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Scottish Government promises new fund to protect culture after Brexit

The programme will be in place by May 2019, with a focus on international cultural partnerships.

The Scottish Government is planning to create a new fund to protect cultural organisations from the impact of Brexit.

The International Creative Ambition Programme is set to be in place by May 2019. It will support international cultural partnerships that develop new work and “support talent through international collaboration and exchange”.

“This is particularly important against the backdrop of Brexit,” says the Scottish Government’s 2018/19 programme, where the fund is announced.

“Where Brexit threatens our ability to connect and prosper we will do what we can for Scotland to flourish”, it says.

Arts funder Creative Scotland welcomed the plans, praising the Scottish Government’s “ongoing commitment to supporting Scotland’s culture sector at home and internationally”.

“We look forward to finding out more about this new fund in due course,” a spokesperson told AP.

Culture strategy

Few details of the fund have been unveiled, meaning it is not known which organisations will be eligible and how much support will be available.

But its motives are framed by the country’s upcoming Culture Strategy, due by the end of 2018, which is outlined in the Programme for Government. The document says the strategy will use culture to improve wellbeing, increase economic growth, and force “long-term change through greater collaboration and integration across culture, communities and policy development”.

“We want to bring about a shift in how society and government view culture to realise the full potential of culture for everyone and every community,” the plan adds.

The document adds the strategy will be underpinned by three ‘ambitions’: to transform through culture, to empower through culture, and to sustain culture.

Inclusion

The Government also states its desire that the rest of the world see Scotland as “a creative, open, welcoming and outward-looking nation”.

The programme comes weeks after politicians gathered in the country for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit were criticised for blocking international artists from visiting the country and sharing ideas.

Speaking at the event last month, Sanjoy Roy, Director of India-based arts organisation Teamwork Arts,  said his personal experience of meeting thousands of artists at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was “transformative”.

But pointing to the Scottish politicians organising the conference, he said: “Unfortunately the very same city today, because of your policies, doesn’t allow visas to many communities – to many people who would like to come here and participate in the incredible offering of culture. We need to break down our boundaries.

“On one hand Europe is talking about the internet democratising us and allowing us all to come together across the world. At the same time, every country, every city feels threatened and threatened by artists.”

Scotland’s cultural strategy will also include pledges to drive forward the next phase of the country’s youth arts strategy, to respond to an ongoing review of music education undertaken by Royal Conservatoire Scotland, and to launch a new place-based arts initiative called the “cultural youth experience fund”.

 

This article first appeared in Arts Professional online and was written by Christy Romer https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/news/scottish-government-promises-new-fund-protect-culture-after-brexit?utm_source=Weekly-News&utm_medium=email&utm_content=nid-209392&utm_campaign=14th-September-2018

Have you ever visited the National Museum of Brazil?

Museum colleagues in Brazil have put a call out to anyone who has visited the National Museum of Brazil and has any photos or videos from their visit.  In particular, ICOM members may have visited the museum in 2013 as part of the 2013 ICOM General Conference in Rio.

If you have any pictures or videos you can share to help keep the memory of the museum alive, please email them to falecomdiretor@mn.ufrj.br

ICOM establishes new working group on sustainability

The international community first addressed the concept of sustainability in the Brundtland Report Our Common Future, commissioned by the UN and published in 1987.

In 2015, both the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement were adopted. Even with these measures, the world’s population is currently consuming the equivalent of 1.6 planets a year – a state of affairs that cannot continue. The nature of this global challenge requires a collective response across all sectors and scales.

As representative of the global museum community, the vision of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) is a world where the importance of natural and cultural heritage is universally valued. Today, more than ever, museums face unique challenges related to social, economic, and ecological issues. While serving as witnesses of the past and guardians of humanity’s treasures for future generations, museums play a key role in development through education and democratisation.

In this context, ICOM has established a Working Group on Sustainability. The Working Group’s mission is to help ICOM consider how to mainstream Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement across its range of activities, and to support its members and member museums to contribute constructively in upholding the Sustainable Development Goals and towards climate change adaptation and mitigations.

Museums offer an existing global infrastructure. They are uniquely placed to facilitate collective action by building networks, raising public awareness, and supporting research and knowledge creation. They can enhance sustainability and climate change education by working with and empowering communities to bring about change to ensure an habitable planet, social justice and equitable economic exchanges for the long term.

 

“The Working Group’s mission is to help ICOM consider how to mainstream Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement and to support its members to contribute constructively in upholding the SDGs”

 

Chaired by Morien Rees (Varanger Museum, Oslo, Norway), the working group is composed of members from various regions of the world who have been actively committed to addressing these issues in the museum and cultural heritage sectors. They will be guided by the principles of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, both adopted in 2015, and the three related moral imperatives: satisfying human needs, ensuring social justice and respecting environmental limits.

The ICOM Working Group on Sustainability will consider different approaches to aspects of sustainability. It will consider the museums’ potential roles in cross-sectorial sustainability initiatives: through their collections, as information resources, as communicators, as educators, as facilitators, as activists and advocates, and as users of natural resources.

The Working Group is expected to deliver its recommendations in 2019, at the 25th ICOM Triennial Conference which will take place in Kyoto, Japan.

Read the Press Release HERE

ICOM UK – British Council Travel Grants: deadline 24 September 2018

ICOM UK, with support from the British Council, is pleased to offer travel grants to support museum professionals to develop mutually beneficial international projects and partnerships for their organisations.

The 2018-19 ICOM UK – British Council Travel Grant Scheme enables recipients to undertake an international visit to meet with colleagues and share skills, expertise and experience.  The Travel Grant Scheme supports museums who are starting to develop mutually beneficial international projects and partnerships.

Applications will be considered for grants up to £1,500 per organisation or consortium for visits beyond greater Europe and up to £700 for visits within greater Europe.  The total amount of funding available for 2018-19 is £17,000.

Priority will be given to non-national museums, museums who have not previously undertaken international work, and mutually beneficial visits to countries on the Overseas Development Aid (ODA) list (see pages 4-5 of the application form).  50% of the funding in each round will be ring-fenced for visits to countries on the ODA list.  We encourage applications from organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

2018 DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS

Deadline for applications: 09:00 Monday 24 September 2018

Successful applicants notified: w/c 1 October 2018

Travel must be completed by: 11 February 2019

 

HOW TO APPLY

Download the application form and guidelines on the ICOM UK website: http://uk.icom.museum/about-us/bursaries/

Please complete one application form per organisation or consortium and email it to:

Dana Andrew, ICOM UK Executive Director, dana@cuello-andrew.co.uk before the deadline.

You can read the Case Studies from previous Travel Grant recipients on the ICOM UK website:  http://uk.icom.museum/resources/case-studies/

Call for candidacies: ICOM Executive Board election

Do you want to reinforce your engagement with ICOM and shape the future of our organisation? We have the pleasure to announce that the call for candidacies for the election of the Executive Board of ICOM 2019-2022 is now open!

During the upcoming 25th ICOM General Conference in Kyoto, Japan, in September 2019, we will celebrate one of the key moments of the life of our organisation in terms of democracy and transparency: the election and renewal of the Executive Board.

The responsibilities of the Executive Board, the elected head of the organisation, are implementing the strategies approved by the General Assembly and taking the necessary actions to implement its decisions. The Executive Board also oversees ICOM’s various resources and their development, while providing direction to the Secretariat and promoting ICOM’s values of independence, professionalism and integrity.

From the 1st of September to the 30th of November 2018, we invite ICOM members to submit their applications following the established procedure.

All the information and documents regarding the electoral process will be regularly updated on the “Elections 2019-2022” section of your personal dashboard on at https://icom-museum.force.com

ICOM UK – British Council Travel Grants: deadline 24 September 2018

ICOM UK, with support from the British Council, is pleased to offer travel grants to support museum professionals to develop mutually beneficial international projects and partnerships for their organisations.

The 2018-19 ICOM UK – British Council Travel Grant Scheme enables recipients to undertake an international visit to meet with colleagues and share skills, expertise and experience.  The Travel Grant Scheme supports museums who are starting to develop mutually beneficial international projects and partnerships.

Applications will be considered for grants up to £1,500 per organisation or consortium for visits beyond greater Europe and up to £700 for visits within greater Europe.  The total amount of funding available for 2018-19 is £17,000.

Priority will be given to non-national museums, museums who have not previously undertaken international work, and mutually beneficial visits to countries on the Overseas Development Aid (ODA) list (see pages 4-5 of the application form).  50% of the funding in each round will be ring-fenced for visits to countries on the ODA list.  We encourage applications from organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

 

2018 DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS

Deadline for applications: 09:00 Monday 24 September 2018

Successful applicants notified: w/c 1 October 2018

Travel must be completed by: 11 February 2019

 

HOW TO APPLY

Download the application form and guidelines on the ICOM UK website: http://uk.icom.museum/about-us/bursaries/

Please complete one application form per organisation or consortium and email it to:

Dana Andrew, ICOM UK Executive Director, dana@cuello-andrew.co.uk before the deadline.

You can read the Case Studies from previous Travel Grant recipients on the ICOM UK website:  http://uk.icom.museum/resources/case-studies/

ICOM Kyoto 2019 Conference and apply for a Travel Bursary

Museums as Cultural Hubs: the Future of Tradition

http://icom-kyoto-2019.org/

On 1-7 September 2019, Kyoto will be the city to receive some 3,000 participants to the ICOM General Conference. A flood of discussions and exchange of ideas on museum-related issues will sweep the city during the week. From excursions to workshops give you opportunities to engage with other museum professionals and enthusiasts and to broaden your experience and understanding of the museum world.

Registration opens in November and ICOM UK members get a substantial discount on tickets.  Early bird prices are available until April 2019.

http://icom-kyoto-2019.org/

Flight can be booked 12 months in advance, so book your flights now to get the best price.  Websites such as Skyscanner can help you find the cheapest flights.

ICOM UK members can apply for a Travel Bursary of up to £1,000 to attend Kyoto 2019 and apply for up to £250 in additional funding from the Camilla Boodle Fund to extend their stay in Japan to visit museums and meet with museum professionals.

Travel Bursaries are awarded on a first-come-first-served basis and the next deadlines are:

30 November 2018

28 February 2019

31 May 2019

Details on eligibility and how to apply for a Travel Bursary can be found on the ICOM UK website at: http://uk.icom.museum/about-us/bursaries/

Interview with Klaus Staubermann, CEO of ICOM Germany

Catherine McDermott, ICOM UK Committee Member, interviewed Klaus Staubermann, CEO of ICOM Germany.

CMD:   Would you give our ICOM UK members some background to ICOM Germany?

KS:   With over 6000 members ICOM Germany is ICOM’s largest National Committee.   We currently share offices in an historic 1924 Villa, formerly the home of the president if the Prussian Heritage Foundation, which is now the National Institute of Museum Research and which we share with the German Museum Association.

 

CMD:   What have been the main challenges?

KS:   In the 1990s the reunification of Germany, bringing together East and West, was a challenging process for the German museum sector.  I think it would be fair to say the two ICOM Germany committees during that period experienced difficulties building up a shared agenda based on mutual respect and understanding.

 

CMD:   What are the ICOM Germany’s recent achievements?

KS:   We have worked hard to establish gender equality on our committee and to open up the membership and to streamline our governance.   We want to respond to political change and to use museums to engage with controversy and enable conflicting views.

 

CMD:   Can you give us an example of a current project?

KS:   Our November conference, together with ICOM EUROPE, marks the end of WW1 and explores the difficult and complex issues of its legacy.   The projects we have invited through ICOM UK are, for example, the re-evaluation of the forgotten Chinese Corps.

 

CMD:   What are ICOM Germany’s current priorities?

KS:   We want to support collaboration across national and international committees and between national committees such as ICOM UK and Germany. One step forward is to host the ICOM EUROPE conference and to foster shared ideas and planning opportunities.

 

CMD:   What about emerging professionals and student members?

KS:   We focus on student membership to ICOM accredited courses, for example, in museum studies. And we facilitate dialogue between students and professionals through university visits facilitated by our staff.   One initiative is our Advocate programme where senior ICOM members will host networking event that will bring together experienced ICOM members and emerging professionals and student members and encourage them to become more active internationally.

 

CMD:   What is your experience of students’ key interests?

KS:   They prioritise career planning, fair contracts and they want to see a strong political agenda within ICOM Germany in terms of our events and discussion topics. Our students are quite vocal about their demands and expectations, including through social media, which we appreciate.

 

CMD:  Any further thoughts?

KS:   We are using more outspoken political tweets and Facebook contributions to give us a stronger voice nationally and internationally on human rights, social cohesion and cultural challenges.  Museums have been reluctant to engage with these vital issues and I want ICOM Germany to help change this.

 

 

Klaus Staubermann holds a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Cambridge and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Dibner Institutefor the History of Science and Technology at M.I.T.  He held posts of Curator and Researcher at Utrecht University Museum and senior science staff member at the Berlin Technology Museum before becoming a Principal Curator at National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh.   Since April this year he is the CEO of ICOM Germany.

Chinese open to learning about cultural heritage protection

This article first appeared in gbtimes online: https://gbtimes.com/chinese-open-to-learning-about-cultural-heritage-protection

 

The majority of Chinese people are willing to learn more about cultural heritage preservation, according to a survey report released by China Youth Daily on Tuesday.

83.4 percent of the 2,000 respondents said they pay close attention to news about cultural heritage, according to the online questionnaire.

“In recent years, China’s TV shows on cultural relics have shifted from focusing merely on their collection and economic value to learning the stories behind them, which represents the public’s growing understanding and consciousness of their preservation,” said Tang Miao, a scholar from the Department of Archaeology at Jilin University.

68.2 percent of respondents said that more systematic conservation measures should be adopted, while almost 75 percent believed awareness of the issue still needs to be broadened.

China has adopted measures such as promoting free admission in public museums and building more heritage parks since 2008.

“Cultural heritage preservation will be unsustainable without the public’s participation. Now, with encouragement from the government, there are more nongovernmental organisations and companies across China joining in, and we are exploring a sustainable model based on people’s closer relationships with cultural relics,” Tang concluded.

Brazil’s 200-year-old national museum hit by huge fire

Read the full article on the BBC website: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-45392668

A fire has gutted the National Museum of Brazil in Rio de Janeiro, the oldest scientific institution in the country.

Most of the 20 million items it contained, including the oldest human remains discovered in the Americas, are believed to have been destroyed.

Firefighters are working to put out the blaze. No injuries have been reported.

The museum, which once served as the residence for the Portuguese royal family, celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.

The fire started on Sunday evening, after the facility had closed for the day. The cause is not known.

Aerial images broadcast on Brazilian television showed it spreading throughout the building.

This isn’t just Brazilian history that’s gone up in flames. Many see this as a metaphor for the city – and the country as a whole.

Rio de Janeiro is in crisis. Growing violence, a deep economic decline and political corruption have combined to make the city a shadow of what it once was. It was only in 2016 that it was hosting the Olympic Games – an event into which Brazil poured billions of dollars.

But the hangover from the sporting event has hit Rio hard. Add to that the fact that federal spending has been slashed, and with violence on the rise, tourism numbers have also declined.

This was a museum that many saw as long ignored and underfunded – now, with devastating consequences for Brazil’s heritage.

Among the 20 million items it housed were archaeological artefacts, fossils and the largest meteorite discovered in the country.

The natural history collection included dinosaur bones and a 12,000-year-old skeleton of a woman known as “Luzia”, the oldest ever found in the Americas.

The building was also home to items covering the centuries from the arrival of the Portuguese in the 1500s to the declaration of a republic in 1889, as well as a vast archive on Brazil’s indigenous communities.

Portugal’s royal family transferred the court to the building in 1808, when the country faced with the threat of invasion from Napoleon.

Art and artefacts from Greco-Roman times and Egypt were also on display at the museum.

Employees had reportedly previously expressed concern about funding cuts and the dilapidated state of the building.

The institution was established in 1818 as the Royal Museum with the aim of promoting scientific research by making its collection available to specialists.

ICOM UK