News Update 2 May 2012

It has been a busy few weeks in the MA office.  Last Friday we farewelled Sophie de Lautour Kelly, who has been our Museum Membership Manager for the past two years.  On Monday Sophie flew out of Wellington on the first stage of her international adventures – first stop Australia, and then the world!

Yesterday we welcomed Talei Langley to MA.  Talei comes to us from a varied background in marketing, communications and general office support.  More recently, Talei has completed Honours in Art History and is planning a Masters thesis. There is still lots of catching up for us to do after the conference, and we’ll be working on a backlog of admin matters as well as planning activities for the remainder of 2012.  When Talei applied to MA, she said she works well under pressure and loves a job with plenty of variety – she’s sure to get all that as our Museum Membership Manager. 

MA12 papers and feedback
We’re gathering up presentations and videos from MA12 conference and getting them formatted to put up on our website.  There will also be some write-ups in the next MAQ later this month.  In the mean time, you can listen to our Canadian keynote speaker, Jim Marchbank as interviewed by Kim Hill on Radio NZ.  We would also love to hear your feedback on MA12 and any suggestions you have as we begin planning MA13 in Rotorua.  We have set up a feedback survey here.  If you didn’t attend, we’d be interested to hear your perspective too, and any suggestions for making it the annual conference easier to get to.

More events coming up 
There are lots more great opportunities on the horizon for getting together and professional development.  This week was the second in the Te Papa / Victoria University museum studies seminar series,  Conal McCarthy kicked this off last month by exploring the meaning and context of ‘theory’ and ‘practice’ in museum and university research.  He highlighted the positive and negative characteristics of each, and held out a challenge for research to be more collaborative across the museum sector.  Yesterday Claudia Orange and her team picked up the museum side of the challenge in a multi-player presentation titled Curating for the future: how museum research develops scholarship in the arts, sciences and humanities to shape research opportunities for researchers and museum audiences. This evoked an interesting discussion about who and what museum research is ‘for’.  Look out for the next in this series on Monday 21 May, when David Luoni will share his Masters research into leadership in museums.

Putting collaborative theory into practice, VUW is offering a one-day ‘Wananga Taonga’ to introduce professionals to Maori perspectives on museums and heritage.  This course is in Wellington on 1 June.

And a reminder of two Medallic Management Workshops this month in the South Island: Otago Settlers Museum on Tuesday 15 May and Air Force Museum on Wednesday 16 May.  There are some other useful National Services Te Paerangi workshops in June. See listings below for details. 

International Museum Day 
IMD is on 18 May, with a theme of museums in a changing world.  Falling on a Friday this year, IMD is a great opportunity to add something different to museum and gallery programming.  It could be as simple as letting visitors know that there is an international museum community.  Or you could offer back-of-house or late tours, relate the theme to your exhibits in some way, ask visitors for their views on our changing world, or link up with a distant museum.  The possibilities are only limited by your imagination…  MA will be putting out a media release around 14 May – please let us know how your museum is planning to mark IMD.

If we’ve missed any vital information, or you have other ideas and suggestions for MA, we’ll be delighted to hear from you.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

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