Welcome back to our regular News Update for 2016. We hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing festive season and wish all our members and friends a very happy new year.
The summer has seen record tourism figures, including increases in all our international markets.
Media coverage over summer for museums and galleries has been very good, and we hope that reflects increased engagement. Internationally, the news is not so encouraging, with the UK in particular facing ongoing funding cuts. And we must acknowledge the passing of David Bowie, who has influenced more than a generation of cultural creation – may his legacy continue.
In Australia, an unwelcome Christmas present was delivered to the arts and culture sector with the announcement of budget cuts which will scrap the Book Council, and cut $36.8 million from government-funded museums and galleries, mainly those in Canberra. This comes after cuts announced and partially rescinded earlier this year during political upheavals, particularly affecting funding for the Australia Council.
With most museum and gallery funding in New Zealand coming from local councils, we will need to be well-prepared for our council elections in October 2016. MA is working on the evidence base for the value of our institutions, and how we can get our message across more effectively. We are launching a project to collaborate with the wider arts, culture and heritage sector and Local Government NZ to review current research information, with the aim of preparing advocacy material for members.
At MA we’re straight back into planning for our joint MA16 conference with Museums Australia, with more updates on the programme due out at the end of the month. Earlybird registration is available until 19 February, and includes a 10% discount for 3 or more delegates from the same organisation.
Don’t forget, MA is seeking participants for a pilot mentoring scheme to take place in the Auckland region during 2016. Applications are invited by Thursday 28th January. More information and application forms can be found here.
And please check the listings below for new activities and opportunities…
We look forward to catching up with you soon.
Phillipa and Talei