News Update, 18 September 2012

Kia ora,

Recent media coverage reports lots of interesting programmes and exhibitions in museums and galleries around the country. Its good to see positive stories as well as the usual media coverage of controversy.  The Dowse was a target recently for exhibiting a short documentary filmed inside a Muslim women’s quarters which only women could view. We were disappointed that argument seemd to focus on discrimination against men, rather than the conceptual intent of the artist and its context as one of 100+ works by 17 NZ and international artists in the exhibition In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary. Interesting to note that the media interest seemed to evapourate within a few days of the exhibit actually opening.

Also in the news are more restructures and staff changes.  With the resignation of CEs Shimrath Paul from Otago Museum and Jeremy Hubbard from MOTAT, we expect there will be some more consequential staff movement around the country.

The latest Domestic Travel Survey results for the year to June 2012 have been released. They show that domestic tourism spending has increased by nearly $1.5 billion to $10.4 billion, a 16 percent increase over the YE June 2011. However, they also tell us that expenditure on business trips rose 21% (to $3.5 billion), and business expenditure exceeded holidays expenditure for the third quarter. Alongside this is the commercial accommodation figures, which show a 1% drop for the year to June, but a 9% fall in July. So while there may be more money and people travelling within New Zealand, if they’re travelling for business, they may not be away so long and probably wouldn’t be visiting museums and galleries. Many museums seem to be reporting flat or reduced visitation, especially over the winter months – lets hope that picks up as summer approaches. The Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment has this Tourism research and data online with commentary.

The National Digital Forum conference will be in Wellington, 20-12 November. For the first time, the NDF is also reaching out to cities around New Zealand to help extend the collaboration and conversation that happens at the conference. A series of half-day barcamps that will give everyone the chance to share ideas about our digital interaction with culture and heritage. Barcamps will be held in Auckland, Tauranga, Napier, Levin, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin over September and October 2012. The barcamps will include a guest from another city who will come along and engage on a topic of particular interest, as well as local guest speakers who will share their knowledge and ideas.

The NDF Board has just put out a call for nominations to partner organisations – if you haven’t received it, see the NDF website. An updated NDF2012 notice gives more detail about the conference lineup of international and local speakers, the Barcamps and other associated activities in the events listing below.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013 We’ve invited some inspiring speakers to build a conference programme around the theme of leadership – both within the museum and as leading institutions in our communities.  An enthusiastic Waikato team is meeting again next week to flesh this out and arrange associated events.  This will include: Wednesday 10 April – workshops, second annual MA public lecture and directors’ dinner Thursday 11 April – keynote, conference sessions and Awards dinner Friday 12 April – keynote, conference sessions So put these dates in your diary now, start thinking about how you might contribute in a presentation or discussion session, and let us know your suggestions and ideas for exploring themes of leadership for/with/by museums.

Last week we stopped by to experience Michael Parekowhai’s On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer and listen to He Korero Purakau mo te Awanui o te Motu: story of a New Zealand river being played at lunchtime at Te Papa.

Opportunities Peter Alsop and Warren Feeney have approached us for help contacting museums and galleries with holdings of any works by Marcus King (1891-1984) to assist with research and image acquisition for a book celebrating his work. King was a widely-exhibited artist in New Zealand and abroad, both through his fine art practice (focused predominantly on the New Zealand landscape) and his commercial art practice (for the Tourist Department, producing some of New Zealand’s most striking travel posters). Alsop and Feeney believe King made a significant contribution to the development of New Zealand art but, as yet, his role has been under-studied. They aspire to produce an attractive large format book that combines significant research on King and the place of his work in New Zealand art history, alongside showcasing a diverse collection of his work. If you can assist this worthy project, please contact Peter:

Did you know that 11 October is the first ever UN Day of the Girl? Ashley Remer at the virtual Girl Museum, tells us they are gearing up for two new exhibitions in honor of this landmark day. An exhibition called Celebrating Girl Up, will showcase the terrific work being done by the UN Foundation Girl Up program. Girl Museum is also taking part in a multimedia exhibtion at th YWCA-Y des Femmes in Montréal, Canada with an onsite display of excerpts from their Girl for Sale exhibition. Click through for more information and resources for celebrating the Day of the Girl.

And for some more internet interest and inspiration, try some of these:

Museumgeek – Sydney-based blogger Suse Cairns posts her views on museum matters, such as the value of online engagement, and why museums might collect LoLcats Shakeout – sign up for the national earthquake drill, 9.26am on Wednesday 26 September Policy Quarterly – for the serious policy geek, the latest issue ofthis online journal from VUW’s new Institute for Governance and Policy Studies analyses the national government’s Better Public Services initiative from a range of perspectives

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei


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