Posts Tagged 'EMP'

News Update 21 April 2016

Kia ora

In late 2015 MA and Te Papa held a series of sector collaboration workshops, which we summarised in an open letter last November. Since then we have continued to work with Te Papa on specific priorities and actions. MA and Te Papa have jointly set out work to date and some targets and timeframes here. You are invited to contribute to and provide feedback on these priorities for sector collaboration and we will continue to provide updates on progress.

Here in the MA office we are very busy wrangling the MA16 Museums Australasia conference and ServiceIQ 2016 NZ Museum Awards. With over 500 delegates already, we have room for a few more, and you can still register for adjunct events such as the Digital Academy, EMP mini-conference, Graduate Research Symposium and Kaitiaki/Indigenous hui. Visit the MA16 website for all details.

ServiceIQ NZ Museum Awards finalists will be announced this week. The winners will be announced at a reception at the Aotea Centre from 5.15pm on Wednesday 18 May – which happens to be International Museum Day. It will be a celebration of international scale as we present the winners of the Museums Australia and MAPDA Awards at the same event.  We are inviting finalists/winners and would-be winners to take part in a masterclass on the morning of Thursday 19 May.

Elsewhere, a working group of museum professionals has been developing Operational Guidelines for Working Objects – items which are part of your collection, and which you demonstrate or operate for visitors. A draft has now been prepared for sector feedback – see notice below and on our website.

And in community matters, councils around the country are consulting on annual plans. We attended a session in Wellington recently to provide input on Wellington City Council’s proposed priorities – for arts and culture alongside other areas of council responsibility. It was good to see representatives of a wide range of arts, culture and heritage organisations taking part, showing that we are interested and engaged is vital if our value is to be recognised.

Nationally, we have been told that reduced profits from Lotteries will affect the funding available from Creative New Zealand, and presumably also from other Lottery grants Board sources. For an overview, see this article in Non Profit Quarterly. We are keen to know how much this is likely to affect museums and galleries. Please answer these three questions via our surveymonkey poll:

  • will a 10% (or higher) cut in Lottery funding significantly affect your institution?
  • what kind of funding do you currently get from this source?
  • what action, if any, do you think Museums Aotearoa should take on behalf of members?

As always, we welcome your ideas and feedback. We look forward to hearing from you via our poll, and to connecting with many of you at MA16 in Auckland next month.

Ngā mihi

Phillipa and Talei

From Auckland to New Plymouth by Elspeth Hocking

MapIn the interests of full disclosure, I was born and raised an Aucklander. I drink lattes, have developed opinions on traffic and generally have to fight off my natural tendencies towards being a bit pretentious. However, I no longer live in Auckland, a fact that is purely career based.

I decided museums were where I wanted to be in my second year of my history degree in Auckland. Being quite young and not having a house, pets or children to keep me in one place, I opted to move to Wellington to do the Master of Museum and Heritage Studies degree full time for two years. Little did I know that this would be the first of many moves as I got further and further down the rabbit hole of being a museum obsessive! During our studies, my classmates and I were repeatedly advised by our excellent lecturers that we’d need to look wider than the main centres to really develop our careers. I told lots of people that I’d be totally happy to move to ‘the regions’ for a while for my career, it’d be an adventure, without really thinking it was an actual possibility (I did mention I’m an Aucklander, right?)

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After two years in Wellington, with a three month stint at what was then the Hawkes Bay Museum and Art Gallery (now MTG) in Napier thrown in for good measure, I got my first job – back in Auckland. So, very sadly, I packed up my life in Wellington, said farewell to the fabulous friends I’d made there, had a last emotional visit to my spiritual home of Moore Wilsons, and made the trek back north. After 18 months of visitor research I began to feel like it was time to get back to where I’d always wanted to be – collections. I applied for a number of curatorial and collection positions around the country, including at Puke Ariki, where I had an interview. Well, I was offered the job: Social History Curator, AKA job of dreams, just not really where I’d pictured living.

I took a deep breath and took the job. I then cried for a week. I moved to New Plymouth, leaving my partner in Auckland to continue his PhD. I cried for another week. Then I started the job and I loved it. I still love it. The most incredible thing about working for a regional museum, particularly one as fabulous as Puke Ariki, is the variety of things you get to do on a day to day basis. Recently I’ve curated a collection exhibition, been interviewed on local radio about the Social History collection, dealt with new acquisitions, and started preparing material for our World War One exhibition – and this changes week by week.

e and mountain

I’m still getting to know New Plymouth and Taranaki as a place to live. It’s very different to anywhere I’ve lived before, and I love being so close to the mountain and getting out and about along the coastline. However it is noticeably small and isolated compared to what I’m used to. I miss my partner, family and friends further north immensely, and there are no good Chinese restaurants nearby which I would love to see change! However the work experience I’m getting at Puke Ariki is invaluable. The point I’m trying to make is that my lecturers were right, of course –upping sticks and moving towns for a job in a regional museum is a tough decision, especially if you’re a bit of a city girl like me. But despite the challenges and the exorbitant amount of money I’ve spent on airfares, I’m so pleased I chose to get out of my comfort zone, and so grateful Puke Ariki took a chance on me. The opportunities I’ve had here to develop an enormous range of skills and try a bit of everything museum-related have been astonishing. I’d highly recommend giving smaller-town New Zealand museums a chance if you’re ready for a change of pace and a chance to do a bit of everything!

Elspeth Hocking
Curator Social History, Puke Ariki

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support services for the GLAM sector by Tamara Patten

Before I started working in museums, I had a vague idea that a day in the life of a museum worker might involve quietly perusing a shelf of objects, selecting some to put in a display case, then perhaps a bit of dusting. All this would be done whilst wearing a tweed jacket with elbow patches, naturally.

Obviously, as I learned quickly, there is much more to it than that. And we certainly don’t emerge from a museum studies course knowing everything there is to know about caring for a collection, interpreting content, managing museum finances, or running a brilliant public programme. So when you’re curating a new exhibition, or have a water damaged diary to deal with for the first time, how do you find out what to do? For emerging (and sometimes for well-established) museum professionals it can be hard to know where to go for advice.

Get advice on caring for collections and taonga

Get advice on caring for collections and taonga. Photo: Te Papa

Working for National Services Te Paerangi, I’m lucky enough to have a fairly good handle on this. So I thought it might be helpful if I wrote something about where museum professionals can find help and advice – a summary of outreach and support agencies for the GLAM sector.

 

Museums Aotearoa

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Museums Aotearoa, as you’ll already know, is the professional membership body for the museum sector. Museums Aotearoa provides advocacy and a representative voice for the sector. They host discussion forums on their website, conduct sector research, provide an up-to-date museums directory, and are the place to go if you want to find (or advertise) a job in a New Zealand museum. They also deliver networking events and the museum sector’s annual conference (the next one is in Dunedin in May 2015).

Contact Museums Aotearoa on mail@museumsaotearoa.org.nz

 

National Services Te Paerangi

NSTP-Logo

National Services Te Paerangi works throughout New Zealand in partnership with museums, galleries and iwi, offering a range of practical and strategic programmes aimed at strengthening and building capacity in the sector. NSTP provides museum-related training, small funding grants, online and hardcopy resources, and advice. Regionally-based Museum and Iwi Development Officers can provide on-site, face to face support for your organisation. NSTP is particularly good at making connections between people with a need, and experts who can help.

Contact National Services Te Paerangi on natserv@tepapa.govt.nz or freephone 0508 NSTP HELP

 

NSTP and NPO paper conservation workshop

NSTP and NPO paper conservation workshop. Photo: Te Papa.


Archives New Zealand

Archives NZ logoArchives New Zealand provides training and guidance around working with archives and managing records and information. They can assist with queries around subjects like digitising records, retention and disposal of archives, community archives, and working with the Public Records Act 2005. Later this year they will be launching a new website – Records Toolkit – which will be packed with resources to help with archives and record management. Keep an eye out for it!

Contact Archives New Zealand on rkadvice@dia.govt.nz

 

National Library of New Zealand

Alexander Turnbull Library Master Logo   Two Colour_47919The Alexander Turnbull Library Outreach Services team includes the National Preservation Office. The NPO can help iwi, organisations and individuals with advice on caring for books, archives, photographs, sound recordings and art works. They have a variety of excellent resources online, and can be contacted for advice and assistance. They also hold training workshops on preservation and conservation. Also part of Outreach Services are two oral history advisers who run workshops and provide advice on capturing oral histories.

The National Library is also the home of DigitalNZ. DigitalNZ offers a series of useful online guides to anyone seeking advice on digitising material.

Contact the National Library on information@natlib.govt.nz, the National Preservation Office on preservation@dia.govt.nz, and DigitalNZ on info@digitalnz.org

NSTP digital photography for iwi workshop

NSTP digital photography for iwi workshop. Photo: Te Papa


Job-specific groups

It is also possible to get support and advice by joining a network of people doing a similar job to you. Here is non-exhaustive list of some of the established museum sector groups you could consider joining:

 

Finally, connecting with other local museums is a great way to find support. Time to arrange that coffee date with the friendly person at the museum in the next suburb or town!

Tamara Patten, Communications Officer, National Services Te Paerangi

Between fact and fiction – by Jamie Bell

I recently discovered Museum Hack, a New York company providing independent, alternate tours of the Met and the Museum of Natural History. Museum Hack describe their tours as being fast-paced, interactive and filled with stories, gossip and games. This concept inspired me to lay down the challenge to our Wellington Emerging Museum Professionals (EMPs) for someone to ‘hack’ an exhibit in one of our city’s museums or galleries. In the end, it fell to me to lead the way.

I decided to take aim at the Museum of Wellington’s Telling Tales exhibit. Telling Tales has always been one of my favourite museum exhibits because it places stories as its central focus. These stories create a space that encourages visitors to connect on their own level and through their own experiences. Embracing these unique connections, and in the spirit of Museum Hack, I decided to make it a truly alternative tour which took the history of Wellington and presented it through a completely different lens.

Mt Victoria Protest

In the early 1920s, the Wellington City Council unveiled plans for a tunnel through Mt. Victoria near the Basin Reserve. While debated raged within the Council over the exact location and design of the tunnel, public outrage and condemnation grew. The most outspoken members of the city formed a group called Save The Basin in an attempt to stop the development and protect the city’s heart, the Basin Reserve. After years of consultation and hearings, the tunnel was rejected and the development of Wellington moved away from the eastern suburbs and headed towards the Kapiti Coast.

Surprisingly, this isn’t a true story. But it isn’t too far away from one. It’s always struck me that one of the fascinating things about history is just how insignificant the triggers can be that lead to the moments we celebrate. While museums focus on the objects, people and moments that the writers of history tell us about, there is value in exploring the alternatives, the could’ve beens. After all, it’s a fine line between fact and fiction.

Exploring that fine line became the basis for my own ‘museum hack’. Using the real life stories and objects of Wellington’s past from within Telling Tales, my tour created a new past that was plausible, thought-provoking, and, almost 100%, made up. While the tour itself was a success, the real value in it was what came after. Our little gathering of EMPs sat down over a coffee and a beer to debrief the experience. Within the group people offered their own alternative histories, moments of change and experiences with the vagaries of writing history. To me, that’s the value of museums: it’s not always about reality, but it is always about inquiry, discussion and enjoyment.

Ab Fab Welly

1990 saw the launch of Absolutely Positively Wellington as a marketing campaign for the city. While the public rejected the concept and it was shelved, there were several Wellington City Council members who were looking for an opportunity to relaunch it. In 1992, a surprising opportunity arose in the form of a British television comedy show. Absolutely Fabulous was a smash hit for comedians Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders, especially here in New Zealand. Off the back of the show’s popularity, Wellington City Council relaunched their brand as Absolutely Fabulously Wellington. For the next decade, French & Saunders acted as spokes-‘sweeties’ for the city, appearing in countless advertising campaigns and at local events.

Jamie Bell
Director, NZ Cricket Museum

 

 

 


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