News Update 29 January 2013

Kia ora ,

Greetings to all from sunny, warm – and still – Wellington. We’re so enjoying this summer weather that focussing on office matters is hard, and the beach is beckoning….

2013-01-29_MA_view

View from The MA office

However, we have actually been very busy. MA13 conference planning is coming along, and we have 10 registrations so far. Keep checking the website for additional programme information. While you’re in the Waikato, NZHPT has launched a Waikato War interpretation project, which includes a driving tour of 13 sites and an education package, plus signage at several sites and a commemorative carved gateway at Rangiriri. We’ll have brochures in the conference packs. If you want to check it out ahead of time, go to www.thewaikatowar.co.nz (hosted on the Hamilton & Waikato Tourism website).

Thank you to everyone who has already renewed membership for 2013. We sent out invoices and renewal notices in December, and with our financial year ending on 31 December, we’re getting ready for our annual audit. All this has to be completed in time to prepare the Annual report for the AGM on 11 April. We are getting ready to send out the meeting notification and call for nominations for Board vacancies in February, and planning to run the election by post/email prior to the AGM.

The 2013 edition of our Directory was mailed in December, with bulk copies delivered to museum members by NZ Couriers. If you haven’t yet seen a copy, please check with your mailroom, loading dock, or whoever distributes incoming mail.

2012 National Visitor Survey will be activated in February. We are working on setting up the web data entry, and will be emailing information to museums next week. You will be invited to conduct the survey over one week during February 2013 (covering at least six opening days, or for a period of two weeks, whichever is less), following the instructions provided in an information kit to ensure consistent data gathering approaches. You can then enter the survey data into the Museums Aotearoa database using a simple secure web interface which will immediately show your data against the national data, in graphs and downloadable pdfs. In 2011 there were 32 museums participating, 35 in 2012, and we hope more again this year. As the database grows, we will be able to provide more analysis and trend data.

We also expect to open applications for the 2013 NZ Museum Awards next week, with a due date of 11 March. So think about all those great projects you’ve completed over the past year, gather photos and information about them, and share your success. Finalists will be acknowledged and promoted, as well as the winners in each category.

And a reminder that applications The Clark Collection Scholarship are due next Monday, 4 February, and the Mina McKenzie Scholarship on Monday, 11 February. You can download scholarship information from our website or contact the office for details. Several other opportunities have deadlines looming too, see listings below.

Curious museums online:

  • Late last year the Museum of Wellington City & Sea held another very successful Curiosity Roadshow. This annual event showcases Wellington’s weird and wonderful curios: Are they worth something? Do they tell a story? Are they just fabulously unique? See highlights here.
  • Only in the USA: the founder/curator claims to have heard a voice from ‘the mustards’ in an all-night grocery on 27 October 1986 telling him, ‘If you collect us, they will come’. The Mustard Museum is now a bona fide non-profit museum open 7 days a week in Middleton, Wisconsin.
  • If you’re thinking of travelling Route 66, check out the Devil’s Rope Museum in Illinois.
  • And for a museum whose tag-line is ‘Any day above ground is a good one’, try the NMFH.

Nga mihi, Phillipa & Talei

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