Archive for August, 2010

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).

Today’s news includes lots of south island stories of funding for education programmes in South Canterbury, Canterbury Museum’s Antarctic exhibitions, and controversies over trees and artworks in Nelson, as well as news of Te Papa’s next European art blockbuster.

The Museums Aotearoa Board had such a friendly welcome in Nelson that we’re really looking forward to getting the programme together for MA11 next April. Peter and Julie and their staff at Nelson Provincial Museum and The Suter were great hosts – and they arranged glorious sunshine all the time we were there! It was lovely to meet people from some of the other museums in the region, and hear about their activities and plans. We’ll definitely need to stay in the area for an extra couple of days around the conference so we can visit the great museums and galleries in Golden Bay, Murchison, Motueka, Collingwood, Picton and Blenheim as well…

Next up Phillipa is visiting Northland, to join the Northland Museum Association meeting on 24/25 September. Other guests include local and national politicians, so there is sure to be some lively discussion. And I have to admit that I didn’t know there was a mercury mine at Ngawha, which will be very interesting to visit.

While we’re out and about, we’re noticing the campaign billboards springing up along our highways. The local elections may bring significant changes in direction in some places. We’re all watching to see how the mayoral race for the Auckland super-city plays out among 22 contenders. In other areas there are likely to be shifts of power as well. Michael Laws is doing a ‘Putin’ in Wanganui, stepping aside from the mayoralty but hoping to retain a place – and presumably influence – on council. Christchurch may well get a new mayor, with high profilers Bob Parker and Jim Anderton slugging it out with 12 other hopefuls. Voting papers for the postal ballot will be sent out after 17 September, and must be returned by 9 October. Local Government On Line has created a website for profiles of all candidates, just enter your address at www.elections2010.co.nz and see who you can vote for (although not all candidates have put up info). You can also look on your local council website, select from the list at lgnz.co.nz/lg-sector/maps/index.html

And while you’re online, tomorrow is international ‘ask a curator’ day on Twitter. Several NZ museums are participating: City Gallery, Voyager, Waikato Museum, Fresh Gallery Otara, Auckland Museum, Wallace Arts Centre, Christchurch and Auckland Art Galleries – well done for getting involved. So prepare your questions and be part of the action tomorrow! Check the official website for details: www.askacurator.com

ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

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).

It has been raining again in Wellington today, with the hills are hidden in the cloud. As we slowly start to come out of a very wet winter, the mornings are beginning to be lighter and one can begin to imagine summer somewhere sunny – like Nelson. The MA Board will be meeting there tomorrow, combining the meeting with planning for our MA11 conference in April 2011.

The board meets quarterly, and has mostly done so in Wellington. Only 2 of the 7 current board members are Wellington-based, and we rely on the board members and their museums to support the time and travel required for attending meetings. We have scheduled the next three board meetings in other centres to make the most of this opportunity to get out and about and hear from people in the regions. On 17 November we will be in Christchurch, and Rotorua in mid-February.

Tomorrow we have invited people from local museums to join the board for lunch. We’re enjoying working with our hosts at Nelson Provincial Museum and The Suter as the MA11 conference programme comes together. It will have a collections theme, and we want to involve other local museums and their collections in the conference. As well as planning for MA11, we look forward to discussing current local and national issues including accreditation and membership development.

And speaking of discussion – in addition to our recent foray into Twitter, this week MA also set up a page on Facebook. We want to make sure we’re keeping in the loop with what’s going on, and that it is easy for you to communicate with us. We’re also keen on raising the profile of our activities. So if you’re into your social networking, follow uslike us…! Among other things, we’ll use these channels to let you know how conference planning is going, to get direct feedback from you, and we hope this will provide a simple way for you to share your thoughts on topics of interest to the sector.

Several other conferences and meetings are coming up on the spring calendar. Next week is the ARANZ conference in Wellington, at which Phillipa will be chairing a forum on professional membership. Next month Museums Australia’s conference Interesting Times will be in Melbourne, and we know a number of people from museums this side of the Tasman will be attending – we’d love to hear from you when you get back.

The NDF conference, Linking data, linking people, is at Te Papa 18-19 October. This is an excellent chance to get together with others interested in the world of digital culture, from the related perspectives of museums, archives, libraries, universities and service providers. There are great speakers coming here from the Smithsonian and UK Collections Trust, as well as some more familiar faces from NZ and Australia. We hope to see many MA members there (early registration closes 3 September).

And here’s a great initiative for linking data and linking people – museums in the UK embraced user-generated content through ‘Britain Loves Wikipedia’ in February this year, and ongoing projects have evolved since then. In June-July the British Museum hosted Liam Wyatt and other Wikipedians to work with curators to get more of the BM’s collections onto Wikipedia, one of the five most popular sites in the Internet. The results have been fantastic, as you can see at these websites:

http://www.britainloveswikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:GLAM/BM

http://www.wittylama.com/category/museums/british-museum/

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

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).

It’s good to see that there’s lots of positive media coverage of museums and galleries. The news clippings we bring to you are from around the country, as sent to us by Media Monitors. Although their brief is to send us news about museums and art galleries from all the regional and metropolitan newspapers, they do sometimes miss important and intriguing stories. If you have something you’d especially like to share with MA colleagues, please do send us a copy – it’s better to receive it twice than not at all!

As well as the newspapers, there are many other sources which offer inspiration as well as information. Most of National Radio’s NZ content can be heard online any time, if you miss the live broadcast (you will need broadband). Their arts and culture coverage is not just in Lynn Freeman’s ‘The Arts on Sunday’, although do check out last Sunday’s items on the Rugby World Cup NZ 2011 festival and a review of the Portrait Gallery’s latest show (1 August). I also caught Dougal Stevenson musing on sightings of Brad Pitt and the show ‘Just Passing Through’ at Otago Settlers Museum the same day.

Go to www.radionz.co.nz/rss and enter ‘museum’ in the search box and you’ll get 392 results! You can limit the search by date to reduce this to a very respectable 22 results from the last month, including Kelvin Day on the Taranaki Wars (Puke Ariki), Mary Kisler (Auckland Art Gallery) talking art with Kim Hill, Sir Don McKinnon re-directing Auckland Museum and Canterbury Museum defrosting Shackleton’s whiskey, as well as items included in the shows Sounds Historical, Spectrum and Our Changing World.

For what’s happening overseas, we read news and blogs online whenever we get the time. The news from the UK is pretty grim, with the new conservative government slashing museum budgets by up to 30% and disbanding the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) as well as the UK Film Council. In the USA it’s not much better, with job losses and many museums cutting opening hours or other services in a bid to reduce costs – despite rising visitor numbers.

Some useful sources:

Of course the more tech-savvy can sign up to RSS feeds or notifications from many interesting websites… and if you’re on twitter, you can follow MA, for your daily dose of museum-related tweets. Also it is worthwhile checking out NSTP’s roundup of latest news on their site.

Ka kite,

Phillipa & Sophie


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