It has been good to hear about exciting Matariki events in museums around the country to brighten up the stormy winter. There are also some great school holiday programmes coming up – see the postings on our Facebook page, and please add more.
Museums Aotearoa Meetings in Hawke’s Bay/Canterbury
Last week the MA Board spent a day in Napier. We arrived to a very soggy morning, and got most of the Board business completed before we were joined for lunch by staff, volunteers and committee members from around the region. A total of about 20 people from as far away as Waipawa and Onga Onga, as well as Hastings and Napier, caught up informally before work-shopping key topics with MA Board and staff. We heard from Michelle Sim of the Air Force Museum about the new ’emerging professionals’ group she is establishing with others around the country. We really appreciated the opportunity to meet more of our members ‘on the ground’, and their willingness to share issues and ideas – and the sun even came out so we could sit outside.
We also had a good planning session for the MA14 conference being hosted by MTG Hawke’s Bay, 2-4 April 2014. We’ll be outlining the theme and calling for contributions in the next few weeks. While in Napier, we enjoyed a sneak preview of the former Hawke’s Bay Museum & Art Gallery which will re-open as the greatly expanded MTG Hawke’s Bay this September.
This was the first in a series of regional meetings over the next few months. The next will be at Canterbury Museum on the afternoon of Thursday 15 August. That meeting will start with afternoon tea, and is followed by a presentation by Sarah Davy of the NZ Film Archive with a screening of Temple, Prison, Restaurant, the compilation of museum representations which was shown at MA13. More details will be sent to museums in the Canterbury region later this week, and we’ll put it out on our blog and Facebook as well.
We’re planning more meetings around the country, including Dunedin, Nelson, Rotorua, Whanganui/Palmerston North, Dargaville, Auckland and Wellington. If you’re interested in hosting one of these meetings, please contact the office.
MA Board – advocacy
Your Board and staff are using these meetings to inform our work and our planning. One of our key activities is advocacy. We do this in a wide range of ways – by research and data such as the sector survey, supporting members in policy and advice, working with you on our Code of Ethics, and promoting the positive impact that museums have in our communities. In coming months we expect to work with NSTP to review museum standards, with ServiceIQ to improve training frameworks, and to engage more actively in tourism as well as continue our current conference and awards programmes.
An international example of advocacy tools which museums can use locally is the UK Museums Association’s new report and web resource Museums Change Lives, which highlights the social role of museums. This campaign builds on last year’s Museums 2020 consultation which looked to the future of museums and their impact, and drew input from around the world, including NZ and Australia. The aim of Museums Change Lives is to “enthuse people in museums to increase their impact, encourage funders to support museums in becoming more relevant to their audiences and communities, and show organisations the potential partnerships they could have with museums, to change people’s lives.” Check it out if you’re looking for some inspiration.
New Members’ Forum Coming Soon
The MA office is thrilled to have a new database and website, scheduled to launch next week. Though the general look of the website will remain the same the new ‘back end’ will bring some exciting new features, especially in the members’ only section of the site.
At launch you will be asked to login and update your contact details and communications preferences. The new development enables us to better target emails. Those of you who love our News & Notices, but would prefer not to get our job vacancies, will be able to select which of our communications you would like to receive. Additionally, when you login you will find new features such as a new private members’ forum and online directory to make it easier to keep the conversations going with your MA colleagues.
Blog, MAQ and more
We have been having such great responses to our calls for contributions to the MAQ that we have decided to start publishing regular guest blog posts including profiles of some of our members and more case studies of projects. Please contact the MA office if you are interested in being a contributor to any of our publications.
Phillipa and Talei