Posts Tagged 'MLA'

News Update 13 October 2011

The latest news is again full of activities associated with the Rugby World Cup. Other stories include local government funding issues, distribution of Skyhawks and repatriation from French museums. The round up is here in our members’ area, where the puzzle-minded can play spot the mistake – clue: technology vs education!

MA12 conference, Wellington, 18-20 April 2012
We had a record response to the Call for Papers, and the MA12 planning team is meeting later this week to wrangle it all into a cohesive conference programme. MA12 is already looking very exciting and inspiring, with lots to do in the ‘coolest little capital’ as well as the conference programme itself. Look out for announcements of international keynote speakers and preliminary programme soon, with registration to open in December.

MOTAT’s acres of aircraft
Among all the hoopla around major museum openings and ‘that’ sport tournament, MOTAT has quietly opened another 2500 sq m of aircraft display in an innovative timber building with a 42m column-free span nearly 16m high. Designed by Studio Pacific Architecture, the new building is is linked to the old aviation hall, at left below, which has been completely re-fitted.

Environmentally conscious and interesting architecturally, an air layer between timber screens and the external wall helps to control light and temperature. The huge space requires only a low provision of mechanical heating, and glazing to specific areas of gallery space maximises natural light where appropriate. reducing the need for artificial lighting.

The internal open floor area of the new display hall is the largest clear span timber portal frame structure in New Zealand. Prefabrication meant the actual contstruction period was quite quick. The concrete floor had to be laid in one go – that meant a 2.00am start for the concrete crew and 104 concrete trucks taking their turn to pour.

There are plenty of aircraft on display lovingly cared for by MOTAT’s teams of enthusiasts. The new complex is named after aviation hero Sir Keith Park.

Changing the guard in the UK
From 1 October, new arrangements for the delivery of responsibilities previously undertaken by the UK’s Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) take effect. This follows the previously announced decision to close the MLA as part of a government review designed to reduce the number of arms-length agencies. Arts Council England takes over museums and libraries responsibilities, including the Renaissance programme, Museum Accreditation, and Library Development, together with cultural property services such as Export Licensing and the Acceptance in Lieu scheme Some MLA staff have moved to posts with the Arts Council to help deliver these functions and responsibilities. Sir Andrew Motion, MLA Chair said: “The MLA Board wishes the Arts Council and The National Archives all the best and looks forward to them building on all the achievements of the sector, and the work of the MLA, to help bring about better and more accessible museum, library and archive services for the public.” Resources on the MLA website will remain live until 31 March 2012, by which time relevant material will be transferred to the Arts Council and Archives sites.

Museum-related websites
Jock Phillips has been travelling the country for the REAL NZ Festival writing a blog as the ‘Insider’, sharing his view of some great places and events.
Albertland & Districts Museum in Wellsford has revamped its website, and is looking forward to the Albertlanders’ 150th celebrations over Easter 2012.
A redesign for online encyclopedia Te Ara gives clearer and quicker findability for a site that constantly amazes with its depth and breadth of information. And they explain what they’ve done and why on the Te Ara blog – a helpful insight into making a website more user-friendly.

Other events
There are lots of other events happening after the rugby. Coming up in November are the NDF (earlybird closes this week, Board nominations due Friday) and Conservators conferences and a further planning meeting for WW1 commemorations in Wellington, Museum Facilities conference in Auckland, Colenso symposium in Hawke’s Bay, and an event for Museums Aotearoa members in Christchurch. These are listed in detail below – I hope to see you there!

Ka kite,
Phillipa

PS – Auckland Museum has teamed up with Māori Television to make a 13-part series featuring taonga from the museum and their stories. Tāmaki Paenga Hira is in Māori with English subtitles, and premiers on Māori Television at 8.30pm on Wednesday 19 October.


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News Update

It seems that museums just can’t stay out of the news! While some of it is not so flattering, there is plenty of robust debate and some very positive media coverage over the last fortnight, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view).

The debate over a ‘national art gallery’ has been reopened with comments from new Chair of the Te Papa Board, Sir Wira Gardiner, supported by fellow Board member and long-time advocate for a separate art gallery, Chris Parkin. Journalists have had a field day sourcing comments on all sides of the debate from Hamish Keith, Luit Beiringa, Jenny Gibbs, Jenny Harper, Cam McCracken, Roger Blackley, Denis Adam, Rosemary McLeod, Mike Houlihan, Chris Finlayson, and even John Key. While most agree that the way the national art collection is displayed in Te Papa is not ideal, there is a wide range of opinions on the best way to address this. It is good to see informed discussion about matters which affect us all.

Other good news is the rise in discussion – and action – on philanthropy. Creative NZ has released a report on strengthening private sector support for the arts, The art of the possible, downloadable from their website here, and we expect the Minister’s Cultural Philanthropy Taskforce to report back early in the new year. The value of the removal of the cap on tax rebates for donations to charities was reinforced by last week’s announcement of a $500,000 donation to the Arts Foundation by retiring trustee Sir Eion Edgar.

We explored some of these initiatives in ‘Policy Matters!’ in the Museums Aotearoa Quarterly posted to members last week. Other articles report on conferences, Museums Aotearoa activities, profile museums and services, and a ‘favourite thing’ from Wellington City Archives. You can download the Museums Aotearoa Quarterly from the members’ area of our website.

International news shows that others are dealing with similar challenges. In Australia there has been an important legal decision overturning the Australian Tax Office contention that groups lobbying against government policy were not eligible for charity status – providing their campaigning is intended for public benefit, see here

In the UK the government funding cuts and their fallout continue. There has been further uproar over proposed deaccessioning to bail out struggling regional museums and galleries. The suggestion by TV art critic Brian Sewell that galleries should sell collection items was hotly denounced by the UK Museums Association. As the MA’s Maurice Davies said, “It is a bit like selling your house to pay for the hire purchase on your sofa.”

There is also much debate over how the Arts Council England will take on the functions of the Museums Libraries Archives Council (MLA) and its flagship Renaissance programme when the MLA is disbanded. The UK Museums Association has up to date news, and a cuts monitor here and there is an active twitter hashtag (#museumcuts) with people contributing feedback. If you’re on twitter, remember to follow us @museumsaotearoa

Many NZ museums and galleries will have been among the 483 applications for the NZ2011 Festival Lottery Fund seeking a total of over $76.8 million for 570 proposed events/activities, when the fund had only $9.48 available for distribution. Museums Aotearoa was advised last week that we are one of the 318 unsuccessful applications – hopefully some other museum projects will be among the lucky 165 applications supported.

Our next installment of News & Notices in a fortnight’s time will be the last for 2010. December is rushing past, and before the summer break we hope to open online registration for MA11, and have the 2011 edition of the Directory of New Zealand Museums & Galleries at the printer, if not back again. We are also finalising slight revisions to the Awards programme for next year and will be advising you about how to enter.

So we wish you good cheer as we roll on through a busy few weeks.

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie

News Update

Kia ora

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view).

It’s good to see that there’s lots of positive media coverage of museums and galleries. The news clippings we bring to you are from around the country, as sent to us by Media Monitors. Although their brief is to send us news about museums and art galleries from all the regional and metropolitan newspapers, they do sometimes miss important and intriguing stories. If you have something you’d especially like to share with MA colleagues, please do send us a copy – it’s better to receive it twice than not at all!

As well as the newspapers, there are many other sources which offer inspiration as well as information. Most of National Radio’s NZ content can be heard online any time, if you miss the live broadcast (you will need broadband). Their arts and culture coverage is not just in Lynn Freeman’s ‘The Arts on Sunday’, although do check out last Sunday’s items on the Rugby World Cup NZ 2011 festival and a review of the Portrait Gallery’s latest show (1 August). I also caught Dougal Stevenson musing on sightings of Brad Pitt and the show ‘Just Passing Through’ at Otago Settlers Museum the same day.

Go to www.radionz.co.nz/rss and enter ‘museum’ in the search box and you’ll get 392 results! You can limit the search by date to reduce this to a very respectable 22 results from the last month, including Kelvin Day on the Taranaki Wars (Puke Ariki), Mary Kisler (Auckland Art Gallery) talking art with Kim Hill, Sir Don McKinnon re-directing Auckland Museum and Canterbury Museum defrosting Shackleton’s whiskey, as well as items included in the shows Sounds Historical, Spectrum and Our Changing World.

For what’s happening overseas, we read news and blogs online whenever we get the time. The news from the UK is pretty grim, with the new conservative government slashing museum budgets by up to 30% and disbanding the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) as well as the UK Film Council. In the USA it’s not much better, with job losses and many museums cutting opening hours or other services in a bid to reduce costs – despite rising visitor numbers.

Some useful sources:

Of course the more tech-savvy can sign up to RSS feeds or notifications from many interesting websites… and if you’re on twitter, you can follow MA, for your daily dose of museum-related tweets. Also it is worthwhile checking out NSTP’s roundup of latest news on their site.

Ka kite,

Phillipa & Sophie


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