland Council and other Auckland institutions to develop a new centre in Manukau. You can read the government press release here. Te Papa advise that the next step is to work with MCH on a business case, which they expect to present to government in November. They will also “develop a plan to consult with stakeholders over the coming months. This is likely to have several layers or phases, as the project planning takes shape.”  We look forward to the sector being involved, and to exploring the potential of this bold collaborative proposal.

Last Friday around 70 ‘GLAMorous’ folk from around the country gathered in Wellington to discuss the future.  Actually, the standard of dress wasn’t the topic – it was the history and future of collaborations across and between Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums. The scene was set by Eric Ketelaar, Emeritus Professor of Archivistics at the University of Amsterdam, who discussed perspectives on collecting and making meaning of collected objects. He sees both similarities and differences in the various GLAM perspectives, which mediate meaning for the user in their own ways. Other speakers included:

  • Conal McCarthy, VUW – ‘practice theory’
  • Chris Szekely, Alexander Turnbull Library – ATL’s role as archive, library and exhibitor of mātauranga Māori, and the possibilities of a ‘GLAMāorious’ future
  • Rebecca Rice, Te Papa – historical fluidity and competitive collecting between national institutions
  • Brenda Chawner, VUW and Katherine Howard, QUT – shifts in focus from librarianship to information management, the development of core curriculum, and convergence in education for GLAM professionals
  • Shannon Wellington (VUW), Virginia Gow (MCH) and Mark Crookston (ATL) – discussion on building GLAMour through built, digital and organisational infrastructure

The day ended with a lively panel discussion in which National Librarian Bill Macnaught, Chief Archivist Greg Goulding, museum consultant Ken Gorbey and Eric Ketelaar agreed that each different strand of GLAM has something to contribute, while not going quite as far as merging. It seems that ‘convergence’ may not be as useful a concept as ‘synergy’ and ‘harmonisation’.

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917

According to Scoop, New Zealand will host 121 cruises in the 2013-14 season. Cruise NZ forecasts the season will generate $311 million and account for 5361 jobs. Their website has information on what ships will be where – we hope that the cruisers will enjoy visiting our museums and galleries.

As a follow up to Andrew Matheson’s post about his tour of the ‘Western Front’, he has a request from Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917:
New Zealand friends in Belgium
In a recent guest blog I gave a brief introduction to four First World War museums on the ‘Western Front’, two in France and two in Belgium.  They’re all aware of the service and sacrifice of New Zealanders in their localities in that war, but none more so that the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917.  The museum is planning to take a travelling exhibition to Canada, Australia and New Zealand in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and is after help in two areas — provision of New Zealand content for the exhibition, and supporting/hosting the travelling exhibition in 2017.  If you’re interested, please contact the chairman of the Passchendaele 1917 society, Freddy Declerk.
Andrew Matheson, Director, First World War Centenary programme
The Emerging Professions group (EMPs) has been rapidly growing and various regions have been organising meet-ups. The Christchurch group is meeting 5.30pm, Wednesday 11 September at CBD Bar (http://www.cbdbar.co.nz/), 208 Madras Street and the Wellington group will be meeting Thursday 26 September – 6pm at The Library on Courtenay Place. Feel free to come along if you identify as an ‘emerging museum professional’ or email Michelle Sim if you would like to know more about the group MICHELLE.SIM@nzdf.mil.nz.There are many useful and interesting events coming up before the end of this year. We hope to talk to many of you at MA’s regional meetings – your opportunity to meet colleagues as well as MA staff and Board members and have your say in our activities. There will also be the first conference for ICOM New Zealand members in Dunedin, a Talkfest at Objectspace, Tītiro Whakamua Kaitiaki hui in Hawke’s Bay, and Middle Earth Curators’ Hui in Palmerston North. See these and other happenings listed below.And the NDF 2013 conference is less than 3 months away, just before the pre-Christmas rush.  NDF is always inspirational as well as fun. This year MA offered to sponsor the mini-programme to help the conference budget.  However, that was already ‘sold’ so we have ended up sponsoring icecream – come along and enjoy!

Ngā mihi
Phillipa and Talei
PS – a reminder that we want your to hear ideas for MA14. Please send them to us by 23 September, just after the re-opening weekend of hosts MTG Hawke’s Bay – they’ll be looking for something new to work on!

News Update 27 November, 2012

Kia ora,

Those of you lucky enough to hear and meet Bert Crenca at the MA12 conference will recall his enthusiasm, and the dynamic youth programmes he founded at AS220 at Rhode Island. Last week First Lady Michelle Obama presented AS220 Youth with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. One of fifty finalists, chosen from a pool of 350 applicants, and one of only twelve organizations to win. We’re sending a big shout out to AS220 Youth!

In the news: Capital E – the latest member to have their building closed due to earthquake risk – have found a temporary home at the Railway Social Hall on Waterloo Quay. They have hired space to run their programmes, OnTV and Sound House. Toitū Otago Settlers Museum is gearing up for their big re-opening on Dec 8th. Auckland Museums helped to solve the mystery of the dissappearing island. And the National Library is now fully open with ‘Te Ahumairangi’ – their new visitor space. ‘Te Ahumairangi’ is an exciting reconception of the traditional library space. We loved this idea for the Christchurch Cathedral now that demolition has been halted (thanks Christchurch Art Gallery).

There has also been more news of restructuring and staff moving around the country. Helen Kedgley has been appointed to the new position of Director at Pataka, and Fiona Emberton has left Puke Ariki. All this leads to more job opportunities – check out the latest on our Vacancies Page.

National Digital Forum was packed. Two days of presentations about how the culture and heritage sector are using the huge potential of digital technologies. Speakers included Piotr Adamczyk who talked about his experience at the Google Art Project; Catherine Styles showed us how National Museum of Australia’s game of associative thinking ‘Sembl’ can generate new engagement; Courtney Johnson talked about her idea for making an art collection categorised by emotion; and Suze Cairns asked ‘Are we remaking the museum in the image of the internet?’ A theme that was repeated by the speakers, both local and international, was the need for institutions to take a fresh look at their purpose. Museums are becoming less of a repository of objects and more of a generator of knowledge and stories. Day to day use of technologies is changing public expectations around access and expertise, and dissolving traditional boundaries between the institution and the outside world. All the speakers advocated for the ‘open museum’, for experimentation, risk, open access to collections and information and to actively seek out and give equal voice to their audiences.

Last week the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment released the latest tourism forcasts, 2012-2018. These are positive, predicting a nine percent growth in visitor spending (to $6.3 billion) and 28 percent rise in visitor numbers (to 3.3 million) by December 2018. Also predicted was a continuing decline in traditional markets such as the UK and US, off-set by strong growth from China and Australia. If this shift comes about, it will have implications for museums, as the Australian and Asian visitors make shorter trips. Read the full details here.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013

Thank you to everyone who has come up with ideas and suggestions for the MA13 conference. We have some really good speakers and topics lined up, and hope to squeeze in a few more yet. MA13 will start off with the second Museums Aotearoa Lecture on the evening of Wednesday 10 April, then two full days of conference, including the NZ Museum Awards dinner on Thursday 11 April, and some local tours. Early Bird registrations will open in December.

Phillipa is in Sydney this week at INTERCOM 2012, the conference of the ICOM International Committee on Museum Management, where she is giving a paper on Wednesday. The theme is #museumchallenges – which is also a Twitter hashtag. Even if you aren’t on Twitter, you can look up the conference tweets and see comments and links from and about the conference. There are delegates from over 25 countries, making it a truly international sharing of ideas and opportunities. While the challenges being shared are pretty tough – budget cuts, social change, stakeholder pressure etc – there is a really positive attitude towards the opportunities that museums need to embrace to ensure relevance and an ongoing place in society. We’ll share the experience with you in the next MAQ.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa & Talei

News Update 8 December 2011

The news is mixed this week, and mostly positive, although many organisations are looking at a fairly tough local government climate ahead. You can read or download the latest news round-up here in our members’ area.

Last week Sophie and I were immersed in the NDF conference. It was inspiring and intriguing, and Sophie blogged about it yesterday, here. I also went to the second WW1 planning meeting, and a symposium convened by the Archives and Records Association of New Zealand (ARANZ) which focussed on some of the challenges and lessons for the archive community arising from the Canterbury earthquakes. We will be bringing you more information on both of these important topics through further notices, publications and meetings. If you are interested in more details now, please contact us.

We also watched the election results with interest. With National back leading the government, we now await the announcement of cabinet portfolios, with the vital arts, culture and heritage position open to speculation. Chris Finlayson has been a very supportive minister, and his skills may be in demand in other areas this term. There may also be re-allocation of other portfolios relevant to the museum sector, such as tourism and internal affairs. And in the opposition ranks, we farewell opposition arts spokesperson Steve Chadwick, acknowledge her strong support and wish her well.

Domestic tourism up
The latest Tourism data shows domestic tourism has increased over the last year. The Domestic Travel Survey for the year ended September shows Overnight Trips up 4.1%, Day Trips up 14.6% and Expenditure up 10.7% on the previous year. At $9.4 billion, this is an enormous contribution to our economy. The data is good news for the museum sector, although not surprising when you think about the drop in international tourism – presumably NZers are not travelling overseas as much either, and are instead taking holidays within our own country. Full details are available from Tourism Research

MA12 conference, scholarships and awards
Here in Wellington we’re working very actively on planning for the MA12 conference – Collaboration in Practice. Look out for announcents of keynote speakers and programme information in the next week. We will also be opening applications for The Clark Colelction / Creative New Zealand Scholarship, the Mina McKenzie Scholarship, and the 2012 New Zealand Museum Awards. Watch this space…

Ka kite,
Phillipa

National Digital Forum Reflections (National Horseless Forum?)

Phillipa and I attended the National Digital Forum (NDF) conference last week. Phillipa is on the NDF Board, which is great for Museums Aotearoa, because it keeps us in the loop with one of the few organisations spanning the entire NZ ‘GLAM sector’ (Galleries, Libraries, Archives & Museums). New Zealand is pretty small, and it seems we’re all sitting in our respective cultural/memory/identity institutions thinking about similar challenges. We should be talking to each other as much as possible. So that’s what we did last week, and here are a few thoughts I had…

It was my second NDF conference, and I’m happy to report it was every bit as interesting as my first. Last year I was initially bemused at the concept of attending a ‘cross sector digital conference’. How frightening. I’ve only just mastered the microwave. Needless to say, I donned my best imposter stance and got on with it. I was pleasantly surprised then, as I was last week, with the relevant content discussed.

NDF is not a conference of tech people talking in inaccessible languages about the latest widgety wizardry thing they have created. Well, I suppose there’s a little bit of that, but it’s also very much a forum of thought provoking questions, challenges, calls to action, and actual constructive discussions about the future of our work. In a rapidly changing ‘digital environment’. Otherwise known as the modern world.

There was a lot of information thrown around over two days, and different people will be taking away different ideas to apply to their work. From my perspective, a week later, I have a few comments stuck in my mind that I’d like to share.

The first is from Michael Lascarides, of New York Public Library fame. He kicked off the conference talking about some projects they’re currently working on. Including What’s on the menu?, a crowdsourced menu transcription project, and their very fun Map Warper tool, which locates historical maps onto their current location/current maps, and also works on the principle of public participation. They’re fantastic projects, well worth checking out.

Within this presentation, Michael made the comment that “digital is the new horseless”. In other words, to define anything as digital is becoming increasingly redundant, because all we’re doing is making a statement about what it is not. (Incidentally this is a thought which occurs to me when I select the ever mysterious ‘vegetarian option’ at weddings. I don’t know what it is, but I do know what it’s not). So in this case, we’re making an arbitrary distinction between the physical and the non-physical. I think this is an important point, and one that we need to be constantly reminding ourselves about. Quit thinking about fancy digital experiences/content. Just focus on authentic experiences/content. Understand that people expect the technology of the day to be part of everything that they do, and the technology that enables our work always has been, and always will be changing.

The second related (throwaway) comment that I liked was made by Michael Parry from the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, in Melbourne. They’ve been doing some cool things, such as their 15 Second Place project. The idea is that people capture ‘the mood of the place they’re in’, in a 15 second video, and upload it to an ACMI site via iPhone app. Apparently the app also works on iPod touch and iPad, and you can view the site (but not upload content) on other mobile devices. It’s an experience made for iPhone users. People are using it, having fun, telling their stories.

Someone asked Michael about ACMI’s decision to design for iPhone, and Michael made a quip along the lines of ‘Have you ever seen someone taking a video on an iPad? Yeah, they look like a dick’. Which I thought was wonderful. That’s a joke, obviously (although I did see someone taking a photo outside Te Papa with an iPad yesterday, and would have to agree…) but what I liked was the attitude of not over-thinking the creation of a thing/experience/interaction. Do what is logical. Focus on your audience. Don’t try and do everything, just do something well. Make things. If they’re wrong, change them.

The third fond moment worth sharing was actually from a slide in Lucinda Blaser’s presentation. Lucinda is from the National Maritime Museum in London. Her presentation was all about getting data out there. The attitudinal shift from making sure all information presented to the public is curated, complete and accurate, to simply making all data available. Knowing that in some cases it will be wrong, and allowing the public to play a part in the collection/modification of the information we hold.

What tickled me during Lucinda’s presentation was a selection of quotes that I believe had been transcribed from a ship’s log. One of these gems was simply “course diverted to investigate whales”. I liked this, firstly because it made a nice interlude to imagine a ship full of ye olde English sailors gallivanting around the oceans ‘investigating’ whales, and secondly because I thought it nicely illustrated the human connection to the content that we talk about. We can not know how people (now or in the future) will use the content that we have, what they will take from it, what it will mean to them, and it doesn’t matter. What we do know is that people probably won’t find any of it unless we make it accessible, put it out there, share our things/stories/connections. Do this well, and we can sit back and let people make their own emotional connections.

That’s my two cents worth.

As a vaguely related endnote, I want to let you know that the Wellington City Council last month ‘launched’ the 1892 Thomas Ward maps of central Wellington as an additional layer you can select to view in their public GIS system (which shows other useful information like drainage layers, and property boundaries etc). Here’s a press release from the Mayor getting excited about said ‘Geospatial Goldmine’. It’s a small step, but it’s in the right direction. There’s a lot more gold just waiting to be exploited in that mine. And there’s a big role for us (and by us I mean GLAMs) all to play in that ‘mining expedition’, so to speak.

We need to be thinking about getting out of our bunkers and talking to each other, working together even. Illustrating the potential of our information! How it can enrich lives! Taking it to the people!

Incidentally, our next conference is in April – in Wellington. The theme is collaboration.

Come.

Talk to your colleagues.

Sophie de Lautour Kelly – MA Membership Services Manager

News Update 9 November 2011

The latest news is full of post-rugby events/analysis, a few interesting debates, and election build-up. You can read or download the round-up here in our members’ area

New developments
After the rush to get everything ready for the Rugby World Cup, there are some catch-ups and new developments still under way. This week MOTAT officially opened its new Aviation Display Hall, complete with Skyhawk. As well as the various architecture and building awards it has already received, the transformation was highly praised by the Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, and Defence Minister Hon Wayne Mapp at a function very well-attended by supporters, volunteers and other contributors to the project.

There are still more museum developments underway. In Napier, the Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery boasts a very large hole in the ground. Dunedin’s Otago Settlers Museum is still under construction, and Kaitaia’s Te Ahu complex is nearly complete, and is holding an open evening for local communities today. Several of these websites include time lapse video and/or webcams, and the Auckland Art Gallery has theirs on YouTube here.

In the wings are several more developments, including the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Air Force Museum, South Canterbury Museum and The Suter, with Canterbury Museum also hoping to get its development back on track soon….

New technology
We are all more environmentally conscious than ever, minimising waste not just to save the planet, but to save our pennies as well. In what I think is a first for museums in this country, Auckland War Memorial Museum has released its 2010-2011 Annual Report as an eBook, complete with on-screen navigation and zoom. They have also catered for those who prefer to print it out as a pdf – you can find both on the AWMM website.  To keep in touch with the latest digital developments for GLAMS, I’ll see you at the National Digital Forum conference in Wellington, 29-30 November.

New NDF Board
Results of the National Digital Forum Board election have just been announced – welcome to Steven Fox, Director of Te Manawa, and Matthew Oliver, Web Team Manager at the Ministry for Culture & Heritage.  They are joined by returning Board members Andy Fenton (NZ Micrographic Services/ARANZ) and Anne Scott (University of Canterbury Library).  Full details on the NDF website.

New policies
Well maybe not new, but the major parties have launched their arts, culture and heritage election policies. Neither are likely to grab public attention like asset sales or raising the superannuation age, but at least some of us care. You can download the National and Labour documents and make your own mind up over the next 2 1/2 weeks.  Other parties have also published policies which may at some point have some influence, including Green, Maori and United Future.

New staff
You may have noticed that we advertised two part time/fixed term positions at MA recently. Sophie and I will be joined in November and December by Cerys Dallaway, who will help us prepare the 2012 edition of the MA Directory. All museums and galleries will be hearing from Cerys over the next few weeks to check we have up to date information. And we will also be engaging Rebecca Apperley to be the MA12 conference coordinator on a part time basis.

Ka kite,
Phillipa

PS – we hope to see many of you at the members’ forum in Christchurch on 24 November – all members and staff of member institutions are welcome.


News & Notices 27 October 2011

Well, it’s all over, bar the shouting, as the All Blacks parade through our cities to the adulation of the crowds… Was it worth it? Read about more RWC-related museum activities in the latest news round-up here in our members’ area

Rugby aftermath
It will take some time to evaluate the visitors, the publicity and the cost of hosting the RWC2011. Museums and galleries around the country made a special effort to ensure their exhibitions and programmes were fresh and appealing to locals and visitors alike, and for some it seems to have been successful. Auckland Mayor Len Brown is saying that it has proved Auckland can handle world-class events, and claiming it as the beginning of a new era for Auckland’s sports, arts and cultural events. However, other arts and cultural organisations have been finding the focus on rugby has taken attention and audiences away from them. In Wellington, competition from the Fanzone and free events reduced audiences for theatres and galleries. The media are starting to report on this (see today’s news roundup), and we will have some museum perspectives from around the country on the Museums Aotearoa Quarterly next month.

Auckland hotting up
Auckland’s waterfront has at last become a place for people, partly thanks to the RWC impetus. Now questions are being asked about what kind of cultural activity or institution should be established there. Hamish Keith and Bob Harvey have flown their ‘Te Papa North’ idea, and Rodney Wilson has offered an alternative. For Wellingtonians, the waterfront debate about open space vs buildings and commerce is a bit old hat, but the debate about new cultural institutions is of national importance. As well as the newspaper items covered on our news roundup, there has been online discussion, for example comments on Brian Rudman and Rodney Wilson’s stories at NZ Herald and Jim and Mary Barr’s blog Over The Net.

Awards and accolades
It’s great to see that several museums and galleries are making a splash in the regional NZIA Architecture Awards. In the Auckland region, MOTAT and Auckland Art Gallery each scooped 2 and the Navy Museum one in Auckland. Other regions are yet to announce their awards, so watch the media for more accolades.

In the BEST design awards, a wide range of museums and galleries earned mentions in spatial, graphic and interactive categories, with Christchurch Art Gallery featuring 6 times and scoring a Purple Pin for their website. Awards include CAG’s publications Andrew Drummond: Observation/Action/Reflection and The Vault: Neil Pardington (Base Two), The Bulletin and ‘Ron Mueck’ promotion (Strategy Design and Advertising), website and ‘Pocket Gallery’ iPod app (Sons & Co); Voyager’s The Children of Tangaroa (Bureaux); The Karori Sanctuary Experience at Zealandia (Story Inc); Te Papa Press for New Zealand Fashion Design and Brian Brake (Spencer Levine) and with the Film Archive New Zealand Film: an illustrated history (Base Two); Enjoy Public Art Gallery’s Enjoy Recipes Illustrated (Lucky Stairs Studio); the Navy Museum’s environmental graphics (The Letter Q Ltd); Auckland Museum’s I AM Cheryl campaign TV commercials (Alt Group) and their own graphic work for Aqua; Papakura Museum and Library (Jasmax/Justin Westgate); Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery’s ‘The Miniatures’ (HBMAG design & build team); City Gallery Wellington Festival Season (Designworks); Auckland Art Gallery’s Reading Room journal and ‘The 4th Auckland Triennial’ (Inhouse).

Also announced recently was the Arts Foundation Award for Patronage, this year ‘won’ by the Chartwell Trust, established by Robert Gardiner ONZM in Hamilton in the 1970s to assist the visual arts. As winner of the Patronage award, the Chartwell Trust not only gets to give away $20,000 of the Arts Foundation’s money, but also another $20,000 of its own. Thanks and apprecaition are due to Rob and his work through the Trust from all those individuals and organisations they have helped over the years, and specifically the 2011 Award for Patronage recipients: Auckland Art Gallery, Auckland University, Christchurch Art Gallery and artist FIona Connor for work with Dundein Public Art Gallery. Congratualtions all round!

Museum Sector Remuneration
The 2011 Museum Sector Remuneration Survey report has been completed by Strategic Pay. Fifty-two museums and galleries participated, up from 49 last year. This is encouraging, and the cumulative information will be even more useful as trends become evident over time. A summary of findings will be in the November Museums Aotearoa Quarterly. Institutions can purchase a copy of the confidential report by contacting Strategic Pay at surveys@strategicpay.co.nz The cost to MA members ranges from $195-$675 +GST, depending on the size of institution and whether or not you contributed data. There is a 15% discount for organisations which also purchase a Local Government or Central Government Remuneration Survey Report.

Election coming up
Only one month to go until the general election, and now that sporting event is over, the billboards are multiplying. There are plenty of museum and cultural issues for a new government to address, mostly around funding. However, they are likely to play a back seat to immediate concerns for the wider economy, especially with the pressures of funding recovery in Canterbury and now the Bay of Plenty. There is still plenty of advocacy and relationship work to be done at local level as councils develop their annual and long term plans. Some seem to do well with a personal or formal approach, and in other places the public and media are getting involved, such as Nelson and Palmerston North.

In other news, Oamaru’s Forrester Gallery is once again attracting media interest with the now annual Steampunk exhibition. Being photogenic and having supporters who dress up in quirky vintage clothing is no doubt an advantage! Others getting attention include the 2011 Portage Ceramic Awards at Lopdell House and Whangarei Art Museum’s new home (all covered in our news roundup here).

On a sadder note, we acknowledge the passing of two great New Zealand artists. Austen Deans lived to the age of 95, still tramping and painting, and left an enormous legacy in Canterbury especially. Len Castle worked in clay for over 60 years, and is fondly remembered by his many followers and friends.

Reminder – National Digital Forum
Earlybird registration for the NDF conference, 29-30 November in Wellington, has been extended until this Friday, 28 October – be in now to save $100. NDF member organisations are also reminded that the Board election is open from now until 7 November, details on the NDF website.

Ka kite,
Phillipa

News Update 13 October 2011

The latest news is again full of activities associated with the Rugby World Cup. Other stories include local government funding issues, distribution of Skyhawks and repatriation from French museums. The round up is here in our members’ area, where the puzzle-minded can play spot the mistake – clue: technology vs education!

MA12 conference, Wellington, 18-20 April 2012
We had a record response to the Call for Papers, and the MA12 planning team is meeting later this week to wrangle it all into a cohesive conference programme. MA12 is already looking very exciting and inspiring, with lots to do in the ‘coolest little capital’ as well as the conference programme itself. Look out for announcements of international keynote speakers and preliminary programme soon, with registration to open in December.

MOTAT’s acres of aircraft
Among all the hoopla around major museum openings and ‘that’ sport tournament, MOTAT has quietly opened another 2500 sq m of aircraft display in an innovative timber building with a 42m column-free span nearly 16m high. Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, the new building is is linked to the old aviation hall, at left below, which has been completely re-fitted.

Environmentally conscious and interesting architecturally, an air layer between timber screens and the external wall helps to control light and temperature. The huge space requires only a low provision of mechanical heating, and glazing to specific areas of gallery space maximises natural light where appropriate. reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The internal open floor area of the new display hall is the largest clear span timber portal frame structure in New Zealand. Prefabrication meant the actual contstruction period was quite quick. The concrete floor had to be laid in one go – that meant a 2.00am start for the concrete crew and 104 concrete trucks taking their turn to pour.

There are plenty of aircraft on display lovingly cared for by MOTAT’s teams of enthusiasts. The new complex is named after aviation hero Sir Keith Park.

Changing the guard in the UK
From 1 October, new arrangements for the delivery of responsibilities previously undertaken by the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) take effect. This follows the previously announced decision to close the MLA as part of a government review designed to reduce the number of arms-length agencies. Arts Council England takes over museums and libraries responsibilities, including the Renaissance programme, Museum Accreditation, and Library Development, together with cultural property services such as Export Licensing and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme Some MLA staff have moved to posts with the Arts Council to help deliver these functions and responsibilities. Sir Andrew Motion, MLA Chair said: “The MLA Board wishes the Arts Council and The National Archives all the best and looks forward to them building on all the achievements of the sector, and the work of the MLA, to help bring about better and more accessible museum, library and archive services for the public.” Resources on the MLA website will remain live until 31 March 2012, by which time relevant material will be transferred to the Arts Council and Archives sites.

Museum-related websites
Jock Phillips has been travelling the country for the REAL NZ Festival writing a blog as the ‘Insider’, sharing his view of some great places and events.
Albertland & Districts Museum in Wellsford has revamped its website, and is looking forward to the Albertlanders’ 150th celebrations over Easter 2012.
A redesign for online encyclopedia Te Ara gives clearer and quicker findability for a site that constantly amazes with its depth and breadth of information. And they explain what they’ve done and why on the Te Ara blog – a helpful insight into making a website more user-friendly.

Other events
There are lots of other events happening after the rugby. Coming up in November are the NDF (earlybird closes this week, Board nominations due Friday) and Conservators conferences and a further planning meeting for WW1 commemorations in Wellington, Museum Facilities conference in Auckland, Colenso symposium in Hawke’s Bay, and an event for Museums Aotearoa members in Christchurch. These are listed in detail below – I hope to see you there!

Ka kite,
Phillipa

PS – Auckland Museum has teamed up with Māori Television to make a 13-part series featuring taonga from the museum and their stories. Tāmaki Paenga Hira is in Māori with English subtitles, and premiers on Māori Television at 8.30pm on Wednesday 19 October.


News Update 30 June 2011

Registration is now open for the 10th National Digital Forum (NDF) conference at Te Papa in November, and the first international keynote speaker has been confirmed. If you’re quick, you could register online before the end of the June financial year. Visit the NDF website for details here.

This month, Christchurch continues to struggle to find a ‘new normal’ as continuing aftershocks make people feel they’re going one step forward, two steps back. The recent announcment of residential ‘red zones’ seems to be causing even more uncertainty while insurance and logistics are worked out. There have been useful discussions amongst culture and heritage organisations, and we hope that there will be some progress for museums and galleries there soon.

In New Plymouth, Minister the Hon Christopher Finlayson has announced $4million towards the planned Len Lye Centre from the Regional Museums Fund, adding to other pledged support. Patterson Architects are appointed and more information and an image of the proposed centre can be found here.

Further north, the Whangarei Art Museum is closing its doors on the 4th of July, 15 years after its opening in the former Plunket Rooms in the Rose Garden at Cafler Park. They will spend the next two months packing and moving to exciting new preimses in The Hub in the Town Basin, where the art museum will reopen on the 13th of September.

The Kauri Museum has just launched a series of three video movies on the kauri industry which are now on permanent show the Museum in Matakohe. The Speaker, Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, made a keynote address at a ‘premiere’, citing the movies as a vital educational resource. The videos on DVD are the work of Kiwi film-maker Tom Williamson, who has sourced rare film footage from searches in the national archives, Alexander Turnbull Library and National Film Unit, and include interviews with survivors who worked during the last days of the tree felling, and with people involved in restoring the damage today. Kauri – The Timber tells of how the huge trees were felled in the bush and transported to the sawmills; Kauri – The Gum relates how the swamps were worked and the product was collected and sold, while Kauri – Heart of the Forest, Soul of a Nation, tells how attitudes changed from ruthless timber extraction to total protection.


Derek Hope (Chairman), Dr The Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, Betty Nelley (Curator)
and Tom Williamson (Film Producer) at The Kauri Museum DVD launch.

Looking overseas, the British Museum has won the UK’s biggest museum sector prize, the £100,000 Art Fund Prize. The winning project is its ambitious and far-reaching ‘A History of the World’ project which examines 100 collection objects chronologically presented via the internet, radio broadcasts and a book, developed in partnership with the BBC and a huge number of other contributors. Michael Portillo, who chaired the judges, said: “We were particularly impressed by the truly global scope of the British Museum’s project, which combined intellectual rigour and open heartedness, and went far beyond the boundaries of the museum’s walls. Above all, we felt that this project, which showed a truly pioneering use of digital media, has led the way for museums to interact with their audiences in new and different ways. Without changing the core of the British Museum’s purpose, people have and are continuing to engage with objects in an innovative way as a consequence of this project.” Radio NZ National has been broadcasting four 15-minute segments each week after The Arts on Sunday, and you can visit the BM website here to listen to the broadcasts, view the objects and read more information.

Last week we saw extraordinary media images of Vancouver erupting in riots after the loss of an ice hockey match. Now the Museum of Vancouver is planning to collect and document, if not keep, all the plywood panels that have boarded up the broken windows – they have become a ‘citizen wall’, a kind of instant message board covered in graffiti and messages about the riots, a place for anonymous expressions of remorse, solidarity and pride in the city. See news reports here and here. I wonder if what would happen in NZ if we lost the rugby world cup final to Australia – and how would our museums respond?

Nga mihi,
Phillipa


Aratoi Museum of Art & History Friends’ Residency

The Friends of Aratoi – Wairarapa Museum of Art and History are sponsoring a new residency at Wairarapa’s New Pacific Studio, Kaiparoro Historic House, RD 1, Mount Bruce, Masterton, New Zealand. The residency is of one to four week’s duration and worth $NZ1000. It enables NZ visual artists, writers or historians the opportunity to live in a tranquil yet stimulating rural environment with many facilities – such as broadband, an excellent library and a well-appointed kitchen plus private and very well-appointed studio/study spaces where their creativity can thrive and their projects can be worked on. Applications should be received by NPS by the end of August, 2011, and the residency is available to be taken up between December 2011 and May 2012. For further information consult www.newpacificstudio.org


Centenary of the First World War

We are fast approaching the major milestones of the centenary of the First World War: August, 2014 sees the centenary of the outbreak of the World War I, and April, 2015 the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. Over the next few years many organisations will be busy planning and executing an ambitious programme to mark these dates, and the many centenary observances that will occur, through to the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, in November 2018.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage has embarked on a government-led initiative to coordinate and inspire cooperation within the GLAMs and education sectors. At their suggestion and in consultation with Te Papa, Auckland War memorial Museum will host a day-long workshop, brainstorm and symposium on Centenary Planning, to be held on 21 July 2011. This will be a chance to share what your institution is thinking about during these crucial early planning stages, to hear what your colleagues are doing and to perhaps inspire partnerships and shared resources to create a worthwhile programme for all New Zealanders. We will also have some guest speakers to share what is being planned on a national and international level.

Further opportunities for discussion and planning will be arranged later in the year. Please contact Russell Briggs, Director of Exhibitions and Programmes, at rbriggs@aucklandmuseum.com or ring him on 09 302 3992 if you are interested.


PSA Banner competition

The Museum of Wellington City and Sea is working with the Public Service Association to manage a national competition for artists, designers and makers to submit entries for a new banner to mark the PSA’s Centenary in 2013. There is a prize of up to $15,000. The Museum will be touring the winning entries in 2013 and welcomes enquires.

For details and entry forms for the contest: http://psa.org.nz/Centenary.aspx
For exhibition and touring details: paul.thompson@wmt.org.nz

News Update

Kia ora,

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view).

In the last fortnight the media – and the general public – have continued to examine the pros, cons and implications of Te Papa’s conditional invitation to regional museum staff to a collection store tour. After the initial ill-informed knee-jerk responses, it was good to see some more considered and thoughtful pieces appearing in the news. Clearly there are serious issues for any cultural institution to consider, including the rights of donors and original makers, public access, culturally specific expectations, minority viewpoints and changing social attitudes. These are questions which every museum and gallery needs to address from its own perspective, and even though there may be no ‘right’ answers, it is useful to examine and debate them from time to time.

Linking data, linking people was the theme for the very successful and inspiring National Digital Forum conference held at Te Papa last week. It was great to see so many museum and gallery colleagues from around the country there, with lots of opportunities for catching up as well as some really terrific presentations. The general atmosphere was upbeat – I heard less of ‘we’d love to do all this if we had funding/permission/time/skills’, and more of ‘we could give that a go’. There was also a reassuring acknowledgement that digital is not different or extra, but intrinsic to all that we do – working methods, personal communication, means of information gathering – as well as being part of the business of museums, galleries, libraries and archives. As Nick Poole tweeted, “we have to stop regarding technology as the achievement”.

We’ll let you know when conference presentations are up online. Meanwhile you can see the official conference Twitter feed from @ndf2010 here, and if you’re really keen there is an archived version of all the #ndf2010 Twitter activity. It was also a milestone for the NDF to be registered as an Incorporated Society on 18 October – opening the way for more independent activity as a legal entity. The new Board will be meeting soon to begin planning various initiatives including next year’s 10th NDF conference.

A couple of weeks earlier Museums Australia held their conference Interesting times in Melbourne. I’ve spoken to several people who were able to attend, and by all accounts it too had lots of good ideas and opportunities. Australian Regan Forrest has written several blog posts here. This year’s Museums Australia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) awards were announced during the conference in Melbourne. Once again NZ galleries were prominent – congratulations to category winners Christchurch Art Gallery (‘The Vault’ exhibition catalogue) and Dunedin Public Art Gallery (‘Beloved’ book and invitation, also highly commended for ‘Log’ magazine).

And while in Australian mode, check out the recently revamped website of the National Museum of Australia here, a rich source for all kinds of content.

Back in the office, we’ll be sending out a notice about our own MA11 conference soon. We have 3 international keynote speakers to announce, taking various views on the collections theme. Make sure you plan to be in Nelson 13-15 April 2011, and watch this space!

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie


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