Posts Tagged 'Te Papa'

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

News Update 5 February 2016

Kia ora

February already! Summer continues, cruise ships disgorge their passengers around the country, campervans are everywhere, and Chinese New Year holiday visitors are arriving. With school back this week, we’re getting into the year’s activities.

Opening this week is the new Waitangi Museum and long-awaited reopening of Christchurch Art Gallery, followed the week after by CoCA. Very different in origins and aims, the Waitangi and Christchurch openings are all encouraging signs that the value of museums to their various communities is being understood and supported.

MA and Local Government NZ are currently working on bringing together a range of voices and data to help quantify and articulate this value. Several recent and current initiatives are relevant.

This week Te Papa hosted an Australasian Visitor Research Forum, a day in which about 50 people from museums, galleries, zoos, outdoor amenities, universities and research agencies gathered to share perspectives and experience on understanding visitors.  Similar annual forums have been recently in Australia, and this is the first time in Aotearoa.  It is hoped that some of the presentations can be shared more widely, and that this dialogue continues, especially linking research and theory to practice in museums.

Another theory/practice symposium in Wellington this week explored research into intercultural dialogue and understanding generated through international exhibition exchange. Dr Lee Davidson (Vicotria University of Wellington) and her colleague Leticia Perez from Mexico have interviewed both visitors and museum staff involved in two touring shows in several countries: ‘E Tu Ake’ in Mexico, Quebec, Paris and Te Papa; and ‘Aztecs’ in Mexico, Te Papa, Melbourne and Sydney. The symposium was an excellent opportunity for some of those involved to share in the preliminary findings and extend the discussion into the broader area of cultural diplomacy. Such cross-disciplinary conversations are vital to encourage critical and innovative thinking and bring new energy into museum practice.

The importance of robust data to provide evidence of our work, especially to funders, came through in both these forums.  MA is running our National Visitor Survey this month, and we encourage all museums and galleries to participate. The standardised methodology offers statistically reliable data to participating museums, which can then be used and viewed against the national aggregate.  This annual snapshot provides vital baseline information to complement local data such as total visitation and qualitative feedback on exhibitions. It was referred to by several presenters at the Visitor Research Forum.

Information about the National Visitor Survey can be found here or by contacting survey@museumsaotearoa.org.nz. We are looking for volunteers to help with interviewing across the country, and encourage staff – especially management – to take a turn as well.  It’s amazing what insights you can get from talking directly to visitors. Talei and I are looking forward to helping out in some museums and galleries locally.

Back in the office its full steam ahead with MA16 conference and the 2016 ServiceIQ NZ Museum Awards.

Ngā mihi

Phillipa and Talei

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

MA_logo_med

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

iPads and Coconuts by Aaron Compton

I’ve been looking at trends in museum education. It’s a pretty specialised role and in New Zealand there is a very small community of us, so I like to think it’s easy for us to set our own trends. For instance I just noticed that Te Papa is doing light painting for Matariki this year.

Hell, at Tairawhiti Museum we’ve been doing that since 2011. I’m a trendsetter.

Sophie: This girl disappeared down a wormhole, leaving only her shape on the wall behind her. But really we waved lights behind this girl to get her silhouette, she stepped away and we shone a torch on the ngatu where she had been standing

Sophie: This girl disappeared down a wormhole, leaving only her shape on the wall behind her. But really we waved lights behind this girl to get her silhouette, she stepped away and we shone a torch on the ngatu where she had been standing

Light painting is an activity with a definite WOW factor for children, teachers and parents. Take a dark room, a webcam hooked up to a long-exposure app and a big screen, some pretty light sticks and torches in different colours, add a group of excitable children and you’ve got some fun times ahead. You can draw in the air and make freaky portraits and the results appear in real time on the big screen; you can then print them out or give them to the teacher as .JPGs.

This is the kind of museopunk thing I love (check out museopunks.org ). It stemmed from me wanting a hands on activity to go with the graffiti art exhibition we had, but not wanting to mess with spray paint fumes in our enclosed classroom space, or to have to explain to parents why I was teaching their children to be vandals.

Tagging: A budding graffiti artist writes his tag in the air. No paint, no fumes, no clean up.

Tagging: A budding graffiti artist writes his tag in the air. No paint, no fumes, no clean up.

There is a lot of high tech stuff I and other museum folk dream of doing. iPads, wifi through all the galleries, location awareness, all that good, expensive stuff. I don’t have a budget for iPads. What I can afford though is coconuts.

Back in 2012 when the Transit of Venus was all we could talk about here in Tairawhiti, I was thinking about navigation. I wanted those iPads but instead my mind went to what I had heard called a ‘starpeeker’– a coconut shell with holes drilled at certain places to align with stars. I wasn’t sure how it worked but the idea appealed.

So I did a mash up of this Polynesian navigation device with a European one – a map. I made 15 maps of our gallery space and on each one put 2 different coloured footprints. Each map goes with a specific, numbered, starpeeker coconut with 2 sets of holes colour coded to the footprints on the map. When a pair of students find the exact right spot in the gallery where the footprints on their map should be, they can look up through the starpeeker and find the right coloured star in the rafters. When all is aligned correctly an arrow on the starpeeker points them in the direction of a certain taonga, and they have to answer a question about that taonga. Phew.

Children at Tairawhiti Museum use a mashup of European and Polynesion navigation techniques to find their way through the gallery.

Children at Tairawhiti Museum use a mashup of European and Polynesion navigation techniques to find their way through the gallery.

It was hugely complicated to set up but worth it – children really have to think to succeed with this and teachers love it, it aligns with a lot of NZ Curriculum stars.

Wifi? No. Location awareness? YES!

High tech is trending highly but hands on activities will always be in style. The low tech backlash starts here. Go and buy some coconuts!

Aaron Compton
Education Officer, Tairawhiti Museum

 

News Update 8 April 2013

Kia ora,

While we’ve been working towards this week’s MA13 conference on Hamilton, other things have been happening around the country. Te Papa has made a splash, opening a re-vamped art exhibition space for ‘Nga toi: Arts Te Papa’.  The opening by Minister Chris Finlayson, was up-beat, with CE Mike Houlihan and Board member Evan Williams both sharing their excitement for  refreshed and expanded art programme at Te Papa.  After all the recent re-vision, shake-up and changes there, it will be good to see some positive, outward-looking activity.

Radio New Zealand continues to give excellent coverage of museums and gallery matters. Listen online to the Easter interview with CE Mike Houlihan on changes at Te Papa, MA13 panel convenor Ngahuia Te Awekotuku, and Christchurch Art Gallery Director and MA Board member Jenny Harper interviewed by Lyn Freeman on The Arts on Sunday.

Some of you may remember Miri Young, who worked with Museums Aotearoa on the MA10 conference in New Plymouth, and received a Mina McKenzie Scholarship when she went to the USA on a Fulbright fellowship in 2010. Miri has sent links to two projects she worked on/is working on in New York which were profiled on the front page of the New York Times Weekend Arts section this week: Judd’s 101 Spring Street and Whales from Te Papa at the American Natural History Museum. Miri proudly thanks everyone who supported and encouraged her on either or both of these projects. It’s great to see Miri doing such interesting work, and we look forward to her eventual return home to bring her experience back to our museum profession.

Meanwhile, some of our advocacy work has paid off.  Earlier in the year MA asked the Ministry of Education for some clarification on LEOTC funding.  Their proposed review of LEOTC seemed to have stalled, and many museums were in the dark as to what might happen when current contracts expire.  In answer to our request for information, we were told by MoE that, “The Ministry will be offering providers the opportunity to extend all current LEOTC contracts through variation to June 2014, as it considers future options for the LEOTC programme as a whole.” All current providers were to be notified by the end of March. While this is not a satisfactory situation looking forward, at least they have acknowledged that providers are entitled to be kept informed. We will continue to press the MoE for engagement and progress, and invite MA members to advise us of any changes or information that affects their LEOTC funding.

We’re looking forward to seeing many of you in Hamilton this week.  Note that all MA staff will be at the conference so may not be checking emails and the like until next Tuesday 16th April.

Nga mihi, Phillipa, Talei and the MA13 team

News Update, 2 October 2012

Kia ora,

The latest news covers exhibitions, Te Papa’s purchases from the Les and Milly Paris art collection auction, lots of school holiday activities coming up, the Governor-General’s visit to the Eastern Southland Gallery, the go-ahead for New Plymouth’s Len Lye Centre, funding through Creative New Zealand for an theatre on Auckland’s waterfront, and more staff moves. The release of a new edition of the Lonely Planet NZ has 4 museums in its top 12 recommendations: Auckland Art Gallery, Wallace Arts Centre, NZ Rugby Museum and Rotorua Museum’s new Don Stafford Wing. There is also coverage of the passing of artist Don Binney.

Tonight this year’s Macquarie Private Wealth New Zealand Arts Awards will be presented in Auckland. Nine artists will be announced as recipients of awards totalling $405,000. You can find out about them and their public open day in Auckland tomorrow on the Arts Foundation website.

I was delighted to be hosted by the Northland Museums Association at the new Mangawhai Museum last week. Over 25 museum people from Wellsford to Kaitaia gathered to share their latest news and to explore the almost-finished Mangawhai Museum building.  We had a sobering session in which Betty Nelley shared the Kauri Museum’s recent fire experience, and Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney explained how to reduce fire risk.  He had an excellent booklet which outlines what small museums can do to prevent, prepare, respond and recover from fire.  And the single most effective measure is? – sprinklers.  We will be mailing copies of the booklet to all small museums later in the year.  if you’d like more information in the mean time, ask your local Fire Brigade.  Better still, invite them round for a cuppa and talk about how you can reduce the risk of fire.

Fire Safety Officer Mike McEnaney, with Betty Nelly and John Bull

It was great to hear all the recent exhibition, developments and future plans of museums in the north. I updated the group on progress on establishing an accreditation scheme for museums in New Zealand, and we had a good discussion about ethics and standards.  The NMA group has proved that getting together with neighbouring museums is a great way to learn as well as to share inspiration and re-energise, particularly for smaller museums and volunteers who may otherwise be working somewhat in isolation.  We had a very enjoyable day topped off with a friendly meal and entertaining presentation from retired NZ Maritime Museum CE Larry Robbins sharing his experience of rescuing yachties as Commander of the HMNZS Monowai in 1994.

Museum Sector Survey out this month
We have been working with a researcher and a small reference group to develop a new museum sector survey, which will be going out in the next week to all museum and gallery organisations. It is really important that every museum fills in the survey. Top-line data will be published as well as comprehensive analysis in a full report.  We will be using this information in our national advocacy work, working with the Ministry for Culture & Heritage and for academic research, and  you will be able to use it to inform your own planning and reporting. If your organisation does not get an invitation by email, or you have any queries, please contact the MA office.

MA13: Hamilton, 10-12 April 2013
We’ve had another meeting in Hamilton and the enthusiastic folk there are gearing up to offer colleagues a great conference around the theme of leadership.  We’ve invited some exciting speakers, and are holding our breath to await their response.  Make sure you plan to be in Hamilton from the afternoon of Wednesday 10 April until the end of the day on Friday 12 April…

Jane Ferrier with the Twins

While up that way I called in at the Waikato Coalfields Museum where Jane Ferrier showed me around their extensive collection and intriguing Topp Twins exhibits.

Last month MCH consulted on a discussion paper exploring the introduction of Immunity From Seizure (IFS) legislation for New Zealand. The MA Board has talked to MCH policy people, and attended workshops with others from museums, galleries and wider cultural sector. In general, such legislation seems like a good idea, although there are several areas of detail which will require more thought before any legislation can be drafted. We made a submission on the IFS discussion paper to this effect by the due date of 24 September. If you are interested in this issue and have not been part of the discussion so far, there will be more opportunities coming up. MA will continue to work with MCH as they work through the submissions and next steps, to ensure that all museum/gallery perspectives are considered, and to keep you informed of progress.

Congratulations to the Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna O Waiwhetu and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery for their wins at the Museums Australia Publication and Design Awards last week. CAGTPOW received awards for best magazine or newsletter (Bulletin) and website (My Gallery), as well as a commendation in the exhibition catalogue category and the judges special award – the ‘Be Inspired category – for De-Building. DPAG was highly commended in the Poster and Invitation categories and won for LOG in the Calendar of Events and Information Brochure category.  Entries for 2013 will open on 1 February.

And if you’re looking for some stimulating listening and weren’t at the lecture by Professor Dame Anne Salmond in conjunction with Puke Ariki’s Shadowing Venus exhibition last month, you can hear her earlier interview with Kim Hill on the RadioNZ website.

Ngā mihi, Phillipa & Talei

News Update 10 July 2012

Kia ora,

The last fortnight has seen more council planning and funding decisions reported, and more controversies. When resources are tight, there will always be some who see museums and galleries as soft targets for cuts – and unfortunately such decisions are often made in ignorance of – or in spite of – the consequences.

In Ashburton, objectors to the new museum/gallery project are staging a mini-version of the Auckland Art Gallery controversy, invoking the RMA and Environment Court. While the scale is rather different, the delay and wrangling will inevitably be costly in time, energy and dollars. Invercargill is also gripped with frustration over development plans for Southland Museum & Art Gallery, now calling for a ‘review’ of their proposed $24.6m project. In Auckland the final outcome has been even better than anticipated, and the Auckland Art Gallery has now carried off yet another prestigious architecture award, claiming one of the 12 international awards from the Royal Institute of British Architects. We can only hope that Ashburton and Invercargill come out of it all with great new facilities.

Further north, Marcus Boroughs is leaving Aratoi to be head of Public Programmes at Auckland Museum in the midst of very public stone-throwing at governance level, and now their Board Chair has stepped down as well. In Wellington the Museums Trust is under fire from its Maritime Friends for the Museum of Wellington deaccessioning a model of the Titanic. And announcements are finally being made of Te Papa’s new vision and structure.

The National Whale Centre has launched their Virtual Museumand blog this month. The creation of the National Whale Centre is the result of many years of research into the creation of a Picton Foreshore attraction which addresses the unique position of New Zealand as an ocean nation with a 172 plus years history of whaling and subsequent shift to more sustainable aquamarine industries and associated ecotourism ventures. You can see their site and blog here.

Statistics survey development
Accurate and detailed information is essential for planning and for advocacy. We have already mentioned that Museums Aotearoa is developing a comprehensive sector statistics project to gather and share data about museums and galleries around the country. This is taking shape now, and we expect to roll it out in August.

Staff moves
With the latest announcement that Cam McCracken will be taking over as Director of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, and Marcus Boroughs departure from Aratoi, there are some interesting vacancies around the country. Alongside changes proposed at Te Papa and underway in other institutions, and a record number of vacancy advertisements coming through in the last few weeks, we are clearly in a period of ‘churn’. So for museum professionals looking to advance your career, now is the time to consider your options and look at taking on a new challenge.

Nga mihi,
Phillipa & Talei


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