Te Papa has been in the news again, as the media tries to understand the implications of its restructure. We found initial reports and Rosemary McLeod’s syndicated opinion piece somewhat confusing, and they drew a wide range of comments. Mike Houlihan gave a candid interview which the Dominion Post used in a full-page ‘insight’ article which gives a more balanced view. Other news covers lots of great exhibitions and activities including Waiheke’s headland Sculpture on the Gulf, an ODT interview with DPAG’s director Cam McCracken, the appointment of new directors to MOTAT and Otago Museum Otago (still in progress).
We recommend online news sources, such as Radio NZ including this year’s Treaty Debates and last week’s Arts on Sunday, which featured The Physics Room, Hamilton’s theatre review, Whanganui Regional Museum and the Cuba St Project. Many museums are using online communications very successfully, eg Christchurch Art Gallery recently launched their magazine Bulletin for ipad. If you are thinking about any web projects you might want to check out Museums and Galleries NSW blog where they are spending the year discussing the process of building their new website.
Wellington welcomed a colourful group of international photogrpahic conservation experts yesterday. Some 140 delegates have come to the second joint AIC and ICOM-CC meeting, and were warmly welcomed by Alexander Turbnbull Library staff and Minister of Internal Affairs Chris Tremain in the National Library’s sparkling new foyer yesterday. They have already been holding workshops and visiting a wide range of organisations around the country. Well done to all who have supported this confernce, and we look forward to bringing you a report about it in the next MAQ.
Here in the office we have been busy working on various 2013 activities, including the MA13 conference, Museum Awards and National Visitor Survey, as well as the February 2013 Museums Aotearoa Quarterly which will be mailed out later this week. This issue has soem great contributions from our members around the country, particularly sharing their experiences about museum development.
We have been adding information to our MA13 conference web pages, with details of the Friday tours coming soon (hint – there will be a standing place for our feet). The 2013 NZ Museum Awards nominations will open later this week, with a due date of 14 March. Details will be posted on our website and we will send out a special notice to let you know. So think about all those great projects you’ve completed over the past year or so, gather photos and information about them, and share your success. Finalists will be acknowledged and promoted, as well as the winners in each category.
Museums Aotearoa developed the National Visitor Survey in partnership with Victoria University of Wellington to provide the museum sector with better information about its visitors. It was piloted in 2009, and in 2011 we developed a web portal for simplified data entry and analysis. We provide museums with a Survey Information Kit, you collect and enter the data in February/March, and our Survey Coordinator provides support. Participating museums are able to use their individual visitor information for internal purposes such as reporting, funding applications and audience development, while the aggregated information will provide a national picture of museum visitation over time and is a tool for our sector advocacy work. If your museum/gallery hasn’t received information about the visitor survey, please contact our survey coordinator, Jeremiah Boniface.
Cuba Street’s History Comes Alive during Wellington Fringe Festival In a great example of extending public access and awareness, Fiona Gunter-Firth has been working with the Alexander Turnbull Library to take historic images back into Cuba St, comparing past and present and asking about the future. The Cuba St Project is a series of stories told across multiple platforms in the street and on the internet: using photographs, live commentary and online essays to tell the story of the street, its people and buildings over the last 173 years. During the Fringe Festival (mid-Feb to early March) Fiona will host hour long guided walks along the street telling stories of pioneering photographers, fashion designers and manufacturers, restaurateurs, retailers, chain store dynasties and immigrant business owners. Thirteen installations will be on display in shop windows throughout the street. To view more details and engage in the project visit www.cubastproject.com or find the Facebook page. You can hear Lyn Freeman’s 10 February interview with Fiona on The Arts on Sunday.
Starting the constitution conversation You may have heard that Aotearoa New Zealand is undertaking a review of our constitution. The government has established a Constitutional Advisory Panel, who will be getting out and about to hear about people’s aspirations for this country and what matters to them most about how Aotearoa New Zealand is run in the future. The Panel are committed to attending as many meetings and hui as possible, and are looking to partner with organisations such as museums. The Panel recently issued a media release LINK www.cap.govt.nz/Media-Releases with further details and have a new website LINK www.cap.govt.nz. The annual Treaty Debates, convened by Te Papa’s Dame Claudia Orange, have been broadcast – you can listen or download them from National Radio LINK
Membership Thank you to those who have paid their Individual Membership fees. Reminders have been sent to those who haven’t yet renewed – you will need to pay by the end of February to continue receiving our services. We will also be sending you information about the AGM, to be held on 11 April. There will be some Board vacancies, so start thinking about whether you or a colleague might be interested in contributing to steering your organisation over the next two years.
We look forward to seeing many of you in Hamilton in April, and are always happy to hear from you by email or telephone (04) 499 1313.
Ngā mihi, Phillipa & Talei