Archive for November, 2012

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

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News Update 1 November 2012

Kia ora,

Recent weeks have seen news of a wide range of shows and activity around the country. Dunedin Public Art Gallery has staged music and ‘exhibition’ snooker, the Muka Youth Prints continue their annual tour, The Kauri Museum has planted 127 heritage roses and celebrated their 50th anniversary, and ‘yarn-bombers’ have given a new look to the statue of CJ Monro outside Te Manawa and the Rugby Museum. The Police Museum is getting international attention after one of its 100-year-old criminal mugshots went viral on social media as a ‘babe’. Waikato Museum is negotiating the tricky business of a Lindauer painting being revealed as a fake.

The famously good looking criminal from the Police Museum website.

Auckland has been celebrating Art Week with a huge number of events. The Walters Prize has been awarded to Kate Newby, whose winning work you can still catch at the Auckland Art Gallery until 11 November. Lopdell House has been hosting the 2012 Portage Ceramic Awards at The Cloud with Jim Cooper receiving the Premier Award.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum is gearing up for re-opening in early December. Arrowtown has celebrated 150 years since the discovery of gold in fine style, with Lakes District Museum’s David Clarke and others growing beards for the occasion. Meanwhile, in Timaru, South Canterbury Museum’s Philip Howe has had his beard and hair shaved off for a child cancer fundraiser. We also note SCM’s ‘Downtown’ exhibition reported in the Timaru Herald, with photos of Timaru and Timaruvians as they used to be. We love the public toilets camouflaged with native plants for the royal visit in 1954!

Not fit for the Queen’s eyes? The men’s toilets on the corner of Strathallan and Stafford Streets, decorated for the visit of the Queen in Jan 1954.
South Canterbury Museum image, 2004/232.10

Work has begun on the new War Memorial Park in Wellington. The park is being built in preparation for New Zealand’s First World War Centenary (2014-2018) commemorations http://WW100.govt.nz/ and is due to be complete by Anzac Day 1915.  There has been speculation about what might be found during excavations for the park, and archaeologists and historian are looking forward to finding out.

War Memorial Park Turf Turning Ceremony on Monday in Wellington

In the political arena, rumbling continues over local government amalgamation, with a proposal for a ‘Lord Mayor’ for Wellington Region. The government’s Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill, which will pave the way for further mergers, has just been reported back by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee. The Committee was unable to agree that the bill be passed, and has only recommended amendments on which all committee members agreed. There was no agreement on changing the statutory purpose of local government, which would remove the ‘four well-beings’. The different party views are explained in the Select Committee Report. Apparently to counter some of the government’s changes to local government legislation around council responsibilities, costs and transparency, Labour is introducing 3 Member’s Bills, including one to prevent councils from charging for basic public library services. This bill is due to have its first reading in Parliament before the end of the year. LIANZA is supporting the bill with a ‘keep libraries free campaign’.

Directory of New Zealand Museums and Galleries 2013
All museums and associates should have received a copy of their entry to confirm their details. Thank you to those who have already sent their response. If you have not received your listing details please contact directory@museumsaotearoa.org.nz ASAP.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
A reminder that our sector survey is currently running until the end of this week. If your organisation has not yet not taken the time respond we would encourage you to do so. Whether you are a large organisation or a small volunteer run museum your participation is important as it will enable us to gain a thorough understanding of the sector and the issues that museums face, and it will ensure your organisation is included in the information available to help lobby the government for greater support and recognition of the sector. We are interested in understanding the diversity within the sector and the range of issues that museums and galleries face. Your contribution will help provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of New Zealand’s museum sector.

If your organisation has not received an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
We are still looking for speakers for the MA13 conference. We would love to hear from you with any contributions, ideas and suggestions – all welcome! You can download this information as a pdf, and please telephone, email or come and visit us with your ideas.

For your online enjoyment, check out the wide range of museum Hallowen activities, especially on Facebook MOTAT, Puke Ariki, Whanganui Regional Museum. And we were intrigued with Mark Johnson’s technique of photographing time.

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei

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